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September 8, 2016 GMT

Cycling

Vuelta resumes, but little changes at the topLLUCENA, Spain – Nairo Quintana of Colombia maintained his comfortable lead over Chris Froome as the Spanish Vuelta entered its final stages Wednesday.

Mathias Frank of Switzerland broke from the peloton to win the 110-mile 17th stage from Castellon to Llucena, with Quintana crossing the line along with Froome and his other close followers to maintain a 3 minute, 37 second lead with four days to go.

Golf

Tiger on the prowl: Woods says he will play againTiger Woods says he hopes to play next month in the PGA’s Safeway Open in Napa, California, his first competitive golf since August 2015.

The winner of 14 major tournaments, Woods has been recovering from back surgery and missed all four majors for the first time in his pro career.

Woods made the announcement on his website . The Safeway Open is Oct. 13-16.

He says “my rehabilitation is to the point where I’m comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do. Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.”

HOCKEY

ESPN gets back in the game with the World CupThe NHL is back on ESPN, for a limited time only.

More than a decade after the league and the top U.S. sports network split up, they’re reunited for the World Cup of Hockey. Starting with exhibition games Thursday and continuing Sept. 17 when the tournament begins in Toronto, live games with NHL players will be all over the ESPN airwaves for the first time since 2004.

ESPN won the exclusive rights to the two-week tournament over NBC, the NHL’s current U.S. broadcast partner. The World Cup on ESPN has reignited the debate over whether hockey needs the network in order to grow in popularity in the U.S.

NFL

Two stars sign new deals before season kicks offENGLEWOOD – Emmanuel Sanders and the Denver Broncos agreed on a three-year, $33 million contract extension Wednesday on the eve of the season opener.He’ll make $5.6 million this season in the final year of the three-year, $15 million contract he signed with Denver in 2014 when the Broncos lured him away from the Kansas City Chiefs’ complex just as he was about to sign with their AFC West rivals.

METAIRIE, La. – Saints quarterback Drew Brees agreed to a contract extension with the Saints to Brees in New Orleans through at least 2017 and guarantee him $44.3 million.The contract runs for five years, starting this season, and includes a $30 million bonus that, for now, can be prorated over that period to substantially reduce the $30 million Brees’ old contract would have counted against the Saints’ salary cap this season. However, the final three seasons are voidable, meaning the Saints and Brees, who turns 38 in January, will have to revisit the possibility of another extension next year.

Goodell doesn’t agree with Kaepernick’s actionsNEW YORK – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell disagrees with Colin Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the national anthem, but recognizes the quarterback’s right to protest.

Goodell says: “I support our players when they want to see change in society, and we don’t live in a perfect society. ... On the other hand, we believe very strongly in patriotism in the NFL. I personally believe very strongly in that.”

Associated PressSwimming

Lochte suspended 10 months for Rio incidentTwelve-time Olympic swimming medalist Ryan Lochte reportedly has been suspended 10 months for his role in an embarrassing incident during last month’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, in which he embellished details of a gas station confrontation with armed security guards, setting off a week of international intrigue that threatened to overshadow the second week of the Summer Games.

Lochte’s suspension, first reported by TMZ, was expected to be the longest of the four U.S. swimmers involved in the Rio de Janeiro incident, which occurred in the early morning of Aug. 14, hours after the Olympic swimming competition ended. Gunnar Bentz, Jack Conger and Jimmy Feigen were with Lochte at the gas station, where Lochte allegedly vandalized the station, leading to the confrontation with security.

Washington Post