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Sports in brief

Soccer

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fifa rejects blatter's appeal of ban

Sepp Blatter's latest effort to keep hold of power at FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, has failed.

FIFA announced Wednesday that it had rejected appeals by Blatter, its president, and Michel Platini, president of the European soccer confederation, challenging the 90-day suspensions imposed on them last month in the wake of reports about a financial transaction between the two for which Blatter is under criminal investigation.

The decision means Blatter remains forbidden to set foot in FIFA's headquarters and to conduct any business related to the sport while an internal review of the transaction continues. The review is expected to conclude before the 90 days expire in early January.

Platini, too, is barred from the sport for that time, though the European confederation has expressed some support for him as its vice president has assumed his daily responsibilities.

The men can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

doping

More sanctions for Russia in drug scandal

Leaders of the World Anti-Doping Agency declared Russia's antidoping operation out of compliance, a harsh though expected blow to a country accused of widespread corruption throughout its sports.

Members of the agency's foundation board approved a recommendation from an independent commission that detailed widespread rule-breaking in Russia's track and antidoping programs.

Without an operating anti-doping agency, Russia cannot host or bid for international events. The track team has already been provisionally suspended by the sport's governing body, IAAF, which is also under investigation for its role in the doping scandal.

The agency's general director, David Howman, said plans would be made this month for outside agencies to take over testing and compliance for Russian athletes.

Meanwhile, Russia set up a task force to wipe out the "infection" of doping in track and field as the country faces being banned from next year's Olympics in Brazil.

Two-time Olympic gold-medal hurdler Edwin Moses, the U.S. member on the WADA executive committee, said "the only sanction that can send the message that enough is enough is to state loudly and clearly that the Russian athletics team cannot go to Rio."

tennis

Hairy loss for Murray, in more ways than one

Andy Murray was struggling, with his serve and his hair.

He gave himself a little trim during a changeover in the first set, but on the court he found it difficult to improve.

Taking advantage of it all was Rafael Nadal, who beat Murray 6-4, 6-1 for his second straight win at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals and a spot in the semifinals in London.

Murray and Nadal traded breaks to open the match, and Nadal held to make it 2-1. During the changeover, Murray pulled out a pair of scissors and clipped off a few strands of hair.

"I had some hair in my eye, and I just wanted to get rid of it," said Murray, clearly annoyed with the line of questioning. "That literally took two seconds. That was it."

Nadal said he didn't notice but laughed when he was told Murray said his hair was bothering him. "It's a good solution," Nadal said.

Murray landed only 43 percent of his first serves and had four double faults.

Also Stan Wawrinka eliminated David Ferrer with a 7-5, 6-2 win. Murray plays Wawrinka on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

Roger Federer previously earned a spot in the semifinals. Novak Djokovic plays Tomas Berdych today for the final spot.

Times wires

Sports in brief 11/18/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 18, 2015 9:15pm]
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