- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 24, 2018

GYMNASTICS SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The NCAA is examining how Michigan State University handled the case of sports doctor Larry Nassar, who faces prison time for sexually assaulting Olympic gymnasts and other young female athletes.

Nassar worked at Michigan State and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. Former Spartan athletes are among the more than 150 women and girls who have spoken over the last week at Nassar’s sentencing. Women’s gymnastics coach Kathie Klages resigned last year after she was suspended for defending Nassar over the years.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said the organization has sent a letter of inquiry to the school “regarding potential NCAA rules violations related to the assaults Larry Nassar perpetrated against girls and young women, including some student-athletes at Michigan State.” She declined further comment in an email to The Associated Press.

A university spokesman confirmed the NCAA had sent a letter, but said he had not seen it and it is being reviewed to prepare a response.



PRO FOOTBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NFL has established a player-owner committee focusing on social and racial justice initiatives that Commissioner Roger Goodell cautions is just a start, with lots of work ahead.

Goodell credited “unprecedented dialogue” for helping players and owners get to the point of Tuesday’s announcement. He said the committee will focus on education, economic development, community and police relations and the criminal justice system.

The league also said it is beginning a “Let’s Listen Together” campaign that includes digital content and commercials highlighting player-led work on equality issues. That platform will include social media support and letters from players and owners.

Owners on the committee are Arizona’s Michael Bidwill, Atlanta’s Arthur Blank, Jacksonville’s Shahid Khan, Cleveland’s Jimmy Haslam and Miami’s Stephen Ross. Current players Chris Long, Josh Norman, and Kelvin Beachum, Pro Football Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams and former player Anquan Boldin are on the committee.

BASEBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Edgar Martinez is rocketing up the Hall of Fame ballot, boosted 13 years after his final swing by new-age statistical analyses and campaigning.

His percentage of the vote more than doubled from 2015 to last year, and he is projected to be around the 75 percent needed for election when this year’s voting is announced Wednesday. He could become only the second Hall of Famer who was primarily a designated hitter.

Martinez received 25.2 percent in 2014, when Frank Thomas became the first player elected after spending the majority of his career as DH, a position instituted in 1973. Martinez rose to 27 percent the following year, 43.4 percent in 2016 and 58.6 percent last year. He is on 77.1 percent of the 231 ballots obtained by Ryan Thibodaux and posted on his Hall of Fame vote-tracker.

Chipper Jones, Jim Thome and Vladimir Guerrero are likely to be overwhelming picks, and Trevor Hoffman could get in, too, after a near-miss last year.

OLYMPICS

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - Anti-Pyongyang activists ripped photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the latest protests in Seoul against South Korea’s outreach to North Korea over next month’s Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Despite drawing verbal outbursts from North Korea, the protests have yet to meaningfully affect preparations for the games, which South Korean President Moon Jae-in views as an opportunity to improve relations after tensions over the North’s nuclear program.

A 15-member North Korean women’s ice hockey team consisting of 12 players, a coach and support staff was scheduled to arrive in South Korea on Thursday to begin training with South Korean athletes for a unified team that will compete at the Olympics.

MOSCOW (AP) - Several of Russia’s top medal hopes for next month’s Olympics, including six-time short-track speedskating gold medalist Viktor Ahn, have been barred from the Pyeongchang Games amid the country’s ongoing doping scandal.

Already depleted by doping bans and forced to compete under a neutral flag, Russia now faces an Olympics without some of its top skiers, figure skaters and sliders after they failed to pass International Olympic Committee vetting.

Five hockey players have also been barred, including former NHL players Sergei Plotnikov, Valeri Nichushkin and Anton Belov.

The exclusions stirred renewed talk of a boycott, though Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said Tuesday the decision to compete by athletes and officials at a meeting last month remained in force.

The chairman of the Russian parliament’s sports committee, however, told The Associated Press that the country needed to “defend out honor.”

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide