MIAMI (AP) The former clinic owner accused of selling performance-enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez has agreed to plead guilty in what prosecutors called a wide-ranging conspiracy to distribute steroids to both major league ballplayers and high school athletes.
The charges filed Tuesday against former Biogenesis of America owner Anthony Bosch and six others marked one of the biggest salvos yet in a case that has dragged on for nearly two years. The case has sparked lawsuits, mudslinging and suspensions against numerous major leaguers, including Rodriguez.
Also charged was Yuri Sucart, 52, a cousin of Rodriguez who the New York Yankees third baseman has said provided him with steroids from 2000 to 2003 when he played for the Texas Rangers.
Sucart and the others are accused of acting as recruiters, setting up meetings between the athletes and Bosch, authorities said. Professional athletes paid up to $12,000 a month for the drugs provided by Biogenesis, while high schoolers paid up to $600 a month. All the clients were promised that the substances wouldn’t be found through drug testing, prosecutors said.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said Bosch didn’t have a medical license, making what happened all the more dangerous.
Major League Baseball wasn’t part of the criminal investigation and declined comment. No athletes were charged nor named in court documents, and it is unclear how many may have been involved. Authorities said Bosch admitted to providing performance-enhancing drugs to 18 high schoolers.
Bosch has pleaded not guilty, and his bond was set at $100,000. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – The San Antonio Spurs have hired WNBA star Becky Hammon as an assistant coach, making her the first woman to join an NBA coaching staff.
The Spurs made the announcement Tuesday. Hammon plans to retire from the San Antonio Silver Stars after this season.
She spent some time around the Spurs during last season’s run to the championship, and coach Gregg Popovich says she made a strong impression. Popovich says he’s ”confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”
It’s the latest trailblazing move for the Spurs, who hired European coaching legend Ettore Messina to join Popovich’s staff earlier this summer.
The U.S. men’s national team trimmed its roster to 16 players on Tuesday by cutting Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal, and Atlanta’s Paul Millsap.
The Americans are off this week after training last week in Las Vegas, where Indiana All-Star Paul George was lost to a broken right leg. They will resume practice for the World Cup of Basketball on Aug. 14 in Chicago.
Players remaining who hope to make the final 12-man roster for Spain are Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, Chicago’s Derrick Rose, Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, Houston’s James Harden, Atlanta’s Kyle Korver, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Dallas’ Chandler Parsons, Utah’s Gordon Hayward, Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan, Portland’s Damian Lillard, Denver’s Kenneth Faried, Detroit’s Andre Drummond and Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee.
MUNICH (AP) – Bernie Ecclestone is free to concentrate on running Formula One after a German court dropped a bribery case against him Tuesday in exchange for a $100 million payment.
After hearing more than three months of evidence, the Munich state court cited significant doubts that Ecclestone could be convicted on charges of bribery and incitement to breach of trust as it approved an agreement between his lawyers and prosecutors and closed the trial.
A conviction would have threatened Ecclestone’s grip on the global racing series. The 83-year-old Englishman has continued running F1 while spending two days a week in a Munich courtroom.
Later, Ecclestone said he was ”a bit of an idiot” for agreeing to the huge settlement as he believes he would probably have been acquitted.
The charges involved a $44 million payment to German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is serving an 8 1/2-year sentence for taking the money.
Ecclestone denied wrongdoing and said Gribkowsky, who was in charge of selling German bank BayernLB’s 47 percent stake in F1 in 2005, blackmailed him.
MONTREAL (AP) – Venus Williams rebounded from a shaky second set to defeat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 in the first round of the Rogers Cup on Tuesday.
Elena Vesnina stepped in as a replacement for the ailing Andrea Petkovic and earned a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Camila Giorgi.
The afternoon matches saw scoreboards go dark due to a long power outage that affected 200,000 customers in the area. But play went on despite the lack of electricity.
Generators provided lighting when Shelby Rogers scored a 6-0, 2-6, 6-0 victory over crowd favorite Eugenie Bouchard. Rogers, a qualifier ranked 113th in the world, moved into the third round of the hard-court event.
Williams is on the same side of the draw as her sister, top-seeded Serena Williams, who begins play Wednesday. They can’t meet before the semifinals.
Serena Williams will next face Samantha Stosur, who beat qualifier Monica Puig 6-2, 6-2.
In other matches, No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska beat Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 6-4, 6-4, and 14th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro defeated Bojana Jovanovski 6-4, 6-3.
TORONTO (AP) – Roger Federer rolled to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over wild card Peter Polansky in the second round of the Rogers Cup, and Stan Wawrinka, Ernests Gulbis and Richard Gasquet also advanced in the U.S. Open tuneup on Tuesday.
Federer needed just 52 minutes to eliminate Canada’s Polansky. The second-seeded Federer had a bye in the first round.
Third-seeded Wawrinka rallied for a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) victory over Benoit Paire. No. 11 seed Gulbis moved into the second round with a 6-3, 6-4 win against Joao Sousa of Portugal. Gasquet beat local favorite Vasek Pospisil 7-5, 7-5.
No. 16 seed Fabio Fognini and 17th-seeded Tommy Robredo also won. Fognini defeated Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny 6-4, 6-3, and Robredo held on for a 6-3, 7-6 (3) victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Jack Sock of the United States defeated Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-1, 6-3 in the first round.