Perry suspended for hit
Anaheim Ducks playmaker Corey Perry has been slapped with a four-game suspension, without pay, for an illegal hit against the Minnesota Wild, the NHL said on Wednesday. Perry put a late check on Minnesota’s Jason Zucker in the second period of their game on Tuesday, earning himself a major penalty for interference and game misconduct. “Perry delivered a late, illegal check that injured Minnesota forward Jason Zucker,” NHL department of player safety official Rob Blake said in a video. “Perry [had] enough time to avoid this violent check, or, at the very least, minimize it more significantly.” A former Hart Trophy winner, Perry has nine goals and 15 assists this season. The Ducks have the second-best record in the NHL with 41 points and were set to continue their campaign without Perry yesterday against the Dallas Stars.
Welker joins the Broncos
Receiver Wes Welker, who is New England’s all-time reception leader, has signed a two-year contract with the Denver Broncos, the NFL team announced on Wednesday. John Elway, the Broncos executive vice president of football operations, announced that Welker would be joining the AFC West champions, but did not go into financial details. The 31-year-old Welker was a major factor in the Patriots going to two Super Bowls. Welker became New England’s all-time leader in receptions last year with a total of 672 catches and 37 touchdowns in six seasons with the team.
Doping cases being probed
A top athletics official said the sport’s governing body is investigating 17 suspected doping cases uncovered by the biological passport program. Thomas Capdevielle, the medical and anti-doping results manager of the International Association of Athletics Federations, says the body has so far identified a total of 36 violations based on the blood testing program. Speaking at a conference in London on Wednesday, Capdevielle said 19 athletes have already been sanctioned for biological passport violations and “17 cases are currently under proceedings.” The passport system monitors an athlete’s blood profile over time to check for variations that indicate doping. Cycling also uses the system and tennis announced this week it was also adopting the program. Capdevielle also said the governing body is hoping to set up a doping laboratory in Kenya to make it easier to test the country’s long-distance runners.
Honda, Nagatomo ruled out
Japan will be without CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda and Inter defender Yuto Nagatomo for their World Cup qualifying match against Jordan in Amman on March 26. Nagatomo is recovering from a knee injury. CSKA Moscow said Honda is unfit, but did not elaborate on the specifics of his condition. The 23-man squad named by Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni yesterday does include 13 Europe-based players, including Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa and VfB Stuttgart forward Shinji Okazaki, who scored twice against Latvia in a friendly last month. The squad warm up for the Jordan match with a friendly against Canada in Doha, Qatar, on Friday next week. A win for Zaccheroni’s Japan against Jordan should secure their a place in Brazil next year.