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U.S. Relay Team May Keep Gold Medals (AP)
AP - Michael Johnson and the rest of the United States' 1,600-meter relay team can keep their gold medals from the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled Thursday.

Zito Shuts Down Angels; A's Move Into 2nd (AP)
AP - Barry Zito won his fifth straight start, combining with two relievers on a seven-hitter, and the Athletics crept closer in the AL West race with a 3-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night.

Nationals' Problems May Get Much Worse (AP)
AP - The Washington Nationals did almost nothing wrong during the first half of the season. Since the All-Star break, almost nothing has gone right — and it could get a lot worse.

Armstrong's Team Shines in Tour De France (AP)
AP - Lance Armstrong's teammates are doing a better job of beating him than his rivals. Armstrong's Discovery Channel teammate Paolo Savoldelli won Wednesday's 17th stage of the Tour de France, three days after George Hincapie earned a stage victory of his own. Meanwhile, Armstrong has yet to win an individual stage so far.

Pistons Hire Flip Saunders as Coach (AP)
AP - The waiting game paid off for Flip Saunders, who kept hearing throughout the spring and summer that Larry Brown might not be coming back to coach the Detroit Pistons. Saunders and the Pistons reached agreement Wednesday on a four-year, $20 million contract, making him head coach of the team that Brown took to the NBA Finals each of the past two seasons.

Patriots' Bruschi to Sit Out 2005 Season (AP)
AP - Tedy Bruschi didn't decide whether to end his career. He just put the decision off for a year. The Patriots linebacker said Wednesday he will sit out this season because of a stroke he suffered 10 days after helping New England win its third Super Bowl in four years.

Knicks to Soon Meet With Larry Brown (AP)
AP - Larry Brown's agent said Wednesday he expects the unemployed coach to make a decision on his future in the next couple of weeks, and the New York Knicks are already hard at work trying to persuade the 64-year-old nomad to settle down at Madison Square Garden.

Baseball Today (AP)
AP - New York Yankees at Los Angeles Angels (10:05 p.m. EDT). Randy Johnson (10-6) of the Yankees starts against Bartolo Colon (11-6).

Earthquakes Sweep Past Rapids for 3rd Time (AP)
AP - Brian Mullan and Mark Chung each scored Wednesday night to lead the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids.

NHL Players Convene to Vote on Labor Deal (AP)
AP - To hear NHL players talk, you'd think they would've agreed to a salary cap long ago. But the tone was different Wednesday for a very different reason: The rank and file knows what the new collective bargaining agreement says, and because it contains a cap they will be back on the ice come October.

Steady without Tedy
Tedy Bruschi will be missed, but his absence won't negatively impact the Patriots on the field.

Pats' Bruschi to sit out 2005 season (AP)
Tedy Bruschi didn't decide whether to end his career. He just put the decision off for a year. The Patriots linebacker said Wednesday he will sit out this season because of a stroke he suffered 10 days after helping New England win its third Super Bowl in four years. ``Tedy ... has declared his intentions to forgo the 2005 campaign,'' Patriots spokesman Stacey James said in a statement.

Rosenhaus: Owens 50-50 for training camp (AP)
Terrell Owens hasn't decided whether he will report to training camp on time because of a contract dispute with the Eagles, his agent said Wednesday. ``The odds are 50-50,'' Drew Rosenhaus told The Associated Press. ``We probably won't make any determination until the start of camp.'' Owens, who helped the Eagles reach the Super Bowl in his first season in Philadelphia after eight years with San...

Williams cleared to report to Dolphins (AP)
Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams has been cleared by the NFL to report Sunday with the rest of the team for the start of training camp, a year and a day after he abruptly retired. The league's 2002 rushing champion decided to seek reinstatement after sitting out last season. He still faces a four-game suspension at the start of the season for violating the NFL substance abuse program.

James' arrival at Colts camp uncertain (AP)
Edgerrin James knows where he'll be next week when the Indianapolis Colts report for training camp. So does his agent. They're just not telling anybody. James signed a one-year deal worth slightly more than $8 million in March but his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has repeatedly said James wants a long-term deal.

Troy, Michael, Emmitt entering Ring (AP)
Of all the accolades and honors that Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith earned throughout their careers with the Dallas Cowboys, their favorite was something simple: their shared nickname, ``The Triplets.'' While the phrase linked them in the minds of others, the teammates really were as tight as brothers.

Rosenhaus says Walker will be no-show (AP)
Javon Walker will be a no-show at training camp next week unless the Green Bay Packers agree to give the Pro Bowl receiver a big pay raise or trade him, his agent said Wednesday. ``The Packers say they aren't going to change their position, so we are leaning that way. We're hoping for a change of heart or a trade,'' Drew Rosenhaus told The Associated Press.

Henry ready for fresh start with Titans (AP)
Travis Henry knows what he promised to do if the Buffalo Bills didn't trade him. Now he doesn't have to think about his vow to sit out this season. The Tennessee Titans introduced the four-year veteran running back at a news conference Wednesday. The Bills announced the trade on Monday, then the Titans negotiated a four-year extension of Henry's contract through 2009.

New York minute
That's how long it'd take Larry Brown to join the Knicks if his health – and the Pistons – allow it.

Pistons replace Brown with Saunders (AP)
The waiting game paid off for Flip Saunders, who kept hearing throughout the spring and summer that Larry Brown might not be coming back to coach the Detroit Pistons. Saunders and the Pistons reached agreement Wednesday on a four-year, $20 million contract, making him head coach of the team that Brown took to the NBA Finals each of the past two seasons.

Knicks to meet with Brown in coming days (AP)
Larry Brown's agent said Wednesday he expects the unemployed coach to make a decision on his future in the next couple of weeks, and the New York Knicks are already hard at work trying to persuade the 64-year-old nomad to settle down at Madison Square Garden. Knicks president Isiah Thomas spoke to Brown on the telephone Tuesday night, just hours after the Detroit Pistons announced they were...

NBA free agent signing date pushed back (AP)
With the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement still not finalized, the league's free agent signing period was delayed indefinitely Wednesday. The league sent a memo to its 30 teams saying they will not be able to sign free agents on Friday, which was the original target date established by the league and the players' union for getting the new six-year labor deal into writing.

Donyell Marshall headed to Cavaliers (AP)
Free agent forward Donyell Marshall agreed to terms Tuesday on a four-year contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers, giving the rebuilt club another player to complement LeBron James. Marshall, an 11-year-veteran who played for the Toronto Raptors last season, was courted by a handful of teams before reaching an agreement with the Cavaliers, said his agent, Andy Miller.

Sixers agree to deals with Korver, Green (AP)
Reserves Kyle Korver and Willie Green have agreed to return to the Philadelphia Sixers. Agent Noah Croom confirmed Green's deal, a $20 million, six-year contract that could be worth more with incentives. ``We talked to some other teams, but because Willie was a restricted free agent, they held most of the cards,'' Croom said.

Top pick Bogut adjusting to NBA life (AP)
Andrew Bogut felt like he had just been run over by a truck. David Harrison, the 280-pound Indiana Pacers center, lowered his shoulder and buried the NBA's No. 1 draft pick, then softly laid in a bucket. Welcome to the NBA, Mr. Bogut. ``He was grinding me out down there,'' Bogut said. ``Definitely a guy I can learn off.

SuperSonics hire Weiss as coach (AP)
Flip Saunders and Paul Silas were among the available options for the head coaching vacancy in Seattle. Neither got a serious look, let alone an interview. No, the SuperSonics knew which coach they wanted, and that man already was working under their roof. Seattle hired Bob Weiss as coach Monday, promoting the 11-year assistant who worked under former coaches George Karl, Paul Westphal and Nate...

Van Gundy gets assurance from Riley (AP)
Stan Van Gundy is still the coach of the Miami Heat, and that apparently won't change anytime soon. Van Gundy said that he and team president Pat Riley met for 3 1/2 hours on Sunday, during which Van Gundy was assured that ``I will be coaching the Miami Heat this coming season.'' But Van Gundy acknowledged on a call with Heat beat writers Monday that he was a bit unsettled by rumors suggesting...

Reports: Swift reaches deal with Rockets (AP)
Free-agent forward Stromile Swift has reached an agreement to sign with the Houston Rockets, according to reports Monday. Swift's agent, Andy Miller, told several Houston media outlets that Swift had agreed to join the Rockets and was excited about joining a front line that includes All-Stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming.

Beil's Spiel: Resurrecting the dead
The NHL is back, after showing fans what it's like going over a cliff on a Zamboni.

Players convene to vote on labor deal (AP)
To hear NHL players talk, you'd think they would've agreed to a salary cap long ago. But the tone was different Wednesday for a very different reason: The rank and file knows what the new collective bargaining agreement says, and because it contains a cap they will be back on the ice come October. The NHL players' association started a two-day meeting that will culminate with a ratification vote of...

Top pick in 2004 heading to Capitals (AP)
Alexander Ovechkin's agent told the Capitals that the No. 1 overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft is opting out of his contract with a Russian club so he can join Washington this season. Ovechkin had until midnight Wednesday to get out of his 2005-06 deal with Avangard Omsk of the Russian Super League. The NHL and the players' union reached an agreement in principle last week on a new collective...

Ducks name Dineen coach of AHL affiliate (AP)
Kevin Dineen was hired by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks to be the coach of their AHL affiliate in Portland. Dineen had 760 points and 2,229 penalty minutes in an 18-year NHL career with Columbus, Ottawa, the Hartford-Carolina franchise and Philadelphia. He is one of five players to have more than 350 goals and 2,000 penalty minutes.

Plane crash kills ex-Sharks owner's son (AP)
A small plane piloted by the son of a former owner of the San Jose Sharks crashed off the Pacific Coast, killing six people, authorities said Saturday. No survivors were reported. The pilot was Greg Gund, 32, said Miguel Corrales, an official with the Costa Rica Coast Guard. Acquaintances said Gund had lived for about five years in a village about 6 miles south of the crash site, where he operated a...

Babcock introduced as Red Wings coach (AP)
Mike Babcock slipped on a Detroit cap and officially kicked off a new era in Hockeytown. The Red Wings introduced their new coach Friday during a news conference at Joe Louis Arena, and Babcock said he was looking forward to building on the Motor City's winning tradition. ``I believe in leadership,'' he said.

Larry Robinson to return to coach Devils (AP)
Larry Robinson has already experienced the highs and lows as coach of the New Jersey Devils. That made him an easy, short-notice choice to replace the ailing Pat Burns. Robinson, who led the New Jersey Devils to a Stanley Cup title in 2000 but was fired less than two years later, returned Thursday as coach of the team.

Businesses assess NHL lockout damage (AP)
Bartender Paul Lewis used to pay his college tuition with the $600 in tips he made nightly when the Columbus Blue Jackets played next door. But when last year's hockey season was lost to the NHL lockout, business dropped so drastically at O'Shaughnessey's Public House that Lewis, 23, took a job at a Colorado ski shop.

Sharing violation
If NASCAR won't spread the wealth of Nextel Cup events to other tracks, the government surely will.

Sadler's Busch team penalized (AP)
NASCAR penalized Elliott Sadler's Busch series team Wednesday for rules infractions at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Sadler, team penalized for infractions at New Hampshire (SportsTicker)
DAYTONA BEACH, Florida (Ticker) - Elliott Sadler was penalized 25 Busch Series driver championship points Wednesday by NASCAR for infractions at last week's New England 200.

Lawyers for NASCAR driver ask judge to dismiss Ford suit (AP)
Lawyers for NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne asked a federal judge Wednesday to dismiss a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed by Ford Motor Co., saying Kahne never agreed to race exclusively for the automaker.

Streaks on the line at Memphis truck race (AP)
There will be two streaks on the line in Saturday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Memphis...

Big name for Pikes Peak Busch race (AP)
Saturday's NASCAR Busch Series stock car race at the one-mile Pikes Peak International Raceway might be unique...

Stewart working in Indy to continue winning ways (AP)
Tony Stewart is not taking anything for granted.

Kahne's attorneys ask judge to throw out Ford's suit (AP)
Attorneys for Kasey Kahne asked a federal judge to throw out Ford's breach-of-contract lawsuit against the NASCAR driver, one of his lawyers said Tuesday. U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland in Detroit was to hear arguments on the request Wednesday, attorney David Baum said from New York. Ford sued Kahne in Wayne County Circuit Court in July 2004, the county where the Michigan automaker is...

Skinner has top speed at Brickyard testing Monday (AP)
Mike Skinner recorded the top speed Monday in testing for the Brickyard 400 with a lap of 180.692 mph at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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