Monday Sports in Brief

OLYMPICS

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.

Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start.

Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see the rescheduled closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.

NCAA

The NCAA will permit Division I spring-sport athletes — such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players — who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus pandemic to have an additional year of eligibility.

The NCAA Division I Council voted Monday to give spring-sport athletes regardless of their year in school a way to get back the season they lost, but it did not guarantee financial aid to the current crop of seniors if they return to play next year.

Winter sports, such as basketball and hockey, were not included in the decision because many athletes in those sports had completed all or most of their regular seasons, the council decided.

The council is made up of college sports administrators representing all 32 D-I conferences, plus two members of the student-athlete advisory committee. Earlier in the day, 60 SAAC members released a letter calling for the council to provide the extra eligibility to all athletes whose seasons were impacted by the COVID-19 related shutdown.

NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — Free agent safety Eric Reid wants the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement invalidated over language added following ratification of the pact earlier this month.

He is calling for an investigation and a re-vote.

In a letter to the NFLPA on Monday, Reid’s lawyers said language posted on the players association’s website after passage of the agreement by a 1,019-959 vote on March 15 contains different language than the one players signed off on.

The new CBA is set to begin with the upcoming 2020 season and extend through 2030.

The letter from attorneys Ben Meiselas and Ray Genco highlight a difference in wording in the section about the league’s disability plan that affects hundreds, and potentially thousands, of ex-players who applied for Social Security disability insurance payments before Jan. 1, 2015. In the version the players received and approved, those offsets applied only to players who applied after Jan. 1, 2015.

MLB

BOSTON (AP) — Red Sox starter Chris Sale had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on Monday, his 31st birthday, waiting 11 days after doctors said he needed the operation because of difficulty in scheduling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said the team worked with doctors to make sure the procedure didn’t burden an already-stressed healthcare system.

Dr. Neal ElAttrache replaced Sale’s ulnar collateral ligament at the Kerlan-Jobe Institute in Los Angeles; the Red Sox said the surgery was a success. Sale is expected to miss 14-15 months, which would bring him back in the middle of the 2021 season.

SOCCER

MADRID (AP) — In a letter critical of Barcelona club officials, Lionel Messi said Monday he and his teammates are taking a 70% cut in salaries because of the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Messi wrote in a social media post that the players will also make donations so other club employees are not affected by the upheaval.

Messi said it took a few days to announce the deal because “we were looking for a formula to help the club and also its workers in this very difficult moment.”

The donations the players will make are expected to help cover 100% of the salaries of club employees.

NEW YORK (AP) — The former head of Brazilian soccer was granted compassionate release from a U.S. federal prison on Monday amid the new coronavirus pandemic, his sentence cut short by about eight months.

José Maria Marin was sentenced to four years in prison in August 2018 for his participation in a scheme to accept bribes in exchange for the media and marketing rights to soccer tournaments.

U.S. District Judge Pamela K. Chen announced her decision one day after Marin’s lawyers filed a sealed emergency motion to reduce his sentence. Marin turns 88 on May 6.

Chen cited “his advanced age, significantly deteriorating health, elevated risk of dire health consequences due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, status as a non-violent offender and service of 80% of his original sentence” as among the reasons for her decision.

RUGBY

NEW YORK (AP) — USA Rugby has decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because its financial woes have been exacerbated by the coronavirus shutdown.

In financial strife since 2018, USA Rugby’s recent attempt to restructure was set back this month when it had to suspend all activities indefinitely in the face of the pandemic.

The loss of spring and summer membership dues, and sponsorship pullback, has “resulted in significant loss of revenue,” and the sport’s national board and congress agreed on Sunday that filing for Chapter 11 combined with more approved loans from World Rugby were “the best platform to swiftly and efficiently address challenges and deliver a foundation for future stability.”

The measure will protect and support the men’s and women’s national sevens and 15s programs, the body said.

AUTO RACING

Formula One team Mercedes has helped to develop a breathing aid that could keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care and ease some pressure on Britain’s strained health service.

As part of a combined effort involving seven Britain-based teams, Mercedes worked with engineers at the University College London and clinicians at University College London Hospital to adapt and improve a device that bridges the gap between an oxygen mask and the need for full ventilation.

The device, known as continuous positive airway pressure, has been used extensively in hospitals in Italy and China to deliver oxygen to the lungs of coronavirus patients during the pandemic.

UCL said the adapted devices have been recommended for use in Britain and that 100 of them are being sent to its hospital for clinical trials. There is the potential for quick roll-out by Mercedes to hospitals across the country.

BOXING

CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — British boxer Billy Joe Saunders had his boxing license suspended Monday after publishing a social media video in which he appeared to condone domestic violence amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The WBO super-middleweight champion filmed himself working out and offered men advice on how to hit their female partners during the lockdown.

The British Boxing Board of Control said it has investigated Saunders’ comments and decided to suspend his license under the regulations for misconduct. The body says a hearing will take place “at a time and venue to be confirmed as soon as possible.”

Saunders, who is unbeaten in 29 fights, was close to agreeing to fight Saul “Canelo” Alvarez in Las Vegas before the outbreak of the pandemic.

He has apologized for his remarks.

WRESTLING

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Spencer Lee of Iowa has been voted the winner of the Dan Hodge Trophy as the most dominant college wrestler in the nation.

Lee received 52 of a possible 57 first-place votes, WIN magazine announced Monday. The Hodge is considered the top honor in college wrestling.

Lee was 18-0, won his first Big Ten championship and was named conference wrestler of the year. He outscored opponents 234-18 in the 125-pound weight class. He scored bonus points in all but one match and recorded four first-period pins. In January he outscored five opponents 84-1.

Lee is the third Iowa wrestler to win the award since its inception in 1995, joining Mark Ironside in 1998 and Brent Metcalf in 2008.

TABLE TENNIS

BUSAN, South Korea (AP) — The table tennis world team championships have been postponed again after the sport’s governing body suspended all planned events involving international travel until June 30 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The world team championships in Busan, South Korea, had already been delayed from May 22-29 to June 21-28.