- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

PRO FOOTBALL

CHICAGO (AP) - Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

It’s the largest update on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a debilitating brain disease that can cause a range of symptoms including memory loss.

The report doesn’t confirm that the condition is common in all football players; it reflects high occurrence in samples at a Boston brain bank that studies CTE. Many donors or their families contributed because of the players’ repeated concussions and troubling symptoms before they died.

The new report was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

CTE was diagnosed in 177 former players or nearly 90 percent of brains studied. That includes 110 of 111 brains from former NFL players; 48 of 53 college players; nine of 14 semi-professional players, seven of eight Canadian Football league players and three of 14 high school players. The disease was not found in brains from two younger players.

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - Former Dallas Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead’s identity was falsely used in a shoplifting arrest, police in his home state of Virginia said.

Prince William County police said they were confident the man charged in a case involving $40 worth of stolen food and drink from a convenience store in June wasn’t Whitehead. The Cowboys released him Monday after reports that he was arrested and subsequently cited for missing a court hearing.

Whitehead’s agent, Dave Rich, contended that his client wasn’t in Virginia at the time of the reported arrest. Police said they are seeking the person who used the identity of Whitehead, whose given name is Rodney Darnell Whitehead Jr. Police said the person arrested June 22 didn’t have an ID but provided a name, date of birth and social security number matching Whitehead’s given name. Officers checked a photo in Virginia’s database of driver’s licenses.

OXNARD, Calif. (AP) - Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman La’el Collins has signed a two-year contract extension worth up to $17.4 million, earning a payday that eluded him when a police investigation kept him from getting drafted two years ago.

Collins, who will get $9.5 million in guaranteed money, was considered a first-round talent out of LSU in 2015 but wasn’t selected after his name surfaced in the probe of a woman’s death just before the NFL draft. He was soon cleared, and chose the Cowboys in free agency on a fully guaranteed $1.5 million, three-year deal.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Receiver Andrew Hawkins says he is retiring from the NFL and donating his brain to research.

The six-year NFL veteran signed with the New England Patriots in May as a free agent. But he said in a video on uninterrupted.com that his body isn’t responding as he prepared for training camp.

The Concussion Legacy Foundation says Hawkins has pledged his brain for research into chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. The degenerative disease is known to cause cognitive and behavioral problems in athletes, members of the military and others who sustained repeated head trauma.

The 31-year-old undrafted free agent out of Toledo played three seasons each with the Bengals and Browns. In 2014 he had career highs of 63 catches and 824 yards. He also helped the Montreal Alouettes win back-to-back Grey Cup championships in the Canadian Football League.

PRO BASKETBALL

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Curry has delivered his share of success already to a franchise that desperately needed it. Now, he’s being paid for all he has done - and certainly will do.

Curry finalized his new contract, signing a $201 million, five-year deal with the champion Golden State Warriors that initially was the richest ever, until James Harden topped it with a $228 million extension from the Rockets.

Considered overlooked and undersized when he arrived on the NBA scene after being drafted seventh overall out of Davidson College in 2009, Curry has silenced the doubters with every spot-on heave from half-court.

The two-time NBA MVP, who earned $12 million this season as one of the league’s biggest bargains, averaged 28.1 points in the playoffs while also contributing 6.7 assists and 6.2 rebounds. Now, he will earn $40 million per season.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green was sued by a couple who claim he and his entourage assaulted them last year in Michigan.

Jermaine Edmondson and Bianca Williams filed the lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages in California’s Alameda County.

The lawsuit claims Green bumped into them at a night club in East Lansing last summer and that the forward bullied Edmondson, who was then a football player at Michigan State University, about how he pays for scholarships for people like him. It claims men in his entourage then physically assaulted him, pushing him against a wall and choking him. When his girlfriend tried to intervene, one of the men pushed her into a wall, the lawsuit says.

The next night they ran into Green at a restaurant and when the couple approached him to make peace, he slapped Edmondson in the face, the lawsuit claims.

CLEVELAND (AP) - Derrick Rose has signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who now have a possible replacement for Kyrie Irving.

Rose is getting a one-year, $2.1 million contract from the Cavaliers. The free agent gives Cleveland a proven player to handle point-guard duties if it chooses to trade Irving. Irving recently told the team he wants to be traded despite making it to three straight NBA Finals.

The 28-year-old Rose now has a chance to compete for a championship alongside LeBron James, a fellow former league MVP.

A three-time All-Star and the 2011 MVP, Rose averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists last season while shooting 48 percent from the field with New York. Although he has been injury prone, Rose played in 64 games for the Knicks and in 181 over the past three seasons.

SWIMMING

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) - Katie Ledecky breezed to her third gold medal of the world championships, backing off a bit on her most grueling night of the meet.

It was left to Lilly King, Kylie Masse and Adam Peaty to take down the swimming record book.

Ledecky captured the 1,500-meter freestyle by more than half the length of the pool on Tuesday, and returned just 49 minutes later to post the fastest time in the semifinals of the 200 free.

BASEBALL

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Infielder Eduardo Nunez was traded from the San Francisco Giants to the Boston Red Sox for minor league right-handers Shaun Anderson and Gregory Santos.

The deal was finalized during San Francisco’s 11-3 win over Pittsburgh and announced after the game.

Nunez started at third base, hit a two-run double and scored twice before he was removed for a pinch hitter in the fifth inning. The infielder, who was hit by a pitch on the left elbow earlier in the game, was shown on television shaking hands with teammates in the Giants’ clubhouse.

The 30-year-old hit .308 in 76 games with San Francisco this season and has reached base safely in 40 of his last 42 games. Nunez drove in 31 runs and had a team-high 17 stolen bases despite being slowed by a hamstring injury this month.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Nationals are hopeful that Stephen Strasburg will make his next scheduled start despite exiting Sunday’s outing after two innings with pain in his forearm.

The right-hander met with team doctors but did not undergo an MRI, Washington manager Dusty Baker said. Team spokeswoman Amanda Comak later told reporters that Strasburg was diagnosed with a nerve impingement that is no longer a problem, without providing further details.

“The doctor said he’s doing fine. Hoping he’ll progress enough to make the next start,” Baker said.

Following Sunday’s start at Arizona, Strasburg described the problem as slight “achiness” in his forearm and said the early exit was a precaution.

Strasburg (10-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 20 starts) is scheduled to start Friday against the Colorado Rockies.

SOCCER

One week after his arrest in a corruption probe, Angel Maria Villar’s three-decade reign of the Spanish Football Federation came to an end when he was suspended from its presidency.

Villar, FIFA’s senior vice president, has been behind bars since police detained him, his son Gorka Villar, and two other football officials during police raids of the national federation headquarters and other properties.

Seeing no sign that Villar was willing to step down from the post he has held since 1988, Spain’s government decided to remove him in an attempt to limit the damage done to the national sport.

The country’s top sports authority, the Higher Council of Sport, met on Tuesday in Madrid and ruled to suspend Villar for one year pending the outcome of the investigation that has rocked Spanish soccer. Court documents indicate that besides misappropriated funds, Villar allegedly corrupted several regional federations by offering favors in exchange for votes.

Council president Jose Ramon Lete said the 14-member board voted unanimously to suspend Villar and federation vice president of economic affairs Juan Padron, also arrested in the Civil Guard’s “Operation Soule.” Lete said the one-year suspensions could be revised “depending on the facts that come out.”

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - One-time Brazil midfielder Ederson says he has testicular cancer and won’t be able to play for his Flamengo club for months.

The disease was detected last Saturday and he will undertake surgery next Monday, the 31-year-old footballer said in a news conference.

Ederson has played for Nice and Lyon in France, and for Lazio in Italy. He represented Brazil once in 2010, and joined Flamengo in 2015.

Flamengo doctor Marcio Tannure said there was a 99 percent chance of total recovery for Ederson, who was contracted to the club to Dec. 31.

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