LONDON (AP) Russia’s sports reputation was ripped apart again when a new report into systematic doping detailed a vast ”institutional conspiracy” that covered more than 1,000 athletes in over 30 sports and corrupted the drug-testing system at the 2012 and 2014 Olympics.
The findings were handed over to the International Olympic Committee, which will be under pressure to take action against the Russians ahead of the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
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”It is impossible to know just how deep and how far back this conspiracy goes,” World Anti-Doping Agency investigator Richard McLaren said. ”For years, international sports competitions have unknowingly been hijacked by Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived.”
McLaren’s second and final report said the conspiracy involved the Russian Sports Ministry, national anti-doping agency and the FSB intelligence service, providing further details of state involvement in a massive program of cheating and cover-ups that operated on an ”unprecedented scale” from 2011-15.
BRITISH SOCCER SEX ABUSE SCANDAL
LONDON (AP) – Police overseeing the sex abuse scandal in British soccer say 83 potential suspects have been identified and linked to 98 clubs.
Officers across the country are sifting through 639 referrals received by both police and a helpline established last month when former players started going public to say they were abused by coaches while in youth teams.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council said in a statement that the age range of potential victims was seven to 20 years old.
Although 98 clubs have been ”impacted,” the NPCC said this does not equate to them all being ”under investigation.” The unidentified clubs are from across all levels of the English game ”from premier clubs through to amateur,” the NPCC said.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Oakland and Alameda County leaders will vote Tuesday on a financial and development plan to build a $1.3 billion football stadium at the Coliseum site to keep the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas.
Mayor Libby Schaaf and other local leaders presented details of the plan reached with the Ronnie Lott Group and Fortress Investment Group. Schaaf said the deal is ”responsible to the team, the league, the fans and the taxpayers.”
The Raiders had no comment on the plan and owner Mark Davis is committed to moving to Las Vegas, where a $1.9 billion stadium project was approved by Nevada lawmakers in October.
The Raiders must get approval from 24 of the 32 NFL owners before being allowed to move.
NATIONAL ANTHEM PROTESTS
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) – Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall posted on social media a racist, threatening letter that denounced him for taking a knee during the national anthem earlier this season. He said he wanted to expose the racism that exists in society.
Marshall said he received the letter a couple of weeks ago and turned it over to the team’s security department, which has been in contact with the NFL and local law enforcement.
Marshall posted the letter written on front and back in block lettering, on his social media accounts alongside his caption, which read: ”The hatred by some against people of color is one of the reasons we are where we’re at in the world today, and they wonder why we feel the way we do and take the stances that we take.” He also noted, ”I received this letter at work.”
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Dexter Fowler is headed from the World Series champions to their biggest rival.
After helping the Chicago Cubs end their long championship drought, he finalized an $82.5 million, five-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. Fowler fills the last big hole left in the Cardinals lineup after moves made earlier in the offseason to shore up the bullpen.
Fowler was also a free agent a year ago, when he spurned a $33 million, three-year offer from Baltimore, which refused to offer an opt out after one year. He signed a $13 million, one-year deal with the Chicago Cub and hit .276 with 13 homers and a career-best .393 on-base percentage that landed him in his first All-Star Game. He had a pair of home runs in helping the Cubs win their first World Series title in 108 years.
The lanky 30-year-old from Atlanta is a .268 career hitter over nine seasons with Colorado, Houston and the Cubs. He’s expected to slot into the Cardinals’ leadoff spot, giving St. Louis a switch-hitter in front of lefty-hitting Matt Carpenter and righties Aledmys Diaz, Stephen Piscotty and Yadier Molina.
NEW YORK (AP) – The NBA has denied the Toronto Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 20.
Toronto argued that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether the Raptors’ Terrence Ross released a 3-point shot prior to the expiration of actual time remaining.
The Replay Center official reviewed video of the play using a digital timer and determined the actual time remaining in the game expired before Ross released his shot, and the shot therefore did not count.
The league found that calling for an instant replay review in this case was consistent with the playing rules because the game officials determined that there was a clock malfunction.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Challenger John Molina failed to make weight for his 140-pound fight against unified champion Terence ”Bud” Crawford, meaning Molina won’t be able to fight for a title Saturday night at CenturyLink Center.
Molina (29-6, 23 knockouts) weighed in at 144 pounds. He had two hours to get down to 140 and came in at 143.4 pounds on his second weigh-in.
Crawford (29-0, 20 knockouts) weighed in at 139.6.
If Molina upsets Crawford, the WBO and WBC junior welterweight titles would become vacant.