TOP TEAM MOVES TO FORD
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a bid to strengthen its NASCAR roster, Ford pulled off a surprising coup Wednesday by snagging Stewart-Haas Racing away from Chevrolet.
SHR, which has fielded Chevrolets since its 2002 inception, has won two Cup titles for Chevrolet and is one of the manufacturer's flagship teams. Co-owner Tony Stewart has driven for General Motors in all but one of his 18 NASCAR seasons, and Kevin Harvick has never raced anything in the Cup Series except Chevrolet. Stewart and Harvick both won championships for SHR driving Chevys.
"This is a constantly evolving sport," Stewart said. "We try to make decisions that best position us for the future, so we consider our partners, our drivers and our employees when we think of these strategies. We feel this future relationship with Ford provides us with a bright future, great stability for SHR and an opportunity to compete at a very top level in the sport."
Boxing board hopes to make pros eligible
The world's best professional boxers could be eligible to compete in this year's Olympics under proposals put forward by the sport's world governing body. The International Boxing Association this week discussed a fast-track proposal to open Olympic tournaments to all boxers. AIBA president Ching-Kuo Wu said the proposal could be ratified in time for the Rio Games.
GYMNASTICS: Two-time Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney said she's stepping away from competition but not "retiring." Maroney, 20, helped the "Fierce Five" U.S. women's team to the gold medal at the 2012 Games.
CEREMONY: Three-time Wimbledon champion Maria Bueno and two-time Olympic volleyball champion Fabiana are among the first 16 of 12,000 torch bearers to be named.
Djokovic wins No. 700
Novak Djokovic earned his 700th career match win at the expense of Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri 6-1, 6-2 at the Dubai Championships in the United Arab Emirates. Djokovic, 700-146 overall, is one of three active players to reach 700 wins, after Roger Federer with 1,067 and Rafael Nadal at 775.
QATAR OPEN: Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska came through a tough first set to beat Monica Niculescu 7-5, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals in Doha.
Officials' bans reduced
Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini had their bans from soccer reduced from eight years to six by FIFA's appeal body.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Sergio Aguero scored one goal and helped create another as Manchester City powered to a 3-1 first-leg win over host Dynamo Kiev in the last 16. Ten-man PSV Eindhoven battled to a 0-0 draw with visiting Atletico Madrid.
COLLEGES: Northern Iowa hired David Harris as athletic director. Harris is a senior associate athletic director at Iowa State.
COURTS: The father of sportscaster Erin Andrews said she is a shell of her former self after a stalker made secret nude recordings of her and posted the material on the Internet. Steve Andrews, an investigative reporter for Ch. 8, testified during the civil trial of Michael David Barrett in Nashville.
HORSES: Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza won the annual George Woolf Award, which honors riders whose careers and personal character earn esteem for them and thoroughbred racing.