Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

GOLF

in shocker, nike to exit equipment business

Nike said it will stop making clubs, balls and bags, a surprising announcement Wednesday that is sure to send Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and other players searching for new equipment. Nike said it instead will devote its resources to shoes and apparel, long its strength in the golf marketplace.

Woods, 40, has been with Nike since he turned pro in 1996 and remains the most famous figure among Nike golfers. Nike signed McIlroy, 27, in 2013.

Woods has gone more than a year without playing because of back surgeries, though his agent, Mark Steinberg, said he would remain "the iconic ambassador" for Nike Golf, just with a smaller group of products. They will discuss working with new equipment companies, Steinberg said.

Brooks Koepka is another Nike client. He tied for fourth in the PGA Championship on Sunday and is in position to make his first Ryder Cup team. His agent, Blake Smith, said Koepka is happy with his equipment.

Nike also has Michelle Wie on the LPGA Tour.

Nike spokesman Brian Strong said the company wouldn't discuss athlete contract details: "We will work with each … to manage the appropriate transition."

boxing

Heavyweight champ Fury fighting doping ban

World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury was provisionally suspended in June after testing positive for a banned substance, Britain's antidoping body said. He and his cousin Hughie, a heavyweight who was also suspended, have had their bans lifted "pending full determination of the charges," UKAD said.

The Brits were charged June 24 over the "presence of a prohibited substance," UKAD said, and mandatory provisional suspensions were imposed. U.K. anti-doping rules allow athletes to challenge a provisional suspension, and the National Anti-Doping Panel lifted the bans. A hearing of the charges will be heard "in due course," UKAD said.

Tyson Fury, 27, holds the WBO and WBA heavyweight belts after beating Wladimir Klitschko in November. A rematch scheduled for July 9 was postponed because of an ankle injury to Fury, who announced the postponement on the day he was charged by UKAD. His lawyer said Fury was suing UKAD over allegations that performance-enhancing drugs had been used.

et cetera

NBA: The Cavaliers re-signed veteran swingman James Jones for a third season. Terms weren't available. Jones hasn't made a huge contribution on the floor, but he has been teammates with LeBron James for the past six seasons, winning two titles with the Heat and a third in Cleveland this year.

Soccer: English Premier League champion Leicester signed Poland wing Bartosz Kapustka, 19, adding more depth ahead of a first appearance in European competition in 16 years. Leicester is playing in the Champions League following its improbable Premier League title triumph. … EPL's Manchester City signed Gabriel Jesus, 19, the top scorer in the Brazilian league with Palmeiras and a member of Brazil's Olympic team, to a 41/2-year deal worth $36 million. He joins City in January, after his Brazilian season is over.

Tennis: Top seed John Isner opened his bid for a fourth straight Atlanta Open title by overpowering Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 6-0.

Times wires

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Aaron Boone gets a new view, win in spring training debut

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Live blog: 2018 Gasparilla Distance Classic

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Can the Lightning win the Stanley Cup?

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High school scoreboard for Feb. 23

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Erik Karlsson-to-Lightning talk won’t die down until deadline is over

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MONTREAL — Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson sure seemed chatty with his Lightning friends as he left the Canadian Tire Center on Thursday night.Karlsson, 27, took his time talking up several members of Tampa Bay's staff in the hallway out...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Girls basketball: Rematch doesn’t go as planned for Tampa Catholic

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TAMPA — Tampa Catholic thought about playing in Friday night's game — the Class 5A region girls basketball final — for an entire year. The Crusaders never forgot how much it hurt to lose in the same game to Oxbridge Academy in 2017....
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Saturday’s sports on TV/radio

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Updated: 7 hours ago