With some of its biggest stars under suspicion and lawmakers demanding action, Major League Baseball adopted a tougher steroid-testing program that will suspend first-time offenders for 10 days and randomly test players year-round. \nThe agreement was hailed by MLB management and its union Thursday as a huge step forward. But it was criticized by some as not going far enough because the penalties are less harsh than those in Olympic sports and amphetamines were not banned. \n"I've been saying for some time that my goal for this industry is zero tolerance regarding steroids," MLB commissioner Bud Selig said. \nA first positive test would result in a penalty of 10 days, a second positive test in a 30-day ban, a third positive in a 60-day penalty, and a fourth positive test in a one-year ban -- all without pay. A player who tests positive a fifth time would be subject to discipline determined by the commissioner. \n"It's more for our protection than anything else," Boston pitcher Tim Wakefield said. \nUnder the previous agreement, a first positive test resulted only in treatment, and a second positive test was subject to a 15-day suspension. Only with a fifth positive test would a player subject to a one-year ban. \n"It appears to be a significant breakthrough," Senator John McCain said in Washington. \nNo player was suspended for steroid use in 2004, the first season of testing with penalties. \n"We're acting today to help restore the confidence of our fans," Selig said. \nSince the old agreement was reached in 2002, baseball has come under increased scrutiny about steroids. \nBarry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield testified before a federal grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative known as BALCO. President Bush mentioned the steroid problem in last year's State of the Union address. \n"I will be surprised if over time this doesn't take care of the problem virtually completely," union head Donald Fehr said, speaking by telephone from LA. \nThe old deal wasn't due to expire until December 2006, but the union took the rare step of renegotiating a major section of its labor contract. The new rules run until December 2008. \n"I think it's pretty historic that we went into a bargaining agreement and changed something," Minnesota pitcher Kyle Lohse said. "Hopefully, that shows everybody how serious we are about getting steroids out of the game." \nMcCain, who had threatened baseball with legislation, said that is no longer necessary, though he would have preferred a 10-to-15-game suspension for a first offense and a permanent ban for multiple positive tests. \n"I would have liked to see amphetamines added to this list," McCain said. \nWorld Anti-Doping Agency chairman Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1978, said the new rules didn't go far enough. \n"Basically, instead of having to hold up the liquor store five times before you get a one-year suspension, you only have to hold it up four times," he said. "But at least there's some penalty incurred the first time that you're tested, and that's a step forward." \nIn addition to one mandatory test each season, players will be randomly selected for additional tests, with no limit on the number, and for the first time will be subject to random tests during the offseason. In addition, diuretics and many steroid precursors were added to the banned list. \nWADA's Dr. Gary Wadler criticized the failure to address amphetamines.
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
WOLFSBURG BEATEN: Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored from a penalty, his 34th league goal this season, finishing as the top Bundesliga scorer for the fifth time Werder Bremen gave themselves hope of avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga by thrashing Cologne 6-1 to grab a playoff place on the last day of the season, while champions Bayern Munich routed VfL Wolfsburg before lifting the trophy on Saturday. Japan striker Yuya Osako scored twice as Bremen stole the lifeline of the relegation/promotion playoff place from Fortuna Duesseldorf, who lost 3-0 against Union Berlin and were relegated with SC Paderborn, finishing one point behind Bremen. “We put in a great performance under pressure, but we are aware that we haven’t achieved anything — in the relegation playoff, the emotions will be
Dustin Poirier won a thrilling unanimous decision over Dan Hooker on Saturday, surviving a brutal second round and persevering to finish a well-rounded performance in the main event at the UFC’s corporate gym. Mike Perry also ended his two-fight skid with a one-sided unanimous decision over Mickey Gall in the penultimate fight of the UFC’s fifth consecutive fan-free event in its hometown. The main event was a barn-burner from the opening round, with both lightweights trading wicked strikes and displaying minimal regard for defense. The second round was a particular spectacle, with each fighter badly hurting the other while throwing punches and
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but