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Coronavirus notebook

Canada won’t send athletes to Olympics

A pedestrian in Tokyo, Japan, wears a protective face mask walking past a banner featuring the emblem for the 2020 Olympic Games, which if they are held will be without Canada.Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

The Canadian Olympic Committee says it won’t send athletes to the Tokyo Games unless they’re postponed for a year, becoming the first country to threaten such a move in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee sent out a statement Sunday evening saying it was willing to help the International Olympic Committee search for alternatives, but that it was not safe for athletes, “their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training for these Games.”

“In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.”

Canada brought 314 athletes who combined to win 22 medals at the Rio Games in 2016.

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Some of its most notable performers included swimmer Penny Oleksiak and sprinter Andre De Grasse.

Canada joins a number of countries — including Norway, Brazil and Slovenia — that have pressed the IOC on a possible postponement. But none had flat-out said they wouldn’t go if the games start when they’re scheduled on July 24.

The IOC on Sunday said it would take up to four weeks to consider alternatives, which include postponement. It has taken the possibility of canceling the games off the table.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said a postponement of the Olympics would be unavoidable if the games cannot be held in a complete way.

He was commenting on the IOC plan to examine the situation.

Abe, speaking at a parliamentary session, ruled out the possibility of a cancellation.

Whether Tokyo can hold the Olympics as planned has been a major international concern as the COVID-19 pandemic has spread globally.

Golf instructor Cowen shows symptons

Leading golf instructor Pete Cowen told The Daily Telegraph in Britain he has all the symptoms of the new coronavirus and says he has told all his players to follow health and government guidelines on COVID-19.

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Cowen works with Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka, Gary Woodland and Graeme McDowell, among many others, putting in long hours on the practice range at the biggest events.

He was at The Players Championship before it was canceled last week after one round because of concerns over the corona virus.

The Telegraph says Cowen has not been tested, but believes he has COVID-19.

“After a few days of self-isolation, we decided to ring the ambulance and the medics said I ticked every box on the corona sheet,” Cowen said. ‘‘They were fantastic, but said they were not allowed to test me unless I was admitted to hospital and then the staff there decided to keep you in.

Dubai World Cup postponed

The $12 million Dubai World Cup, the world’s richest purse in horse racing, will be postponed until next year, according to an announcement from the Dubai Media Office, a governmental agency.

Officials had planned to run the race March 28 without spectators over concerns about the coronavirus and the COVID-19 illness it causes.

Another positive test

The St. Louis Blues reported that a relative of a team employee tested positive for COVID-19. The person is in self-isolation along with members of the person’s family, according to the team. All Blues staff who may have come into close contact with the employee have been notified. The team said it is asking for all members of the Blues to remain isolated, monitor their health and seek advice from team medical staff … Only hours after the Australian government called for its citizens to cancel all non-essential travel, the Australian rules Australian Football League (AFL) announced it was postponing its seasons until May 31… Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac announced he is teaming up with a church to provide hot breakfasts and lunches to school kids age 18 and under on weekdays for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. Isaac says he’s partnering with J.U.M.P. Ministries Global Church for that initiative. Isaac also announced that he’ll be helping families obtain boxes of non-perishable food items once a week, things like oatmeal and cereal and instant rice.

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