Friday’s Sports in Brief
WASHINGTON (AP) — San Diego Padres dynamo Fernando Tatis Jr., one of the brightest, freshest stars in all of Major League Baseball, was suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
MLB said Tatis tested positive for Clostebol, an anabolic steroid. Tatis said he accidentally took a medication to treat ringworm that contained the banned substance.
The penalty imposed by MLB was effective immediately, meaning the shortstop — who had been out the entire season because of a broken wrist but was expected to return to the playoff contenders next week — cannot play in the majors this year.
Tatis will miss the remaining 48 regular-season games this year and the first 32 next year. Any postseason games the Padres play this year would count toward the 80 that Tatis must sit out.
The 23-year-old Tatis, who signed a $340 million, 14-year contract before the 2021 season, became one of the most prominent players ever penalized for performance-enhancing drugs, along with Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez. The penalty will cost Tatis about $2.9 million.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Deshaun Watson apologized before his preseason debut with the Cleveland Browns and then got an earful from opposing fans.
Watson apologized “ to all the women I have impacted ” after being accused by two dozen women of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions.
Potentially facing a year-long suspension, Watson publicly expressed remorse and contrition for the first time since he was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting the women during therapy sessions in 2020 and 2021.
He spoke before the team’s exhibition opener, a 24-13 victory at Jacksonville (0-2) in which Watson was roundly booed during three series of work. Fans in one end zone could be heard chanting vulgarities at Watson during his first drive.
The three-time Pro Bowler completed 1 of 5 passes for 7 yards in his first game action since Jan. 3, 2021, with Houston.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson injured his right knee in the first quarter of a 24-21 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
After going back to pass with 4:29 left in the period, Wilson was flushed out of the pocket and scrambled to his right for 7 yards, but went down after the play. He appeared to injure his knee when planting to cut on Philadelphia’s grass field.
After being checked by trainers, Wilson limped to the sideline on his own power before heading to the locker room.
After the game, Jets coach Robert Saleh said the initial tests on Wilson showed the ACL “is supposed to be intact,” but the team is waiting for the MRI on Saturday.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Len Dawson, the 87-year-old Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title, has entered hospice care in Kansas City.
KMBC-TV, the Kansas City station where Dawson began his broadcasting career in 1966, confirmed Dawson is in hospice care through his wife, Linda.
The MVP of the Chiefs’ 23-7 Super Bowl victory over Minnesota in January 1970, Dawson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987 and received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2012.
From Alliance, Ohio, Dawson starred at Purdue and was selected fifth overall by Pittsburgh in the 1957 NFL draft. After seeing limited time in the NFL in three seasons with the Steelers and two with Cleveland, he joined the Dallas Texans in the American Football League in 1962, reuniting with former Purdue assistant coach Hank Stram.
Dawson moved with the team to Kansas City the following season and remained the Chiefs’ starting quarterback until retiring in 1975.
In addition to his work at KMBC where he was the station’s first sports anchor, Dawson was a game analyst for NBC and the Chiefs’ radio network and hosted HBO’s “Inside the NFL” show.
PARIS (AP) — Seven-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi was omitted from the 30-man list of nominees for the prestigious award for the first time since 2005.
The Argentina great edged out Poland striker Robert Lewandowski for the Ballon d’Or last year but wasn’t nominated this time after an underwhelming first season at Paris Saint-Germain.
The 35-year-old forward also won the prize in 2019 — it was not held in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Neymar also missed the cut this time.
Lewandowski, Kylian Mbappé, Karim Benzema, Erling Haaland and five-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo were all included, as were Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Kevin De Bruyne, Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
Alexia Putellas, Ada Hegerberg, Sam Kerr and Vivianne Miedema were on the list of 20 female nominees. United States players Alex Morgan, Catarina Macario and Trinity Rodman were also named.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — J.J. Spaun hopes he’s only getting started on the road to the FedEx Cup finale. Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth will have to wait another week.
As for Jason Day, his season is over.
Spaun made a late birdie for a 3-under 67 to take a one-shot lead in the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the opening event in the PGA Tour postseason that no longer has three of its biggest stars for the weekend at the TPC Southwind.
Scheffler, the Masters champion and No. 1 player for the last five months, never quite recovered from what he could only describe as an “out-of-body experience” with his putting in the first round. He had birdie chances on two of the last three holes he couldn’t convert and his 68 was one shot short of making the weekend.
McIlroy went from rough to gallery to fringe to bogey on his last hole for a 69 for only his second missed cut of the year. Spieth’s hopes of playing the weekend ended with a tee shot into the water on the par-3 14th that led to a 74.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Novak Djokovic pulled out of next week’s hard-court tournament in Cincinnati on Friday because he has not gotten any COVID-19 vaccine shots and so is not allowed to travel to the United States.
That is also why Djokovic is not expected to be able to enter the U.S. Open, the year’s last Grand Slam tournament, which begins in New York on Aug. 29.
Djokovic is a 35-year-old from Serbia who owns 21 major championships, one behind Rafael Nadal for the men’s record. Djokovic has said he won’t get vaccinated against the illness caused by the coronavirus, even if that prevents him from playing in certain tournaments. He missed the Australian Open in January after being deported from that country and needed to sit out two events in the United States earlier this year, along with a tournament in Montreal this week.
Unvaccinated foreign citizens can’t go to Canada or the U.S. currently; the Cincinnati tournament’s news release announcing Djokovic’s withdrawal cited “travel restrictions.”
Djokovic has said he was stil holding out hope of being able to enter the U.S. Open, but that would require a change of government policy, which the U.S. Tennis Association says it will adhere to.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Tina Charles had 23 points and nine rebounds, Jewell Loyd scored 21 points and the Seattle Storm secured the No. 4 seed in the WNBA playoffs with a 96-69 victory over the Minnesota Lynx, spoiling Sylvia Fowles’ final regular-season home game.
Seattle (22-13), which closes the season on Sunday against first-place Las Vegas, will host a first-round series next week against the Washington Mystics. Minnesota (14-21) plays at Connecticut on Sunday, hoping for the final playoff spot.
Fowles, who helped Minnesota win two WNBA titles, retires as the league’s career leader in field-goal percentage, rebounds and double-doubles. Fowles came out of the game with two minutes left after recording another double-double and the referees stalled so the crowd could give her a standing ovation. Fowles was also celebrated after the game during a ceremony.
Breanna Stewart finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Briann January added 11 points for Seattle. Loyd set a franchise record with her 73rd 3-pointer of the season, passing Sue Bird’s 72 in 2016.
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