A day after Switzerland’s team leader asked for talks about possibly postponing the Beijing Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic, the IOC promised officials worldwide on Wednesday the Winter Games will go ahead as planned.

The Swiss Olympic committee said the IOC gave assurances about staging next month’s event during a video conference call with teams.

The International Olympic Committee also promised case-by-case assessments of athletes who recover after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of traveling to China, the Swiss team said in a statement.

“The issue of a postponement is no longer relevant to all of us,” Swiss team leader Ralph Stockli said in the statement.

The International Olympic Committee is hoping to avoid a second straight delay. The Tokyo Games, originally scheduled to be held in 2020, were postponed by one year. That decision was made four months before the scheduled opening ceremony.


The Opening Ceremony is Feb. 4.

SPEEDSKATING: Ethan Cepuran rallied on the last lap to win the men’s 5,000 meters and Mia Manganello Kilburg took the women’s 3,000 on opening night of the U.S. Olympic speedskating trials without spectators at Milwaukee.

The five-day trials were closed to spectators and media because of a surge in COVID-19 cases.


U.S. CHAMPIONSHIPS: Defending champions Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier withdrew night when he tested positive for COVID-19.

The pairs event begins Thursday at Nashville, Tennessee, at what amounts to the U.S. trials for the Beijing Olympic team. Knierim and Frazier, who became a duo last season when her husband, Chris, retired from skating still could be selected for the games. They would need to petition to a selection committee and prove they are fit to be chosen.


The United States has two spots in the pairs field for China.


LOAN: American midfielder and defender James Sands was loaned to Glasgow Rangers from Major League Soccer champion New York City through the end of the 2023-24 Scottish Premier League season.

Rangers have an option to acquire Sands at the end of the loan.

Sands, a 21-year-old from Rye, New York, made his MLS debut in 2017 and appeared last year in 26 regular-season games and four postseason matches. He was selected to the MLS All-Star team.

VIRUS: A coronavirus outbreak among Liverpool’s players and staff led to the team’s match against Arsenal in the English League Cup semifinals being postponed, adding to the backlog in English soccer caused by the fast-spreading omicron variant.


The English Football League, which runs the cup competition, approved a request from Liverpool for the game to be called off because of a slew of positive tests at the club that has led to the closure of its training ground.

U.S. WOMEN: The United States will play Iceland, New Zealand and the Czech Republic in the SheBelieves Cup tournament next month.

The seventh annual event will be played Feb. 17-23 at venues in Carson, California, and Frisco, Texas.

The defending World Cup champion U.S. is focused on qualifying for the 2023 World Cup. The CONCACAF W Championship will be held this summer and determine the region’s fourth berths.

MLS: The new MLS team in St. Louis named Bradley Carnell as head coach.

The 44-year-old Carnell is a former defender who played in more than 300 professional games and made three starts in the 2002 World Cup for his native South Africa. He’ll lead St. Louis City SC when the team joins the league in 2023.



BELMONT: The Belmont Stakes is moving to FOX Sports as part of an eight-year deal beginning in 2023.

The deal announced between FOX and the New York Racing Association includes NYRA Bets as the title sponsor of the third leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown series.

NYRA Bets is an advance deposit wagering business operating in more than 30 states and majority-owned by NYRA with Fox Corp. holding a minority interest.

The Belmont Stakes has aired since 2011 on NBC when the network brought together all three Triple Crown races – the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes. The Derby and Preakness have aired on NBC since 2001.



WORLD CUP: Bad weather at Zagreb, Croatia, forced the rescheduling of the first men’s men’s slalom race of the calendar year, with the event moved to Thursday.

Rain, fog, and strong winds on the Crveni Spust course prevented organizers from starting the night slalom as scheduled.


ADELAIDE INTERNATIONAL: Top-ranked Ash Barty had a tough opener to her 2022 season, having to rally from a set and a break down to beat 17-year-old American Coco Gauff 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the second round at Adelaide, Australia.

The Wimbledon champion dropped serve twice in the first set and was 4-2 down, facing another break point, in the second before recovering to win 11 of the last 13 games.

Second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka had an upset 7-6 (6), 6-1 loss to No. 100-ranked Kaja Juvan and Shelby Rogers fended off third-seeded Maria Sakkari 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4.

ATP CUP: Pablo Carreno Busta beat Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 to secure a semifinal spot for Spain and Roberto Bautista Agut completed the group-stage victory over Serbia with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Dusan Lajovic later in the second of the singles matches at Sydney.

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