Sunday, September 23, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

SOCCER

RUSSIA DOPING SCANDAL REACHES UNDER-21 TEAM

MOSCOW — Players from Russia's under-21 national team had suspicious drug-test samples covered up, emails released by a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation show.

The emails, released as part of WADA investigator Richard McLaren's report on Russian doping, state there were five suspicious samples in the Russian men's under-17 and under-21 national teams in 2013 and 2014.

Another case in the Russian league was allegedly covered up by then-Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also in charge of the country's World Cup preparations.

It has been a tough year for Russian soccer, which is trying to prepare to host the 2018 World Cup but has faced criticism over hooliganism involving fans at the European Championship and racism in the domestic game.

The doping cases in the Russian national teams were all recorded as clean by Moscow lab director Grigory Rodchenkov after instructions from Sports Ministry employee Alexei Velikodny to "save" the players, McLaren's investigation found.

MORE SOCCER

ENGLAND: Sadio Mane grabbed the winner in the fourth minute of injury time as host Liverpool beat Everton 1-0 to head into Christmas in second place in the Premier League.

SPAIN: Athletic Bilbao scored two late goals in the last league game before the winter break, coming from behind to beat Celta Vigo 2-1 in Madrid.

FINES: The four British federations were fined by FIFA for displaying poppies at World Cup qualifying matches in November to honor their war dead.

PROTESTS: UEFA said it will review disciplinary rules and could allow more political protests by fans at stadiums.

MLS: Missouri Governor-elect Eric Greitens said he opposes taxpayer money to help build a stadium in St. Louis, calling the project "nothing more than welfare for millionaires."

CYCLING

Legislators, leaders squabble

British cycling is shrouded in a cloud that "relates to doping," a legislator said, prompting a defiant defense of its integrity by the architects of the country's successful Olympic and Tour de France programs. Most of the questioning of Team Sky and British Cycling leaders during testy exchanges at British parliamentary doping hearings in London related to a medical package sent to star rider Bradley Wiggins five years ago. Team Sky head Dave Brailsford ended two months of mystery surrounding the package — which was hand delivered from England to the 2011 Dauphine Libere race in France by British Cycling employee Simon Cope — by disclosing that it was a legal decongestant.

ET CETERA

AUTOS: NASCAR's top series will be called the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series beginning next year.

BASEBALL: SS Jimmy Rollins, 38, could be headed back to his native San Francisco bay area, agreeing to a minor-league contract with the Giants that includes an invitation to big-league spring training camp. … The Pirates bolstered their bullpen, agreeing to an $11 million, two-year contract with RHP Daniel Hudson. … Cuban RHP Michel Baez, 20, and the Padres agreed to a minor-league contract with a $3 million signing bonus.

HORSES: Always B Miki, the fastest pacer of all time, is harness racing's horse of the year. The 5-year-old easily outpolled 2015 winner Wiggle It Jiggleit 102-32 for the sport's highest honor.

SKIING: Frenchman Cyprien Sarrazin was the surprise winner of a parallel giant slalom race as overall World Cup leader Marcel Hirscher was eliminated in the first round for the second straight year at Alta Badia in La Villa, Italy.

Times wires

Comments
Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

Sound-Smarter-Than-Your-Friends Guide to Steelers-Buccaneers: Where is Ronald Jones?

One of the dominant storylines heading into Monday Night Football between the first-place Buccaneers and the last-place Steelers will be the things we didn’t expect to see. It’s the team that usually melts down against the team that actua...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

For starters: Rays at Jays, with Snell seeking No. 21

UPDATE, 12:14: Snell takes the mound today leading the AL in wins, ERA (1.97) and opponents average (.179). … Cash noted that Snell "is in elite company now with the Rays, and he has the chance to stand alone." …  The Rays note that ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida’s new top team

Matt Baker’s AP Top 25 ballot: Florida’s new top team

After four full weekends of college football, here's what I know:There is one great team (Alabama). There are three very good teams (Georgia, Ohio State and Clemson).After that? There are a lot of flawed teams with messy results that seem bunched tog...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sunday Morning QB: Midseason point approaches

Sunday Morning QB: Midseason point approaches

Highlights from Week 5:Player of the WeekKhaishef Edwards, Largo: Since coming over from Northeast, Edwards has showed off his big-play potential with touchdown catches in three of the first four games, including three in a win over Palm Harbor Unive...
Updated: 5 hours ago
UF morning after: Gators answering opportunity’s knock

UF morning after: Gators answering opportunity’s knock

For all the positive vibes they gleaned Saturday night before a gradually disappearing audience, the Gators know they still must conquer their consistency issues.Still too many three-and-outs and muffed progressions. Too few running lanes."The consis...
Updated: 6 hours ago
McFarland on FitzMagic: ‘Play the guy with the hot hand’

McFarland on FitzMagic: ‘Play the guy with the hot hand’

TAMPA — Why wait until Monday Night Football? We got former Bucs defensive tackle Booger McFarland, the field analyst for the ESPN crew, to break down the Bucs-Steelers matchup. In his straight-forward, brutally honest style, McFarland dissects...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

Rays journal: Blue Jays spoil wild-card bid

TORONTO — There was no drama, no emotional rescues after Saturday's game.After feeling, appropriately, crushed after they gave away Thursday's game, blowing a six-run lead in the ninth, then bouncing back Friday, the Rays on Saturday faced a st...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18
Jordan Cronkrite’s big run helps USF stay perfect with win over ECU

Jordan Cronkrite’s big run helps USF stay perfect with win over ECU

TAMPA — Whenever USF handed the ball to running back Jordan Cronkrite on Saturday night, a big play seemed close. The Bulls were just one block, one chip, one cut away."We knew it was coming," quarterback Blake Barnett said.Finally, with 1...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18
USF journal: Standout returner Terrence Horne out with torn ACL

USF journal: Standout returner Terrence Horne out with torn ACL

TAMPA — USF opened its American Athletic Conference schedule Saturday with a 20-13 victory against East Carolina, but it had to do so without the nation's top returner.Freshman receiver and return specialist Terrence Horne tore his ACL in pract...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18
Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

Joey Knight’s takeaways from Florida-Tennessee

For all their defensive opportunism Saturday, make no mistake: The Gators probably remain a year or two away from seriously contending again in the SEC East Division. Still, it beats the Vols, who appear a light-year or two away.Jeremy Pruitt confirm...
Published: 09/22/18
Updated: 09/23/18