First round of PGA Tour Champions postponed

RICHMOND, Va. — The first round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic was postponed Friday because of rain.

The 54-hole tournament at the Country Club of Virginia was to be Phil Mickelson’s second start on the PGA Tour Champions. He won his debut on the over-50 tour at Ozarks National in August.

The tour planned to send players off from split tees Saturday morning and the second round was set to begin Saturday afternoon, with the goal of completing the tournament by Sunday evening.

A-10 commissioner: NCAA penalties against UMass unfortunate

The NCAA is stripping Massachusetts of victories in men’s basketball and women’s tennis for overpaying 12 athletes about $9,100 in financial aid over three years, prompting criticism of the penalty from the Atlantic 10 Conference commissioner.

The NCAA announced Friday the Committee on Infractions had imposed a two-year probation on UMass that will end October 2022 in addition to vacating results involving athletes who received what were determined to be a total of 13 inappropriate payments.

The school will also pay a self-imposed fine of $5,000.

UMass plans to appeal the committee’s decision to vacate results from 2014-17 that include 59 basketball wins and an Atlantic 10 Conference championship in women’s tennis.

A-10 Commissioner Bernadette McGlade and UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford both took issue with the vacation penalty for what the COI conceded was a “misunderstanding,” according to the NCAA’s news release.

McGlade said the decision was “unfortunate.”

Joshua, Pulev reschedule title fight for Dec. 12

LONDON — Anthony Joshua will defend his world heavyweight titles for the first time this year when it was confirmed he will face Kubrat Pulev on Dec. 12 in London.

Joshua was first scheduled to meet Pulev in October 2017 in Cardiff but the Bulgarian withdrew with an injured shoulder. Pulev won six straight fights to become a mandatory challenger, but their June 20 bout was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Joshua’s WBA, IBF, and WBO titles will be on the line in his first home fight in more than two years, his promotion company Matchroom announced on Friday.

No spectators have been allowed at boxing in England during the pandemic, but Matchroom said it will try to make a case for a limited live crowd at the O2 Arena.

More questions on human rights for Beijing Winter Olympics

Zumretay Arkin posed a question in a recent online meeting with Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the prominent International Olympic Committee member who oversees preparations for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

“Why should China, a country running concentration camps with at least 1 million Muslim Uighurs being detained, be allowed to hold the Olympics?” she asked.

Arkin, a spokeswoman for the World Uyghur Congress, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the response was disappointing.

“We gave the IOC representatives first-hand testimony about our personal experiences and how we are impacted by China’s repressive policies,” Arkin said. “We were hoping it would open the door to a more valuable exchange.”

Instead, the IOC repeated its stance: It’s not a political body and doesn’t take a position on human-rights issues. It simply organizes sports events.

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