Review Category : National Sports

Pro Gaming League to Create Performance Enhancing Drug Testing Program

Naypong/iStock/Thinkstock(COLOGNE, Germany) – The world’s largest gaming association for e-sports, ESL, announced it will explore the beginning phases of a drug testing program for all participating players.

“We’ve known for some time that performance enhancing drugs could be a challenge that we’d eventually need to face,” James Lampkin, vice president of pro gaming for the league.

With the sports’ popularity and pool prize winnings exploding, some gamers have looked to performance enhancing drugs to give themselves “that extra edge.”

ESL said it has partnered with the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) in Germany and will reach out to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to assist in carrying out their rules once a comprehensive system is in place.

Lampkin said the key moment for the ESL was when Kory “Semphis” Friesen, who played Counter Strike, with $250,000 in prizes on the line, claimed in an interview that he and his team had taken Adderall when they played at an event in Poland.

In small doses, the drug, used for ADHD, has been found to increase stamina and alertness giving gamers who use it an advantage, which is why the drug is banned by the ESL.

“While it is impossible to go back and test the players, this really was the catalyst to demand immediate action for the integrity of our sport,” Lampkin said.

Part of the reason for engaging the anti-doping agencies, Lampkin said, is to be able to stay ahead of the game.

“Psychostimulants like Adderall and beta-blockers look to be the most popular right now, but in the same way athletics commissions are constantly battling against the newest PEDs available, we expect our challenge to be similar,” Lampkin said.

The ESL said it will immediately begin skin testing for performance enhancing drugs at ESL One, which takes place in Germany next month.

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Brady, NFL May Have Discussed Settlement Amid Deflategate Appeal

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Tom Brady and the NFL may have discussed a possible settlement regarding his suspension for his role in the deflategate scandal, the quarterback awaits a league decision.

Brady was suspended for the first four games of the upcoming NFL season after a report commissioned by the NFL and attorney Ted Wells determined that it was “more than likely” that Brady was “at least generally aware” of a plan to deflate footballs in last year’s NFL playoffs. ESPN reports that the NFLPA extended a settlement offer to the league last week, but that the league’s response was “silence.”

It remains unclear when the NFL will rule on Brady’s appeal of the four-game suspension. Brady pled hiscase on June 23 to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the very man who levied the penalty against him.

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Tom Brady Tops List of Best-Selling NFL Player Merchandise

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Despite a scandal that put his availability for the beginning of this coming season in doubt, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sold the most merchandise of any NFL player between March and May.

The list, released by NFL Players, Inc., the marketing arm of the NFL Players’ Association, is dominated by quarterbacks, with the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, the Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos rounding out the top five. J.J. Watt, the Houston Texans’ powerhouse defensive end, is the top-ranked non-quarterback at number six.

Among children, Russell Wilson was most popular, while Kaepernick was the favorite in women’s apparel.

Only three rookies appeared on the list — number-one overall draft choice Jameis Winston, Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, and Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White.

One other surprise appearance on the list was former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. Willis retired in March, but still sold the 39th-most merchandise in the NFL.

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LeBron James Strikes Deal with Warner Bros.

Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — NBA star LeBron James and his SpringHill Entertainment are teaming up with Warner Bros. Entertainment in a partnership covering projects in television, film and original digital content.

James announced the deal Wednesday, but no specific projects were unveiled. However, the partnership has added fuel to the rumor that there will be a Space Jam 2 starring King James.

James made his feature film debut last week in the romantic comedy Trainwreck, opposite co-stars Amy Schumer and Bill Hader.

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Brad Keselowski Guest Stars in ‘Sharknado 3′

NBCUniversal(NEW YORK) — A NASCAR driver was among the many guest stars in Wednesday night’s premiere of the Syfy movie Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!

Brad Keselowski made an appearance in the flick. He exclaimed, “Oh hell no!” before a vicious shark landed on him. If you missed it, the Sharknado Twitter feed has helpfully posted a GIF of the moment.

Among the other sports figures featured in Sharknado 3: Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, football’s Chad Ochocinco and wrestling’s Chris Jericho.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 7/22/15

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

Major League Baseball:

Philadelphia 5, Tampa Bay 4, 10 Innings
Cleveland 7, Milwaukee 5
Texas 10, Colorado 8
Kansas City 5, Pittsburgh 1
St. Louis 3, Chi White Sox 2

N-Y Yankees 4, Baltimore 3
Detroit 9, Seattle 4
Houston 4, Boston 2
L.A. Angels 5, Minnesota 2
Oakland 4, Toronto 3

L.A. Dodgers 3, Atlanta 1
Cincinnati 9, Chi Cubs 1 (first game)
Chi Cubs 6, Cincinnati 5 (second game)
Washington 4, N-Y Mets 3
San Francisco 7, San Diego 1
Miami 5, Arizona 3

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Minor League Baseball Team Changes Mascot to a Taco

iStock/Thinkstock(FRESNO, Calif.) — A taco has been chosen as the new mascot for a minor league baseball team, but unfortunately it’s a one-night-only affair.

The Fresno Grizzlies will become the Fresno Tacos for one game on Aug. 6 against the Sacramento River Cats.

Why tacos?

The AAA minor-league affiliate of the Houston Astros are putting on their taco-themed uniforms for the fifth installment of Fresno’s “Taco Truck Throwdown.”

According to ABC News affiliate KFSN-TV, the Throwdown brings in people from all over California to watch a baseball game and load up on tacos. The event will host dozens of taco trucks and visitors will be able to get to choose their favorite. KFSN-TV also says organizers hope to break last year’s record of selling over 27,000 tacos.

The Fresno Grizzlies are already tweeting pictures showing off the new gear along with the tag line, “this time, we are what we eat.”

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Illinois Farm Creates Corn Maze Honoring Chicago Blackhawks

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — The Stanley Cup champs are celebrated…with corn.

Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, Illinois is honoring the Chicago Blackhawks for their Stanley Cup win with a corn maze.

“So we called our maze designer out in Idaho and asked if he had time to create a new design,” George Richardson, an owner of the farm, told ABC News affiliate WLS-TV. “Then we got permission from the Blackhawks to use their logo. The result is a bold design with the Blackhawks logo in the center and the Chicago skyline in the background, flanked by two hockey players and the word “Champions.”

According to WLS-TV, the maze was created over the Fourth of July weekend with a maze designer cutting 11 miles of trails into the 30 acres of corn, all with the help of a GPS.

The farm will be open Wednesdays through Sundays from Aug. 29 through Nov. 1.

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Browns’ Johnny Manziel Opens Up About His Rough Last Season

Grant Halverson/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — Cleveland Browns’ Johnny “Football” Manziel had a tough last season, throwing for only 175 yards in five games to go along with two interceptions.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, the quarterback was frank when summing up his season.

“Last was, in my mind, for me personally, a disaster,” he said.

What’s more, Manziel checked himself into rehab after multiple reported nightclub incidents, which no doubt affected his performance on the field. He now says he is focused squarely on football.

“I didn’t come out and perform. That’s what it comes down to. Regardless of everything else,” he said.

He also says he’s retiring his trademark “money” celebration routine.

“I think it’s even my fault the way I’ve built myself up,” he said Tuesday. “I set myself for a little bit of failure in that regard … if I didn’t come out as a rookie and really perform.”

The Browns brought in veteran quarterback Josh McCown to compete for the starting job this season.

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Microsoft Sponsoring Upcoming Pocono Race

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(LONG POND, Pa.) — Microsoft will sponsor the Sprint Cup Series race set for Aug. 2 at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

The event has been named the Windows 10 400. Microsoft is releasing its new operating system a couple of days earlier.

Microsoft is the official technology partner of NASCAR and a major technology partner of Hendrick Motorsports as part of agreements announced last month.

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