Sports News Roundup: NCAA Tournament roundup: Princeton, Furman pull off upsets; Motor racing-Hamilton indicates unease over return to Saudi Arabia and more
The Briton, a seven-times world champion and Formula One's most successful driver, chose his words carefully but left little doubt about his stance. Athletics-Tokyo shot put silver medallist Saunders banned for 'whereabouts' failure Tokyo Olympics shot put silver medallist Raven Saunders has been handed an 18-month suspension for violating whereabouts rules, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
NCAA Tournament roundup: Princeton, Furman pull off upsets
Ryan Langborg banked in a driving layup with two minutes to go Thursday to give Princeton its first lead, and second-seeded Arizona missed its final seven shots as the 15th-seeded Tigers scored a shocking 59-55 victory in a South region first-round game in Sacramento, Calif. Princeton (22-8) finished on a 9-0 run while overcoming a 12-point second-half deficit, posting an upset reminiscent of its 1996 first-round victory over defending champion UCLA. Pac-12 tournament champion Arizona (28-7) bowed out after scoring only four points in the final 8:05 to finish with its season-low point total.
Motor racing-Hamilton indicates unease over return to Saudi Arabia
Lewis Hamilton distanced himself on Thursday from Formula One rivals who said they felt comfortable to be racing in Saudi Arabia this weekend. The Briton, a seven-times world champion and Formula One's most successful driver, chose his words carefully but left little doubt about his stance.
Spring training roundup: Jose Abreu's bat, Astros' arms overpower Cards
Jose Abreu went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and two RBI Thursday to support five Houston Astros pitchers who combined to shut out the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 on in a spring training game in Sarasota, Fla. Astros starter Ronel Blanco got the win after allowing three hits and no walks while fanning five in 3 1/3 innings. Blanco was followed by Austin Davis (2/3 of an inning), Ty Buttrey (one inning), Spencer Arrighetti (three) and Matt Ruppenthal (one) in keeping the Cardinals off the scoreboard.
Olympics-USOPC wants definition of 'neutral' before Russian athletes cleared for Games
The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) continued to walk a tightrope reaffirming its support for Ukraine in its war with Russia on Thursday while leaving the door open for Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete at Paris Olympics as neutrals. Presiding over his first meeting as USOPC president and chair, Gene Sykes began by confronting the issue head-on. He said the body stood with the Ukraine but would listen and consider a process that would allow "truly neutral" athletes from Russia and Belarus to take part in next year's Summer Games.
Soccer-Berhalter 'unfortunate' to no longer be US coach - Pulisic
U.S. forward Christian Pulisic described the bitter dispute between team mate Gio Reyna's family and Gregg Berhalter as "childish" and said the former coach is "extremely unfortunate" to not still be in charge. Berhalter, whose contract expired on Dec. 31, remains a candidate to be rehired after an investigation by a law firm determined he did not improperly withhold information of a 1992 domestic violence incident involving his now-wife Rosalind.
Athletics-Tokyo shot put silver medallist Saunders banned for 'whereabouts' failure
Tokyo Olympics shot put silver medallist Raven Saunders has been handed an 18-month suspension for violating whereabouts rules, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) said. "The accumulation of three whereabouts failures within a 12-month period constitutes a rule violation under the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing ... and the World Athletics Anti-Doping Rules," USADA said in a statement on Wednesday.
Broadcaster says MLB streaming dispute pushed it toward bankruptcy
Diamond Sports Group, which owns the broadcasting rights of 14 Major League Baseball teams, said on Thursday the league's desire to broadcast games directly to fans helped push the company's regional sports networks into bankruptcy. The Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary filed for Chapter 11 protection on Tuesday, citing its high debt, outdated broadcast rights agreements and sports viewers' cord-cutting trend.
Tennis-Rybakina outlasts Muchova to reach Indian Wells semis
Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina survived a stern test from Czech Karolina Muchova before advancing 7-6(4) 2-6 6-4 and will face Iga Swiatek in Friday's semi-final after the world number one rolled past Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-3 at Indian Wells. Muchova smacked a backhand crosscourt winner to break serve in the first set for a 3-2 lead and, despite having played several grueling three-set matches at the tournament and having her left thigh wrapped, looked fresh.
Tennis-Alcaraz into semis, Indian Wells defending champion Fritz knocked out
Top seed Carlos Alcaraz downed Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4 6-4 on Thursday to book an Indian Wells semi-final place against Jannik Sinner after the Italian knocked out defending champion Taylor Fritz 6-4 4-6 6-4. U.S. Open champion Alcaraz got off to a flying start, forcing the Canadian to save four break points before landing an inch-perfect forehand winner to break for a 3-2 lead in the opening set.
Golf-Limiting ball distances 'bad' for the game, says Thomas
Proposals that would limit how far players can drive the ball at elite tournaments are "bad for the game of golf", two-times major winner Justin Thomas said. Average driving distances are around 300 yards on the PGA Tour but many players hit well in excess of that, meaning some courses are in danger of becoming obsolete.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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