AVP signs deal with players, Walsh Jennings still out

BOSTON (AP) -- The AVP said it has reached an agreement with "practically all the players" on a contract that will carry it through the 2020 Summer Games, even as a holdout by five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh threatens to deprive the domestic beach volleyball tour of its biggest name. "I respect her decisions, and I wish her well," AVP owner Donald Sun told The Associated Press. "But in the meantime, we're just geared up.

Paris to host 2020 European track and field championships

PARIS (AP) -- Paris has been confirmed as the host for the 2020 European track and field championships. European Athletics announced Friday that competition will take place at Charlety Stadium from Aug. 26-30, just weeks after the 2020 Olympics finish in Tokyo on Aug. 9. European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen said "it's an ambitious yet realistic project, which will enable us to return our sport to center stage again, shortly after the Olympic Games.

BOJ keeps monetary policy unchanged, says 2020 Games to help

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank kept its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged Thursday, forecasting that growth in the world's third-largest economy would remain slow but steady through the fiscal year ending in March 2018. Most analysts were expecting the Bank of Japan to stand pat. In a statement, the BOJ said demand spurred by preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will help support growth in the coming year or two.

BOJ keeps lax monetary policy, forecasts steady growth

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank kept its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged Thursday, forecasting that growth in the world's third-largest economy would remain steady through the fiscal year ending in March 2018. The Bank of Japan said demand spurred by preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will help support growth in the coming year or two. But the central bank's statement warned of risks to that scenario from global trends, including U.S.

Olympics, Rugby World Cup organizers to collaborate in Japan

TOKYO (AP) -- Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics signed a collaborative agreement with the organizers of the 2019 Rugby World Cup on Wednesday, aiming to maximize the benefits and impact of the global events. The Rugby World Cup will be staged in Japan as Tokyo is finalizing preparations to host the Summer Games for the first time since 1964.

Australian Olympic staffer steps down pending investigation

SYDNEY (AP) -- The Australian Olympic Committee's media director has stood down pending an investigation into allegations of bullying that have surfaced during an acrimonious contest for the organization's presidency. Longtime media and communications director Mike Tancred has denied the allegations made by former AOC chief executive Fiona de Jong but said Wednesday he would step aside until the matter has been resolved.

Australian Olympic chief says campaign is malicious

SYDNEY (AP) -- An increasingly bitter Olympic election in Australia has intensified with IOC Vice President John Coates describing the campaign as malicious and designed to damage him personally. Coates is facing his first challenge as president of the Australian Olympic Committee in 27 years, with 1996 Olympic field hockey gold medalist Danni Roche running against him in a May 6 ballot.

NOCs impressed by what they see of Tokyo's 2020 plans

TOKYO (AP) -- With just over three years to go, sports administrators from around the world are already visiting Tokyo to check on the city's Olympic preparations for the 2020 Games. While Tokyo has had to overcome some initial setbacks, such as the delay of the new national stadium and a plagiarism scandal involving the official 2020 logo, local organizers are confident their plans reinforce the Japanese capital's reputation for being highly organized and efficient.

US men's basketball begins Olympic road in Uruguay

The U.S. men's basketball team will begin the long road to the 2020 Olympics when it opens FIBA AmeriCup 2017 preliminary-round play in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Americans were drawn into Group C on Thursday along with host Uruguay, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The semifinals and finals of the 12-team tournament for teams in the Americas will be Sept. 2-3 in Cordoba, Argentina. The U.S.

Basketball Australia hires Brondello as Opals head coach

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- Sandy Brondello has been hired as head coach of the Australian Opals in a deal that will allow the three-time Olympic medalist to combine her international duties with her coaching role at Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA. Basketball Australia announced the deal Tuesday, saying the signing marked the start of the road to the Olympics at Tokyo in 2020.

Turkey considering bid for 2026 Winter Olympics

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the country is considering a bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics in the eastern provinces of Erzurum, Erzincan and Kars. Erdogan made the announcement Wednesday during a campaign rally in Erzurum ahead of a referendum on strengthening the powers of the president. Erdogan says "the Winter Games would suit Erzurum ... We are making preparations for such a bid for 2026.

WHO: Japan needs anti-smoking law ahead of Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan should ban smoking in all public places if it wants to successfully host the Tokyo Olympics and promote tourism, a senior World Health Organization official said Friday. Japan, often known as a smoker's paradise, has no binding law controlling secondhand smoking and has come under pressure to institute one ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games.

Dunn, Long score twice each, US women roll past Russia 4-0

FRISCO, Texas (AP) -- Crystal Dunn scored twice on the same field where she tied a national team record with five goals in a game last year and the U.S. women rolled to a 4-0 exhibition victory over Russia on Thursday night. Allie Long also scored two goals to give her five for her national team career -- all on headers -- as the U.S.

LA, Paris share 2024 plans with Olympic leaders

AARHUS, Denmark (AP) -- The two bid cities in the 2024 Olympic race addressed voters and sports leaders on Tuesday. Only one talked about "the elephant in the room." That is a possible double vote IOC President Thomas Bach has repeatedly hinted at, which could give Los Angeles and Paris either the 2024 or 2028 rights in September.

LA, Paris head to 2024 Olympics event unsure of IOC's goal

GENEVA (AP) -- As the IOC moves the goalposts in the 2024 Olympic contest, bid leaders from Los Angeles and Paris head to a campaign event in Denmark on Tuesday unsure of exactly what they are shooting for. While both cities are bidding for the 2024 Games, the 2028 hosting rights are also in play, according to IOC President Thomas Bach.