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Backup doping test begins in Landis case (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060803/ap_on_sp_ot/cyc_landis_doping"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060802/capt.691a501e4cdd498e92dee99b9909e832.france__landis_doping_dlm101.jpg?x=130&y=85&sig=5BacaNF7ljCPgka3aNgonw--" align="left" height="85" width="130" alt="Outside view of the National Anti-Doping Laboratory located in Chatenay Malabry, South of Paris, Wednesday Aug 2, 2006. Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, whose initial doping tests turned up positive, gets another chance to clear his name when a second set is expected to be released on Saturday by the French Laboratory.(AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)" border="0" /></a>AP - Testing began Thursday on Tour de France winner Floyd Landis' backup doping sample, and one of his lawyers reiterated he expects it, too, will show elevated testosterone levels.</p><br clear="all"/>

Wie, Webb struggle in opening round (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060803/ap_on_sp_go_su/glf_women_s_british_open"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060803/capt.7d85b9e59b16432081501a3a6131f379.britain_golf_womens_british_open_lmd814.jpg?x=109&y=130&sig=92PXjnEQLH0YEM53RsEq9w--" align="left" height="130" width="109" alt="Michelle Wie of the US tees off on the 16th hole during the first round of the Women's British Open golf tournament at Royal Lytham and St Annes golf course in Lytham, north west England Thursday, Aug. 3, 2006. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)" border="0" /></a>AP - Michelle Wie started with three bogeys and finished with a birdie for a 2-over 74 Thursday in the opening round of the Women's British Open. By the time she walked off the 18th green at Royal Lytham, Wie was four strokes off the early clubhouse lead shared by Allison Hanna, Nina Reis and Europe's leading money winner this year, Gwladys Nocera.</p><br clear="all"/>

Jockey gets 1-day ban for head-butt (AP)
AP - Jockey Paul O'Neill was given a one-day ban Thursday by the sport's governing body in Britain for head-butting his horse before a race.

Top two teams in NL Central lose again (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060803/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_nl_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060803/capt.af7833cb07a142268078c9d6e3fdd3d0.phillies_cardinals_baseball_sts114.jpg?x=80&y=130&sig=XOlOhV1TUiqwgHUOhMy8sw--" align="left" height="130" width="80" alt="Philadelphia Phillies' Jimmy Rollins watches his ninth-inning three-run homer against the St. Louis Cardinals' Josh Hancock on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Rollins' home run also scored Chris Roberson and Abraham Nunez. The Phillies won 16-8.(AP Photo/Kyle Ericson)" border="0" /></a>AP - The St. Louis Cardinals can't seem to take control of the National League Central. Luckily for them, the second-place Cincinnati Reds are struggling, too.</p><br clear="all"/>

Another game-ending hit for the Red Sox (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060803/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bba_al_rdp"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060803/capt.616fb42abde74dd3926932c0dfa90e11.indians_red_sox_baseball_bxf108.jpg?x=130&y=97&sig=2bz5G3nDL_Te.1tkef6iuA--" align="left" height="97" width="130" alt="Boston Red Sox's Mark Loretta, center, celebrates with teammates Jonathan Pabelbon, left, and Alex Gonzalez after hitting a game-winning double off Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona in the ninth inning of a baseball game at Boston's Fenway Park, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006. Loretta brought in two players to give the Red Sox a 6-5 win over the Indians. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)" border="0" /></a>AP - David Ortiz had a different view of a familiar situation.</p><br clear="all"/>

Dallas' Rayfied Wright headed for Hall (AP)
AP - Two years into his NFL career, Rayfield Wright wasn't doing much for the Dallas Cowboys as a backup tight end.

NBA changes seeding format for playoffs (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060803/ap_on_sp_bk_ne/bkn_nba_rules_changes"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060802/capt.e9fe47ae8327469eaa0f5128de240137.usa_basketball__nvlr111.jpg?x=84&y=130&sig=JKJP695iGIRoiA2iSw_aCw--" align="left" height="130" width="84" alt="Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, runs sprints on the court following a team practice of the men's USA basketball team in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006.The USA will play Puerto Rico in an exhibition match on Thursday. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch" border="0" /></a>AP - The NBA is changing the way teams are seeded in the postseason, looking to avoid the controversy that surrounded last season's playoffs.</p><br clear="all"/>

Kim confuses Brewers as Rockies win 8-2 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060803/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_brewers_rockies"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060803/capt.3d84bf49353a4784ad2e39242500a2ac.brewers_rockies_baseball_dxf103.jpg?x=130&y=97&sig=UXAoKxYmWt7KaJqRLvx2.A--" align="left" height="97" width="130" alt="Colorado Rockies' Byung-Hyun Kim of South Korea delivers a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers in the first inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)" border="0" /></a>AP - The Milwaukee Brewers' lineup struggled to figure out Byung-Hyun Kim. A lot of hitters have had that problem recently.</p><br clear="all"/>

England's new coach faces difficult task (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060802/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_england_mcclaren"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060802/capt.40be495a7d0c4bdf8606dd541db92517.soccer_england_mcclaren_th105.jpg?x=103&y=130&sig=UH08qzlEUzDCZ_3lwUQFHQ--" align="left" height="130" width="103" alt="England's manager Sven Goran Eriksson, left, and his coach Steve McClaren are pictured during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match England against Portugal, in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, in this July 1, 2006 photo. McClaren, successor to the derided Eriksson, is the new man in charge of one of the biggest underacheivers in the game faces an almost impossible situation. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)" border="0" /></a>AP - The signs weren't good when fans hoisted "McClaren Out" banners at the World Cup. That was in June. Steve McClaren didn't become England's new soccer coach until Tuesday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Blues sign free-agent Rucinsky (AP)
AP - The St. Louis Blues signed free-agent forward Martin Rucinsky on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

No longer offensive
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. &ndash; With gifted athletes at the skill positions, the Jaguars' offense may finally match their talented defense.

Cowboys sign S Roy Williams through 2010 (AP)
Take it from Terrell Owens: Roy Williams is such a hard-hitter that offensive players look for him before the ball is snapped so they can try avoiding the star safety. Teams can't ever have enough guys like that. So on Wednesday, the Dallas Cowboys made sure he's theirs for awhile by giving him a five-year deal worth $25.2 million, with $11.1 million guaranteed.

Lurie: Signing Owens was a mistake (AP)
Now that Terrell Owens is gone from Philadelphia, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie says it was a mistake to sign the outspoken wide receiver. "I would not do it again," Lurie said Wednesday in his annual state-of-the-team address. "You look back on it -- one year great, the second year a disaster. Nobody should be able to be as disruptive and really cut the energy of the team down.

Bucs CB Barber signs contract extension (AP)
All-Pro cornerback Ronde Barber signed a five-year contract extension Wednesday that he hopes will give him an opportunity to play his entire career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 10th-year pro was entering the final year of a six-year contract he signed after the 2000 season. The new deal is worth up to $24 million.

Saints deal RB Michael Bennett to Chiefs (AP)
The Kansas City Chiefs acquired running back Michael Bennett from the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, but insisted that didn't mean Priest Holmes would retire. Holmes, holder of many Chiefs rushing and touchdown records, is being held out of contact by doctors because of a neck and spinal cord injury he sustained in a game last October at San Diego.

Jets starting QB race remains wide open (AP)
Though Chad Pennington has outplayed his competition for the open quarterback job, New York Jets coach Eric Mangini insists he has yet to make a decision on a starter. Mangini said Wednesday he will continue with the four-man rotation of Pennington, Patrick Ramsey, Brooks Bollinger and rookie Kellen Clemens during training camp, refuting a published report that Pennington had already won the job...

Bruschi misses practice with hurt wrist (AP)
New England linebacker Tedy Bruschi missed his fourth consecutive practice Wednesday because of what coach Bill Belichick termed a "probably" sore wrist. Bruschi is listed as day-to-day. The extent of the injury is unclear, but the Boston Herald on Wednesday reported that the wrist might be fractured and Bruschi would be sidelined at least a week while the team determined the severity of the...

Source: Bills, Whitner are $1.1M apart (AP)
Rookie safety Donte Whitner and the Buffalo Bills are $1.1 million apart in negotiations to sign the No. 8 draft pick, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The Bills' last offer included $12.9 million guaranteed on a five-year deal while Whitner is seeking closer to $14 million, the person told the AP, speaking on the condition of anonymity because negotiations...

Pro-American sentiment
LAS VEGAS &ndash; Mike Krzyzewski is wisely acting more like a pro coach, adjusting his style to Team USA's wealth of NBA talent.

NBA changes seeding format for playoffs (AP)
The NBA is changing the way teams are seeded in the postseason, looking to avoid the controversy that surrounded last season's playoffs. Under the change, the top four seeds -- the three division winners and the second-place team with the best record -- will be seeded according to their win-loss total, guaranteeing that the top two teams in each conference can't meet until the conference finals,...

Shaq, Kobe to meet on Christmas again (AP)
Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant will spend another Christmas together. The former teammates will meet on Dec. 25 for the third straight season, as the NBA champion Miami Heat host the Los Angeles Lakers in the lone game on the holiday. That was one of the highlights of the 2006-07 NBA schedule, released by the league Tuesday.

U.S. team impressive vs. Puerto Rico (AP)
Kobe Bryant grabbed a seat about five rows behind the basket, close enough to admire the powerful dunks Dwyane Wade and Dwight Howard threw down in the third quarter. Problem is, Bryant wanted to be playing with those guys, not watching them. Knee surgery put that plan on hold. Instead, he had to settle for observing the U.S.

Bulls sign picks Thomas, Sefolosha (AP)
The Chicago Bulls signed first-round draft picks Tyrus Thomas and Thabo Sefolosha on Tuesday. Details of the contracts were not disclosed. The 6-foot-9 Thomas, who LSU to the Final Four and averaged 12.3 points and nine rebounds as a redshirt freshman, was drafted No. 4 overall by Portland and then traded to the Bulls.

Mavs, George agree on two-year contract (AP)
The Dallas Mavericks agreed Tuesday to a two-year, $4.2 million contract with Devean George, bolstering their defense with a three-time NBA champion capable of competing for a starting job. George was headed to Dallas for a physical that would seal the deal, which included a player option for the second season.

Timberwolves re-sign F Justin Reed (AP)
The Minnesota Timberwolves re-signed restricted free agent forward Justin Reed to a multiyear contract on Wednesday. The Wolves made Reed, who was acquired in the seven-player January trade that sent Wally Szczerbiak to Boston, a qualifying offer on June 30 and had the right to match any contract offer made to him by another team.

Former 76ers owner Dixon dies at 82 (AP)
Fitz Eugene Dixon Jr., a former owner of the Philadelphia 76ers who also served in a variety of civic leadership positions, died Wednesday of a form of skin cancer. He was 82. Dixon died at Abington Memorial Hospital, according to Helweg Funeral Service of Jenkintown, which is handling arrangements. Dixon is perhaps best know for bringing Julius Erving to town in 1976 by paying the basketball star...

Trooper charged in gambling ring resigns (AP)
A day before he was to appear in court, a New Jersey state trooper charged with running a gambling ring resigned Wednesday from the state police. Trooper James Harney said in a letter posted on his lawyer's Web site that "my personal judgment has been severely flawed" and apologized for "the disgrace which I have placed upon the Division, myself and my family." In the letter, Harney didn't spell...

Sabres' Dumont gets $2.9M in arbitration (AP)
Buffalo Sabres forward J.P. Dumont was awarded a one-year, $2.9 million contract in salary arbitration on Wednesday, driving the team's escalating payroll even higher. A seven-year NHL veteran, Dumont received a $1.3 million raise over last season, when he registered 20 goals and 20 assists. Dumont reached 20 goals for the fourth time despite missing 28 games after he had surgery to repair a sports...

Blues sign free-agent F Rucinsky (AP)
The St. Louis Blues signed free-agent forward Martin Rucinsky on Wednesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "We have added a veteran goal scorer with proven leadership skills," Blues president John Davidson said. "We are happy to have an opportunity to acquire a player of Martin's ability and look forward to his second stint with the St.

Sabres give Afinogenov three-year deal (AP)
Maxim Afinogenov agreed to a three-year, $10 million contract with the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, the team avoiding what could have been an expensive salary arbitration hearing with the forward. Afinogenov will make $3 million next season and $3.5 million in each of the last two years. The deal represents a significant raise over the $1.086 million he made in leading the Sabres with a career-high...

No. 3 pick Toews to stay in college (AP)
Jonathan Toews, the No. 3 pick in the NHL draft, will return to the University of North Dakota for his sophomore season instead of joining the Chicago Blackhawks. "A huge part of my future," Toews said Wednesday of his decision to go back to school. "It's definitely going to be a blast and something I don't want to miss out on." Toews turned down a $935,000 offer from Chicago.

Rangers D Tyutin agrees to two-year deal (AP)
The Rangers and defenseman Fedor Tyutin agreed to terms Wednesday on a two-year contract. Tyutin, who was a restricted free agent, will earn $950,000 in the upcoming season and $1.025 million in 2007-08. The 23-year-old blue-liner had six goals and 19 assists in 77 games last season. He was first among New York defensemen with four power-play goals, tied for first in overall goals, and second in...

Preds, F Hartnell agree on one-year deal (AP)
The Nashville Predators avoided salary arbitration with Scott Hartnell on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with the forward on a one-year, $1.75 million deal. Hartnell, 24, had a career-high 25 goals last season and a team-record eight winning goals. The left winger also had career highs in points (48) and power-play goals (10).

Trading Paint: The good, the bad and the ugly
Well wishes for Benny Parsons, scorn for Tony Stewart and questions about Robert Yates Racing filled this week's mailbag.

Golf drive, vs. car drive; Duval and Tracy try each other's sport (AP)
Paul Tracy and David Duval each tried out a different kind of driving Wednesday. In the morning, Duval took a spin with Tracy in a Mustang GT pace car for the Grand Prix of Denver. In the afternoon, Tracy got "driving" tips from Duval at Castle Pines Golf Club, site of The International. Both events will take place next weekend and the dual driving competition highlighted a novel co-promotion...

Indy racing to come to Iowa Speedway (AP)
Indy racing is coming to Iowa. The Indy Racing League announced Wednesday that the Iowa Speedway, which was co-designed by former NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace, will host its first Indy races in June 2007. The IndyCAR Series will run a 250-mile race on June 24, one day after the IndyPro Series holds a 100-mile event.

Two crew chiefs out at Robert Yates Racing (SportsTicker)
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) - The confusion continues at Robert Yates Racing.

Crew chiefs released at Robert Yates Racing (AP)
Robert Yates Racing released crew chiefs Tommy Baldwin and Slugger Labbe from their contracts Monday, adding to the turmoil that has recently befallen the once-proud team.

NASCAR pleased with first unleaded fuel test (AP)
NASCAR officials were pleased Monday with their first test of unleaded fuel and remain on schedule to have the gas in all of its series by 2007.

Gilliland's Busch Series team folds (AP)
The Busch Series team that put David Gilliland on the NASCAR map folded Monday, an indication that the upstart driver has accepted a better ride.

Earnhardt must get back to work if he wants to make the Chase (AP)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. spent his final off weekend at Will Ferrell's movie premiere, judged a Miss Hooters pageant in Las Vegas, then returned home to host a get-together for his online racing league.

Edwards catches Hamlin late to win Busch Series Gateway 200 (SportsTicker)

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