'Fall guy' Armstrong after change
LONDON — Disgraced rider Lance Armstrong said no generation was ever "clean" of performance-enhancing drugs, and the best way forward is a process, not run by the sport's governing body, offering amnesty to those who detail doping, he said in emails to the website Cyclingnews.
Asked if he felt like a fall guy, Armstrong said: "Actually, yes I do."
Meanwhile, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said the International Cycling Union did all it could to stall its investigation into Armstrong.
And Luxembourg antidoping officials suspended former Tour de France contender Frank Schleck for a year for illegal substance use.
American forgiving toward abusive fans
U.S. striker Jozy Altidore refuses to hold a grudge against fans who showered him with racist abuse during a match this week, saying: "We all make mistakes." Altidore, who is black, said he decided to play through the abuse Tuesday during the Dutch Cup match because he didn't want to give satisfaction to people who directed monkey chants at him. Dutch club FC Den Bosch pledged to do all it can to identify and punish those who hurled abuse at Altidore during the match against Altidore's AZ Alkmaar. Meanwhile, the Italian club Lazio was fined $190,000 but avoided being ordered by UEFA to play a Europa League match in an empty stadium after its third conviction for racist abuse by fans this season. UEFA said it deferred a stadium closure "for a probationary period of two years."
Man U: The New York-based investment firm BlackRock has taken an 8.21 percent stake in Manchester United, the English Premier team owned by the Bucs' Glazer family. BlackRock Inc. said it acquired 3.3 million shares.
USF nears series deal with Old Dominion
USF is close to finalizing a home-and-home series with Old Dominion, which moves up to Division I-A in 2014 and hosts the Bulls that year in Norfolk, the Virginian-Pilot reported. ODU, set to join C-USA in 2014, would play USF in Tampa in 2016. … Vanderbilt coach James Franklin apologized to Alabama coach Nick Saban for calling him "Nicky Satan" at a high school banquet in Georgia. Franklin said it was a joke.
Tennis: One week before his expected return, Rafael Nadal says his left knee is improved but "sometimes it still hurts." The 26-year-old Spaniard is scheduled to play next week in Chile. … Sloane Stephens was chosen for the U.S. Fed Cup team that faces Italy on Feb. 9 in group play.
Winter X Games: Caleb Moore, 25, is still in critical condition after a snowmobile crash last week. He developed bleeding around his heart and a brain complication.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer; Times wires