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US Olympians decry IOC’s ‘oppression of athletes’

US athletes John Carlos (right) and Tommie Smith (center) were joined in this iconic moment of protest at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. Carlos signed a letter by US Olympic athletes to the International Olympic Committee seeking the abolition of Rule 50, which barred athletes from expressing political views or staging protests.STF/Associated Press

United States Olympic athletes have called on the International Olympic Committee to abolish Rule 50, the provision in the Olympic charter barring protest and other political statements at the Games. In a letter sent Saturday to the IOC and co-signed by iconic former athlete and activist John Carlos, the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Athletes Advisory Committee denounced Rule 50 as “the oppression of athletes” and called on the IOC to create a new policy granting greater rights of expression. “Athletes will no longer be silenced,” the letter read. The AAC’s letter comes in the wake of worldwide protests after George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody sparked a reckoning over racial injustice in America. The debate over the merits of Rule 50 was reignited at the Pan American Games last year when hammer thrower Gwen Berry raised her fist during the national anthem and fencer Race Imboden knelt on the medal stand. The USOPC placed both on one-year probation while citing Rule 50, which prohibits “demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda.”


N.C. Courage wins NWSL opener

Lynn Williams scored in stoppage time and the North Carolina Courage defeated the Portland Thorns, 2-1, in the opening game of the National Women’s Soccer League’s Challenge Cup tournament on Saturday in Herriman, Utah. Players from both teams knelt during the national anthem and wore Black Lives Matter T-shirts during warmups before the CBS nationally-televised game. The NWSL is the first professional team sport to return amid the coronavirus pandemic, but fans will not be allowed at any of the games. The teams had opened preseason training camps but had not played any games when the league shut down on March 12 . . . Manchester United scraped past 10-man Norwich, 2-1, in extra time to reach the FA Cup semifinals. Norwich goalie Tim Krul made five saves after defender Timm Klose’s banishment in the 89th minute. But, with three minutes left in extra time, United center half Harry Maguire slid the ball home following a corner to finally crack Norwich’s resistance . . . Paris Saint-Germain said one player from its main women’s team and two players from the Under-19 women’s side tested positive for the coronavirus. Earlier this week, PSG said three players from the men’s side and one member of staff were infected by the virus during the lockdown when they were not in contact with each other.



Dodgers OF Toles charged with trespassing

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles was jailed Saturday on a trespassing charge. The 28-year-old player was detained this week at the airport in Key West, Fla., by a Monroe County sheriff deputy. A report by the sheriff’s office said Toles was found sleeping behind a Federal Express building at the airport and refused to move after several warnings by deputies that he had to leave or be arrested. Toles, who struggled with anxiety issues even before the Dodgers signed him to a minor league deal in 2016, never reported to spring training in 2019 because of a personal matter and did not play that year . . . The Texas Rangers said several of their employees tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days. The team said anyone who had direct contact with those affected was sent home from Globe Life Field. The Rangers said no one will be allowed back inside without receiving a negative test for the coronavirus. The club is set to begin another round of training at the ballpark next week . . . The New York Yankees and the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals are set to meet when the virus-delayed season begins next month in a tantalizing opening-day matchup, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press.



Second Chicago Sky player positive

Guard Sydney Colson announced on Twitter Saturday she had tested positive for the coronavirus. About two months earlier, WNBA teammate center Stefanie Dolson said she and her entire family tested positive. This week, the Sky welcomed back out-of-market players for physicals and individual workouts leading to a 22-game season. Over the next few weeks, players will face three rounds of testing before they can travel to training camp next month in Bradenton, Fla. Colson will isolate and follow protocols of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and must test negative before going to Florida for workouts.



Rainout forces NASCAR tripleheader

NASCAR was set for a tripleheader of racing at Pocono Raceway from three national series on Sunday after rain washed out Saturday’s Truck Series race. NASCAR said it was the first time all three of its national touring series races will be raced on the same day at the same track. The Truck Series, scheduled for Saturday, will be held at 9:30 a.m. followed by the second-tier Xfinity Series 225-mile race and a 350-mile Cup Series race, which has a scheduled green flag start of 3:54 p.m . . . Kevin Harvick snapped an 0-for-38 drought at Pocono Raceway, taking the checkered flag Saturday at one of two tracks where victory had eluded him. Harvick won the first of two NASCAR Cup races in front of no fans this weekend at Pocono and will start 20th on Sunday with the field set by inverting the lead-lap finishers . . . A barn at Belmont Park has been placed under a precautionary quarantine because of a suspected case of equine herpesvirus Type 1, which can cause upper respiratory infection in young horses. New York Racing Association officials say Freudnme, a 4-year-old colt trained by Chris Englehart who last raced at Finger Lakes in upstate New York in June 2019, exhibited fever and neurological symptoms associated with EHV-1 on Saturday and is being treated by a private veterinarian . . . Phil Krueger, a Korean War veteran who was awarded the Bronze Star and helped build a dominant defense as an assistant for 1967 national champion Southern California and later became part of the first coaching staff in Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ history, has died. He was 90.