Thursday’s Sports in Brief
Unhappy with the status quo, more than 200 of the world’s top female hockey players declared they will not compete in North America next season in a dramatic attempt to establish a single, economically viable professional league.
The players announced their decision in a joint statement released to The Associated Press before being posted on social media in a move that has the potential of drawing the NHL further into the conversation of backing women’s hockey. The group includes stars such as Americans Hilary Knight and Kendall Coyne Schofield and Canadian national team goalie Shannon Szabados.
The players pulled together in a united front in less than a month and said they wanted to express their dissatisfaction with the current state of the sport while demanding a say in establishing a league.
The players’ announcement stresses cross-border unity and cites the obstacles they’ve had to contend with in being paid as little as $2,000 a year, while also paying for their own health insurance.
TRACK AND FIELD
Track and field’s governing body said it plans to enforce its new rules on testosterone levels in female runners more widely than sports’ highest court is recommending, dealing another setback to Olympic sensation Caster Semenya.
On Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the IAAF can force women like Semenya with unusually high testosterone to take medication to lower their levels of the muscle-building male sex hormone if they want to compete in events from 400 meters to the mile. But the court also recommended the IAAF not enforce the rules in the 1,500 meters and the mile, saying there is not enough evidence that high testosterone gives such women a competitive edge at those distances.
Asked on Thursday whether he would heed the court’s advice, IAAF president Sebastian Coe gave a one-word answer: “No.” In a follow-up statement, the IAAF said it has enough evidence to apply the rules at the longer distances.
That decision closes off one way Semenya could have continued to compete without having to take hormone-lowering drugs.
The 28-year-old South African is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the 800 meters and a three-time world champion. But she has also run the 1,500 meters and has had some success, winning the bronze at the 2017 world championships.
BOSTON (AP) — Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge had a mild heart attack and is expected to fully recover.
The 60-year-old executive received immediate medical attention Tuesday night in Milwaukee, the team said in a statement. The Celtics were facing the Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. Ainge, who also had a mild heart attack in 2009, was scheduled to return to Boston.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said after the team practiced that he’s been in frequent communication with Ainge’s family. He said they all seem to be doing well.
Game 3 of the Celtics’ series with the Bucks is Friday night in Boston.
Golden State had approached the league asking for the consideration. The NBA said on Twitter that the technicals had been dropped “upon league office review.”
That’s a big deal for Green if the two-time defending champions play deep into the postseason again. The Warriors lead their best-of-seven series with the Rockets 2-0 going into Game 3 on Saturday in Houston.
NEW YORK (AP) — Brooklyn Nets All-Star D’Angelo Russell was detained at LaGuardia Airport after a small amount of marijuana was found in his luggage by TSA personnel.
A spokeswoman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Russell was issued a summons for possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana and released. It happened Wednesday night.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The attorney for Tyreek Hill sent a letter to the NFL disputing child-abuse claims made by the wide receiver’s fiancée, offering a point-by-point response to a secret recording of the couple that was made public last week.
In the four-page letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, attorney N. Trey Pettlon also said Hill was willing to cooperate with the league’s investigation.
“(Hill) categorically denies he has ever ‘punched’ his son in the chest or anywhere on his body, or otherwise touched him in the chest in a mean-spirited manner,” Pettlon wrote, adding that the audio was recorded while Hills and his fiancée, Crystal Espinal, were considering separation.
The NFL has declined to comment on the case. The Chiefs also have declined additional comment.
The Chiefs suspended Hill indefinitely last Thursday, shortly after KCTV aired the recording in which the couple discusses injuries to their 3-year-old son. The following day, prosecutors in Johnson County, Kansas, reopened an investigation of Hill that had been closed just 48 hours earlier.
TORONTO (AP) — Red Kelly, the defenseman-turned-center whose Hall of Fame career included eight Stanley Cups while playing for Detroit and Toronto, has died. He was 91.
Kelly’s family said in a statement that he died Thursday in Toronto.
Kelly spent nearly 13 seasons with Detroit, helping the Red Wings win four championships from 1950-55. In 1954, he was the first winner of the James Norris Trophy, which goes to the NHL’s top defenseman. After being traded to Toronto during the 1959-60 season, Kelly became a forward and scored at least 20 goals in each of his first three full seasons with the Maple Leafs. Toronto won the Stanley Cup four times from 1962-67.
While with Toronto, Kelly was also a member of Parliament. He was elected as the Liberal MP for York-West in 1962 and again in ’63.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Vegas Golden Knights promoted Kelly McCrimmon to general manager and kept George McPhee as president of hockey operations.
McPhee and owner Bill Foley announced the unexpected move amid speculation about other NHL teams being interested in McCrimmon. He had served as McPhee’s top assistant since August 2016, a year before the franchise made its on-ice debut.
Although McPhee will remain in charge of hockey operations, McCrimmon takes over as the day-to-day contact for trades and other moves
Defender Ali Krieger and midfielders Allie Long and Morgan Brian earned spots on the U.S. team that will defend its title at the Women’s World Cup.
All three were widely considered to be on the bubble for the 23-player roster announced by coach Jill Ellis.
Krieger started against Belgium on April 7, her first appearance since an exhibition against Russia on April 6, 2017. It will be the third World Cup for the 34-year-old right back, who has 99 international appearances.
The youngest player on the squad for the 2015 World Cup in Canada, Brian has struggled with injuries in recent years and has played just once this year, in a January exhibition against France. But the 26-year-old has experience, with 78 international appearances.
Long, 31, has been in and out of the national team after making playing in the 2016 Olympics.
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Kaetlyn Osmond of Canada, the 2018 world champion and Olympic bronze medalist, is going out on top.
The 23-year-old Osmond announced her retirement from competitive figure skating. She leaves the sport as Canada’s most decorated women’s singles skater.
Osmond won the world title last March in Milan, a few weeks after she won singles bronze and team gold at the Pyeongchang Olympics. She’s also a three-time national champion.