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Armstrong calls EPO report 'hatchet job' (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060913/ap_on_sp_ot/cyc_armstrong_teammates_drugs"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060910/capt.038eeffe606c4b1794564740f6f904d5.ohio_st_texas_football_tx110.jpg?x=130&y=98&sig=os4TCP1PSLvXv_D5N0kOiw--" align="left" height="98" width="130" alt="Lance Armstrong, right, stands on the sidelines with his former wife Kristin before the Ohio State/Texas football game in Austin, Texas, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006. (AP Photo/Harry Cabluck)" border="0" /></a>AP - Lance Armstrong bristled Tuesday at a report that two former teammates admitted using performance-enhancing drugs, calling it "a hatchet job ... to link me to doping through somebody else's admission."</p><br clear="all"/>

DiPietro gloves landmark deal from Isles (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060913/ap_on_sp_ho_ne/hkn_islanders_dipietro"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060912/capt.ed52b7c651da465db987d7d51b5698a9.islanders_dipietro_hockey_nyjs102.jpg?x=88&y=130&sig=zj232Oc51mYDi1p4mdI7gg--" align="left" height="130" width="88" alt="New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro takes questions at a news conference after signing a 15-year, $67.5 million contract with the team at Nassau Colliseum in Uniondale, New York, on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006 (AP Photo/John Smock)" border="0" /></a>AP - The New York Islanders have become the NHL's version of a three-ring circus &#151; and the spotlight keeps shining on the guys in net.</p><br clear="all"/>

Twins' Morneau making case for AL MVP (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060913/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bba_athletics_twins"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060913/capt.6408e481c62348078c696e1b24884fef.athletics_twins_baseball_mnpb107.jpg?x=103&y=130&sig=VIn4VUZeDaHTX6KXCsbssg--" align="left" height="130" width="103" alt="Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer, left, and Michael Cuddyer (5) celebrate after they scored the go-ahead runs against the Oakland Athletics on a Justin Morneau double during the eighth inning in a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006, in Minneapolis. The Twins won 7-5. (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)" border="0" /></a>AP - Justin Morneau, making a case for the AL MVP award, came through in the clutch again Tuesday night for the Twins.</p><br clear="all"/>

Braves' division title streak ends at 14 (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060913/ap_on_sp_ba_ne/bbn_braves_end_of_the_streak"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060912/capt.8fa686460d93485fad1012f17d3f16b3.cubs_braves_baseball_gags108.jpg?x=130&y=98&sig=VlHqjsXxrZPwx1qhjIb.Jw--" align="left" height="98" width="130" alt="Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, center, scratches his head as he leaves the mound after talking to starter John Smoltz, not pictured, as Edgar Renteria, left, and umpire Jeff Kellogg, right, look on during the third inning against the Chicago Cubs in a baseball game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2006, at Turner Field in Atlanta. Smoltz asked the umpires to temporarily stop the game because of a problem. He was pulled from the game later in the inning. (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)" border="0" /></a>AP - It had to end sometime.</p><br clear="all"/>

Yanks' Abreu drives in 7; Matsui returns (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060913/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bba_devil_rays_yankees"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060913/capt.638603be73ba416da826f9857ee5d8b7.devil_rays_yankees_baseball_nyeb118.jpg?x=101&y=130&sig=0I3YeDgWCO4Tr50A_3DPsQ--" align="left" height="130" width="101" alt="New York Yankees Bobby Abreu heads toward third base after hitting a three run home run against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during the first inning of their baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006, at Yankee Stadium in New York. (AP Photo/Ed Betz)" border="0" /></a>AP - Bobby Abreu finished off the Devil Rays all by himself &#151; in the first inning. Hideki Matsui kept getting applause all night.</p><br clear="all"/>

Branch finally cashes in with Seahawks (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060913/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_seahawks_branch"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060912/capt.ca43b1a69a6742198181b6ce83175202.seahawks_branch_football_wakc109.jpg?x=76&y=130&sig=P1eM3vEAh_QBzCOr6eroGQ--" align="left" height="130" width="76" alt="Former New England Patriots receiver Deion Branch leaves the news conference after signing a $39 million dollar 6-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks at the NFL Team's headquarters in Kirkland, Wash. on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Kevin P. Casey)" border="0" /></a>AP - Deion Branch doesn't mind his almost $600,000 in New England Patriots fines anymore. His holdout-turned-honeymoon has fixed that. Branch can now write off the fines like a large phone bill after signing a $39 million, six-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday.</p><br clear="all"/>

Cowens joins Pistons as assistant coach (AP)
AP - Dave Cowens joined the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday as an assistant coach, leaving his job as coach and general manager of the WNBA's Chicago Sky.

Mets deal blow to Marlins' playoff hopes (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060913/ap_on_sp_ba_ga_su/bbn_mets_marlins"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060913/capt.92cf080ec95b4ca59bdaf7ed8155fa73.mets_marlins_baseball_mds107.jpg?x=102&y=130&sig=jPnhVyRQckHrMYp9BdH0_A--" align="left" height="130" width="102" alt="New York Mets' Carlos Delgado hits a three-run home run against the Florida Marlins in the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006 in Miami. Paul Lo Duca and Carlos Beltran scored on the home run. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)" border="0" /></a>AP - Carlos Delgado dealt a blow to Florida's wild-card hopes and moved the Mets closer to wrapping up their long-awaited NL East title.</p><br clear="all"/>

Column: How to apologize for a head-butt (AP)
<p><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/sports/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060912/ap_on_sp_so_ne/soc_tim_dahlberg"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20060910/capt.xjb10609102253.france_soccer_zidane_head_butt_xjb106.jpg?x=97&y=130&sig=clKP91d2U9g2nNpUBR_Chg--" align="left" height="130" width="97" alt="Former France player Zinedine Zidane watches a French League match between Paris St Germain and Olympique Marseille at Parc des Princes stadium in Paris Sunday, Sept. 10, 2006. Zidane says he has put his World Cup final head-butt behind him. Zidane, who retired from soccer after the World Cup, also said Sunday he was glad to see France beat Italy 3-1 in a European Championship qualifier last week, two months after Les Bleus lost to the Italians in the World Cup final. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)" border="0" /></a>AP - Marco Materazzi thought it would be nice if Zinedine Zidane dropped by his house and said he was sorry over a few cappuccinos. Heck, if Zidane wanted, he could probably even bring his sister along.</p><br clear="all"/>

Flyers' Primeau could be set to retire (AP)
AP - Nearly 11 months after Keith Primeau suffered a concussion that cost him most of last season, the former Philadelphia Flyers captain is expected to make a decision about his future before the end of the week.

Looks are deceiving
Daunte Culpepper can read defenses, but he definitely has a problem when facing multiple-front looks.

Seahawks sign Branch for 6 years, $39M (AP)
Deion Branch doesn't mind his almost $600,000 in New England Patriots fines anymore. His holdout-turned-honeymoon has fixed that. Branch can now write off the fines like a large phone bill after signing a $39 million, six-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday. "I was losing a lot of money," Branch said.

Pats file tampering charge against Jets (AP)
The New England Patriots have filed a tampering charge against the Jets in connection with New York's talks with wide receiver Deion Branch. The move was confirmed Tuesday by a person within the league familiar with the situation who asked anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject.

Redskins OT Jansen to meet with NFL (AP)
Washington Redskins offensive tackle Jon Jansen will meet soon with NFL officials to discuss his allegations that a number of NFL players use human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday in New York that a date for the meeting had not been set.

Chiefs prepare to play without Green (AP)
Even Lia Edwards is beginning to think that wherever her husband goes, something bad happens to quarterbacks. Last year, Chad Pennington lasted only three games, and by the end of the season coach Herm Edwards had played five New York Jets quarterbacks. The Jets finished a dismal 4-12. This season, Edwards' first in Kansas City, Trent Green lasted less than three quarters before sustaining a severe...

ESPN gets highest rating ever for MNF (AP)
ESPN's first regular-season Monday night NFL game under the new contract drew the cable network's biggest audience ever. The game between the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins, won 19-16 by Minnesota, drew a 9.9 rating, representing an average of between nearly 9.2 million and 12.57 million households, the network said.

Chargers pleased with romp over Raiders (AP)
Quarterback Philip Rivers and coach Marty Schottenheimer liked almost everything about their 27-0 romp over the hapless Oakland Raiders. There was the usual nitpicking that only a head coach could offer, and a bit of self-criticism by a guy who made his first NFL start. Otherwise, "I think we were pretty efficient in every area," Schottenheimer said on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the Chargers...

Jags put DE Hayward on injured reserve (AP)
The Jacksonville Jaguars placed defensive end Reggie Hayward on injured reserve Tuesday, two days after he ruptured his left Achilles' tendon. Hayward led the team with 8 1/2 sacks and 59 quarterback pressures last season. He also had 47 tackles and two forced fumbles. To replace Hayward, the Jaguars signed rookie defensive tackle Montavious Stanley to their active roster.

Bengals WR Henry avoids jail time (AP)
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry avoided jail time by pleading guilty Tuesday to a concealed weapon charge. In exchange for the plea, Henry will be on probation for two years, serve 100 hours of community service, attend a firearms safety class and forfeit the 9 mm gun he pulled during a skirmish in downtown Orlando.

Lions sign WR Hakim to one-year contract (AP)
The Detroit Lions on Tuesday signed free agent wide receiver Az-Zahir Hakim to a one-year contract. Hakim was with Detroit from 2002-04. During his career, he has played in 104 games, getting 299 receptions for 4,044 yards and 28 touchdowns. He's carried the ball 30 times for 197 yards and one touchdown.

Makes and Misses: Red, white and … boo?
In the latest mailbag, Team USA had more than its share of critics from around the world.

Report: Kukoc says he's likely to retire (AP)
NBA veteran Toni Kukoc is likely to retire after failing to interest the Milwaukee Bucks or Chicago Bulls in signing him. "It looks like I'm done," Kukoc told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday after playing in a charity golf tournament. "There are teams that want me, but I don't want to go far from home." Kukoc lives in Highland Park, Ill., and the Bulls and Bucks are the two closest teams.

Ann Meyers becomes Mercury GM, Suns VP (AP)
Basketball Hall of Famer Ann Meyers has been coaxed away from her successful broadcast career to become general manager of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and vice president of the NBA's Phoenix Suns. "I have been pursued the last 10 years by the league and different teams, but it just was not the right timing," Meyers said at a news conference Tuesday.

Magic G Redick gets probation for DWI (AP)
J.J. Redick pleaded guilty Monday to drunken driving charges and received a one-year sentence of unsupervised probation. The former Duke basketball star also received a 60-day suspended license in North Carolina, $410 in fees and court costs and must perform 24 hours of community service, according to Candy Clark, administrative assistant to District Attorney Mike Nifong.

Cowens leaves WNBA's Sky for Pistons (AP)
Dave Cowens joined the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday as an assistant coach, leaving his job as coach and general manager of the WNBA's Chicago Sky. A Hall of Fame center with the Boston Celtics in the 1970s, Cowens' last NBA coaching job was with the Golden State Warriors from 2000-02. "We are pleased to add Dave Cowens to our coaching staff," said Joe Dumars, Pistons president of basketball...

Cavs finalize $23M deal with F Gooden (AP)
The Cavaliers finally got Drew Gooden's autograph. Almost one month after he agreed to terms of a three-year, $23 million contract, Gooden signed the deal Monday, giving the club a power forward it believes can get it further into the playoffs. The signing of Gooden's deal was delayed so he could get a physical, and so his agents could finalize details on the package.

Heat waive veteran G Derek Anderson (AP)
The Miami Heat waived veteran reserve guard Derek Anderson Tuesday, meaning the defending NBA champions will not be bringing their entire roster from last season into this year's camp. Anderson came to the Heat on Feb. 23 and appeared in 23 regular-season games, averaging 5.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists.

Celtics sign C Perkins to extension (AP)
Kendrick Perkins signed a multiyear contract extension Monday with the Boston Celtics after the center had the best of his three seasons with the team. "It is great to have one of our building blocks secured for the next few years," said Danny Ainge, the Celtics' executive director of basketball operations.

Isles give DiPietro 15-year, $67.5M deal (AP)
The New York Islanders have become the NHL's version of a three-ring circus -- and the spotlight keeps shining on the guys in net. "I guess it's pretty beneficial to be a goaltender on Long Island right now," Rick DiPietro said Tuesday, moments after signing the longest playing contract in NHL history.

Flyers C Primeau could be set to retire (AP)
Nearly 11 months after Keith Primeau suffered a concussion that cost him most of last season, the former Philadelphia Flyers captain is expected to make a decision about his future before the end of the week. After delivering one tearful goodbye already this year, Primeau is faced with the harsh reality that his career could be over because of lingering symptoms from a hard hit to the head.

Oilers, Lupul agree to three-year deal (AP)
The Edmonton Oilers re-signed winger Joffrey Lupul for a contract worth about $6.9 million over three years. The restricted free agent, who turns 23 next week, was acquired in the Chris Pronger deal with Anaheim earlier this summer. Lupul, who made $900,600 last year, had 28 goals and 25 assists in 81 games with the Ducks, his second in the NHL.

Flyers sign LW Gagne to five-year deal (AP)
Simon Gagne signed a multiyear contract and is heading to Philadelphia as fast as he can. "I am pretty excited today and I cannot wait to pack up my stuff and drive to Philly (Tuesday)," Gagne said. Gagne should feel free to splurge on that premium gas. The Flyers re-signed their leading scorer to a five-year contract Monday night, ending a summer of difficult negotiations right before the start of...

Predators give G Vokoun $22.8M extension (AP)
The Nashville Predators made sure goaltender Tomas Vokoun knows exactly how much they appreciate him. A franchise that lost in the opening round of the playoffs last spring with Vokoun out because of blood clots announced Monday they have signed the 30-year-old goalie to a four-year extension and given him the franchise's richest contract ever at $22.8 million.

Bruins F Tom Fitzgerald retires (AP)
Boston Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald, a veteran of 17 NHL seasons and seven teams, announced his retirement Tuesday. A 38-year-old native of suburban Billerica, Fitzgerald was the 17th overall pick of the New York Islanders in 1986. He played two seasons at Providence College and played his first full NHL season in 1992-93 with the Islanders before going to the Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche,...

Kesler signs offer sheet with Flyers (AP)
Free-agent center Ryan Kesler signed a one-year offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. The Canucks can either match the Flyers' offer or take a second-round pick from the Flyers next year. Kesler, 22, had 10 goals and 13 assists in 82 games with Vancouver last season. In two seasons with the Canucks, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Kesler had 12 goals and 16 assists in 110 games.

NASCAR Tip Sheet
Richard Childress' stock is on the rise as the "regular season" comes to an end, but Roger Penske's is not.

Kenseth won't change much in first Chase race (AP)
Well, the Chase is finally here and now all anyone wants to ask me is, ``How do you approach it?''

Park planned in Alabama by Earnhardts (AP)
Plans for a motorsports and entertainment park on the Alabama coast were announced Tuesday by an investor group led by Dale Earnhardt Jr., along with sister Kelley Earnhardt Elledge and brother Kerry Earnhardt in their first professional collaboration.

Grubb suspended again for refusing drug test (AP)
NASCAR suspended Kevin Grubb indefinitely on Tuesday because he refused to submit to a random drug test following the Busch Series race at Richmond International Speedway.

Petty Enterprises gets new crew chiefs (AP)
Petty Enterprises hired two new crew chiefs Monday as the team said it will use the final 10 races of this season to prepare for 2007.

Martin might not be done driving, after all (AP)
With zero titles in an otherwise storied career, Mark Martin again heads into the Chase for the championship as the sentimental favorite. This is supposed to be his final full-time season, his last chance to make a desperate grab at an elusive NASCAR crown.

Harvick grows into title contender (AP)
Nothing was easy for Kevin Harvick from his very first day at NASCAR's highest level.

Stewart folds at Richmond, misses cut for Chase (SportsTicker)
RICHMOND, Virginia (Ticker) - Far away from all the hoopla, celebration and screaming fans on pit road, Tony Stewart's team quietly pushed its Chevrolet Monte Carlo to the garage.

Harvick wins at Richmond, Stewart misses Chase (SportsTicker)

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