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Latest headlines:

  • Breel Embolo dropped for possible COVID violations
  • Two players test positive for COVID at the Australian Open
  • The ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Tokyo are to be scaled down

January 19th

Breel Embolo apologizes for “mistakes” but denies reports

Borussia Mönchengladbach has removed striker Breel Embolo from the squad because of a possible violation of the coronavirus restrictions for the Bundesliga game against Werder Bremen on Wednesday.

On Instagram, Embolo confirmed reports in the German press that the police recorded his data after a party in Essen was closed. However, he claimed he was not at the bar for questions and instead was at a colleague’s apartment nearby where he wanted to watch basketball on TV.

“I wasn’t part of a party, that’s wrong,” said Embolo and continued, “I shouldn’t have been there, it was a mistake.”

Minsk regrets the decision of the IIHF to skip the World Cup

On Tuesday, Minsk regretted an “unfounded” decision to withdraw Belarus from its role as co-host of the 2021 Ice Hockey World Cup because of crackdowns against opposition protesters.

Belarus was supposed to co-host the event with Latvia in May and June, but in recent weeks the Belarusian opposition and EU member states have received increasing calls to move the tournament from Minsk.

Read more: Opinion – IIHF has rightly stripped World Championships

Two positive cases in AO tennis players

Two Australian Open players tested positive for coronavirus, health officials said Tuesday, bringing the number of cases related to the Grand Slam tennis tournament to seven.

The Victoria State Health Department said a total of nine people tested positive in quarantine prior to the Melbourne incident. However, two cases were classified as historic infections on Tuesday.

Positive cases on three charter flights have locked 72 players in their hotel rooms, but health officials said none have been cleared for return to training as the cases have been reclassified.

January 18th

“No Special Treatment” for AO tennis players

Dozens of tennis stars stuck in hotel quarantine ahead of the Australian Open were told Monday that despite complaints from some players, they would not receive “special treatment” to leave their rooms to train.

The Australian Open is slated to begin on February 8, but its troublesome setup ran into other issues after positive cases of coronavirus were found on three of the 17 charter flights that brought players and staff to Melbourne. Heath authorities said they discovered two more cases related to the tournament on Monday, bringing the total number of Australian Open clusters to six.

Men’s number 1 Novak Djokovic, who arrived on a virus-free flight and is allowed to train in a bio-safe bubble, was among several players who complained about the conditions. The Serb reportedly sent a list of demands to tournament organizers, including allowing players to move into private homes with tennis courts.

Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews denied the request, saying, “There’s no special treatment here. Because the virus doesn’t treat you specially, neither do we.”

Olympic ceremonies are scaled down

Tokyo Olympics organizers said Monday they would reduce the number of athletes at the opening and closing ceremonies of this year’s Summer Games.

More than 11,000 athletes are expected to take part in the Tokyo Games. However, measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic include limiting the time they can spend in the Olympic Village, which means not as many as usual can attend the opening and closing ceremonies.

“In order to keep athletes safe and to simplify operations at the Tokyo 2020 Games, we believe it is necessary to reconsider the number of participants in the opening and closing ceremonies and the way they enter the stadium “the organizing committee said in a statement.