INDIANAPOLIS (AP) NFL sacks champion Robert Mathis was suspended four games Friday for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Mathis set a franchise record with 19 1/2 sacks last season, winning the league title in that category, and he is one of the most respected leaders on the team.
The substance Mathis tested positive for remains unknown, but the linebacker said in a statement he was seeking fertility assistance. He and his wife are expecting a baby.
Though Mathis can participate in offseason workouts, training camp and preseason games, he will not be return to the team until Sept. 29.
The planned documentary by the Oprah Winfrey Network on Michael Sam, the NFL’s first openly gay player, has been postponed.
Erik Logan, president of the network, said the postponement will allow Sam ”the best opportunity to achieve his dream of making the team.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – It turns out Wes Welker’s luck at the Kentucky Derby extended beyond the racetrack and into the cashier’s window.
Welker was seen at Churchill Downs with a large stack of cash and handing out $100 bills to random people earlier this month.
A spokesman for Churchill Downs said that a patron believed to be a member of Welker’s group was accidentally overpaid $14,898. TMZ reported that the Denver Broncos receiver sent a friend to collect his winnings for him.
Although the track sent a letter to that individual seeking repayment, it doesn’t expect to be repaid.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma City defensive specialist Serge Ibaka is expected to miss the rest of the NBA playoffs because of a left calf injury.
The 6-foot-10 forward had an MRI a day after the Thunder eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers and advanced to the Western Conference finals against the Spurs. Game 1 is Monday night in San Antonio. Thunder general manager Sam Presti called it a Grade 2 strain of the plantaris, which takes time to heal and strengthen because of a high re-injury rate.
Ibaka was injured during the third quarter Thursday night.
Donald Sterling’s lawyer has written the NBA stating the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers does not intend to pay the $2.5 million fine imposed by the league for racist comments, a person with knowledge of the letter’s contents said.
Sports Illustrated first reported the letter from Maxwell Blecher. The contents were confirmed by the person who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
Blecher, a prominent antitrust attorney, acknowledged sending a letter but would not discuss its contents.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) – Penn State had a rare double dose of triple plays against Michigan State on Friday.
The Nittany Lions became the second team in NCAA Division I history to turn two triple plays in one game, performing the feat in the fourth and eighth innings of a 4-2 loss to Michigan State in the opener of a doubleheader.
The only other school to do it was Gonzaga in 2006 against Washington State. It has happened only once in the major leagues: by Minnesota in 1990 against Boston.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Michael Phelps earned the first victory of his comeback, winning the 100-meter butterfly at the Charlotte Grand Prix.
Phelps cruised to victory in 52.13 seconds, about a half body-length ahead of runner-up Pavel Sankovich, a 2012 Olympian from Belarus.
Phelps matched his time exactly from the 100 fly at last month’s meet in Mesa, Arizona, where he returned to competition for the first time since retiring after the London Olympics.
PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Pittsburgh Penguins fired general manager Ray Shero and plan to evaluate the.
Team co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said it was time to take the franchise in a new direction after the team’s latest playoff flameout. The Penguins lost to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals this week.
Assistant general manager Jason Botterill will serve as general manager on an interim basis while the team searches for Shero’s replacement.
IRVING, Texas (AP) – Brendon Todd birdied his final two holes to take a two-stroke lead after two rounds at the Byron Nelson Championship.
The birdies at Nos. 17 and 18 wrapped up a 6-under 64 and put Todd alone atop the crowded leaderboard at 8-under 132. Among eight players at 6 under were Martin Kaymer, The Players Championship winner Sunday, and Paul Casey after his record back nine.
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) – Hee Young Park topped the leaderboard at 8 under in the suspended second round of the Kingsmill Championship.
The South Korean player shot a 3-under 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Stacy Lewis, Brittany Lang, Lexi Thompson, Azahara Munoz and Lizette Salas.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – Mark Calcavecchia made an 8-foot birdie putt on the final hole to take a one-stroke lead over Jay Haas after the second round of the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek.
NYON, Switzerland (AP) – Premier League winner Manchester City and French champion Paris Saint-Germain were fined $82 million by UEFA and ordered to limit their Champions League squads to 21 players next season for breaching the body’s financial fair play rules.
In the first series of sanctions handed down by UEFA over its new regulations meant to curb over-spending by wealthy owners, nine clubs in all were handed punishments. Those given to City and PSG were by far the heaviest.
Jill Ellis was hired as U.S. national team coach in the run-up to the women’s World Cup next summer in Canada and beyond.
Ellis has been the interim coach since Tom Sermanni was surprisingly dismissed in early April after an exhibition victory against China.
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – Former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan was acquitted of a long list of charges related to an investment fraud scheme, looking relieved as he put his head in his hands and then hugged teary family members in the courtroom.
The 69-year-old former coach had faced 41 counts charges including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. His lawyers said he was duped and thought he was sharing a great investment opportunity with friends.
WRIGHTWOOD, Calif. (AP) – Colombia’s Esteban Chaves won the hilly sixth stage of the Tour of California in 100-degree heat, and Britain’s Bradley Wiggins increased his lead by 2 seconds in the overall standings.
With temperatures surpassing 100 degrees for the third straight day, Chaves completed the 99.4-mile leg from Santa Clarita to Mountain High Ski Resort in 4 hours, 9 minutes, 13 seconds.
Wiggins, the 2012 Tour de France champion, leads Australia’s Rohan Dennis by 30 seconds.
FOLIGNO, Italy (AP) – Nacer Bouhanni of France sprinted to victory on the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia and Michael Matthews retained the overall lead.
Bouhanni edged Giacomo Nizzolo by less than half a wheel for his second victory in four days. Matthews maintained his 21-second lead over fellow Australian Cadel Evans.