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NEW YORK (AP) – Major League Baseball has issued a 60-game schedule that will start July 23 or 24 in empty ballparks as the sport tries to push ahead amid the coronavirus following months of acrimony. This will be MLB’s shortest season since 1878. Each team will play 10 games against each of its four division rivals and four games against each of the five clubs in the corresponding division in the other league, according to details obtained by The Associated Press. There will be a designated hitter in the National League and extra innings will start with an automatic runner on second base.

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) – 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 yesterday. 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.

UNDATED (AP) – Federal authorities have determined that the rope found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage at Talladega Superspeedway was not a hate crime. Video evidence shows the rope had been hanging from a garage door at the Alabama track since at least October. Wallace coincidentally was assigned that garage recently. NASCAR stood by its decision to investigate the discovery found in the stall of its only Black driver. Wallace successfully called for a ban of the Confederate flag and has become an activist for the sport during a push for racial equality.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A prosecutor says multiple fraud victims should receive money awarded to an ex-Ohio State and NFL quarterback from a national concussion settlement. Former star player Art Schlichter (SHLEES’-tuhr) is serving a nearly 11-year sentence on federal fraud charges involving college and NFL game tickets promised but never delivered. One of Schlichter’s victims was retiree Anita Barney, who was later convicted of defrauding others under Schlichter’s direction. Ron O’Brien is prosecutor in Franklin County in central Ohio. He’s asked a judge to award money Barney is owed by Schlichter to Barney’s own victims.

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 international soccer’s governing body 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 (FEE’-fuh) Council on Thursday in Europe. The co-confederation bid is favored to win in a two-way contest with Colombia following the late withdrawal of a bid from Japan.

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