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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. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  2. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  3. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  4. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”
  5. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. laughing right along after comical dive

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Souza being Souza.

    That seemed to be the best way to describe the entertaining — and comically bad — dive Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. attempted in Friday's game, and the good humor he showed in handling the fallout, including a standing ovation his next at-bat from the …