Review Category : National Sports

Lance Armstrong: I Would Dope Again

Gary Miller/FilmMagic

(NEW YORK) — Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted he would cheat again if the circumstances were right.

“If I was racing in 2015, no, I wouldn’t do it again because I don’t think you have to do it again,” Armstong said in an interview with the BBC. “If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive, I would probably do it again.”

Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, after years of denying any wrongdoing, that he did dope while winning seven straight Tour de France championships.

Armstrong blames the culture of racing back in the 2000s, during which time he claims the vast majority of cyclists were using some sort of performance-enhancing substance to get an advantage.

“When I made that decision, when my teammates made that decision, the whole peloton made that decision, we get it,” Armstrong said. “It was a bad decision in an imperfect time, but it happened.”

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and was removed as chairman of the Livestrong Foundation, the charitable organization he founded, after evidence proved he cheated.

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Reds Agree to 4-Year Contract with C Devin Mesoraco

Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) — The Cincinnati Reds and catcher Devin Mesoraco agreed to a four-year contract extension, the club announced late on Monday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Reds selected Mesoraco with the 15th overall pick in the 2007 MLB amateur draft. Last season, the 26-year-old batted .273 with 25 home runs and 80 RBIs in 440 at-bats. He was named to his first All-Star team in 2014.

“This is another example of rewarding a player we drafted and developed,” Cardinals president of baseball operations and general manager Walt Jocketty said in a statement. “We are pleased to be able to sign him for the next four years and expect him to be an integral part of the team.”

Mesoraco was set for arbitration this off-season, but his new contract will keep him in Cincinnati through the 2018 season.

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Former NFL Commissioner Tagliabue Critical of Goodell

NFL Shield (NFL)(NEW YORK) — Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue provided a candid view of the NFL under the leadership of current Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL ownership.

Tagliabue expressed concern for the league and of Goodell in a GQ article that profiles the current commissioner. Among the chief concerns Tagliabue noted was Goodell’s obsession with the NFL gaining profit and finding larger revenue streams; even at the expense of the game itself. Goodell has stated that he would like the NFL to be a $25 billion industry by 2027.

There has been an increasingly hostile relationship between Goodell and NFL players. Goodell has handed out uneven punishment to players for on-field and off-field infractions, depending on his attitude towards the offending party.

Where Goodell handed out Draconian punishments to the New Orleans Saints in the wake of the Bountygate scandal, he seemingly did a favor to the Baltimore Ravens organization by suspending Ray Rice after a domestic violence incident with his now wife, Janay Palmer.

Tagliabue, who was appointed by Goodell to hear appeals for Bountygate, sees this as a major flaw.

“If they see you making decisions only in economic terms, they start to understand that and question what you’re all about,” he said. “There’s a huge intangible value in peace. There’s a huge intangible value in having allies.”

Tagliabue served as commissioner from 1989, succeeding Pete Rozelle, through 2006, when Goodell took over.

“We haven’t talked much since I left. It’s been his decision,” said Tagliabue. “Bountygate didn’t help.”

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Berdych Upsets Nadal In Quarterfinals

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(AUSTRALIA) — The 2015 Australian Open has had a major upset.

In straight sets, Tomas Berdych defeated No. 3 ranked Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-0, 7-6, Tuesday to move on to the semi-finals.

“I was ready for everything and I think that was the difference,” Berdych said. “I started pretty well, but when you’re playing Rafa you have to keep going to the last point.”

Berdych, a 29-year-old from the Czech Republic, had lost 17-straight times to Nadal. The 18th time, Berdych was focused, showing little emotion during the match and kept Nadal off balance.

“I’m feeling ok, just was not my day,” said Nadal, the 2009 winner of the Australian Open. “I didn’t play with the right intensity, the right rhythm and the opponent played better than me.”

Berdych will face Andy Murray in the next round.

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Report: N.Y. Yankees Preparing to Challenge A-Rod

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) — The New York Yankees are preparing to contest the validity of a marketing contact with third baseman Alex Rodriguez, according to ESPN.

In 2007, Rodriguez entered into a deal with the Yankees that would pay the 14-time All-Star a bonus for each milestone home run he reached.

Rodriguez is six homers away from tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list, which will make him eligible for a $6 million bonus. The bonus is part of the 10-year, $275 million extension he signed with New York.

The Yankees are devising legal arguments against paying the bonus, because of Rodriguez’s steroid revelations and year-long ban he received from Major League Baseball.

Rodriguez will also receive an extra $6 million each if he ties Babe Ruth at 714 home runs, Hank Aaron at 755 home runs, and Barry Bonds at 762 home runs, and breaks Bonds’ all-time record.

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Lakers Star Kobe Bryant Set for Shoulder Surgery

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant has a torn rotator cuff, the team announced on Monday. Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic confirmed the diagnosis, which was made last week.

The 16-time All-Star will undergo surgery to repair his shoulder on Wednesday. No timetable has been given for his return.

The 36-year-old Bryant injured his shoulder during the second half of the Lakers’ 96-80 loss to the Pelicans last Wednesday night in New Orleans, when he went for a two-handed slam dunk.

In 35 games this season, Bryant is averaging 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. Last season, he played in just six games because of injuries to his knee and Achilles.

Bryant has won five NBA championships during his 19-year career with the Lakers.

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Bengals Linebacker Vontaze Burfict Recovering from Microfracture Surgery

David Lee/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It is unknown when one of the NFL’s top linebackers will see the field again as Vontaze Burfict of the Cincinnati Bengals is recovering from microfracture surgery.

Microfracture surgery is a procedure performed on knees that have suffered cartilage damage. It is viewed as a serious surgery that has derailed the careers of various athletes in other sports, including football.

Still, the surgeon who performed the procedure, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, is hopeful Burfict will be ready to go by training camp.

“I don’t see any reason, if this thing heals like we want and we think it will, why he won’t be back like he was,” ElAttrache told the NFL Network. “Microfracture has a bad connotation, but there are plenty of guys who have come back and been able to play like before. But it’s not really news when it works out.”

Burfict was limited to just five games in 2014, but in 2013 he recorded an NFL-high 171 tackles.

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Suns’ Goran Dragic Looking Forward to Free Agency

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Phoenix Suns point guard Goran Dragic will be one of the top free agent names on the market this summer as he has the opportunity to opt out of his contract after this season. And he’s embracing the chance to explore his playing options.

“Every team in the NBA is an option to me, because it is a privilege to play for any team in the NBA,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “When the time comes I’m going to sit down with my family and my agent and try to make the best decision for myself.”

Now in his seventh NBA season, the 28-year-old Dragic has flourished in his second tenure with the Suns. In 44 games this season, Dragic is averaging 16.5 points, 4.1 assists, and 3.6 rebounds per game in the guard-heavy Suns rotation. Last season, Dragic averaged a career-high 20.3 points per game.

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Team Toews Tops Team Foligno in NHL All-Star Game

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — If you’re a fan of low-scoring hockey, then the NHL All-Star Game isn’t for you. On Sunday, Team Toews came out on top over Team Foligno, 17-12.

It was the highest-scoring All-Star Game in NHL history.

New York Islanders center John Tavares scored four goals in the game, which matched a record for the game.

There was so much offense that Tavares didn’t even win the MVP Award. That honor went to Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, who was playing in front of the Blue Jacket fans. He was given the award after the fans voted him the winner on Twitter.

“It’s meant a lot, being a part of it — seeing the fans and how much they’ve been enjoying all the festivities,” he said. “We did a two-hour (autograph) signing. Everybody just seemed to be having a great time. All the kids were laughing and having a lot of fun.”

Philadelphia Flyers winger Jake Voracek had a memorable game as he tied another record with six points.

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