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Wednesday’s Sports in Brief

January 20, 2022 GMT

OLYMPICS

NBC will not be sending its announcers and most hosts to the Beijing Olympics due to continued concerns about rising COVID-19 cases worldwide and China’s strict policy about those who test positive.

It will be the second straight Games for which the broadcast teams will work mostly out of NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, rather than the host city.

NBC Sports spokesman Greg Hughes said in a phone interview the network no longer plans to send announcing teams for Alpine skiing, figure skating and snowboarding to China. Those had been among the handful of announcers expected to travel, but NBC’s plans changed over the past couple of weeks.

NFL

The NFL filed a motion asking a Nevada court to dismiss former Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s lawsuit against the league, saying the accusations that the the NFL leaked Gruden’s old, offensive emails are “baseless” and “should be dismissed for failure to state a single viable cause of action.”

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The league responded Wednesday to the suit Gruden filed in district court in Clark County, Nevada, in November. The NFL filed a motion to dismiss the case and also asked the court to stay that motion until it first rules on whether the case should be moved to arbitration.

Gruden resigned as coach of the Raiders in October with more than six seasons remaining on his 10-year, $100 million contract.

He claimed a “malicious and orchestrated campaign” was used by the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell to destroy Gruden’s career by leaking the old emails that included racist, misogynistic and homophobic language.

BASKETBALL

PHILADELPHIA. (AP) — Joel Embiid tied his career high with 50 points in just 27 minutes, leading a dominant third quarter that carried the Philadelphia 76ers to a 123-110 victory over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

Embiid also had 12 rebounds and three blocks while making 17 of 23 field goals and 15 of 17 free throws. The four-time All-Star and MVP candidate played 58 seconds of the fourth quarter.

Tobias Harris added 21 points for the 76ers, who have won nine of 11.

Mo Bamba set career highs with 32 points and seven 3-pointers for Orlando. The rebuilding Magic dropped to an NBA-worst 8-38 with their 13th defeat in the last 14 games.

NCAA

INDIANAPOLIS (AP — The NCAA has adopted a sport-by-sport approach for transgender athletes, bringing the organization in line with the U.S. and International Olympic Committees.

Under the new guidelines, approved by the NCAA Board of Governors on Wednesday, transgender participation for each sport will be determined by the policy for the sport’s national governing body, subject to review and recommendation by an NCAA committee to the Board of Governors.

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When there is no national governing body, that sport’s international federation policy would be in place. If there is no international federation policy, previously established IOC policy criteria would take over.

The NCAA policy is effective immediately, beginning with the 2022 winter championships.

NCAA rules on transgender athletes returned to the forefront when Penn swimmer Lia Thomas started smashing records this year. She was on the men’s team her first three years, but she is competing for the women this season after transitioning.