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Rules relaxed for Armstrong

October 09, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Cycling's governing body is relaxing its own rules to allow Lance Armstrong to make his road race comeback in Australia in January.

The International Cycling Union said the seven-time Tour de France champion can compete in the Jan. 20-25 Tour Down Under, his first race since coming out of retirement after three years.

A strict application of dope testing rules would not have allowed him to compete until Feb. 1, 2009, six months after he filed paperwork with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

But the ICU said Wednesday that Armstrong could return early because its drug-testing standards have improved since the rule was drawn up four years ago.

"Riders are now subject to a much-reinforced system of monitoring compared to that of the past," the governing body said in a statement. "Lance Armstrong has and will be the subject of very strict monitoring throughout the period running up to his return to the peloton."


Auburn coach fires Franklin

Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville fired offensive coordinator Tony Franklin just seven games into his tenure, pulling the plug after the Tigers' rocky transition to his spread offense.

The 20th-ranked Tigers have struggled offensively all season and have lost Southeastern Conference games to Louisiana State and Vanderbilt after beating Mississippi State by a score of 3-2.

"It's a difficult thing to do in the middle of the season," Tuberville said. "My responsibility is to this football team and it always will be. Tony's a good person. When it all comes down to it, it's about production. I didn't think over the last few weeks we were making any progress."

Tuberville, who indicated he would take a larger role in the offense, said there was "no personal conflicts" or disagreement that influenced his decision.

East Carolina suspended receiver Jamar Bryant indefinitely for an undisclosed violation of team policy.


Indictment in Williams' case

A 25-year-old man was indicted on first-degree murder charges in the drive-by shooting death of Denver Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams on New Year's Day 2007.

Willie D. Clark faces 39 counts, including murder, attempted murder, assault, crimes of violence and a weapons violation, Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey said.

Clark is in federal custody in a separate case. He was long considered a "person of interest" in Williams' slaying but is the first suspect to be indicted.

Indianapolis Colts receiver Marvin Harrison is being sued by a man who says he was shot in the hand and body in April by the Colts receiver.

Harrison, who was never arrested or charged, is being sued by Dwight Dixon for $100,000 in damages in a suit filed in Philadelphia on Sept. 2. Police are investigating the shooting, the District Attorney's office said.

Former Denver Broncos running back Travis Henry could be released from jail today after posting a $400,000 bond on federal drug charges.

Henry and another suspect were arrested Sept. 30 in Denver after federal drug agents said they met to buy cocaine from a man who was cooperating with authorities.


Ginyard is out eight weeks

North Carolina senior swingman Marcus Ginyard will miss eight weeks after having surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot.

Ginyard averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds last year for the Tar Heels, who won a school-record 36 games before losing in the Final Four.

Stanford center Jayne Appel, an honorable mention All-American choice last season, will be limited early in the preseason after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on her left knee last month.


IOC to retest blood samples

The International Olympic Committee said that it would retest samples from the Beijing Games to search for a new blood-boosting drug at the center of the latest Tour de France scandals.

The Beijing samples will be reopened and tested in particular for CERA, a new generation of the endurance-enhancing hormone EPO. No test for CERA was available during the Beijing Games. "Our hope is to have this done during the coming few months," IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist said.

Two former No. 1 women's tennis players, Ana Ivanovic and Amelie Mauresmo, lost in the second round of the Kremlin Cup at Moscow. Dominika Cibulkova upset Ivanovic 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (4). Mauresmo lost, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 6-4, to second-seeded Dinara Safina.

The 27th Breeders' Cup will be held at the home of the Kentucky Derby on Nov. 5-6, 2010, the seventh time horse racing's biggest event will be held at Churchill Downs.

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