Weekend Sports in Brief


MANCHESTER, England (AP) A fake bomb left behind during a security exercise led police to evacuate Manchester United's home stadium, disrupting the final day of the English Premier League season and bringing embarrassment to one of the world's best-known sports teams.

Police initially described the device as ''incredibly lifelike'' as United's planned match with Bournemouth was cancelled, to boos from some fans, and a controlled explosion was carried out.

But hours later, bomb technicians reported it was a fake. And a later statement by police said the device had been inadvertently left in a toilet during an earlier training exercise involving sniffer dogs.

The series of events came amid tightened security at Premier League stadiums following last year's Paris attacks that targeted the Stade de France sports stadium as well as cafes, bars and a concert hall. It also followed the British government's announcement Wednesday that it was raising the nation's threat level due to intelligence indicating the ''strong possibility'' of attacks in Britain by factions of the outlawed Irish Republican Army.

GENEVA (AP) – In a challenge to the integrity of Gianni Infantino, FIFA's compliance chairman resigned in protest on Saturday over what he sees as a power grab by the new president.

Domenico Scala called his resignation a ''wake-up call'' for those working to reform soccer's scandal-battered ruling body.

Scala's walkout – on the issue of taking hiring and firing power over himself and independent panels that monitor FIFA officials and money – comes amid claims of tension between the two men over the presidential salary.

It marks a major test for Infantino's presidency since he was elected to succeed Sepp Blatter in February promising more openness and modern leadership.

Scala has overseen FIFA's billion-dollar annual spending since 2012, and could previously be removed only by a vote of the now-211 member federations at their annual meeting.


MOSCOW (AP) – Russia has a ''problem'' with doping and is ''very sorry'' that its cheating athletes were not caught sooner, the country's sports minister said.

Russia, a track and field powerhouse, was suspended by the IAAF in November following a WADA panel report that found state-sponsored cheating.

''Serious mistakes have been made by the federation management, along with athletes and coaches who have broken anti-doping rules and neglected the principle of fair play,'' said Vitaly Mutko, writing in British newspaper The Sunday Times. ''Let us be clear. We are ashamed of them.''

Mutko did not, however, admit any involvement in doping by the Russian government, a central charge in both November's WADA report and recent allegations that test samples were switched at the Sochi Olympics.

Russia will discover on June 17 whether its athletics federation has met the reform criteria to return to competition in time for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Sebastian Coe, the head of the world governing body of athletics, visited the track for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics but declined to speculate if Russia will be allowed to compete there.

A powerhouse in the sport, Russia was suspended by the IAAF in November following a WADA panel report that found state-sponsored cheating.

An Olympics without Russia in track and field would be an embarrassing blow, raising more doubts about doping in a wide range of sports.

Coe has appointed a task force to examine the charges against Russia. He said the task force would report back on June 17, just weeks before the Olympics open on Aug. 5.

Coe, a two-time Olympic gold medalist at 1,500 meters, is trying to restore credibility to a sport that has lost much of it.


MOSCOW (AP) – Heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder's title defense against Alexander Povetkin has been postponed by the WBC after the Russian challenger failed a drug test, and Wilder's promoter says it could be canceled altogether.

The WBC says the May 21 fight in Moscow is off, pending an investigation, with no backup date.

''Keeping the priority of safety and also the principle of justice, the WBC will continue the investigation into the case,'' the WBC said in a statement.

It added that ''the WBC will be releasing more information in the coming days regarding the final ruling on the matter.''

While the Russian side insists a new date will be found, Wilder's promoter Lou DiBella accused Povetkin of ''breach of contract'' in an e-mailed statement, adding that ''any talk of rescheduling … is unfounded and premature.''


Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns has been voted the NBA's Rookie of the Year, according to a person with direct knowledge of the award.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement has not yet been made. The NBA was scheduled to announce the winner Monday.

The No. 1 overall pick from Kentucky posted the best rookie season for a big man since Tim Duncan. He averaged 18.1 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks and helped the Timberwolves win 13 more games than they did the previous season.

Towns also played all 82 games and was named Western Conference rookie of the month in all six months the award was handed out.