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Coronavirus Impact: Weightlifting Olympic Qualification Rules Changes, Monchengladbach Players Accept Pay Cuts

2020 Tokyo Olympics (L) and Borussia Monchengladbach (Photo Credit: Reuters)

2020 Tokyo Olympics (L) and Borussia Monchengladbach (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Coronavirus pandemic has been wrecking havoc in the sports world as everything has come to a halt.

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The International Weightlifting Federation says it has changed its Olympic qualifying criteria in response to the coronavirus outbreak but won't say how the new system works.

Olympic qualifying in dozens of sports has been thrown into chaos as continental championships around the world have been postponed.

The IWF says it has drawn up a replacement set of qualifying rules and submitted them to the International Olympic Committee but it won't tell athletes or national federations about the changes until the IOC signs off on the plan.

The IWF says it has ruled out extending the qualifying period beyond April 30. That means any rescheduled continental championships won't count.

Weightlifting's long-standing problems with doping caused the IWF to demand top lifters competed more regularly at international events to be eligible for the Olympics - and to be subject to more doping tests. They were required to compete at least once between November and April.

'PROUD OF THE BOYS'

Players from German soccer club Borussia Mönchengladbach have accepted pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic.

Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl says the players approached the club with an offer of voluntary pay cuts, and the coaching staff, directors and executives have joined in.

Eberl says "I am very proud of the boys. A clear signal: we are standing together for Borussia in good and bad times."

Gladbach is fourth in the German league and was on course to qualify for a spot in next season's Champions League. Gladbach CEO Stephan Schippers says the club and Bundesliga are in their toughest financial situation in more than 20 years because of lost revenue from tickets, TV and sponsorship.

Gladbach played a game last week in an empty stadium. The club estimated it lost about 2 million euros ($2.16 million) in revenue by playing without fans.

In Scotland, Hearts has asked all its players and other fulltime employees to accept a 50 percent pay cut, or contract termination.

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