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Sports in brief

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Top Irish wide receiver fuller leaving for nfl

Will Fuller called it a change of mind more than a change of heart.

Notre Dame's leading receiver announced Sunday on Twitter that he would forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, nearly two months after saying unprompted he would be back for another season with the Irish.

"My heart truly wanted to return to Notre Dame," Fuller said. "But it has also been a lifelong dream to play football in the NFL. After taking all of this into lengthy consideration, I believe it is in my best interest to … enter the NFL draft."

He is the second Irish player in two days to say he's entering the draft. Running back C.J. Prosise did the same Saturday.

More early exits: Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell said he will forgo his senior season to enter the draft. Powell joins defensive end Joey Bosa, running back Ezekiel Elliott, quarterback Cardale Jones and linebacker Darron Lee as Ohio State players leaving early for a chance at the NFL. Other Buckeyes could leave as well. Safety Vonn Bell, cornerback Eli Apple and wide receiver Jalin Marshall also are contemplating their futures, reports say.

tennis

Serena's knee issue flares up

Serena Williams withdrew from her opening match at the Hopman Cup mixed-team event due to a knee problem, an early setback in preparations for her Australian Open title defense.

No. 1-ranked Williams practiced today ahead of her scheduled season-opener for the U.S. team against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in Perth, Australia, but she withdrew from the match citing knee inflammation. Vicky Duval filled in and lost 6-4, 6-1 to give Ukraine a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three match round-robin encounter.

Williams said she was confident she'd be able to join Jack Sock to play the Australia Gold team Tuesday.

Brisbane International: Dominika Cibulkova overcame Yanina Wickmayer to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 on the opening day in Australia. American Varvara Lepchenko defeated Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2, 6-1 to set up a meeting with last year's Wimbledon finalist Garbine Muguruza, who is seeded second.

ET CETERA

drugs: German athletes who test positive for banned performance-enhancing drugs could face prison after President Joachim Gauck signed the country's controversial new anti-doping law. Athletes who test positive for drugs or are found guilty of possession of banned substance can face prison terms of up to three years, the Olympic news website insidethegames.biz reported. Providers of such drugs can be jailed for up to 10 years.

olympics: An urgent meeting was scheduled for today after a Brazilian newspaper reported that Rio de Janeiro's Olympic Stadium, scheduled to host soccer matches and the track and field competition at this summer's Games, is without electricity or running water due to unpaid bills. The stadium owes $225,000 for the past two months, said a story in Globoesporte that was reported by the Olympic news website insidethegames.biz.

Soccer: Chelsea signaled its intent to surge up the English Premier League standings by crushing host Crystal Palace 3-0 in a stylish display that had shades of its cruise to the league championship last season. Chelsea is unbeaten in four matches under caretaker manager Guus Hiddink since firing Jose Mourinho a week before Christmas, but it is languishing in 14th place, 13 points behind fourth-place Tottenham. Tottenham lost ground in the title race by drawing 1-1 at Everton. Only six points separate Tottenham and first-place Arsenal.

Times wires

Sports in brief 01/03/16 [Last modified: Sunday, January 3, 2016 11:11pm]
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