Thursday, April 19, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

doping

russia: We're sorry for cheating

LONDON — Russia has a "problem" with doping and is "very sorry" that its cheating athletes were not caught sooner, the country's sports minister said.

Russia, a track and field powerhouse, was suspended by the sport's governing body, IAAF, in November after a report from the World Anti-Doping Agency that found state-sponsored cheating.

"Serious mistakes have been made by the federation management, along with athletes and coaches who have broken antidoping rules and neglected the principle of fair play," said Vitaly Mutko, writing in the British newspaper the Sunday Times. "Let us be clear. We are ashamed of them. We are very sorry that athletes who tried to deceive us, and the world, were not caught sooner. We are very sorry because Russia is committed to upholding the highest standards in sport and is opposed to anything that threatens the Olympic values."

Russia will discover June 17 whether its athletics federation has met the reform criteria to return to competition in time for the Olympics this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

"We do not deny having a problem in Russia, and we are doing everything possible at state level to eradicate doping, including punishing athletes and coaches," Mutko wrote.

boxing

Heavyweight title fight postponed

Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's title defense against Alexander Povetkin was postponed by the WBC after the Russian challenger failed a drug test, and Wilder's promoter said it could be canceled.

The WBC said the May 21 fight in Moscow is off, pending an investigation.

Povetkin's promoter has said the substance found in an April test was meldonium, the stamina booster for which tennis star Maria Sharapova and dozens of other athletes in Russia and former Soviet nations have tested positive since it was banned starting Jan. 1.

Wilder, an unbeaten American (36-0), had been due to make his fourth defense of the belt he won against Bermane Stiverne in January 2015. For Povetkin (30-1), it was to be his first world title challenge since losing a unanimous decision to Wladimir Klitschko in 2013.

Wilder promoter Lou DiBella accused Povetkin of "breach of contract" and said rescheduling talk was premature."

ET CETERA

hockey: Germany beat the United States 3-2 on a last-minute goal at the World Championship, putting American qualification for the quarterfinals in doubt in St. Petersburg, Russia. However, Finland's 5-0 rout of Slovakia later Sunday relaxed the pressure on the United States, which will now qualify if it does not lose in regulation to Slovakia on Tuesday and France does not beat Canada today. The third loss in six games left the United States fourth in Group B, one place behind Germany with one game left against fifth-placed Slovakia. The top four advance to the quarterfinals.

nfl: Niners running back Jarryd Hayne announced his retirement to pursue a bid to make Fiji's Olympic rugby team, 82 days before the Games open Aug. 5. Hayne, 28, played in eight games in his rookie season last year after spending the previous nine years in Australia's National Rugby League.

ufc: Stipe Miocic of the United States beat Brazil's Fabricio Werdum in front of his shocked home crowd to become the new heavyweight champion late Saturday. Miocic used his boxing expertise to knock out Werdum in the first round of UFC 198 in Curitiba, Southern Brazil.

WNBA: Candace Parker scored 34 to spoil No. 1 overall draft pick Breanna Stewart's pro debut and host Los Angeles beat Seattle 96-66 in the opener for both teams. Stewart, a former UConn star, had 23 points to lead the Storm.

Times wires

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