Sports Briefs: Yankess sign Lowe to major league contract

NEW YORK — The Yankees signed Derek Lowe to a major league contract Monday and said they planned to use the right-hander in the bullpen.

Lowe, a 39-year-old sinkerballer, has spent time as a reliever, but mostly has pitched in the rotation for various teams, most recently the Indians. Cleveland designated him for assignment on Aug. 2 and released him Friday. Lowe has a 4.01 ERA in 655 major league games with Seattle, Boston, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta and Cleveland.

BOXING

Former WBA heavyweight champ Dokes dead at 54

AKRON, Ohio — Michael Dokes, a former World Boxing Association heavyweight champion, has died. He was 54. The Rhoden Memorial Home in Akron said Dokes died Saturday. The Akron Beacon Journal reported that the boxer died in an Akron hospice from liver cancer. Known as “Dynamite” Dokes because he packed a powerful punch, the fighter won the WBA title in 1982 by defeating Michael Weaver. He lost the title a year later to Gerrie Coetzee. Dokes had a career record of 53-6-2. A run of legal problems began late in his career, including a 10-year jail sentence in 2000. He was released in 2008.

OLYMPICS

Belarusian shot putter stripped of gold medal

LONDON — Shot putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus became the first athlete to be stripped of a medal at the London Olympics after her gold was withdrawn for doping. Valerie Adams of New Zealand will now take gold and Evgeniia Kolodko of Russia will get silver. Fourth-place finisher Gong Lijiao of China moves up to bronze. The International Olympic Committee said Monday that Ostapchuk tested positive for the steroid metenolone. She won the shot put exactly a week earlier.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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