Review Category : National Sports

Greg Biffle’s Father Passes Away

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Greg Biffle’s father has passed away.

The Sprint Cup Series driver shared the sad news with his fans Tuesday on Twitter. “My father/veteran Garland Jack Biffle passed away this morning at 10:32am.. He taught me [so] much in life and I will miss him greatly..RIP,” he wrote.

The elder Biffle was 75.

Greg Biffle is currently 22nd in the Sprint Cup point standings. The Roush Fenway Racing driver finished fifth in last weekend’s race at New Hampshire.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 7/19/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:


Tampa Bay 10, Colorado 1
Toronto 5, Arizona 1
Boston 4, San Francisco 0


Oakland 4, Houston 3, 10 Innings
L.A. Angels 8, Texas 6
Chi White Sox 6, Seattle 1
N-Y Yankees 7, Baltimore 1
Minnesota 6, Detroit 2
Cleveland 7, Kansas City 3


San Diego at St. Louis (postponed, rain)
N-Y Mets 2, Chi Cubs 1
Miami 2, Philadelphia 1, 10 Innings
Pittsburgh 3, Milwaukee 2
L.A. Dodgers 8, Washington 4
Atlanta 5, Cincinnati 4, 11 Innings

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Brock Lesnar Notified of Second Failed Drug Test from UFC 200

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Brock Lesnar has failed a second drug test, the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) notified the UFC Tuesday.

The UFC said in a statement that the USADA informed the 39-year-old wrestler his July 9 in-competition sample collection from UFC 200 tested positive for the same substance found in his out-of-competition collection on June 28.

“USADA, the independent administrator of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, will handle the results management and appropriate adjudication of this case,” the UFC statement said. “It is important to note that, under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, there is a full fair legal review process that is afforded to all athletes before any sanctions are imposed. The Nevada State Athletic Commission also retains jurisdiction over this matter as the sample collection was performed at UFC 200 in Las Vegas.”

The substance has not yet been identified, but sources told ESPN it’s clomiphene, the same substance UFC star Jon Jones tested positive for.

Lesnar was able to compete on July 9 at UFC 200, because neither of the test results were available at the time.

“Consistent with all previous potential anti-doping violations, additional information will be provided at the appropriate time as the process moves forward,” UFC said.

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Experts Skeptical of Brazil Group’s ISIS Pledge Before Olympics

iStock/Thinkstock(RIO DE JANEIRO) — Experts are questioning a recent pledge of allegiance to ISIS by a purported group of extremists in Brazil in what may be an attempt to rattle the international community before the Rio Olympics.

A group calling itself Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil on Sunday pledged its loyalty to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on the messaging app Telegram and promised to “wage jihad against the enemy of Allah.” The group also posted ISIS propaganda translated into Portuguese.

But J.M. Berger, a terrorism expert who closely follows ISIS’ online activity, said he doubts Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil actually exists.

“The Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil Telegram channel appears to be the work of an ISIS social media activist rather than reflecting any bricks-and-mortar initiative,” said Berger, a co-author of “ISIS: State of Terror.”

John Horgan, an ISIS expert who teaches at Georgia State University, said he didn’t know if the group was real, but he called ISIS supporters “masters of exploiting opportunity,” such as security concerns over the Olympics.

A U.S. counterterrorism official told ABC News, however, that while ISIS isn’t known to have any cells in Rio de Janeiro, “we should take every threat like this seriously.”

ISIS is not believed to wield much influence in Brazil, where a tiny percentage of residents are Muslims, much less Islamic extremists. Only three individuals are said to have traveled from Brazil to Syria and Iraq to fight with any extremist groups, according to the Soufan Group, compared with an estimated 1,700 from France and 250 from the U.S.

In a recent interview, a former counterterrorism official told ABC News that at least as of last month, there was “no credible ISIS-related threat to the 2016 games.”

“It’s not impossible, but ISIS has other areas in the world where it is much easier for them to operate,” the former official said, a sentiment shared by Horgan.

Matt Olsen, a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, said that historically Islamic terrorist groups like al-Qaeda have made “limited inroads” in South America but that any sign that the jihadist extremist threat has grown on the continent “would be concerning.”

The U.S. State Department’s Overseas Advisory Council, which offers guidance to American companies on security issues, noted a litany of security concerns at the Rio Olympics in a May report obtained by ABC News, from local protests to the Zika virus. But the report did not mention any terrorist threats.

Still, as the Olympics are set to begin next month and ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks repeatedly claim innocent lives the world over, intelligence officials in Brazil reportedly consider the terrorism threat high.

Last month the chairman of Brazil’s joint chiefs of staff told Reuters that after terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, “a bell went off in terms of terrorism.”

On Tuesday an unidentified purported Islamic extremist also used Telegram to call for attacks on the Olympics and listed suggestions for lone-wolf attacks and targets.

The State Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security, which has responsibility for the security of American Olympians and spectators, declined to comment for this report, describing the threat from the purported Brazilian group as an “intelligence matter.”

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IOC Explores ‘Legal Options’ on Russia Olympic Ban

iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — The International Olympic Committee said Tuesday it is exploring “legal options” whether to ban Russia from this summer’s Olympic Games, and called for the country to be barred from hosting international sporting competitions over what the IOC said was a “shocking” state-sponsored cover-up of doping by Russian athletes.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommended on Monday that Russia be excluded from the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro this summer after a new WADA investigation found Russia’s sports ministry, helped by the F.S.B. security service, had created a system for letting dozens of athletes compete dirty, in particular at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Following an emergency meeting to discuss WADA’s findings, the IOC held off on making a decision on that recommendation, saying it will “explore legal options” regarding a collective ban, balancing it against the “right of individual justice.”

There is an ongoing court hearing in Switzerland, where the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is considering appeals from Russian track and field athletes against an earlier ban barring them from competing in Rio. That ban was imposed by track and field’s top body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in June in response to WADA findings around the same doping system.

At least 67 Russian track and field athletes have appealed that collective ban. If the CAS rules in their favor, it might set a precedent that would discourage the IOC from imposing a general ban on all Russian athletes from every sport.

The IOC said in its statement Tuesday that it would have to take that decision into account. The CAS hearing began Tuesday, but a verdict was expected to be made public on Thursday, July 21.

However, the IOC did impose severe measures on Russia, saying it would not organize or support any events in Russia and calling on all winter sports federations not to hold their own championships there.

“The IOC will not organise or give patronage to any sports event or meeting in Russia,” the statement published by the IOC read, noting that this included the 2019 European Games, one of Europe’s largest sporting events.

That call also raised difficult questions for FIFA, soccer’s international body, which is due to hold the 2018 soccer World Cup in Russia. Though the IOC recommendations do not directly affect FIFA, it appeared the body would have to explain why it considered Russia acceptable to host events, when the IOC did not.

The IOC also barred all officials from Russia’s sports ministry from attending the Rio Olympics, meaning Russia’s sports minister himself won’t be allowed to spectate.

The IOC also appeared to raise other approaches to a ban, calling on international sporting federations to immediately open inquiries into Russian athletes and officials from their sports and if necessary to impose “sanctions.”

Ahead of the IOC decision, Russia has sought to limit the damage from the WADA report. Russian authorities on Tuesday suspended almost every official implicated in the report, including two senior sports ministry officials. Russia’s sports minister also suggested that Russia’s equivalent of the FBI would be opening an investigation into the report.

But Russian authorities have largely dismissed the report as baseless, with President Vladimir Putin suggesting it was part of a U.S. conspiracy. Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko told the Interfax news service, “there are no state doping programs in Russia.”

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Running Back Arian Foster Signs Deal with Dolphins

Don Juan Moore/ESPN Images(MIAMI) — After seven seasons with the Houston Texans, Arian Foster is changing gears and heading to Florida.

The 29-year-old running back signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins on Monday.

Welcome to Miami, Arian Foster!

— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) July 18, 2016

Making it official.

— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) July 18, 2016

A league source tells ESPN the one-year deal is worth $1.5 million but could reach up to $3.5 million when you factor in the added incentives.

Foster, a four-time Pro Bowler, has been with Houston since 2009. The Texans released him on March 3.

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Matt Kenseth’s Car Fails Post-Race Inspection After New Hampshire Win

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(LOUDON, N.H.) — Matt Kenseth’s No. 20 Toyota failed a post-race inspection following his victory in the New Hampshire 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s car failed inspection in the laser inspection station and will undergo further evaluation at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina, reports.

Any penalties forthcoming would likely be announced in the middle of the week.

Kenseth finished ahead of Tony Stewart and Joey Logano in Sunday’s race. It was his second Sprint Cup victory of the year.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 7/18/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:


Colorado 7, Tampa Bay 4


Kansas City 7, Cleveland 3
L.A. Angels 9, Texas 5
Oakland 7, Houston 4
Seattle 4, Chi White Sox 3
N-Y Yankees 2, Baltimore 1
Detroit 1, Minnesota 0


St. Louis 10, San Diego 2
Miami 3, Philadelphia 2, 11 Innings
Chi Cubs 5, N-Y Mets 1
Cincinnati 8, Atlanta 2

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NSAC Extends Jon Jones’ Temporary Suspension

Steve Marcus/Getty Images(PHOENIX) — UFC star Jon Jones’ temporary suspension has been extended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

Officials revealed that Jones tested positive for clomiphene and traces of letrozole on June 16, both of which are banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

In a series of tweets to fans, Jones said he knew he wasn’t a cheater.

“Don’t write me off just yet, I know in my heart that I’m not a cheater. I trust in the system to help me prove it,” he said in a tweet.

Don’t write me off just yet, I know in my heart that I’m not a cheater. I trust in the system to help me prove it

— Jon Bones Jones (@JonnyBones) July 18, 2016

The Nevada district attorney’s office informed the NSAC of a potential hearing in September or October.

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Former Cardinals Scouting Director Sentenced to 46 Months in Prison for Hacking Astros

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A former St. Louis Cardinals official has been sentenced to jail for hacking the Houston Astros’ computers.

Chris Correa, 36, was scouting director for the team when he accessed the Astros’ player personnel database and email system during the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

He was handed nearly four years of imprisonment (46 months) by a federal judge, as well as two years of supervised release and $279,038.65 in restitution to the Astros.

Correa apologized in the court, but when he tried to call his behavior reckless, U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes for the Southern District of Texas said, “No, you intentionally and knowingly did these acts.”

In January, the former Cardinals official pleaded guilty to five of 12 related federal charges of unauthorized access of a protected computer.

Major League Baseball has not finished its investigation and could still discipline the Cardinals.

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