- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016


CLEVELAND (AP) - Robert Griffin III is getting a chance to revive a career that once seemed unstoppable.

One of the NFL’s brightest and flashiest stars just a few years ago, Griffin signed a two-year contract with the Cleveland Browns, a franchise on a perpetual mission to find a quarterback. Financial terms were not immediately available.

Griffin hasn’t been the same since his dazzling rookie season in Washington in 2012, when RG3 - possessed with a rocket arm, a tailback’s speed and endless swagger - burst onto pro football’s stage. The Browns, who tried to trade up and select Griffin four years ago, believe he can still lead on and off the field and they’re giving him a chance to revive his career and win their starting job.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - Former NFL and Alabama fullback Kevin Turner died at the age of 46 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Turner’s father released a statement on Facebook announcing the death of the former Crimson Tide standout, which was also posted to the Kevin Turner Foundation’s website.

Turner was drafted by the New England Patriots and went on to play for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1995-1999. He was diagnosed with the neurological disease ALS in 2010.

After the diagnosis Turner served as president of the Kevin Turner Foundation, which seeks to show the potential connections between repeated brain trauma and ALS in athletes.



RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - A spokesman for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics says he’s “confident” the sprawling corruption scandal engulfing Brazil won’t touch projects connected to South America’s first games.

Rio spokesman Mario Andrada was asked about the growing graft investigation in a teleconference call a day after the country’s leading newspapers released scans of spreadsheets showing the giant construction company Odebrecht appeared to make payments to hundreds of leading politicians including Rio state governor Luiz Fernando Pezao and Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes.

“We remain confident that Olympic constructions - at least sports constructions - are not into this whole issue,” Andrada said.

The International Olympic Committee has repeatedly called Paes its key games organizer and a bright spot, as the games have been plagued by countless problems: Severe water pollution; the mosquito-borne Zika virus; and $500 million in cuts to keep the games’ operating budget balanced.

MOSCOW (AP) - Four years later, Jared Tallent can call himself Olympic champion.

When the Australian race walker was beaten to the gold medal at the 2012 London Games by Sergei Kirdyapkin, Tallent believed the Russian was cheating. Last year, Kirdyapkin was handed a retroactive three-year doping ban. But the sanction imposed by the Russian anti-doping agency didn’t cover his results at the Olympics, letting him keep the 50-kilometer gold that Tallent considered should be his.

The Russian ruling was overturned Thursday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, putting Tallent in line to finally claim his gold. All that is left now is for the International Olympic Committee to formally reallocate the medal and for Tallent to get his own belated medal ceremony. The Australian Olympic Committee is already making plans for the presentation, he said.



Johan Cruyff, a soccer star who brought a smile to the face of anyone who watched him play, died. He was 68.

Family spokeswoman Carole Thate told The Associated Press that Cruyff died in Barcelona after a five-month battle with lung cancer.

Ranked alongside such global stars as Pele, Diego Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer and Lionel Messi, Cruyff was one of the best footballers of all time. He learned his trade at Ajax Amsterdam before joining the great Barcelona, and played 48 times for the Netherlands, scoring 33 goals.

Cruyff was more famous for his silky skills than soccer statistics and was the embodiment of “Total Football,” a soccer philosophy that embraced high speed skills and the ability to turn defense into attack in a flash.



NEW YORK (AP) - The NBA says it is “deeply concerned” about a North Carolina law it views as discriminatory toward gays and says it doesn’t know if it can successfully host the All-Star Game in Charlotte next season.

The league joined those opposing the state’s “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act,” which has been criticized because it allows businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians. In a statement, the league says the law “runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect,” adding that it does not know yet “what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte.”

The events are scheduled for next February, and there have already been calls for the league to move them out of North Carolina because of the law.

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