More controversy in the sport of cycling

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More controversy in the sport of cycling

From Comcast SportsNet
ROUEN, France (AP) -- A director of Garmin-Sharp denied that any of the cycling team's riders have been banned for six months by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency as part of its doping probe into seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Jonathan Vaughters said on Thursday that a Dutch media report about six-month bans is "completely untrue." Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that Vaughters and four other former teammates of Armstrong have been given six-month bans that are to begin in late September. De Telegraaf cited unnamed "well-informed sources" in its report that Vaughters, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde received the bans after admitting to doping and agreeing to give evidence against Armstrong. Vande Velde and Zabriskie are part of the Garmin team. Leipheimer, who rides for Omega Pharma-QuickStep, declined to comment on the report. "I'm just here to ride the Tour de France, and so far I'm still in the hunt for the general classification," he said. "I can't say anything." Hincapie also declined to comment, the BMC rider saying he just wanted to help Cadel Evans defend his Tour title. "I'm here to help Cadel win the Tour. This has nothing to do with BMC," said Hincapie, who added that he hadn't spoken to Armstrong recently. "I'm sad he is going through this. He's done so many things for the sport. His accomplishments are incredible." BMC team manager Jim Ochowicz also denied knowledge of the bans. "We've not received any information from any authority about this issue at all," he said. Armstrong has always strenuously denied doping and a two-year federal probe ended in February with no criminal charges being laid against the Texan. However, USADA has filed formal charges against Armstrong, accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs throughout the best years of his career. The agency notified Armstrong and his former team manager, Johan Bruyneel, plus several of his team associates of the charges in a letter last month. The charges came after a USADA review panel examined evidence in the case, which now goes to an arbitration panel to decide. If found guilty, Armstrong could be stripped of the Tour titles he won from 1999-2005. Armstrong's attorney, Robert Luskin, called the charges "wrong and baseless."

A's name Kendall Graveman 2017 Opening Day starter

A's name Kendall Graveman 2017 Opening Day starter

MESA, Ariz. -- Kendall Graveman was announced as the A's Opening Night starter, confirmation of a move that had become obvious the more that spring training progressed.

With Sonny Gray set to begin the season on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle, Graveman is the veteran presence in the rotation and coming off the best 2016 season of any Oakland starter.

His performance this spring only strengthened his status. In his last outing, he threw six innings and faced just one batter over the minimum in that span.

Manager Bob Melvin said Sean Manaea will be the No. 2 starter followed by Jharel Cotton. The last two rotation spots are still open, though Melvin acknowledged that Andrew Triggs would have the inside track on one if the season began tomorrow.

Jesse Hahn and Raul Alcantara are also competing for those jobs. Alcantara takes the ball against Milwaukee on Thursday.

Steve Kerr responds to notion Andre Iguodala's hip strain a white lie

Steve Kerr responds to notion Andre Iguodala's hip strain a white lie

On Tuesday morning, the Warriors announced that Andre Iguodala would not play against the Mavs because of a left hip strain

"I would go with 'hip' every single night I was looking to rest a player from now on," 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce said to Steve Kerr on Wednesday. "A little white lie goes a long way. Is it safe to say that Andre Iguodala's 'hip' is gonna look fantastic come Friday?

"I understand where you're going with this, but this was not a white lie," Kerr said in response. "Andre has had hip tightness the last three days or so.

"He played through it in Oklahoma City. And Chelsea Lane, our physical therapist, told me after the game 'Andre really needed the night off. It would be great to knock this thing out over the next few days, so let's give him tomorrow off.'

"And I always listen to the training staff ... hopefully this will knock out any potential injury."

[RATTO: With resting players, there's one obvious solution for Adam Silver, NBA]

On Monday night in Oklahoma City, recorded six points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block in about 22 minutes off the bench.

Through his first 57 appearances this season, Iguodala averaged 25.7 minutes per game. Since Kevin Durant's injury, Iguodala is averaging 29.1 minutes per game.

How much influence do trainers and/or physical therapists have in determining if a player suits up or takes a night off?

"Coaches have always had to rely on the medical staff to help them with the decision-making process," Kerr explained. "I think where we've made progress is in the amount of information that we have. As a coach, my job is to kind of gauge where the players are. But we have a lot more knowledge now with some of the technology where the training staff actually can measure how fatigued a player is.

"I think it's a little easier these days for the training staff to come to the coach and recommend something and have some data to back it up."

Kerr is an advocate for reducing the number of games in the regular season, but he understands that's not a reality.

"I don't think that's gonna happen," he said. "I think it would be great, honestly, if they cut it back to 75 games ... but, let's be honest, there's a lot of revenue at stake."