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Sports in brief


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'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.

College Football

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

Sports in brief 01/30/13 [Last modified: Thursday, January 31, 2013 12:10am]
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  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.