SYDNEY (AP) — The Sydney Opera House and Auckland’s Sky Tower will be lit up simultaneously to highlight the joint bid from Australia and New Zealand in the final hours before FIFA decides on the venue for the 2023 Women’s World Cup.The lights will go on in advance of a decision from the 37-member FIFA Council on Thursday in Europe, expected about 2 a.m. local time Friday on Australia’s east coast and 4 a.m. in New Zealand.The tournament is due to be staged from July 10-Aug. 20, 2023 and will see the field expanded from 24 to 32 teams — The University of Connecticut has decided to eliminate four athletic teams as it deals with an expected budget deficit driven by issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. UConn’s president told the Board of Trustees today the school will reduce the number of sports it supports from 24 to 20, eliminating its men’s cross country, men’s swimming and diving, men’s tennis and women’s rowing teams after the 2020-21 academic year. — The University of Northern Colorado will discontinue the men’s and women’s tennis programs as part of a cost-saving effort due to budget shortfalls created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The school located in Greeley, Colorado, will now sponsor 17 intercollegiate athletic programs, including nine women’s sports. NBA RESTART-SOCIAL ISSUESNBA, NBPA say sparking social change will be goal of restartNEW YORK (AP) — The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association said Wednesday that dealing with racial matters will be a shared goal during the resumed season. At issue is the case of former star player Art Schlichter (SHLEES’-tuhr), now serving a nearly 11-year sentence on federal fraud charges. Prosecutors say Schlichter promised college and NFL game tickets, including to the Super Bowl, but never delivered despite receiving thousands of dollars in payments.One of Schlichter’s victims was retiree Anita Barney, the widow of a former Wendy’s CEO, who lost nearly her entire life savings to Schlichter. Yet Barney also defrauded multiple friends and acquaintances under Schlichter’s direction and ultimately pleaded guilty to two felony theft counts for her involvement in the scheme, narrowly avoiding prison time. She was ordered to pay $427,000 to 19 victims.Schlichter has received nearly $700,000 from a national settlement with the NFL over concussions suffered by players, according to a federal court filing last week by Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.WADA-US FUNDINGStudy says US doesn’t get value from WADA contribution UNDATED (AP) — He took his COVID-19 test when he arrived in Connecticut for the Travelers Championship and waited until he received the result (negative) before going to watch his brother, Chase, earn a spot in the field through Monday qualifying.Both withdrew before the tournament even began after Koepka’s caddie tested positive for the coronavirus, even though subsequent tests on the players came back negative. Each cited the need to be safe, not only for themselves but the other players and caddies at the TPC River Highland.NHL-HALL OF FAMEIginla headlines 2020 Hall class as 4th Black player electedUNDATED (AP) — Jarome Iginla (juh-ROHM’ ih-GIHN’-luh) headlines the Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 after being elected Wednesday in his first year of eligibility. — The return of Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has been delayed after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Brogdon issued a statement through the team, saying he was in quarantine, feeling well and expects to rejoin his teammates in Orlando for the resumption of the season next month. Brogdon used the March stoppage of play to recover from a leg and hip muscle injury that kept him out of games and recently told reporters he was ready to play. — The parents of Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) are defending their son and blaming another tennis player for spreading the coronavirus at a series of exhibition matches hosted by the top-ranked player. Djokovic and his wife tested positive for the virus on Monday. The 17-time Grand Slam champion then apologized online for bringing together a group of professional players from various countries to play matches in Serbia and Croatia. Thousands of spectators attended the matches and no social distancing was observed. Djokovic’s outspoken father blamed the cancellation of the Adria Tour on Grigor Dimitrov (GREE’-gohr DIH’-mih-trahv). The Bulgarian has also tested positive for the virus but there is no evidence to suggest he spread it to others.— The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health says Santa Anita had 17 people test positive for the coronavirus during its recently completed meet. The Arcadia, California, racetrack was on Monday’s list of nonresidential settings with five or more confirmed cases of the disease. The track’s meet ended Sunday.— Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore will open Thursday for wagering on simulcast horse races. Fans will be required to wear masks, maintain social distancing and follow safety protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19. Pimlico is scheduled to host the Preakness on Oct. 3. Nearby Laurel Park remains closed to the general public.— The Berlin Marathon has been canceled following months of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers say “after extensive examination and various discussions” they were not able to find a later date. Authorities in Germany have blocked the hosting of major events through October. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has imposed a 60-game season that will begin either July 23 or 24. It remains unclear where the Blue Jays plan to hold their training camp and play home games this summer.In other developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic:— The New York City Marathon scheduled for Nov. 1 has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. New York Road Runners announced the cancellation of the world’s largest marathon Wednesday after coordinating with the mayor’s office and deciding the race posed too many health and safety concerns for runners, volunteers, spectators and others. Last year’s marathon included a world record 53,640 finishers. Entrants for the 2020 race will be offered a full refund of their entry fee or a guaranteed entry to either the 2021, 2022 or 2023 marathon. The 2021 New York City Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 7.— The caddies for Graeme McDowell and Brooks Koepka (KEHP’-kuh) have tested positive for the coronavirus, and both major champions have decided to withdraw from the Travelers Championship. Both say they are withdrawing to protect the rest of the field. McDowell says it feels like the snowball is getting bigger. This is the PGA Tour’s third week back after being shut down for three months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first week came off without a hitch. Nick Watney last week became the first player to test positive.— A person with knowledge of the situation says All-Star forward Nikola Jokic (NEE’-koh-lah YOH’-kich) of the Denver Nuggets has tested positive for the coronavirus and is quarantining in his native Serbia. Jokic is expected to be back in Denver long before the team leaves for the Disney complex for the restart of the NBA season next month. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSMore positive tests in baseballUNDATED (AP) — All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies has become the first Major League Baseball player identified as having tested positive for the coronavirus. A person familiar with Blackmon’s situation confirmed the test result to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. A spokesman confirmed the decisions Wednesday, saying Marshall’s name has already been removed from the history wall at the team’s training facility in Ashburn, Virginia. The spokesman said the Ring of Fame is removing Marshall’s name from its stadium in Landover, Maryland, on Wednesday and the process to alter the website is underway. It’s the latest move to cut ties with the legacy of the team’s racist founder, a segregationist who refused to integrate by signing Black players until “forced to do so” in 1962, more than a decade after much of the rest of the NFL. Marshall owned the franchise from its inception in 1932 and moved the team from Boston to Washington several years later. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963 and died in 1969.PGA-TRAVELERS-KOEPKASBrooks Koepka felt like he was doing everything by the book. The Denver Post first reported Blackmon’s condition, saying Tuesday that three Rockies players had tested positive. The Post reported Blackmon tested positive last week after workouts at Coors Field in Denver. The newspaper said the Rockies then closed the ballpark, following MLB protocol.The Philadelphia Phillies have said seven players have tested positive for the virus without identifying any of them.A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that several players and staff members of the Toronto Blue Jays have tested positive. The Blue Jays closed their training facility last Friday in Dunedin, Florida, after a player showed symptoms consistent with the virus.Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said a few players have tested positive for COVID-19. Dipoto declined to specify the number of players or if they are part of Seattle’s 40-man roster. Dipoto said they have all been asymptomatic. And Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila says one player and one staff member have tested positive for COVID-19. He didn’t identify them during a video conference. He said the player was living in Florida but wasn’t working out at the team’s spring training facilities in Lakeland. The league and union announced they will “take collective action to combat systemic racism and promote social justice” when the season restarts at the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida next month. Specific plans have not been finalized.NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBPA executive director Michele Roberts led a meeting that included league officials and players Tuesday to go over plans, including how best to ensure greater inclusion of Black-owned and operated businesses in league matters and forming an NBA foundation “to expand educational and economic development opportunities” in the Black community.NFL-REDSKINS-MARSHALLRedskins removing ex-owner Marshall from Ring of FameUNDATED (AP) — The Washington Redskins are removing former owner George Preston Marshall from their Ring of Fame and striking all references to him on their website. In a letter to Brown President Christina Paxson, attorney Jeffrey Kessler said the school made a “purposeful choice to conceal critical information” that cost the athletes the chance to enroll at or transfer to a different school. Brown announced last month that as part of a plan to redirect resources to its more successful programs it would eliminate 11 varsity sports and promote coed and women’s sailing to varsity status, bringing the school’s total from 38 teams to 29. After a backlash over the disparate effect the cuts would have on minority students, the school backed down and agreed to keep men’s track and cross-country.EX-QUARTERBACK-THEFT CHARGESFiling: Victims deserve ex-quarterback’s concussion fundsCOLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Multiple individuals defrauded in a scheme perpetrated by an ex-Ohio State and NFL quarterback and his accomplice should receive money from the former player’s share of a national concussion settlement, an Ohio prosecutor is arguing. Update on the latest sports June 24, 2020 Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. government study concludes Americans don’t get their money’s worth out of the $2.7 million that Congress provided the World Anti-Doping Agency this year and suggests future funding be contingent on changes in the drug-fighting agency’s policies.The 19-page report by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy concludes that the U.S. is underrepresented on WADA’s key policy-making committees, that WADA has not moved urgently enough to reform itself in the wake of the Russian doping scandal and that Congress should consider giving the office discretion to withhold future funding.WADA spokesman James Fitzgerald disputed the report. The agency is working on a full response to deliver to Congress.WOMEN’S WORLD CUP-BIDDINGLandmarks to highlight Australia-New Zealand World Cup bid Iginla will be the fourth Black player inducted after Grant Fuhr, women’s hockey pioneer Angela James and Willie O’Ree. Iginla and Fuhr are the only Black NHL players enshrined for their on-ice accomplishments, while O’Ree was chosen in the builder category in 2018 for breaking the league’s color barrier 60 years earlier.The longtime Calgary Flames captain was the first Black player to lead the NHL in goals and points and was the first Black athlete in any sport to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. A first-generation Canadian whose father is Nigerian and mother is American, Iginla owns arguably the biggest assist in Canada’s history of international hockey. He passed the puck to Sidney Crosby for Crosby’s “golden goal” at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.BROWN-DROPPING SPORTSBrown U. students claim fraud, want cut sports restoredLawyers for a group of Brown University athletes whose sports have been targeted for elimination are accusing the Ivy League school of fraud for working secretly on a plan to cut the programs without telling the players their varsity careers were in jeopardy.