■ BaseballSteroid penalties imposed
Major League Baseball will begin penalizing players for steroid use next season after learning that more than 5 percent of this year's tests came back positive. Suspicions of steroid use had run high recently as bulked-up sluggers set all sorts of home run records. Stars such as Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa denied taking the drugs. But on Thursday, the results came back and proved what many in MLB assumed -- and what former MVPs Jose Canseco and Ken Caminiti already had admitted: Some players were taking more than vitamins. "Hopefully, this will, over time, allow us to completely eradicate the use of performance enhancement substances in baseball," commissioner Bud Selig said. MLB said of 1,438 anonymous tests this season, between 5 and 7 percent were positive.
Extradition moves forward
A court ruled on Thursday that the son of a high-ranking South Korean IOC member being held in a Bulgarian prison would be released and placed under house arrest as he awaits extradition to the US on charges related to the Salt Lake City Olympic bribery scandal. Judge Keti Markova annulled a lower court decision to hold the suspect, John Kim, in police custody, arguing that the charges brought against him were not serious enough to merit keeping him detained.
Markova ordered that Kim be placed under "the softer form of detention, namely -- house arrest." She acted on an appeal by Kim, who has protested being held in prison since his arrest last May. The South Korean embassy submitted written guarantees that he will not try to flee if released from prison. The US wants Kim extradited on charges of fraud and document forgery allegedly committed from 1995-1999 in New York.
Ferdinand denies charge
England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand formally denied misconduct charges filed against him by the English Football Association over a missed drug test. Ferdinand waited until Thursday's deadline to respond and, as expected, requested a personal hearing on the charges. If found guilty of a serious doping offense, he faces a ban ranging from several months to a maximum of two years. "Rio Ferdinand has responded to the charge issued on Oct. 29," the English FA said in a statement. "He has denied the charge and requested a personal hearing. A date for the hearing will be scheduled in due course." Ferdinand missed a random drug test at Manchester United's training ground on Sept. 23. He said he simply "forgot" about the test. The FA charged him with "failure or refusal to submit" to the test.