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Sports in brief

TENNIS

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KEY SPONSORS QUICK TO DROP SHARAPOVA

MOSCOW — Maria Sharapova, the world's highest-earning female athlete for many years, was abandoned Tuesday by some of her biggest sponsors after the Russian tennis star acknowledged taking a recently banned substance for a decade.

Sportswear giant Nike, Swiss watch brand Tag Heuer and German luxury car company Porsche quickly distanced themselves from the five-time Grand Slam winner, who announced Monday that she tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in January, days after the drug was banned.

The former world No. 1 took full responsibility for her mistake and could face a lengthy ban from the International Tennis Federation, possibly ending her season and preventing her from competing for Russia at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Sports advertising veterans were surprised by how quickly sponsors sought to distance themselves from such a bankable performer. For the past 11 years, Sharapova, 28, has led the Forbes Magazine list of highest-paid female athletes.

HALL VOTE: Justine Henin and Marat Safin were elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

SOCCER

Consultant guilty of fraud

A Miami soccer consultant and match agent who was once licensed by FIFA pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud conspiracy in a New York City federal court, admitting that he paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to secure media and marketing contracts. Miguel Trujillo was freed on $1.5 million bail.

MATCH FIXING: Zimbabwe's soccer federation suspended executive committee member Edzai Kasinauyo on suspicion he was attempting to fix two upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers.

CHAMPIONS: Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez scored second-half goals to help host Real Madrid defeat Roma 2-0 and advance to the quarterfinals for the sixth straight season.

FA CUP: Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott scored twice each as FA Cup holder Arsenal easily eliminated host Hull, overcoming the second-tier side 4-0 to reach the quarterfinals at the second attempt.

ET CETERA

AUTOS: Organizers of the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix are set to announce the race will run in 2016 after months of speculation that financial troubles could force it off the calendar. The U.S. Grand Prix is scheduled for Oct. 23 near Austin, Texas.

CYCLING: Race leader Michael Matthews won the second stage of Paris-Nice after Nacer Bouhanni was penalized for deviating from his line in the final sprint.

IDITAROD: Brent Sass blew through the checkpoint in Nikolai, Alaska, to assume first place in the dog race.

OLYMPICS: Athletes are being promised a voice in the bid by Los Angeles to win the 2024 Games. The bid committee said it has recruited 53 American and international athletes who train in the U.S. to serve on a commission that will help personalize the Olympic experience.

TRACK: Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis said Sebastian Coe should step aside as leader of track's governing body, let an independent organization clean things up then take charge again. Coe served as a vice president of the IAAF for years under former president Lamine Diack, who is accused of corruption.

Times wires

Sports in brief 03/08/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 9:50pm]
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