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FILE-This Sept. 4, 2015, file photo shows Atlanta Braves assistant general manager and director of pro scouting John Coppolella talking on the phone in the dugout during batting practice before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, in Washington. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has hit the Atlanta Braves with heavy sanctions, including the loss of nine players, for rules violations committed by the team in the international player market. Manfred on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017,  also placed former Braves general manager Coppolella on the permanently ineligible list. Former Braves Special Assistant Gordon Blakeley, the team's international scouting chief, is suspended from performing services for any team for one year. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) NYSH907
FILE-This Sept. 4, 2015, file photo shows Atlanta Braves assistant general manager and director of pro scouting John Coppolella talking on the phone in the dugout during batting practice before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, in Washington. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has hit the Atlanta Braves with heavy sanctions, including the loss of nine players, for rules violations committed by the team in the international player market. Manfred on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, also placed former Braves general manager Coppolella on the permanently ineligible list. Former Braves Special Assistant Gordon Blakeley, the team's international scouting chief, is suspended from performing services for any team for one year. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) NYSH907
Published Nov. 22, 2017

BASEBALL

BRAVES FACE SEVERE PENALTIES

ATLANTA — The Braves lost 13 prospects and former GM John Coppolella was banned for life by Major League Baseball on Tuesday for circumventing international signing rules from 2015-17.

Former Atlanta special assistant Gordon Blakeley, who was the team's international scouting chief, was suspended from baseball for one year by commissioner Rob Manfred.

Sanctions imposed by Manfred leave the Braves unable to bargain at full strength for a top Latin American prospect until 2021.

Manfred said MLB's investigation determined the Braves funneled extra signing bonus money to five players in 2015-16 by giving the funds first to another player considered a foreign professional under baseball's rules and having the money redistributed to the other five. If the money had been counted for the other five, the Braves would have exceeded their pool by more than 5 percent and been restricted to signing bonuses of $300,000 or less for international amateurs through June 15, 2019.

Among the players who will become free agents is prized Venezuelan INF Kevin Maitan.

OHTANI COMING: Major League Baseball, its Japanese counterpart and the American players' union agreed to a new posting system that could allow Japanese star RHP/OF Shohei Ohtani to be put up for bid next week. The agreement is still not in writing and must be ratified by Nippon Professional Baseball and the players' union.

YANKEES: RF Aaron Judge had arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder and is expected to be ready for spring training.

SOCCER

Real Madrid advances again

Defending champion Real Madrid advanced to the Champions League knockout stages after beating APOEL 6-0, and Tottenham beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1. Besiktas drew with Porto 1-1 to reach the last 16 for the first time. Liverpool blew a 3-0 lead at Sevilla in a 3-3 tie.

CORRUPTION: A sports marketing company whose owners have been charged with bribing top officials tried to negotiate a sale to an entity associated with Paris Saint-Germain team president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Santiago Pena, a former executive of Argentina's Full Play Group, testified in federal court in New York.

WORLD CUP: Diego Maradona will be reunited on stage with rival Gary Lineker at the draw in Moscow next week. Maradona will represent Argentina in the State Kremlin Palace. Lineker will host the 32-nation ceremony on Dec. 1.

ET CETERA

FIGURE SKATING: World champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia may miss the Grand Prix Final next month because of a broken foot.

NBA: Bucks F Mirza Teletovic is expected to miss four weeks after arthroscopic surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee.

TENNIS: Grand Slam tournaments plan to return to seeding 16 players instead of 32 as of 2019 and will give a player who is a late withdrawal because of injury 50 percent of the first-round prize money.

Times wires