Tuesday’s Sports in Brief
GYMNASTICS SEXUAL ASSAULT
WASHINGTON (AP) Congress has responded to the sex abuse scandal involving sports doctor Larry Nassar by sending President Donald Trump legislation that requires governing bodies for amateur athletics to swiftly report claims of abuse to law enforcement.
The Senate approved the bipartisan bill by voice vote, a day after the measure cleared the House by an overwhelming margin.
”Horrific sexual abuse and tepid responses from organizations that exist to support the careers of U.S. Olympic athletes are nothing short of a betrayal,” said Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., one of the bill’s backers.
Nassar worked at Michigan State University and for USA Gymnastics, the governing body that also trains Olympians. He was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison last week at the end of an extraordinary seven-day hearing at which more than 150 women and girls said he had molested them under the guise of medical treatment.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the bill’s main sponsor, said the safeguards mandated by the bill are only possible ”because of the incredibly courageous women who decided to come forward, share their pain and do all they could to make sure this dark chapter is never repeated.”
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered a criminal investigation into claims that former doctor Larry Nassar abused some of his victims at the Karolyi Ranch, a Texas facility that was the training ground for U.S. women’s gymnastics.
Abbott ordered the Texas Rangers, the state’s top criminal investigations unit, to look into ranch, which hosted training camps for more than a decade until earlier this year. The Walker County Sheriff’s Office is already investigating.
Several gymnasts have said Nassar abused them at the ranch. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison last week. More than 150 women and girls have said he had molested them under the guise of medical treatment.
Abbott called the allegations ”gut-wrenching.” He ordered the state investigation because the claims involve multiple jurisdictions and states.
WASHINGTON (AP) – Kansas City has agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to Washington, a move that spells the end of Kirk Cousins’ time with the Redskins and hands the Chiefs’ job to Patrick Mahomes.
Two people with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the move to The Associated Press on Tuesday night on condition of anonymity because the transaction can’t be completed until the start of the new league year in March. One person told the AP the Redskins had agreed to a four-year extension with Smith, who had one year left on his contract.
Smith, who turns 34 in May, spent the past five seasons with the Chiefs, leading them to the playoffs four times while throwing for 102 touchdowns and 33 interceptions. He carries a $17 million salary-cap hit for 2018.
Kansas City saves cap space and can turn to Mahomes, the 10th pick in last year’s draft out of Texas Tech, as its new starter.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Several South Korean skiers headed to North Korea to train with its athletes in a conciliatory gesture the countries planned to mark the Winter Olympics in the South.
The chartered flight carrying a delegation of 45 – including 20 athletes, support staff and journalists – will arrive at North Korea’s Kalma Airport before the skiers head for Masik ski resort, Seoul’s Unification Ministry said Wednesday.
The skiers are reserve members of South Korea’s national team and won’t be participating in the Pyeongchang Games that start Feb. 9.
The South Koreans will fly back Thursday accompanied by North Korean alpine and cross-country skiers who have been invited to participate in the Olympics, the ministry said.
DETROIT (AP) – Kevin Love left Cleveland’s game at Detroit with a broken left hand.
Love went down the tunnel toward the locker room during the first quarter. He had X-rays at the arena, which the Cavaliers say showed a non-displaced fracture in his fifth metacarpal. The team says his status will be updated after additional examination Wednesday in Cleveland.
Love played only 4:41 on Tuesday night and went scoreless.
The 29-year-old Love has missed only one game this season, and he’s the Cavs’ second-leading scorer behind LeBron James. With the trade deadline looming, Cleveland has been in a funk lately. The Cavs had lost 10 of 15 heading into Tuesday’s game, and they trail Boston and Toronto atop the Eastern Conference.
Love’s injury will likely affect the Cavs’ plans as the Feb. 8 trading deadline approaches. The Eastern Conference champions may have to make a significant move to replace Love, who could be out for more than a month.
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) – New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski says he expects to play in Sunday’s Super Bowl against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Gronkowski has been in the league’s concussion protocol after taking a hit from Jacksonville’s Barry Church in the AFC championship game. He made his first public appearance on Tuesday night while playing former teammate and current Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount in a game of ”Madden 18” at the Mall of America.
Gronkowski said he’s still in the concussion protocol and would leave his status up to those in charge of making medical decisions.