Wizards leading scorer Bradley Beal and Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie won’t take part in the restart of the NBA season, two significant absences in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Beal is out because of a right rotator cuff injury; Dinwiddie announced that he is still testing positive for coronavirus and won’t participate. Washington, Orlando, and Brooklyn are the three teams left in the chase for the final two playoff spots in the East. If the Wizards finish within four games of whichever club finishes eighth, then two games will be played to determine the No. 8 seed. “He’s worked religiously to get this thing back to where it feels right, and it just hasn’t felt right,” said Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard, who doesn’t believe Beal’s injury will linger long term or require surgery. “To hear him say himself that he’s just not right right now, ‘I’ve got to keep working, I’ve got more work to do,’ made that decision much easier.” Washington will also be without forward Davis Bertans, who decided to opt out of playing as a pending free agent, and injured guard John Wall. With Beal and Bertans out, a Wizards team that has been without Wall all season will have to replace more than 40 points per game if it is to somehow get into that postseason mix. At least six players on the Nets have tested positive for the virus, but Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks said last week there was no discussion of the team not traveling to Florida for the resumption of the NBA season. Dinwiddie joined Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, and Wilson Chandler among the Nets players not participating. . . . Calvin Booth, who played 10 years with seven teams, was promoted by the Nuggets to general manager. Booth, 44, is in his third season with the Nuggets after being hired as assistant GM in 2017. He succeeds Arturas Karnisovas, who left Denver in April to become the Bulls’ top decision-maker . . . The Houston Rockets signed 33-year-old forward Luc Mbah a Moute. This will be the second stint with the Rockets for Mbah a Moute, who played 61 games for Houston in the 2017-18 season. Mbah a Moute is a 12-year NBA veteran who has also played for the Bucks, Kings, Timberwolves, and 76ers. He hasn’t played in the league since he was released by the Clippers in April 2019.
Britain looking into abuse allegations
The British Gymnastics governing body has launched of an independent review into allegations of abuse in the sport. Catherine Lyons, a 19-year-old former gymnast, told ITV News she was assaulted and bullied by a coach as a young girl. Lisa Mason, a gold medalist at the 1998 Commonwealth Games who competed at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, also reported abuse from a coach as a youngster. “The behaviors we have heard about in recent days are completely contrary to our standards of safe coaching and have no place in our sport,” British Gymnastics chief executive Jane Allen said. “It is clear that gymnasts did not feel they could raise their concerns to British Gymnastics and it is vital that an independent review helps us better understand why so we can remove any barriers as quickly as possible.” Lawyer Jane Mulcahy will conduct the review of the allegations that were labeled “shocking and upsetting” by the UK Sport government agency. “There is absolutely no place for any sort of bullying or abuse in sport and anyone responsible for such behavior must be held accountable, with support offered to those affected,” UK Sport said.
Tackles turns tides in Premier League
On a night of spectacular goals in the Premier League, it was a pair of tackles that had the most significant impact on the hard-fought race for Champions League qualification. Chelsea’s 3-2 win at Crystal Palace was only secured thanks to a remarkable last-ditch challenge by center back Kurt Zouma, who somehow made up ground to divert the ball away as Christian Benteke was about to shoot late in stoppage time. Then, hours later at a rain-soaked Emirates Stadium, Arsenal was leading, 1-0, against Leicester and on course for a win when substitute striker Eddie Nketiah was handed a straight red card in the 75th minute for a studs-first lunge on James Justin. Jamie Vardy equalized nine minutes later for a 1-1 draw, dealing a huge setback to Arsenal’s improbable hopes of climbing into the top five. The two results left Chelsea in third place and a point clear of Leicester, which finally dropped to fourth after a poor run in the league since late January. In the other match on Tuesday, last-place Norwich inched closer to relegation after squandering an early lead to lose 2-1 at Watford and slip 10 points adrift of safety with only four matches remaining. The winner came from a stunning overhead kick by Danny Welbeck, his first goal for Watford . . . Lazio defender Patric could be facing a lengthy ban after being sent off for biting Lecce defender Giulio Donati . The incident happened in stoppage time of Lazio’s 2-1 loss at Lecce. With Lazio’s title chances all but evaporating and players getting into an argument, the 27-year-old Patric suddenly dipped his head and bit Donati on the left arm. The incident could be seen as even more serious because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with soccer having resumed under strict regulations that even discourage hugging in celebration after a goal. Luis Suárez was banned for 10 matches by the English FA in 2013 for biting an opponent when he played for Liverpool. The Uruguay forward was also suspended for nine international matches for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup . . . The Colombian soccer federation and officials, including FIFA Council member Ramón Jesurún, have been fined millions of dollars for irregular ticket sales to World Cup qualifying games. In a decision announced late Monday, a Colombian business regulation agency imposed a $4.3 million fine on the federation after a two-year investigation. Jesurún, the federation president and a FIFA Council member since 2016, was fined the equivalent of $83,000. Jesurún’s predecessor, Luis Bedoya, was fined $72,000. Bedoya pleaded guilty to financial corruption charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2015 and was later banned for life from soccer by the FIFA ethics committee on charges including bribery.