Friday's Sports in Brief

NEW YORK (AP) Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia became the first player to receive a lifetime ban under Major League Baseball's drug agreement after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance for the third time.

The commissioner's office said that Mejia tested positive for the anabolic steroid Boldenone, which athletes have used to increase muscle mass and once was popular for use in horse racing.

The 26-year-old right-hander was the Mets' closer in 2014, then was suspended for 80 games last April 11 following a positive test for Stanozolol, a drug popular among bodybuilders. At the time, he said, ''I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system.''

Mejia returned July 12, appeared in seven games for New York, then was banned for 162 games on July 28 after a positive test for Stanozolol and Boldenone.

The Mets said they ''were deeply disappointed.'' The Major League Baseball Players Association declined comment, and a spokesman for Mejia's agents said the pitcher had no comment.

SOCCER

GENEVA (AP) - Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter's long-time right-hand man, was banned from all soccer-related activity for 12 years for misconduct during his term as FIFA secretary general.

Valcke was found guilty by FIFA's ethics committee of wide-ranging offenses, including taking private jets for personal use, destroying evidence and trying to force through an undervalued sale of 2018 and 2022 World Cup television rights for the Caribbean.

Valcke's ban is four years longer than the eight-year sanctions handed down to FIFA President Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini in December for a financial conflict of interest.

The ethics judges said Valcke violated seven sections of FIFA's code of ethics, compared to four each by Blatter and Platini, and also fined him 100,000 Swiss francs ($102,500).

The ban is likely not the end of Valcke's legal troubles. He is expected to be asked to give evidence to American and Swiss federal prosecutors investigating widespread corruption in international soccer.

OLYMPICS

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - If the Zika virus - or fear of it - keeps spreading, the head of a sports travel agency handling tour packages for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics fears for her business.

''It could be catastrophic,'' Jerri Roush, director of operations of Cartan Tours, told The Associated Press. ''It's uncharted territory.''

Hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors are expected for the Olympics in August, and there are concerns that some may stay away, frightened off by the mosquito-borne virus that is being linked to birth defects.

There has been a ''very small decrease'' in foreign tourists, the Brazilian tourist board said this week, though world health authorities have no restrictions on travel to the country.

''Zika already begins to damage Brazil tourism,'' read a full-page headline this week in Rio's O Globo newspaper.

PRO FOOTBALL

Denver Broncos fiery cornerback Aqib Talib was fined a total of $26,044 for taunting and face mask fouls in the Super Bowl.

Teammate Malik Jackson was docked $8,681 for unnecessary roughness and Carolina third-string quarterback Joe Webb was fined $8,681 for unnecessary roughness on the final play of the game.

Talib was whistled for taunting in the first quarter, keeping a Carolina drive alive. He later grabbed wide receiver Corey Brown's face mask following a 13-yard catch at the Denver 2, essentially a 1-yard penalty that preceded Carolina's only touchdown.

Afterward, Talib admitted he grabbed Brown's face mask on purpose to send a message and was expecting to get fined, adding: ''But hey, we're world champs.''

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) - Matt Forte won't be returning to the Chicago Bears for a ninth season.

The two-time Pro Bowl running back announced on Instagram that the team informed him this week it will not offer him a contract for next season. The team confirmed it, calling him one of the ''all-time great Bears.''

He will be an unrestricted free agent and can sign with any team beginning March 9.

Drafted in the second round by the Bears in 2008, Forte emerged as one of the most successful running backs in franchise history. But he is 30 years old and the team has a long list of needs following a six-win season.

Forte says his ''only regret'' is not winning a Super Bowl with Chicago.

HORSE RACING

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has had his first date. The lucky lady is Untouched Talent, and as the Valentine's weekend begins, there's hope for happy news from the breeding shed.

American Pharoah's owner Ahmed Zayat says the breeding session took place at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky.

Untouched Talent is the mare of Bodemeister, also owned by Zayat. Bodemeister ran second in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 2012. Untouched Talent is 11 years old.

Zayat says he's thrilled by the news and ''can't wait for little Pharos.''

If all goes well, the first of many babies by the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years is about 11 months away.

American Pharoah's stud fee is $200,000.

The breeding rights to Pharoah were purchased by Coolmore last year.

NBA

TORONTO (AP) - Chris Bosh's All-Star participation for this year is over, before he ever took the floor in the city where his career began.

The Miami Heat forward has withdrawn from Saturday's 3-point contest and Sunday's All-Star Game, citing a strained right calf. Bosh - who will remain in Toronto for the weekend - was replaced on the Eastern Conference roster for Sunday's game by Atlanta's Al Horford, chosen by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to fill the vacated spot.

Portland's C.J. McCollum will fill Bosh's spot in the 3-point event, keeping that field at eight as planned.

The circumstances of how and when Bosh strained his calf were not made clear. He worked out Wednesday night in Miami in preparation for the 3-point contest, flew to Toronto on Thursday and was in the audience at the NBA All-Star Technology Summit on Friday morning before joining the other East All-Star selections for interview sessions with reporters.

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