Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

Autos

JUNIOR cleared TO RACE AT DAYTONA

Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose NASCAR season was cut short by a concussion, has been cleared to return to racing, starting with the Daytona 500 in February, Hendrick Motorsports announced Thursday.

Earnhardt was cleared after a test session Wednesday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

"I feel great, and I'm excited to officially be back," Earnhardt said in a statement. "I expected things to go really well, and that's exactly what happened. Actually getting in a race car was an important final step, and it gives me a ton of confidence going into 2017.

"I'll do more testing in January to help knock the rust off. When it's time to go to Daytona, I'll be ready."

Earnhardt, 42, also had two concussions in 2012.

He missed the final 18 races of last season after sustaining a concussion at Michigan International Speedway.

NBA

76ers snap 23-game road losing streak

Ersan Ilyasova scored 23 as the visiting 76ers snapped a franchise record-tying 23-game road losing skid, beating the Pelicans 99-88. The Pelicans are the first team to lose at home to the Sixers since Jan. 20, when the Magic fell to Philadelphia. … Former Florida standout Bradley Beal scored 26 as the host Wizards took advantage of 29 Nuggets turnovers to win 92-85. … DeMar DeRozan had 27 points as the host Raptors handed the Timberwolves a 124-110 loss. … Former FSU star Toney Douglas hit two free throws in the closing seconds as the host Grizzlies held off the Blazers 88-86. … A lawyer for a couple who claim Kings players Matt Barnes and DeMarcus Cousins assaulted them Monday at a New York nightclub said they will rely on video­tapes, medical reports and witnesses to prove they were attacked. "We don't believe a crime was committed," said Alex Spiro, the attorney representing both players.

Olympics

Two stripped of medals for doping

The Court of Arbitration for Sport said a Russian boxer and Romanian weightlifter will lose medals from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after failing doping tests at the Games. Misha Aloian won a flyweight silver medal, and Gabriel Sincraian won bronze in the men's 85-kilogram weightlifting. … IOC president Thomas Bach said Russian athletes and officials who are proven to have been part of a doping "manipulation system" should be banned for life. He gave his view one day before investigator Richard McLaren publishes a report into alleged state-backed cheating at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games.

et cetera

Tennis: Former top player Kathy Rinaldi was named the U.S. Fed Cup team's new captain. She succeeds Mary Joe Fernandez, the U.S. Tennis Association announced. Fernandez stepped down in October.

Soccer: Manchester United, which is owned by the Glazer family that also owns the Bucs, won for the first time in 10 away games in Europe and advanced to the Europa League knockout stage by beating Zorya Luhansk 2-0 in Odessa, Ukraine.

Golf: Steve Stricker teamed up with Jerry Kelly to take a first-round lead in the Franklin Templeton Shootout in Naples. The duo shot 16-under 56 in the scramble format for a one-stroke lead.

Times wires

Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech lost some significant players from an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season.The biggest departures were in the passing game. Mike Penix, the Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay offensive player of the ...
Updated: 7 hours ago