Saturday, April 21, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief: Armstrong feels vindicated as doping investigation ends

Cycling

Armstrong: no surprise doping investigation yielded no charges

AUSTIN, Texas — Lance Armstrong said Thursday that he is relieved by the end of a nearly two-year federal investigation into doping allegations against him and he always remained confident he would not be charged.

"It's not a pleasant experience," the seven-time Tour de France winner said in his first interview since prosecutors in Los Angeles closed their investigation Feb. 3. "It was difficult at times. But I was confident that we would always end up in this place."

The federal government's decision should end allegations about performance-enhancing drug use, said Armstrong, 40. As for the World Anti-Doping Agency urging U.S. federal authorities to quickly hand over evidence collected in the investigation aimed at whether he and his teammates joined in a doping program, "I don't want to get bogged down with that. I'm not going to worry about that.''

This year Armstrong plans to compete in Ironman triathlons and support an anti-smoking campaign in California.

MORE CYCLING

Retired Ullrich gets symbolic doping ban

After a prolonged delay, Jan Ullrich, the German who won the 1997 Tour de France, was suspended by a sports appeal body for two years for blood doping. Because Ullrich, 38, retired from racing five years ago, the penalty imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport is largely symbolic. He was also stripped of a third-place finish in the 2005 Tour de France, and all his results beginning in May 2005 were annulled.

Tennis

Isner, Fish open today for U.S. in Davis Cup

Roger Federer faces Tampa resident John Isner today when host Switzerland takes on the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup. Mardy Fish opens for the United States against Stanislas Wawrinka on the indoor claycourt at Fribourg Forum.

Et cetera

COLLEGE football: Tampa Jesuit senior Tommy Eveld accepted an offer to join USF as a preferred walk-on. "I've always wanted to go to USF," the QB said. … Miami will open the season at Boston College on Labor Day weekend, the Boston Globe reported. A day is being finalized. … Georgia AD Greg McGarity said the expanded SEC might mean the 114-year annual series with Auburn will end. … The NCAA rules committee proposed moving kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35 and to limit the running start by players on the kicking team to 5 yards as a way of keeping players safer.

Autos: Jack Beckman raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car in the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. Morgan Lucas led Top Fuel, and Mike Edwards topped Pro Stock. Courtney Force had a 4.210-second pass at 303.16 mph in her first run in Funny Car. She took the provisional sixth spot and will line up next to father John Force in the second round. … Landon Cassill will drive for an unnamed Sprint Cup team that purchased assets and last year's points from now-defunct Red Bull Racing. He'll drive the No. 83 Toyota.

Boxing: Unbeaten junior welterweight champ Timothy Bradley said he agreed in principle to fight Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley's guarantee is believed to be more than $5 million.

Greg Auman, Times staff writer; Times wires

Comments
Lightning-Devils: How the NHL’s top offense went on the defensive

Lightning-Devils: How the NHL’s top offense went on the defensive

TAMPA — It was a couple of days after the Lightning beat the Bruins at home late in the regular season when associate coach Rick Bowness talked about how the defensive effort used in that shutout victory was the one the Lightning would need in ...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Rays will go forth with four starters

Rays will go forth with four starters

ST. PETERSBURG — Three weeks was enough for the Rays to officially ditch their three-man rotation plan.Starting Sunday, they will go forth with Yonny Chirinos as their fourth starter.Which is a five-star idea.The flaws in the three-man plan ...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
Rookie? Lightning D Mikhail Sergachev’s playing like a seasoned pro

Rookie? Lightning D Mikhail Sergachev’s playing like a seasoned pro

TAMPA — Pardon Mikhail Sergachev if he isn't so good at one of hockey's greatest traditions. After all, growing a Stanley Cup playoff beard isn't easy when you're still just a teenager.As he stood in the Lightning locker room Saturday evening w...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 3

Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bay’s clinching 3-1 victory in Game 3

TAMPA — Closers.That's what the Lightning looked like as it closed out the New Jersey Devils in five games with a 3-1 win Saturday.Nikita Kucherov's star power blazed again, the defense controlled the game and not even Jersey goaltend...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Roger Mooney’s takeaways from the Lightning’s first-round series

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from the Lightning’s first-round series

TAMPA — In the postseason, teams want to bank days off so they are as fresh as can be for the next round. That's why it was so important for the Lightning to close out Jersey in five. The fewer the games, the less wear and tear on the body, les...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning stays patient, even through 0-for-5 power-play drought

Lightning stays patient, even through 0-for-5 power-play drought

TAMPA — The Lightning so dominated the second period Saturday that the Devils had more penalties (five) than shots on goal (four), and yet Tampa Bay was unable to build on a 1-0 lead as they sought to clinch the opening-round series.Nowhere was...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Nikita Kucherov’s goal sets Lightning playoff series scoring record

Nikita Kucherov’s goal sets Lightning playoff series scoring record

TAMPA — After clinging to a 1-0 lead for more than two periods Saturday, the Lightning got a long-awaited cushion — and ultimately the winning goal — when Nikita Kucherov scored with 7:33 left in the final period of a 3-1 victo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals

Lightning wins 3-1, advances to the semifinals

TAMPA — The Lightning closed out its quarterfinal series against the Devils with a suffocating defensive effort.The Devils finally solved Andrei Vasilevskiy in the waning moments with goalie Cory Schneider on the bench and the Devils skati...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Game 5, Lightning wins 3-1 over the Devils advancing to the semifinals

Game 5, Lightning wins 3-1 over the Devils advancing to the semifinals

Tampa Bay Lightning fan Atlas Hamid, 3, of Treasure Island, joins his parents in Thunder Alley before the start of Saturdays 4/21/18) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New Jersey Devils during Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round a...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

Shaquem Griffin: ‘I’m not just a feel-good story’

TAMPA — Shaquem Griffin wakes up knowing each day will be better than the last and barely able to wait until tomorrow."It's just a whirlwind,'' Griffin said.On Thursday, he will walk the red carpet with his family, including his twin brother, S...
Updated: 2 hours ago