Tuesday Sports in Brief
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Texans cornerback Bradley Roby has been suspended six games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
Roby’s suspension comes a day after receiver Will Fuller announced that he had also been suspended six games for violating the policy after he said he was prescribed a medication that he thought was OK but that was on the banned substances list. Both players will miss the rest of the season.
Roby is Houston’s top cornerback and the suspensions are a blow to a team that is struggling through a 4-7 season that already led to the firing of coach Bill O’Brien.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez said surgery to remove a cancerous tumor went well.
The four-year veteran, who doubles as the Colts’ kickoff specialist, made the announcement in a Twitter post Tuesday night, one day after he revealed the diagnosis on social media.
Sanchez first learned he had a cancerous tumor late last week, and after consulting with doctors decided to play Sunday in a key AFC South showdown with Tennessee. Indy (7-4) lost 45-26, falling one game behind the division-leading Titans.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Quarterbacks Drew Lock, Brett Rypien and Blake Bortles will be allowed to rejoin their teammates at practice Wednesday after the Denver Broncos activated them from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday.
Their return means practice squad receiver Kendall Hinton won’t have to be the one taking the snaps at Kansas City (10-1) next weekend as he did in Denver’s 31-3 loss to New Orleans on Sunday.
The Broncos (4-7) were forced to play the Saints without any of their quarterbacks after Lock, Rypien and Bortles were deemed high-risk close contacts 24 hours earlier for having been mask-less around QB Jeff Driskel before he tested positive for the coronavirus on Thanksgiving.
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda has been moved out of intensive care, although he remains hospitalized in Southern California.
Los Angeles Dodgers spokesman Steve Brener said Tuesday that the team’s 93-year-old former manager is doing rehab at the hospital in Orange County. Lasorda has been hospitalized since Nov. 8, although the team didn’t make it public until a week later.
U.S. women’s national team players and the U.S. Soccer Federation settled their long-running lawsuit over inequitable working conditions compared with the men’s team while leaving their dispute over unequal pay for additional litigation.
The parties filed a redacted public notice of the settlement with the federal court in Los Angeles on Tuesday while providing the complete agreement to U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner. The deal with the world champion American women and the sport’s U.S. governing body calls for charter flights, hotel accommodations, venue selection and professional staff support equitable to that of the men’s national team.
NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Newcastle’s Premier League game at Aston Villa on Friday has been postponed due to an outbreak of coronavirus cases at the northeast English club.
It is the first time this season that a match in England’s top division has been called off due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Newcastle said there had been a “significant increase” in cases at its training facility.
The Premier League said its board agreed to postpone the game after a request from Newcastle because players are unable to train. No new date has been set for the match.
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — The Premier League has been unable to secure the continuation of the free movement of players from Europe after Brexit, with a new points system being adopted for all international transfers.
After an 11-month transition, Britain’s departure from the European Union is being finalized and the free movement of people between the U.K. and the 27-nation bloc will end on Jan. 1.
The British government has approved the criteria for requirements that all overseas players will be assessed by after a proposal from the Football Association, the Premier League and the English Football League.
Players will be assessed based on senior and youth international appearances, club appearances and a rating of the selling club and its league, under the system announced Tuesday.
TORONTO (AP) — Greg Vanney resigned as Toronto’s coach on Tuesday after more than six seasons in charge of the Major League Soccer team.
Toronto finished second in the Eastern Conference at 13-5-5 during the pandemic-shortened season, then lost to Nashville 1-0 in overtime in the first round of the playoffs.
Vanney led Toronto to 87 wins, 68 losses and 48 draws in the regular season, and the 2017 MLS Cup title.
Ohio State held on to the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night after having its previous game canceled, landing behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Clemson for a second straight week.
The selection committee’s top seven teams were unchanged from last week’s rankings after the playoff contenders either won comfortably or didn’t play because of COVID-19 issues.
Texas A&M (6-1) was in fifth and Florida (7-1) sixth. No. 7 Cincinnati (8-0) also had its last game canceled. The Bearcats are next scheduled to play Dec. 12 at Tulsa.
NEW YORK (AP) — No. 2 Notre Dame wrapped up a spot in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game by virtue of the league shuffling its schedule Tuesday to create an open date for the Fighting Irish and No. 4 Clemson before their likely rematch on Dec. 19.
The ACC announced Notre Dame’s game against Wake Forest, which was rescheduled for Dec. 12 after being postponed in late September, will not be played. The first-place Irish (9-0, 8-0 ACC) host Syracuse on Saturday to complete their regular season. Notre Dame holds all possible tiebreakers over title game contenders Clemson (8-1, 7-1) and Miami (7-1, 6-1) even if it loses to Syracuse.
Clemson’s postponed game at Florida State will also not be made up. The Tigers can clinch a spot in the championship game with a victory at Virginia Tech on Saturday.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee dismissed outside linebacker Kivon Bennett from the football team on Tuesday, hours after he was arrested during a traffic stop.
Bennett was stopped Tuesday around 11:21 a.m. by campus police, who clocked him driving 59 mph in a 45-mph zone. The police report said an officer asked Bennett if he had marijuana in the vehicle and that Bennett said he did.
Police reported finding more than 44 grams of marijuana, a scale, 58 plastic baggies and a loaded 9mm handgun, according to the police report. Having more than half an ounce of marijuana is a felony in Tennessee.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is helping coach the Sooners again — at least for now — because of coronavirus issues.
The Sooners had last Saturday’s game at West Virginia postponed, and they temporarily paused organized team activities due to recent positive COVID-19 tests and contact tracing throughout the program. The situation affected the assistant coaches, leading Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley to ask Stoops for help. Riley said Stoops was on the field helping coach on Tuesday as the 13th-ranked Sooners prepared to host Baylor on Saturday.
SAKHIR, Bahrain (AP) — Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss this weekend’s Sakhir Grand Prix.
Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit.
But Hamilton woke up Monday morning with mild symptoms and was then informed that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive, his Mercedes team said Tuesday. This led to a subsequent test returning a positive result, and Hamilton says he has gone into self-isolation for 10 days.
LONDON (AP) — Spanish tennis player Enrique López was banned for eight years on Tuesday for fixing matches at tournaments in 2017.
The Tennis Integrity Unit said López cannot play in or attend any officially recognized tournament while banned. He was fined $25,000.
The 29-year-old Lopez reached a career high singles ranking of No. 154 in 2018, though never qualified for the main draw at a Grand Slam event. His best doubles ranking was No. 135.
Claressa Shields already reigns over boxing with two Olympic gold medals and professional titles in three weight classes.
Her next world to conquer is mixed martial arts.
Shields has signed with the Professional Fighters League in a quest to become the first woman to hold simultaneous titles in both MMA and boxing, she told The Associated Press on Monday. She will make her debut next year, and she hopes to have two or three MMA fights along with two boxing matches during 2021 before she attempts to win the PFL title in 2022.
PHOENIX (AP) — Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa is scheduled to change his plea to misdemeanor charges stemming from his drunken driving arrest nine months ago on a freeway in Phoenix.
The Hall of Fame manager, who had previously pleaded not guilty to the two drunken driving charges, is scheduled to change his plea on Dec. 21 in Maricopa County Justice Court.
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