April 3, 2020 / 4:01 PM / in 2 months

WNBA postpones start of season due to coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Oct 8, 2019; Uncasville, CT, USA; Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins (7) drives the ball against Connecticut Sun guard Courtney Williams (10) during the second half in game four of the 2019 WNBA Finals at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Sun defeated Washington 90-86. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

(Reuters) - The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) has postponed the start of its 2020 regular season and training camps because of the coronavirus outbreak, the league said on Friday.

The WNBA, whose regular season was originally scheduled to run from May 15-Sept. 20, is the latest league forced to either cancel or postpone games because of the coronavirus.

“While the league continues to use this time to conduct scenario-planning regarding new start dates and innovative formats, our guiding principle will continue to be the health and safety of the players, fans and employees,” WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert said in a news release.

While a new start date for the 36-game regular season was not given, the WNBA said it will continue to prepare for its virtual draft on April 17 where top prospects will take part remotely.

“This virtual draft allows players who have worked so hard to have their dreams realized when they hear their names called and provides teams the opportunity to build their rosters in anticipation of the day that we are able to move forward with our season,” said Engelbert.

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris

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