Sports Briefs

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Sports Briefs

Sat, 08/15/2020 - 14:04
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The players association said Wednesday night it was dismayed by the length of the ban.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

NBA

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo has been suspended for Milwaukee’s final game of the regular season, handed a one-game penalty Wednesday for headbutting Washington’s Moe Wagner.

It’s unknown if Antetokounmpo would have played in Thursday’s game against Memphis anyway, given that the Bucks have already secured the No. 1 overall seed in the NBA playoffs that start next week.

Antetokounmpo will be eligible for Game 1 of the Bucks’ first-round series against Orlando, which will almost certainly be played Monday or Tuesday at Walt Disney World.

NFL

The NFL extended daily coronavirus testing for players and staff until further notice even though the positive test rate from the first two weeks of camp has been less than 1 percent.

Under the original agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association, players and staff needed three negative tests in a four-day period before they could report to the facility and then daily testing for the next two weeks.

If the positive rate from that first stretch of daily testing was below 5 percent, the plan had been to shift to testing every other day. But the league and the union decided Wednesday to extend that period as they use more rapid onsite testing and as contact increases when padded practices start around the league next week.

GOLF

The Masters, known as much for the roars as the raw beauty of Augusta National, will be on mute this year. The club decided Wednesday there will be no spectators.

That means all three majors in this year of COVID-19 will not have fans, and the silence figures to be most deafening at Augusta National when the Masters is played Nov. 12-15.

From the opening holes down to Amen Corner all the way through the back nine, players can often figure out what’s happening with others just by listening. That will be missing this year, along with the azalea and dogwood blooms from having to move it from April.

NASCAR

Corporate interest in Bubba Wallace has picked up momentum and NASCAR’s only Black full-time driver has signed a new sponsor that includes funding for his Richard Petty Motorports team. Columbia Sportswear Co. on Wednesday announced a multiyear sponsorship with Wallace as a brand ambassador that will also put the company on the No. 43 at Dover later this month and one to two other races not yet announced.

Wallace, in his third full season at NAS-CAR’s top Cup Series level, has gained national attention over the last several months as an activist. He successfully pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its events, promotes a message of “compassion, love, understanding” in his quest for inclusivity and has led the conversation among his peers about racial equality.

NEW YORK (AP) — Roush Fenway Racing announced a 12-race sponsorship deal Wednesday with Guaranteed Rate to fund Ryan Newman’s car throughout the remainder of this NASCAR season.

The deal between Roush and the retail mortgage lender is a large one in the current economic climate — teams are piecing together funding in small batches as corporations have shied away from multiple-race sponsorship. Guaranteed Rate was first on Newman’s car two weeks ago at New Hampshire and will be on the No. 6 Ford this weekend for the road course race at Daytona.

Guaranteed Rate will also be featured in 10 of the final 13 races this season, including the season finale at Phoenix. The company will be a major associate sponsor on all races in which it is not the primary partner.

RUNNING

PARIS (AP) — The Paris Marathon has been canceled because of the coronavirus after repeated attempts to find a new date, organizers said Wednesday.

The race was originally due to take place in April but was then moved to October. Organizers said they’d recently tried to rearrange the race for November but continuing travel restrictions made that unrealistic.

HORSE RACING

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Churchill Downs officials expect less than 23,000 fans will be able to attend next month’s rescheduled Kentucky Derby under an updated health and safety plan.

The plan eliminates general admission and standing room only areas, with total capacity limited to less than 14% of the 2015 attendance record of 170,513. The 146th runnings of the Derby and Oaks for fillies were postponed from May 1-2 to Sept. 4-5 because of coronavirus concerns.

Spectators were not allowed for Churchill Downs’ spring meet, but the track had stated in June that general admission would be limited to the 26-acre infield for the Derby.

NEW YORK (AP) — Two years after filing a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, an aggrieved harness-racing bettor has received $20,000 in the settlement of his claims that he was cheated out of his winnings when a doped horse won a race in New Jersey in 2016.

After the lawsuit was filed in March 2018, leading figures in harness racing said they had never before heard of such a lawsuit, which accused the trainer of fraud and racketeering. The general practice has been to reallocate the purse to other owners in the event a winning horse is later proven to have been doped, but not to pay back bettors.

The settlement, reached in July and made public Wednesday, resulted from extensive negotiations on behalf of the bettor, Jeffrey Tretter, and the lawsuit’s two defendants – trainer Robert Bresnahan Jr, and the horse’s owner, J.L. Sadowsky.