.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

National

  • Olympic teams to swim, boat in Rio’s filth

    RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Athletes in next year's Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games, an Associated Press investigation has found.
    An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues — results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.
    It is the first independent comprehensive testing for both viruses and bacteria at the Olympic sites.
    Brazilian officials have assured that the water will be safe for the Olympic athletes and the medical director of the International Olympic Committee said all was on track for providing safe competing venues. But neither the government nor the IOC tests for viruses, relying on bacteria testing only.
    Extreme water pollution is common in Brazil, where the majority of sewage is not treated. Raw waste runs through open-air ditches to streams and rivers that feed the Olympic water sites.

  • Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz and Biggio ready to enter Hall

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Three dominated on the mound, the other excelled at three positions up the middle. Together, pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and multi-talented Craig Biggio left a remarkable imprint on baseball.
    Playing through an era tainted by steroids and dominated by offense — compliments of bulked-up sluggers, a smaller strike zone and smaller ballparks — the trio of pitchers combined for 735 wins, 11,113 strikeouts and nine Cy Young Awards. And the indefatigable Biggio became the only player in major league history with at least 3,000 hits, 600 doubles, 400 stolen bases and 250 home runs while being asked to play four positions in his 20-year career.
    All four, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in January, will be inducted Sunday in Cooperstown.
    "I don't condone anybody doing anything bad as far as cheating the game," said Martinez, who joins former Giants right-hander Juan Marichal (1983) as the only natives of the Dominican Republic elected to the hall. "How did I feel pitching in the juice era? I wouldn't want it any other way. For me, there's no crying. I mean, as far as the way I did compete, I know I did it right. I did it the right way."

  • Brady vows to fight on; Kraft says he regrets not doing so

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady vowed on Wednesday to fight his four-game "Deflategate" suspension, and team owner Robert Kraft opened training camp by saying he continues to "believe and unequivocally support" the three-time Super Bowl MVP.
    "It is completely incomprehensible to me that the league continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players, and a man for whom I have the utmost respect," Kraft said. "I was wrong to put my faith in the league."
    Taking the podium a day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady's suspension, Kraft said he didn't fight the team's penalty — a $1 million fine and the loss of two draft picks — because he thought the league would go easy on the star quarterback.
    Now, he said, he regrets his decision.
    "I have come to the conclusion that this was never about doing what was fair and just," Kraft said, apologizing to fans and to Brady. "I truly believe that what I did in May ... would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady. Unfortunately, I was wrong."
    The NFL Players Association said later Wednesday that it will file a lawsuit in federal court in Minnesota challenging the punishment.

  • Rockies, Blue Jays swap star shortstops

    DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays have swapped star shortstops.
    The teams confirmed the blockbuster trade Tuesday that sends Jose Reyes and right-handed pitchers Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco to the Rockies for Troy Tulowitzki and right-handed reliever LaTroy Hawkins.
    Both shortstops have remarkably similar career statistics but also a history of injuries.
    Tulowitzki is a five-time All-Star and a career .299 hitter. He's hitting .300 this season. At 32, the speedy Reyes is two years older than Tulowitzki. He's a lifetime .291 hitter and is hitting .285 this season.
    Reyes, a four-time All-Star, is signed through 2017 on a $106 million, six-year contract he received from Miami.
    Before the 2011 season, Colorado made a big commitment to Tulowitzki by agreeing to a contract that guaranteed him $132 million over seven seasons from 2014-20. The deal included a $14 million team option for 2021 with a $4 million buyout.
    Combined with his previous deal, it meant the Rockies agreed to pay Tulowitzki $157.75 million over 10 years. The plan was to build around him and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who signed an $80 million, seven-year contract about the same time.

  • Japan to start from scratch on Tokyo Olympic stadium plan

    TOKYO (AP) — Japan scrapped the design of the Olympic stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Games because of soaring costs Friday and said it will reopen bidding for a new plan, in a stunning reversal that leaves the 2019 Rugby World Cup without a main venue.

    "We have decided to go back to the start on the Tokyo Olympics-Paralympics stadium plan, and start over from zero," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters after a meeting with Yoshiro Mori, chairman of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee. "The cost has ballooned just too much."

    The government has been under mounting criticism as the estimated cost of the new National Stadium rose to 252 billion yen ($2 billion), nearly twice as much as the initial estimate of 130 billion yen.

    Abe said he secured the consent of Mori, a former prime minister, and instructed the sports and Olympics ministers to immediately prepare a process to choose a new stadium plan.

    "I have been listening to the voices of the people and the athletes for about a month now, thinking about the possibility of a review," Abe said. "We will minimize the cost as much as we can and make one that is best and realistic."

  • Tokyo Olympic venue shaping up as world's costliest stadium

    TOKYO (AP) — When the dust settles on the marquee venue for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, it could well be the most expensive sports stadium in the world.
    The latest cost estimate of 252 billion yen ($2 billion at current exchange rates) would push it beyond the current record-holder, the $1.6 billion MetLife stadium completed in 2010 for the New York Jets and Giants football teams.
    What is the money buying? The design of the stadium's ribbed roof on huge steel arches resembles a bicycle helmet. To support a natural grass field, the roof's southern end will be translucent to let in sunlight and underground will be soil ventilation and temperature control systems. Movable seats will bring the crowd closer for more intimate events, and this being Japan, the stadium will have earthquake-resistant features.
    While exchange rate fluctuations and inflation make comparisons tricky, it is safe to say that Japan's new National Stadium will likely to be the most expensive ever built, two sports economists told The Associated Press. The latest estimate was a 55 percent increase over an earlier one of 163 billion yen.

  • World Cup moments distanced women from FIFA scandal

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — For a few moments over the past month, the Women's World Cup seemed to push aside the FIFA scandal that is simmering a half planet away.

    Those moments came on the pitch: From upstart Cameroon crashing the party in the knockout stage, to England's fantastic run, to host Canada's tournament-opening victory on star Christine Sinclair's stoppage-time penalty kick.

    And of course, Carli Lloyd's hat trick in a 5-2 victory for the United States in the final against Japan.

    Despite the controversy over the artificial turf and questions about who would present the championship trophy, the Women's World Cup was a resounding success, setting records for attendance and TV ratings. The corruption case enveloping the sport's world governing body at least temporarily took a backseat to the Beautiful Game.

    In many ways, FIFA can thank the Americans.

    The second-ranked U.S. women started out the month-long tournament across Canada as one of the favorites, but there were questions along the way about a sputtering offense and U.S. coach Jill Ellis' tactics.

  • U.S. beats Germany, heads to WWC final

    MONTREAL (AP) — Carli Lloyd remembers putting the ball on its spot and shutting out the noise of more than 51,000 anxious fans.
    Then she blasted that ball into the back of the net.
    Lloyd’s penalty kick got the United States on the board, and the Americans went on to a 2-0 victory over top-ranked Germany in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup on Tuesday night.
    Lloyd’s penalty kick in the 69th minute went into the right side of the goal less than 10 minutes after Celia Sasic shot wide on a penalty kick for Germany.
    Kelley O’Hara came in off the bench and scored in the 85th minute, delighting the pro-American crowd.
    Hope Solo posted her fifth straight shutout, continuing a dominant run for the American defense.
    The United States also had several good scoring chances from the start.
    Julie Johnston missed on a header off a corner kick from Megan Rapinoe, and Alex Morgan’s breakaway in the 15th minute was stopped by goaltender Nadine Angerer.
    The U.S. will play the winner of No. 4 Japan, the defending champion, and No. 6 England in the final on Sunday.

  • U.S. reaches World Cup semis

    OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The United States defeated China 1-0 on Carli Lloyd’s goal in the 51st minute Friday.
    The win sends the second-ranked Americans to a semifinal on Tuesday in Montreal against top-ranked Germany.
    Germany beat France on penalty kicks after a 1-all tie in the quarters.

    Turf troubles

  • Big nights for the biggest markets in NBA draft

    NEW YORK (AP) — From coast to coast, the NBA draft was a big night for the biggest markets.
    The Los Angeles Lakers tabbed their next potential superstar in D’Angelo Russell.
    The New York Knicks landed a pair of players in the first round, selecting Kristaps Porzingis and later acquiring the rights to Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant.
    Both teams are coming off their worst seasons in their histories and hoping the turnarounds started Thursday.
    Russell is ready to do his part.
    “I’m here, and I’m ready to make an impact right away,” the Ohio State point guard said.
    A little surprised to go second after Duke center Jahlil Okafor had long been considered the player at that spot, Russell received big cheers when Commissioner Adam Silver called his name.
    The boos were loud and long two picks later when the Knicks took the 19-year-old Latvian forward. But the announcement of the Grant trade had New York fans who packed Brooklyn’s Barclays Center roaring in approval of Phil Jackson’s moves.
    Porzingis had said repeatedly he hoped to be picked by the Knicks — including to Grant.
    “I kind of smiled and laughed and shook my head, not realizing that I’d be his teammate a few hours later,” Grant said.
    ___