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Sports News Roundup: Tokyo 2020 gymnastics venue; Fed Cup; All-Star Game draft to be televised

Sports News Roundup: Tokyo 2020 gymnastics venue; Fed Cup; All-Star Game draft to be televised

Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.

Mayweather says 'never agreed' to fight Japanese kickboxer

Floyd Mayweather said on Wednesday he never agreed to come out of retirement to fight a Japanese kickboxer on New Year's Eve and was blindsided when the event was announced this week at a news conference he attended in Tokyo. Mayweather said on his Instagram account that he only agreed to a three-round exhibition in front of a small group of wealthy spectators for a very large fee with no intention of it being represented as an official fight card or televised worldwide.

USOC under pressure to fix USA Gymnastics before Tokyo 2020

Like a world-class gymnast, the United States Olympic Committee(USOC) needs to nail a perfect landing to put a damaging sexual abuse scandal behind it ahead of the 2020 Games in Tokyo, sports sponsorship experts said. The USOC's announcement this week that it would seek to revoke the status of USA Gymnastics as the national governing body for the sport reflects pressure from fans, athletes and sponsors for a lasting solution for the scandal-plagued organization.

Soccer: Super League players would risk a World Cup ban, says FIFA boss

FIFA President Gianni Infantino warned on Wednesday that any players taking part in a breakaway European super league would be excluded from the World Cup and other international tournaments. Those who might be barred should such a league get off the ground could include the likes of Argentina's Lionel Messi, Brazilian Neymar, France's Kylian Mbappe and Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo.

Maryland fires two trainers linked to McNair's death: reports

Maryland has fired two athletic trainers who were linked to the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair earlier this year, according to multiple reports. Steve Nordwall, assistant athletic director of athletic training, and Wes Robinson, the head trainer for the football program, were informed Tuesday that they wouldn't be returning to their jobs. They had been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 10 amid an investigation into McNair's death in June.

Harvick penalized, loses guaranteed playoff spot

Kevin Harvick's celebration in Texas has been spoiled. A victory in Sunday's 500-mile Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway had locked Harvick in as the second driver to earn a berth in the four-car Championship Round of the playoffs. But the sanctioning body docked him 40 points after finding illegal alterations to his rear spoiler.

Red Bulls' Long named MLS' top defender

Aaron Long was given up on by two MLS teams. Now he is the best defensive player in the league. The 26-year-old Long was named MLS Defender of the Year on Wednesday after helping the New York Red Bulls allow a league-low 33 goals.

Olympics: Roof raised at Tokyo 2020 gymnastics venue

The second section of the timber roof at the Olympics Gymnastics Center in Tokyo was raised on Wednesday, marking the halfway point of the construction of the temporary venue. The roof of the 10,000-seat venue, which will host gymnastics at the Olympics and boccia in the Paralympics, will be raised in 200-tonne sections with all five scheduled to be in place by May next year.

American Melichar relishes making Fed Cup debut against country of birth

American Nicole Melichar expects to have mixed feelings when she makes her Fed Cup debut in this weekend's final against the Czech Republic - the country of her birth. Melichar is one of three Americans playing in their first Fed Cup tie for the defending champions, who are having to field a second string team with Serena and Venus Williams unavailable along with Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys.

WR Bryant to join Saints on one-year deal

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant agreed to a one-year deal with the New Orleans Saints, according to multiple reports. He won't have to wait long for a chance to show his old team what he has left.

All-Star Game draft to be televised: report

For the second time, NBA captains will draft All-Star teams before the game is played in 2019. For the first time, the draft will be televised, the New York Times reported Wednesday. Five starters from the East and five from the West will be selected as per tradition by fan balloting. Captains to be named will choose teams to fill out the rosters.

(With inputs from Reuters)

(With inputs from agencies.)

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