Organizers have cancelled the Marine Corps Marathon for the first time in its 45-year history, reluctantly bowing to the uncertainties of an uncontrolled pandemic.

“I don’t think I ever thought I would be saying these words, but we will not be presenting the race,” said Race Director Rick Nealis, who has presided over the event since 1993. The 45th running had been scheduled for Oct. 25.

Nealis said the final decision was made Friday by Marine Corps Commandant David Berger after it became clear that key logistics could not be nailed down until uncomfortably close to race day.

The official announcement is going out to runners Monday via email and will be posted on the race’s website and social media accounts.

The Marine Corps race had been one of the last mega-marathons remaining on the country’s 2020 race calendar.

Boston, which had been held every year since 1897, first rescheduled to September but then cancelled entirely in May. New York City dropped in June, and a week ago, Chicago threw in the towel. The only huge marathon left is Honolulu, which (so far) is still on for Dec. 13.

Nealis said runners can opt for a full refund of their entry fees, which for most was about $172, or they can defer with no fee to 2021, 2022 or 2023. Any runners who had previously paid to defer will have that fee refunded as well.

FOOTBALL

NFL: Washington’s NFL team brought back its former chief marketing officer, Terry Bateman, in that role Monday to oversee what it called in a news release its “name change and branding process.”

Bateman originally was hired by Washington to oversee marketing in 2006. Brian Lafemina briefly took over business operations in 2018, before leaving later that year.

Bateman has been advising club owner Daniel Snyder lately, but now gets the official title of executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

After years of vowing to never drop his team’s dictionary-defined slur of a name, Snyder recently bowed to financial pressure from sponsors and said the franchise would “retire” its old moniker.

Last week, The Washington Post reported that 15 female ex-employees of the club and two female reporters said they were sexually harassed by people working for the team. At least three high-ranking team employees left their jobs in the days before the report was published.

A Washington law firm has been hired by Snyder to investigate allegations of workplace misconduct.

FIGURE SKATING

JUNIOR GRAND PRIX: The International Skating Union has canceled the Junior Figure Skating Grand Prix for the upcoming season.

Citing increased travel and entry restrictions, the international governing body for the sport said Monday it could not sanction the series. The ISU also said the potential extensive sanitary and medical care measures, including possible quarantine, “would put an unsustainable burden on the organizers.”

The ISU has not made a decision yet on the senior series that features the top skaters, including current world champion Nathan Chen and two-time Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu.

Potential international junior events could be held if “the pandemic developments and situation change and allow for the safe organization” of them. The ISU said it would provide financial assistance for such events, with preference given to venues that were a part of the canceled series.

The ISU Council will meet online on Aug. 3 to further evaluate events for the 2020-21 season.

SOCCER

CROATIA: Croatia’s soccer federation reversed its policy on allowing fans into games and said on Monday it would complete the season in empty stadiums.

The federation said the decision followed a “significant increase” in the number of confirmed coronavirus infections.

Some spectators were allowed into Croatian sports events since mid-June, including top-tier soccer games and a tennis tournament in Zadar organized by Novak Djokovic. It was criticized for ignoring social distancing guidance.

Croatia, a nation of 4 million people, reported totals of 122 deaths and 4,370 confirmed coronavirus cases to Monday, according to counts kept by Johns Hopkins University.

The top-tier men’s league won by Dinamo Zagreb plays one more round on Saturday and the national cup final is on Aug. 1. The empty-stadium restriction also applies to the women’s competitions.


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