Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Motor racing: Hulkenberg up for the challenge as Perez's replacement
Nico Hulkenberg declared himself up for the challenge after returning to Formula One, in borrowed overalls and a buttock-numbing seat, at the British Grand Prix on Friday as a replacement for quarantined Mexican Sergio Perez. The German, a veteran of 177 grands prix, raced with the Racing Point team when they were known as Force India and competed for Renault last season before losing his seat and turning his hand to TV punditry.
MLB roundup: Bieber sets two-game strikeout mark
Shane Bieber pitched eight shutout innings and entered the major league record books with 13 more strikeouts as the Cleveland Indians blanked the Minnesota Twins 2-0 Thursday night at Minneapolis. Bieber, who set a franchise Opening Day record with 14 strikeouts over six shutout innings in a 2-0 victory against Kansas City on Friday, allowed just three singles. His 27 strikeouts in his first two starts of the season tied the modern era (since 1901) big-league record set by Karl Spooner of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954.
NBA re-evaluating training programme in China after abuse allegations
The National Basketball Association (NBA) said it was re-evaluating its training programme in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches saying Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said.
Racing Point boss says Formula One COVID-19 code may need tightening
Formula One teams may need to keep drivers within protective 'bubbles' all season after Sergio Perez contracted COVID-19 following a trip home to Mexico, Racing Point boss Otmar Szafnauer suggested on Friday. Racing Point's Perez went into quarantine after the positive test ruled him out of this weekend's British Grand Prix, and quite likely the following Sunday's 70th Anniversary race at Silverstone.
Murray predicts more U.S. Open withdrawals after Barty
Britain's Andy Murray expects some of the top male players to follow women's world number one Ash Barty in skipping next month's U.S. Open in New York due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. Australian Barty said on Thursday she was not comfortable travelling to the United States amid the pandemic for the hardcourt Grand Slam, which begins on Aug. 31.
Former FIFA president Blatter calls for Infantino to be suspended
Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called for his successor, Gianni Infantino, to be suspended by the global soccer body after criminal proceedings were opened against Infantino in Switzerland. Swiss authorities said on Thursday that proceedings had been launched against the current FIFA boss by a special prosecutor looking into meetings he had with Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber. Lauber and Infantino have denied wrongdoing.
NBA players protest racial injustice as league returns to action
NBA teams bowed their heads and knelt during the playing of the U.S. national anthem while wearing Black Lives Matter T-shirts on Thursday as the league returned for the first time since the coronavirus halted play in March with two thrilling games. Coaches and game officials joined players from the Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers in taking a knee to protest against racial injustice and police brutality in the first games in 140 days.
Tennis: Kenin ready for career restart after COVID-19 disruption
The COVID-19 shutdown could not have come at a worse time for Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin but the American says she has made full use of the mini off-season and is raring to go when the professional circuit restarts next month. The 21-year-old lifted her first Grand Slam trophy in Melbourne at the start of the year and then added a WTA title in Lyon, days before the circuit came to a halt due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
MLB looking for Indians to trade willow for ash
Baseball is one of several sports seeking a slice of the huge Indian market and its similarity with cricket, often called a religion in the country of 1.4 billion, could give it a head start, Major League Baseball (MLB) officials hope. MLB spent a decade and half studying the market before opening a sixth international office in New Delhi last year and was encouraged by the throwing, hitting and catching techniques that link America's pastime and India's obsession.
MLB reschedules Cardinals game after positive tests
Major League Baseball has rescheduled Friday's game between the St. Louis Cardinals and host Milwaukee Brewers after two members of the visiting organisation tested positive for COVID-19. The Brewers will now play their home opener versus St. Louis on Saturday and make up Friday's game with a doubleheader on Sunday, MLB said in a statement.