Wednesday’s Sports In Brief


NEW YORK (AP) The three NFL cities in line to potentially lose their NFL teams to Los Angeles made thorough and impassioned presentations to the league Wednesday as a step toward keeping them

Officials from Oakland, San Diego and St. Louis spoke to the league's Los Angeles, stadium and finance committees – all three of which play some role in a potential relocation. Oakland spoke first, and was followed by San Diego and then St. Louis.

The Raiders and Chargers have combined on a project in Carson, California, that would cost about $1.78 billion if approved by three-fourths of the 32 owners. Rams owner Stan Kroenke is pushing a rival project in nearby Inglewood.

The league has set a special meeting in Dallas on Dec. 2 at which substantial steps could come, including moving up from January the deadline for application to relocate. But Grubman and several owners have indicated no timetable is set in stone and that a vote on relocation could come in February or March or beyond.


MOSCOW (AP) – Facing allegations that Russia engages in extensive, state-sponsored doping, President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called on sports officials to carry out an internal investigation – but said that clean athletes shouldn't be punished for the actions of those who take banned drugs.

Putin's comments at a late-night meeting in Sochi, the city that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics, reflected concerns that Russia's track and field athletes could be hit with a blanket ban for next year's summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Putin ordered Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko and ''all colleagues connected with sport'' to pay close attention to the doping allegations and for an internal investigation to be conducted – one that guaranteed full cooperation with international anti-doping bodies.


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – The Thunder said Wednesday that forward Kevin Durant will miss at least a week with a strained left hamstring.

Durant was injured during the second quarter of a 125-101 victory at Washington on Tuesday night. He will be re-evaluated in seven to 10 days.

Durant has averaged 28.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.25 blocks to help lead the Thunder and new coach Billy Donovan to a 5-3 start.

Durant was injury free for most of his career and was league MVP in 2013-14 before he ran into problems. He broke a bone in his right foot last preseason, had three procedures on it and played in only 27 games as the Thunder missed the playoffs.

Russell Westbrook, last season's scoring champion, will again be called on to step up.

NEW YORK (AP) – A former college basketball star from New Jersey has been found slain in the back seat of a vehicle in New York City.

Police say Wednesday that 35-year-old Michael Wright, of Closter, was last seen Nov. 5. His body was found Tuesday morning covered in what appeared to be trash bags in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.

Police had gone to the area to search for him after a request from New Jersey police.

The 6-foot-forward played three seasons for the Arizona Wildcats. He was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2001, but was waived before the start of the season.

The medical examiner has ruled Wright's death a homicide. There have been no arrests.


BOCA RATON, Fla. (AP) – Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is following through on his vow to start transforming the team quickly this offseason, acquiring switch-hitting outfielder Aaron Hicks from Minnesota for catcher John Ryan Murphy and dealing infielder Jose Pirela to San Diego.

The 26-year-old Hicks appears to take Chris Young's spot on the roster, and the move could be a precursor to trading Brett Gardner. The 14th overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft, Hicks hit .256 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs in 97 games for the Twins this year, including .307 with six homers against left-handers.

Murphy was Brian McCann's backup this year and looked ready to assume a starting role elsewhere. He batted .277 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 67 games. New York considered itself deep at catcher, with Austin Romine and touted prospect Gary Sanchez in the minors.