Sports News Roundup: WADA poised to decide fate of Russian agency; All eyes on Murray as Australian Open gets underway
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
NBA roundup: Griffin dominates Clippers in return to L.A.
Blake Griffin took advantage of the first opportunity to show his former fans what they're missing, scoring 44 points on Saturday afternoon to lead the visiting Detroit Pistons to a 109-104 victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. Griffin was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers in 2009 and spent his first eight seasons with them, helping the team reach the playoffs in six straight years from 2012-17. He was traded to Detroit last January.
WADA poised to decide fate of Russian agency
A long-running doping scandal could be heading towards a conclusion when the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) receives a report from their Compliance Review Committee (CRC) next week that could confirm Russia's conditional reinstatement. Having, after much stalling, allowed a WADA inspection team access to data in a tainted Moscow laboratory on Thursday, Russian authorities will no doubt say they have met the final demand laid out in a Roadmap to Compliance and call for the conditional status of the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) to be lifted.
Chiefs at home for AFC Championship, Rams NFC venue uncertain
The Kansas City Chiefs will be at home for next Sunday's AFC Championship game, which could bring together the best quarterback in the NFL this year against one of the best of all time. Patrick Mahomes displayed his customary flair, passing for 278 yards and running a score as the Chiefs used their potent offense to jump on the Indianapolis Colts early en route to a 31-13 win in snowy Kansas City on Saturday afternoon.
Maroon 5 to play Super Bowl halftime show
Pop band Maroon 5 will provide the halftime entertainment at next month's Super Bowl in Atlanta in a show that will also feature rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi, the National Football League said on Sunday. Maroon 5, a three-times Grammy-winning group led by Adam Levine, will be joined by rising star Scott and Atlanta, Georgia native Big Boi, who was previously one half of rap group Outcast.
Report: NFL owners prepare for work stoppage in 2021
Lost in the headlines of the names and ages of the people NFL teams are hiring to fill head-coaching vacancies is some of the language common in the contracts they sign. Specifically, language reportedly foreshadowing a possible work stoppage in 2021.
Djokovic satisfied with prize pool ahead of Australian Open tilt
Novak Djokovic says he is satisfied with how the grand slams are reacting to a player-led push for bigger paychecks - but that it's not about increasing his own bank balance. Djokovic, the president of the ATP Player's Council, has led a push for a higher percentage of earnings generated at the world's biggest tennis tournaments be distributed to players.
Patriots hammer Chargers, make eighth straight AFC title game
Scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions Sunday, the New England Patriots established a 35-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 41-28 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in an AFC divisional-round game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. The result sends New England (12-5) to Kansas City next Sunday to play for the AFC title and a trip to the Super Bowl on Feb. 3. The conference championship at Arrowhead, a rematch of a 43-40 Patriots win in Week 6 in Foxborough, is scheduled to kick off at 6:40 p.m. ET.
Serena ready to claim first Slam as a mum: coach
Serena Williams is ready to win her first Grand Slam title as a mother, having arrived at the Australian Open in her best condition since coming back from maternity leave, according to her coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Frenchman Mouratoglou, who has guided Williams to the last 10 of her 23 Grand Slam titles, felt the American great was in "decent shape" when she reached last year's finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
Murray much more than just a tennis player, says Mauresmo
Andy Murray will leave the sport as more than just a sporting figure, the Briton's former coach Amelie Mauresmo said on Sunday. Murray, 31, said on Friday that this year's Australian Open could be his last professional tournament, although the former world number one hopes he can bow out at his beloved Wimbledon.
All eyes on Murray as Australian Open gets underway
An emotional Andy Murray kicks off his Australian open campaign against Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut in the night session at Melbourne Park on Monday in what could well be the final match of the Scot's glittering career. Hip surgery a year ago has left the three-times Grand Slam champion in severe pain and the 31-year-old said last week that the year's first Grand Slam could be his last tournament.
(With inputs from agencies.)