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NEW YORK | Track coach and agent Mark Block is preparing an appeal of his 10-year, doping-related suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Last week, an arbitration panel suspended Block for 10 years after finding he trafficked in drugs supplied by the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and provided them to his wife, sprinter Zhanna Block.

A statement issued by Block’s attorney Tuesday says the panel was incorrect in finding Block engaged in drug trafficking.

The statement says the decision “misstated the evidence” and that a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s press release announcing the suspension “compounded the error by overstating the decision.”

USADA responded by saying, “Anyone who has read the panel’s full, detailed decision can see that USADA’s announcement is entirely consistent with the panel’s ruling.”

BASEBALL

Rangers’ first championship ring will go to Vandergriff family

ARLINGTON, Texas | The first recipient of an American League championship ring from the Texas Rangers will be the family of the late Tom Vandergriff, the former Arlington mayor who lured the team from Washington nearly four decades ago.

Vandergriff’s family will be given a 2010 championship ring during the team’s welcome home luncheon March 31. That is the day before the Rangers play their season opener at home against Boston, and two days before Texas players, coaches and staff will receive their rings in a pregame ceremony.

“It is only fitting that the first recipient of a 2010 AL Championship ring is the Vandergriff family,” Rangers president and CEO Nolan Ryan said. “The passion and determined efforts of Tom Vandergriff made the Texas Rangers a reality nearly 40 years ago. Because of his work, we are able to celebrate an AL Championship.”

The Rangers also plan a moment of silence in Vandergriff’s memory before the season opener.

Vandergriff died at age 84 of natural causes Dec. 30, two months after he attended the Rangers’ AL pennant-clinching victory over the New York Yankees that earned the team’s first World Series berth in its 50-season history.