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People walking in Milan, Italy, on Feb 25. Photo: Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images

The novel coronavirus is spreading quickly in cities nowhere near Wuhan, China, and has begun impacting a slew of international sporting events as the window to prevent a global pandemic narrows.

The state of play: The alpine skiing World Cup Finals and major Italian cycling races were canceled on Friday as the coronavirus continues to spread, AP reports. The Italian government has mandated all sporting events take place without spectators through April 3.

  • Weightlifting: The Asian weightlifting championships, which double as an Olympic qualifier, in Uzbekistan has been rescheduled to April 16-25, AP notes.
  • Basketball: A D-III game between Yeshiva University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute was played this week without spectators over coronavirus fears, possibly the first game in the U.S. to do so.
  • Baseball: Pre-season games in Japan were played with no fans in the stadium, per USA Today.
  • Soccer: Four Series A soccer matches in northern Italy were canceled, and the government wants future games in areas impacted by the outbreak to be played behind closed doors without fans.
  • Athletics: The World Athletics Indoor Championships, set to take place in mid-March in Nanjing, China, has been postponed until next year.
  • Formula One: The Chinese Grand Prix, originally scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai, has been postponed.
  • Table tennis: The world championship to be held in late March in South Korea has been pushed back provisionally to late June.

What to watch: Japanese officials insist the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will go on as planned, but the coronavirus has already begun to affect preparations, per Intelligencer:

  • "Movement of athletes has been limited, qualifying events have been disrupted, and plans to train tens of thousands of volunteers have been postponed."
  • "There are also emerging questions about how many people will be willing to travel to watch the Olympics. Coronavirus fears have led to a huge drop in tourism to Asia."

Go deeper: Coronavirus outbreak creates hockey stick shortage

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 min ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 48 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.

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