Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive



BELEK, Turkey - With sports federations demanding a "Plan B" because of delays in Rio de Janeiro, the International Olympic Committee said Wednesday that it was "premature" to speculate about taking the 2016 Games away from Brazil.

IOC president Thomas Bach said the construction holdups and political paralysis have reached a critical point, requiring the IOC to take special measures to save the Games. Asked if there had been talk of moving the Games, IOC spokesman Mark Adams stopped short of ruling it out.

"At this stage, that would be far too premature," he said. "We're not talking about Plan B. The IOC has outlined its concerns for some time now; that time is running out. We believe that Rio 2016 can still deliver good Games if appropriate action is taken immediately."

Leaders of 18 federations recently spoke out about Rio's troubled preparations in a meeting with the IOC executive board. The biggest worries centered on Deodoro, a complex in north Rio that is to host venues for eight sports. Work has not begun on the site.

Said Francesco Ricci Bitti, head of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations: "The general feeling is that we are in the most critical situation in the preparation for the Games that has happened in the last 20 years at least."

Rio organizers released a statement saying they are, "fully aware of the issues. ... There is absolutely no question in our minds that Rio will deliver great Games."

* * *


Arizona to host 2015 Pro Bowl

The 2014 Pro Bowl will be played in Glendale, Ariz., site of the Super Bowl. It will return to Hawaii in 2016. The game will remain a week before the Super Bowl, and the format introduced last season of teams being drafted by captains will stay intact.

PANTHERS: Defensive tackle Colin Cole, who started 13 games last season, re-signed for one year. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

SAINTS: Former Florida State linebacker Brodrick Bunkley, a graduate of Tampa's Chamberlain High, restructured his contract to create $2.85 million in cap space. His 2014 base salary decreases from $4.5 million to $1.65 million.

* * *


Bayern, Atletico reach Champions semis

Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben scored in the second half to help host Bayern Munich beat Manchester United 3-1 and reach the Champions League semis 4-2 on aggregate. Also, Koke scored in the fifth minute to lift host Atletico Madrid past Barcelona 1-0 and 2-1 on aggregate. Chelsea and Real Madrid advanced to the semis Tuesday. Matchups will be determined Friday.

ENGLAND: The English Football Association rejected a bid by Hull City's owner to change the Premier League team's name to Hull Tigers. No reason was given.

* * *


TENNIS: Serena and Venus Williams won't play in the United States' Fed Cup playoff against France, April 19-20. It will be Sloane Stephens (18th in the world), Madison Keys (42nd), Varvara Lepchenko (49th) and Christina McHale (57th). After losing at an event in Charleston, S.C., on April 1, Serena Williams (No. 1) said she needed time off. Venus Williams is 32nd. The winner remains in the primary world group in 2015. The loser drops to the secondary group.

HORSES: Bobby's Kitten drew the No. 5 post and was made the 3-1 favorite for Saturday's $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky. The winner is all but assured a spot in the Kentucky Derby. ... Tapiture drew the No. 3 post and was made the 9-5 favorite for Saturday's $1 million Arkansas Derby in Hot Springs.

GREYHOUNDS: Odd Grayson and Crowned Supreme won the final qualifiers for the $80,000 Distance Classic at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. Other finalists for Saturday: Golden Surf, Golden Squire, Kiowa Jordan Doc, Kiowa Zabia, Rams Contango and Tmc's Roxslide.