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Sports in brief: Tour de France winner tests positive for banned substance

Cycling

Tour winner suspended after positive test

PARIS — Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador tested positive for a banned steroid during this year's race and has been suspended by the sport's governing body.

A lab in Germany found clenbuterol in Contador's urine sample July 21 at the Tour de France, a statement from the organization, UCI, said. But the amount was "400 time(s) less than what the antidoping laboratories accredited by (World Anti-Doping Agency) must be able to detect," the organization said.

Contador's A and B samples tested positive.

Contador's publicist, Jacinto Vidarte, released a statement Wednesday saying the cyclist insists food contamination is the only possible explanation.

"The experts consulted so far have agreed also that this is a food contamination case, especially considering the number of tests passed by Alberto Contador during the Tour de France," Vidarte said in a release. Contador is scheduled to hold a news conference today in Spain.

In July, Contador won the Tour for the third time in four years. American Floyd Landis was stripped of his 2006 title after a positive drug test.

Basketball

Magic to pitch Howard year early

The Magic intends to offer center Dwight Howard a contract extension next summer, a year before he can opt for free agency, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

Howard, 25, has two seasons, including this one, left on his five-year, $80 million deal.

"We want Dwight to be in a Magic uniform for as long as he plays basketball," general manager Otis Smith said, adding that Howard has indicated he is open to remaining.

NBA Fines owner: Wizards majority owner Ted Leonsis told Washington area business leaders that he expects the NBA soon will have a hard salary cap similar to the NHL's model. Within hours, the NBA fined him $100,000 for "unauthorized public comments" about collective bargaining negotiations.

Women's worlds: Diana Taurasi scored 24 points as the United States beat Australia 83-75, earning the top seed in the quarterfinals in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The Americans (6-0) face South Korea on Friday.

Autos

Bowyer's appeal of penalty denied

An appeals committee denied Richard Childress Racing's request to have Clint Bowyer's 150-point penalty reversed, and the team owner vowed to fight the decision.

Richard Childress said he paid a fee and made a formal request to appeal Wednesday's decision to NASCAR chief appellate officer John Middlebrook.

Bowyer's car that won the Sept. 19 Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire failed a postrace inspection, and Bowyer fell from second in the Chase for the Championship to 12th because of the penalty.

The team maintains that when Bowyer ran out of gas at the end of the race, a tow truck had to push him to Victory Lane and the contact caused the damage that contributed to the failed inspection.

Et cetera

Greyhounds: Flying Coal City ($3.20) and Kiowa Lazy Lazy ($6.40) won final qualifiers in the $50,000 Fall Sprint at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. Other qualifiers for Saturday night's title race: Flying Bergen, Jack's Shortfuse, Kiowa Lazy Lazy, M's Free Hand, Mohican Mink Mae and Tmc's Pistol.

Don Jensen, Times correspondent; Times wires

Sports in brief: Tour de France winner tests positive for banned substance 09/29/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 30, 2010 1:09am]
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