Thursday’s Sports in Brief
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Andy Murray is still hoping to make it to one more Wimbledon tournament before his problematic hip forces him into retirement. For now, he’s only committing to the Australian Open.
In an emotional news conference Friday, when a tearful Murray had to leave the room shortly after his first attempt to get it started, and needed to pause several times to compose himself once it had resumed, he confirmed he’d play his first-round match at the Australian Open next week but wasn’t sure how much longer he could continue beyond that.
The 31-year-old Murray said he practiced in the off-season with the main goal of making one last run at Wimbledon, where he ended the 77-year drought for British men with his title in 2013, but now wasn’t sure he’d make it that far.
“I can still play to a level — not a level I’m happy playing at,” he said. “But also, it’s not just that. The pain is too much really.
“I don’t want to continue playing that way. I tried pretty much everything that I could to get it right — that hasn’t worked.”
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo is being asked by police to provide a DNA sample in an investigation of a Nevada woman’s allegation that he raped her in his Las Vegas hotel penthouse in 2009 and paid her to keep quiet, the soccer star’s lawyer and Las Vegas police said Thursday.
Attorney Peter S. Christiansen downplayed the development, denied the rape allegation and called evidence collection common in any investigation.
Police said in a statement that an official request has been submitted to Italian authorities for a DNA sample from the superstar player. Officer Laura Meltzer, a department spokeswoman, said the request involved a warrant.
Ronaldo, 33, plays for the Turin-based soccer club Juventus.
Attorneys for Eric Reid dispute a joint statement by the NFL and NFL Players Association that says the Carolina Panthers safety was not singled out with excessive drug tests and they’re demanding the league and the players’ union “immediately issue a retraction,” according to a letter sent to all parties that was obtained by The Associated Press.
The letter obtained Thursday says Reid was indeed tested at least seven times and requests the independent administrator provide all information used to produce the report.
Reid said in December he had been tested seven times by the NFL. He claimed the league was targeting him because of the ongoing collusion case against the NFL in which he alleged team owners conspired to keep him out of the league because of his decision to kneel alongside former 49ers teammate Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice.
The joint statement released Wednesday said an independent administrator found Reid received the “normal” number of drug tests this season. The statement said, “there is no evidence of targeting or any other impropriety with respect to his selection for testing.”
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The NHL and NHL Players’ Association held a lengthy meeting to discuss keeping the current collective bargaining agreement past 2020 and agreed to meet again next week to continue the talks.
The sides met for more than two hours to talk about a CBA extension that could pave the way for a World Cup of Hockey in 2020.
“I think we had a constructive dialogue,” Commissioner Gary Bettman told The Associated Press on Thursday night. “But beyond that, we have nothing to announce and I have nothing to add.”
The current CBA runs until 2022, but the league and players each have the option this September to terminate it effective Sept. 15, 2020. Because a World Cup would happen in the fall of 2020, the league has linked labor peace to the ability to put on another version of the tournament, which returned in 2016.
Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly have said previously a CBA agreement would need to be in place by around the end of January to begin planning a World Cup.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — LeBron James’ strained groin is turning out to be perhaps the most significant injury of the famously durable superstar’s 16-year NBA career.
James likely will miss at least three more games after being cleared to increase his on-court activity in his comeback from the injury, the Lakers announced after an evaluation by their medical staff.
The Lakers say James’ healing is “progressing,” and the four-time NBA MVP will participate in more functional basketball activities during the upcoming week. But the team also says it will provide another update on Jan. 16, which probably means James will miss the Lakers’ three upcoming games against Utah, Cleveland and Chicago.
If James sits out as expected, he will miss 11 consecutive games before his next update, and he will have been out of action for over three weeks since getting hurt during the Lakers’ win at Golden State on Christmas.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Former Tennessee women’s athletic director Joan Cronan and four-time WNBA All-Star Ticha Penicheiro are among the 12 finalists for the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame announced Thursday.
The Hall of Fame will release its official 2019 class on Feb. 4. The class will be inducted June 8.
Finalists include: Cronan, Penicheiro, former Women’s Basketball Coaches Association CEO Beth Bass, former Delta State guard Debbie Brock, inaugural NCAA Division I women’s basketball committee chair Nora Lynn Finch, former coach Lucille Kyvallos, former Notre Dame and WNBA center Ruth Riley, former Wayland Baptist Flying Queens star Carolyn Busch Roddy, former Western Kentucky coach Paul Sanderford, former high school and Division II college coach Bob Schneider, former Kentucky star Valerie Still and former longtime Stanford assistant coach Amy Tucker.