russians admit doping operation
MOSCOW — Russian officials are for the first time conceding one of the biggest conspiracies in sports history: a far-reaching doping operation that implicated scores of Russian athletes, tainting not just the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi but also the entire Olympic movement.
Over several days of interviews with the New York Times, the Russian officials said they no longer disputed a damning set of facts that detailed a doping program with few, if any, historical precedents.
"It was an institutional conspiracy," Anna Antseliovich, the acting director general of Russia's national anti-doping agency, said of years' worth of cheating schemes.
Russian sports officials had denied the doping operation's existence despite a detailed confession by the nation's former anti-doping lab chief, Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov, in an article last May that was subsequently confirmed by global anti-doping regulators.
An investigator appointed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, Richard McLaren, published more extensive evidence this month that prompted the International Olympic Committee to open disciplinary proceedings against dozens of additional Russian athletes.
Westbrook reaches Robertson territory
Russell Westbrook got his 15th triple double of the season by the midpoint of the third quarter, and the visiting Thunder beat the Heat 106-94 to extend its winning streak to four games. Westbrook finished with 29 points, 17 rebounds and 11 assists. It was his 30th triple double of the calendar year, joining Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to do so.
GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Avery Bradley scored 23, Isaiah Thomas had 21 points and seven assists, and the host Celtics held off the Grizzlies 113-103. Gerald Green added a season-high 19 points and Jae Crowder scored 17 for Boston, which has won six of seven.
DURANT DEFENDS REFS: Warriors star Kevin Durant is calling on the NBA to toss out the Last Two Minute Report because he, like the league's officials, believes it will only lead to more errors. No stewing by the Warriors upon learning the NBA acknowledged two missed calls late in the team's one-point loss at Cleveland on Sunday. "They should get rid of it, refs don't deserve that,'' Durant said. "They're trying their hardest to get the plays right then you look at a play in slo-mo and say it's wrong."
MORE NBA: Heat forward Josh McRoberts is out indefinitely with a left foot stress fracture.
SAILING: Benefiting from favorable wind conditions, supermaxi Perpetual Loyal set a record in winning the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Skippered by Anthony Bell, Perpetual Loyal completed the 630 nautical mile race in 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds. The previous record of 4:51:52 was set in 2012 by rival supermaxi Wild Oats XI. "We got a good set of weather conditions," Bell said. "Sometimes you just need a little bit of luck and we've certainly had our fair share of bad luck, so I was entitled to ask the forecasters for that."
SOCCER: FC Dallas signed free agent midfielder Javier Morales, 36, a three-time MLS All-Star who had 49 goals in 240 appearances with Real Salt Lake. Morales is expected to be available for the Feb. 23 season opener, a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Arabe Unido of Panama. … Host Liverpool beat Stoke 1-0 in the English Premier League and regained second place, six points behind Chelsea.
SKIING: Olympic champion Kjetil Jansrud extended his perfect start to the season in super-G, winning a World Cup race in Santa Caterina Valfurva, Italy. Jansrud became the second man to win the first three super-G races of the season. Austria's Hermann Maier accomplished the feat twice — in 1997-98 and 1999-2000.