NFL Football

The Latest: Bills GM Beane launches fundraising campaign

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

By The Associated Press

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane has launched a fundraising campaign to support local charitable groups addressing critical needs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Beane is donating $20,000 to the community's United Way chapter and providing incentives for Bills fans to get involved.

Fans who make a donation to the Western New York COVID-19 Community Response Fund between Monday and April 17 will be eligible to win seven Bills-themed experiences or prizes.

The prizes include joining Beane on the phone when the GM submits Buffalo's first draft pick. Other prizes include a one-on-one Zoom interview with Beane, lunch with the GM, four tickets to Buffalo's home opener, and a jersey autographed by quarterback Josh Allen.

Proceeds will go to the community response fund. The fund aids area food banks and provides resources to health care providers and front-line responders.

Beane praised the work being done by doctors, nurses, pharmacists, grocery-store workers and others for putting their health at risk to serve the community.

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Dutch national team players, the country's national soccer association and the sport's main sponsor will contribute to an 11 million euro ($12 million) fund to support clubs in the Netherlands during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dutch soccer association says players on the men's and women's national teams are contributing to the fund to help amateur clubs that have been closed across the country.

The country's 3,000 soccer clubs have 1.2 million players but have seen income such as bar proceeds dry up amid the health crisis.

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Celta Vigo forward Fedor Smolov has left his confinement in Spain to be closer to his family back home in Russia.

Smolov says he informed the Spanish club of his plan and had its support. The club could not be immediately reached to confirm whether it had authorized the player's departure.

Spain is expected to remain in a nationwide lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic until April 26. The country has more than 135,000 confirmed cases of the new virus with more than 13,000 deaths.

Smolov wrote on Instagram that because of the closure of borders "I have found myself obligated to return to Russia to be closer to my family."

Smolov says he is "very grateful to Celta for its support and I want to emphasize that I informed the club about every step."

Spanish media reported that the 30-year-old Smolov flew home on a private jet for the 18th birthday of Maria Yumasheva. She is the granddaughter of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin. Smolov published photos on Instagram in January showing him and Yumasheva together on vacation.

Smolov says he is abiding by an "obligatory" quarantine and remains in constant contact with Celta's coaching staff to follow team protocol. He says he will return "as soon as the club requires."

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The Russian track federation says it will no longer give national team places to some athletes with past doping bans.

The federation said Sunday it won't select athletes who were given bans since November 2015 for a range of doping and doping-related offenses, or who work with a coach who was banned since that date.

The move could be subject to a legal challenge. The Court of Arbitration for Sport has struck down similar national selection rules before if it deems they impose extra punishments on athletes who have served their doping bans. CAS overturned a British Olympic Association rule in 2012 that athletes previously banned for doping could not be selected for the Olympic team.

The rules come as the Russian federation's new management tries to mend its relationship with World Athletics. Russia has been suspended from international track competitions since 2015 for widespread doping.

The federation last month formally admitted wrongdoing in a case where fake medical documents were used to give a Russian athlete an alibi for being unavailable for testing. It is facing a $10 million fine and a cap of 10 athletes for its track team at the next Olympics.

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A doctor at French soccer club Reims has killed himself after getting infected with the coronavirus.

Reims Mayor Arnaud Robinet told Le Parisien newspaper Bernard Gonzalez "is a collateral victim of COVID-19 because he had tested positive and was in isolation for 14 days. I know he had left a note to explain his decision."

Officials at the club say Gonzalez died Sunday. He was 60.

Gonzalez had worked at the club for 23 years.

Reims remembered Gonzalez as a man with the "soul of an artist" who was in love with the six-time champions.

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Two more golf events on the European Tour have been called off because of the coronavirus pandemic.

That ensures there will be no play until the end of June at the earliest.

The Troph�e Hassan II in Morocco from June 4-7 was postponed and the following week's Scandinavian Mixed tournament in Stockholm was canceled and will now be played in 2021.

Eleven tour events have been either postponed or canceled because of the virus outbreak.

The next potential tournament is the BMW International Open in Germany from June 25-28.

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Bayern Munich players have returned to training in small groups despite restrictions in place because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision by the German champions came after some rival clubs made similar moves. Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg have had players train in pairs or small groups.

Bayern said Sunday that the training session would "be done in coordination with government policy and the relevant authorities." The club added that "it goes without saying that all hygiene regulations will be strictly observed."

German league games have been suspended until at least April 30. Clubs and the league have discussed resuming the league without fans and with regular virus tests for players and staff.

No German league games have been played since March 8.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Updated April 6, 2020

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