Armstrong hires lawyers
Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has hired two prominent attorneys who won a legal case involving the lead investigator in a current US federal probe of Armstrong. San Francisco-based John Keker and Elliot Peters said on Thursday they were now representing Armstrong. The attorneys won a major case for the Major League Baseball Players Association in 2009 when an appeals court panel ruled federal agents had no right to seize baseball’s anonymous drug-test results from 2003. Jeff Novitzky had been a key investigator in that case, part of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative investigation. Keker on Thursday accused Novitzky of leaking information that resulted in doping accusations against Armstrong, who has never failed a drugs test. “We know Novitzky and plan to prove that these are his repeated, illegal leaks aimed solely at destroying a true hero,” Keker said.
Toure banned six months
Manchester City center back Kolo Toure was on Thursday banned for six months for testing positive for a banned substance earlier this season. The ban was backdated to March 2, the date of his provisional suspension, meaning the Ivory Coast international will be available to play for his club in September. Toure will also be target-tested for a period of two years, starting on Thursday, following an independent regulatory commission hearing convened at Wembley by the FA. Toure admitted the offense — his first. However, the panel took into consideration the circumstances behind his use of water tablets belonging to his wife. The commission was satisfied Toure did not intend to enhance sporting performance or to mask the use of a performance--enhancing substance.
WNBA legend Dydek dies
Former WNBA star Margo Dydek died yesterday at age 37, a week after suffering a heart attack. Cathy Roberts, the operations manager for the Northside Wizards in the Queensland Basketball League, where Dydek was head coach, confirmed her death. The Poland-born Dydek, who was pregnant with her third child, suffered the heart attack on May 19. She collapsed at her home in Brisbane, Australia, and was put in a medically induced coma. Roberts said that Dydek was at an early stage in her pregnancy and that her fetus had also died. Dydek was the No. 1 pick in the 1998 WNBA draft by the Utah Starzz. She also played for San Antonio, Connecticut and Los Angeles. Dydek held the record for most blocks in a WNBA career, with 877 in 323 games, and led the league in blocks nine times, from 1998 to 2003 and again from 2005 to 2007.
Islanders captain retires
New York Islanders captain Doug Weight announced his retirement on Thursday, ending a career that spanned 19 seasons in the NHL. The 40-year-old, who played for six NHL teams, but mostly with the Edmonton Oilers and St Louis Blues, will remain with the Islanders as an assistant coach and adviser. “He has taken our young core of players over the past three years and helped elevate their game to a point where we now see our franchise competing with the top teams in the league,” Islanders general manager Garth Snow said. A four-time All-Star, Weight played 1,238 regular season and 97 postseason games in his career, winning a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006, and played on three US Olympic teams, winning silver in 2006. He had 278 goals and 1,033 points during his career.