NHL to Skip Beijing Olympics as Covid Disrupts Season, ESPN Says
(Bloomberg) -- The National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association have agreed that athletes won’t participate in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing due to concerns about Covid-19, according to ESPN.
A virus outbreak has led the NHL to postpone games and pause the regular season, with numerous players in health and safety protocols. Dozens of games have been rescheduled so far this year, with several teams deciding to shut down through the holiday break.
The dates for the Olympics, which start Feb. 4, could be used for rescheduled NHL games, ESPN said, citing sources it didn’t identify.
The Beijing Olympics have already been rocked by Covid and the diplomatic boycott by the U.S. and some other allies. The league’s action will force Olympic teams that were counting on NHL players to look elsewhere to fill their rosters.
NHL players haven’t competed at the Olympics since 2014, after a dispute with the International Olympic Committee kept them from attending the 2018 Pyeongchang games.
ESPN reported that a formal announcement is expected in the next 24 hours.
Representatives for the NHL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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