Review Category : National Sports

Scoreboard Roundup — 7/18/16

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

INTERLEAGUE

Colorado 7, Tampa Bay 4

AMERICAN LEAGUE

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

NATIONAL LEAGUE

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 https://t.co/aE2vP9BlVp

— 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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WADA Calls for All Russian Athletes to Be Barred From Olympics

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — The World Anti-Doping Agency has recommended Monday that Russia be totally barred from this summer’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after a damning new investigation by the body found the country directed a doping cover-up affecting virtually “all sports” in the country.

Russia’s track and field athletes are already banned from competing in Rio after a WADA investigation in November found a cover-up of systemic doping among them. The new WADA investigation found that doping affected almost every sport, not just track and field, and provided fresh evidence it was controlled directly by the Russian state.

The investigation was presented in Toronto Monday by the man who oversaw it, Richard McLaren, a Canadian lawyer commissioned by WADA to examine spectacular claims made in May to The New York Times of a cover up at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. McLaren’s report largely upheld the claims made to The New York Times by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of Russia’s anti-doping laboratory, but also described in far greater detail how the system had been controlled directly by Russia’s ministry of sport and aided by its F.S.B. security service.

Speaking at a news conference, McLaren said Russia had created a “state-directed” system that “allowed cheating Russian athletes to compete while using performance enhancing drugs” and that this affected “all sports.”

Following the report’s release, WADA released a list of recommendations that included that the International Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee “decline entries, for Rio 2016, of all athletes submitted by the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) and the Russian Paralympic Committee.” The list also recommends Russian officials be barred from attending the Olympics.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the WADA report Monday a “dangerous relapse into political interference in sport” that could lead to the splitting of the Olympic movement.

Coming just weeks before the Olympics, Russia now faces a whole-sale ban of its athletes from the summer games. Ahead of the report, 10 national anti-doping bodies, including those of the U.S., Germany and Japan, had called for Russia to be barred if the report was damning. WADA does not have the power to bar Russia, but international sports bodies are bound to take its recommendations into account.

In a statement immediately after the report’s release, the IOC said “the report shows a shocking and unprecedented attack on the integrity of sport and on the Olympic Games” and that the IOC would “not hesitate to take the toughest sanctions available” against those implicated in it. The IOC is due to convene a conference call on Tuesday, which is expected to discuss the issue.

Russia has repeatedly denied that it has a state doping program. But McLaren’s report, which he said was supported by forensic and documentary evidence, as well as testimonies, describes Russian state involvement in the cover-up in greater detail than WADA’s previous reports.

As described by Monday’s report, the system allegedly hinged on Russia’s anti-doping laboratory in Moscow, where Rodchenkov had been director. According to McLaren, every positive sample was sent to Russia’s sports ministry for it to decide which samples should be covered up. An order would then be sent back down to the lab, ordering it to conceal certain results, which it would do by entering false information into the Russian and WADA’s own anti-doping database.

According to the report, the orders to cover up were particularly frequent around international competitions hosted by Russia and the Olympics, taking in all the major athletics events hosted by the country since 2011.

“The State implemented a simple failsafe strategy,” McLaren said in the report. “If all the operational precautions to promote and permit doping by Russian athletes proved to have been ineffective for whatever reason, the laboratory provided a failsafe mechanism. The State had the ability to transform a positive analytical result into a negative one.”

Those findings are particularly damaging to Russia’s hopes of going to the Olympics because the report says it demonstrates its anti-doping system was compromised for every sport.

“It affected athletes from all sport 36 disciplines whose urine samples were being analysed by the Moscow Laboratory,” the report reads, noting the swapping of samples was widespread from at least 2011 to 2015.

Russia has disputed that there was an actual system of doping and has never accepted WADA’s earlier findings, insisting doping was done only by individual athletes. Last month, Putin told an audience that “there could never be support for doping at the state level.”

But Monday’s report described the cover-up as “state directed and controlled,” overseen at the highest levels of Russia’s sports ministry and assisted extensively by Russia’s F.S.B. security service. It identifies Russia’s deputy sports minister, Yuri Nagornykh, as the man who chose which samples should be concealed. The report found that Nagornykh was tasked specifically with “a plan to protect dirty athletes” at the Sochi Olympics.

The report also detailed the F.S.B.’s involvement, finding that the service had three agents at the Moscow lab, including one working under the cover of a plumber.

It also confirmed some of the most extraordinary claims made by Rodchenkov, including one claim that the F.S.B. had succeeded in opening the supposedly tamper-proof urine sample bottles at the Sochi Olympics. McLaren’s team ran its own experiments, which demonstrated this was possible. Analysis also found tiny scratches and marks on the inside of bottles from some Russian athletes at Sochi, showing they had been opened.

Ahead of the report, WADA President Craig Reedie had said if the findings showed a cover-up across Russian sports, he might recommend no Russian athletes compete at Rio. McLaren did not make any recommendations about whether Russia should now be completely banned from the Rio Olympics, saying his job had been to “establish the facts.”

Widespread calls from other countries for Russia to be barred are expected. Over the weekend, a draft letter signed by 10 national anti-doping bodies, including the United States’, was leaked, and the letter calls for the IOC “to declare that no athlete can represent Russia at the Rio Olympic Games.”

Russian officials have repeatedly said a blanket ban would be unfair, and suggested the WADA investigations are part of a U.S.-led conspiracy. Russian state TV Monday was scheduled to screen a film attacking WADA’s motives for investigating.

However, McLaren said he was “supremely confident” in his report.

“We can demonstrate the existence of this system beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.

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Report: NFL Planning to Insert Chips into Game Balls

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The NFL is reportedly looking to insert data chips into balls in an effort to get more information on how the game is played.

A league source told ESPN on Sunday that plans are being finalized to introduce the chips during the upcoming preseason and use them on Thursday night games once the regular season kicks off.

“The data would be used for research that could spark significant changes in officiating, kicking and other areas as soon as the 2017 season,” ESPN reports.

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Young Pirates Fan Endures Extra Inning Highs and Lows

iStock/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) — One pint-sized Pittsburgh Pirates fan endured an emotional roller coaster in a game that went into extra innings on Sunday — from Daniel Murphy’s game-tying home run in the ninth inning to Starling Marte’s game-winning homer in the 18th.

Four-year-old Nicholas Golnoski was caught on camera thanks to his brightly colored shirt, and fans followed his entertaining and expressive highs and lows, even when he started to get sleepy.

Luckily, the young boy had enough energy to see the winning run and celebrate the win with his family.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 7/17/16

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

INTERLEAGUE
Texas 4, Chicago Cubs 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE
L.A. Angels 8, Chicago White Sox 1
Toronto 5, Oakland 3
Houston 8, Seattle 1
N.Y. Yankees 3, Boston 1
Tampa Bay 5, Baltimore 2
Detroit 4, Kansas City 2
Cleveland 6, Minnesota 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Pittsburgh 2, Washington 1, 18 Innings
Arizona 6, L.A. Dodgers 5
San Diego 5, San Francisco 3
Cincinnati 1, Milwaukee 0
N.Y. Mets 5, Philadelphia 0
Atlanta 1, Colorado 0
Miami 6, St. Louis 3

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Matt Kenseth Wins at New Hampshire

Joe Faraoni / ESPN(LOUDON, N.H.) — Matt Kenseth earned his second Sprint Cup win of the year on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The former Cup champion took the New Hampshire 301, finishing ahead of Tony Stewart.

Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle rounded out the top five.

Here are the top 10 drivers in the New Hampshire 301, held at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire:

1. Matt Kenseth
2. Tony Stewart
3. Joey Logano
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Greg Biffle
6. Jamie McMurray
7. Ryan Newman
8. Kyle Busch
9. Denny Hamlin
10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Here’s an updated look at the standings:

1. Kevin Harvick — 636 points.
2. Brad Keselowski — 622 points.
3. Kurt Busch — 602 points.
4. Carl Edwards — 587 points.
5. Joey Logano — 571 points.
6. Kyle Busch — 556 points.
7. Martin Truex Jr. — 540 points.
8. Matt Kenseth — 521 points.
9. Jimmie Johnson — 514 points.
10. Denny Hamlin — 505 points.
11. Chase Elliott — 499 points.
12. Ryan Newman — 497 points.
13. Austin Dillon — 488 points.
14. Jamie McMurray — 474 points.
15. Dale Earnhardt Jr. — 461 points.
16. Trevor Bayne — 447 points.

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Henrik Stenson Claims Open for First Major Title

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Henrik Stenson beat Phil Mickelson to win the 145th British Open golf tournament on Sunday.

Stenson was shot 8 under par for the day and 20-under for the open, birdying the 18th hole. Mickelson pushed Stenson, at one point taking the lead in this final round.

Mickelson shot a 6-under par round and ended up at minus-17 for the open, three strokes back of the winner.

A week of tough golf in rugged conditions in Scotland ended with Americans JB Holmes and Steve Stricker finishing 3rd and 4th. Tied for 5th were Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Tyrrelel Hatton.

Stenson becomes the fourth man over 40 to win the Claret Jug in the last six years, according to BBC.

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Czech Tennis Player Tomas Berdych Withdraws from Rio Olympics over Zika Concerns

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych has announced that he will not participate in the Rio Olympics due to concerns about the Zika virus.

Berdych took to Twitter to share the news saying he came to the decision after a “long and painstaking discussion” with his wife.

“It is because of the zika virus spread in the country of the Olympics,” he said. Adding that the health of his family is his first priority.

I am very sorry to announce… pic.twitter.com/5z45ZS4K2R

— Tomáš Berdych (@tomasberdych) July 16, 2016

Berdych lost in the Wimbledon semi-final to eventual winner Andy Murray earlier this month. He is ranked number 8 in the world, according to BBC.

The Czech is the third tennis player after Simona Halep and Milos Raonic to withdraw from the Olympics.

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