Yankees’ scandal grows
In another shock steroid distraction for an already-reeling New York Yankees squad, the son of team vice president Felipe Lopez Jr was arrested in 2002 for having steroids, reports said on Saturday. The news comes four days after Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez opened the team’s pre-season training camp by answering questions about his doping from 2001 through 2003. On top of that comes the report that Felipe Lopez III served 19 months of probation after pleading guilty to reduced charges in 2003 following his arrest for trafficking in a banned date-rape drug used by athletes for muscle recovery and for possession of anabolic steroids. Lopez III was arrested at his Tampa home in 2002 as part of a US Drug Enforcement Administration operation for trafficking in GBL — a chemical related to the date rape drug GHB. Also in that raid, police found vials of anabolic steroids, a shotgun and papers referring to chemicals used to make the drug Ecstasy. Lopez III was also arrested in 2005 on a battery charge for allegedly punching his former girlfriend, a case that was later dropped.
MLB probes Nats staffer
Washington Nationals special assistant Jose Rijo is taking a leave of absence after a MLB investigation revealed a prospect he discovered was older than originally believed. Rijo, a former top pitcher in the majors, now works under Nats general manager Jim Bowden. On Wednesday, it was announced that prospect Esmailyn “Smiley” Gonzalez of the Dominican Republic lied about his age and name. Rijo has been credited with spotting Gonzalez about two years before the Nationals signed him. Gonzalez received a US$1.4 million signing bonus in 2006 when the Nationals signed what they thought was a 16-year-old shortstop. The Nationals had been listing his date of birth as Sept. 21, 1989. But Kasten said an MLB investigation determined Gonzalez is actually Carlos David Alvarez Lugo, born in November 1985 — meaning he is really 23.
Bolt wins another
Olympic sprint sensation Usain Bolt continued his early season preparation with another comfortable 400m victory on Saturday at Jamaica’s National Stadium. Running out of lane five in the timed-final 400m at the University of West Indies Invitational, Bolt won in 45.54 seconds, an improvement on the 46.35 seconds he ran last weekend.
Russia win championships
Russia won the women’s relay at the biathlon world championships in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Saturday, with defending champions Germany in second and France in third. Russia prevailed despite missing Ekaterina Iourieva and Albina Akhatova, who were kicked out of this year’s world championships for doping. The quartet of Svetlana Sleptsova, Anna Boulygina, Olga Medvedtseva and Olga Zaitseva stayed clear of the penalty loop to win in a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 12.9 seconds.
Britons win in New York
Nicola Minichiello and Gillian Cooke of Britain won the women’s bobsled competition in the world championships at Mount Van Hoevenberg, New York, on Saturday. The duo edged Shauna Rohbock and Elana Meyers of the US by 0.38 seconds. Germany took the bronze, having captured six of seven golds since women began competing at world championships in 2000. The British champions finished the four runs in 3 minutes, 48.22 seconds.