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Armstrong reportedly seeks to race 2009 Tour de France

September 09, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Lance Armstrong will end his retirement and hopes to compete in the 2009 Tour de France, according to a cycling journal report, but Astana cycling team officials denied the comeback would be associated with them.

"He is no part of our team," Astana team press officer Philippe Maertens told the Associated Press in an e-mail. "Team Astana has no plans with him."

The cycling journal VeloNews, citing anonymous sources, reported on its website Monday that the 36-year-old seven-time Tour de France champion would compete in the Tour and four other road races with Astana in 2009.

But Astana team director Johan Bruyneel, who was with Armstrong for all seven Tour wins from 1999 to 2005, told cyclingnews.com that he was unaware of any Armstrong comeback. "I don't know where the rumors come from," the website quoted him as saying.

Armstrong did not immediately respond to a text message or voice mails left by the Associated Press. Armstrong's manager, Mark Higgins, and Bruyneel also did not respond to voice mails left by the AP.

PRO FOOTBALL

Young awaits test results amid criticism

While waiting for test results on Vince Young's sprained left knee, the Tennessee Titans found themselves defending their quarterback from critics worried about his mental state.

Those detractors claimed Young quit on his team in the season opener.

Young was intercepted midway through the fourth quarter of the 17-10 win over Jacksonville and walked to the sideline to a chorus of boos from the hometown fans. The next time the offense went on the field, Young stayed on the sideline.

Coach Jeff Fisher pulled off his headset to talk with Young, and the quarterback then put on his helmet and took the field. Four plays later, he rolled out on a bootleg and Jaguars linebacker Daryl Smith collided with Young's left knee.

Fisher said there's no doubt Young needs to work through "some things" with his sideline demeanor.

"It's not the first time he's been frustrated or he's shown frustration outwardly on the sideline," Fisher said. "But he tends to bounce back."

Fisher said X-rays were negative. Test results will not be available until today.

The Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson had his jammed right big toe wrapped Monday, but the two-time defending NFL rushing champion said he doesn't think "it's anything serious." . . . Rams wide receiver Drew Bennett broke his left foot and will be sidelined at least a month. . . . The Chiefs' Brodie Croyle has a separated shoulder, and Damon Huard will start at quarterback this week against Oakland. Croyle isn't "done for the year," Chiefs Coach Herman Edwards said. "It's week to week." . . . Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson is out for the season because of a knee injury. Coach Mike Holmgren said his team also again will be without veteran receivers Deion Branch and Bobby Engram for Sunday's game against San Francisco. . . . Offensive lineman Mike Pollak, the Colts' top draft pick in April, could miss three more weeks after having arthroscopic knee surgery. . . . Veteran kicker Jay Feely signed with the New York Jets and will replace the injured Mike Nugent.

BASKETBALL

Richmond details recruiting violations

The men's and women's basketball teams at the University of Richmond in Virginia violated NCAA rules by contacting recruits in hundreds of e-mails and phone calls, and the two coaches involved have left the school, according to a posting on the school's website.

Richmond Athletic Director Jim Miller declined to identify the coaches and said they hadn't been fired. The NCAA rule prohibiting text messaging between coaches and prospects has been in place since August 2007.

As a result of the investigation, the university put recruiting sanctions on both programs that limit the time and amount of contact coaches can have with prospective athletes.

MOTOR RACING

Faulty transponder blamed in race error

IndyCar Series champion Scott Dixon was initially shown as the winner of the season's final race because of a faulty transponder on his car, the Indy Racing League said.

The electronic timing showed Dixon was the winner of Sunday's PEAK Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., but race officials studied photos of the finish and gave the victory instead to Helio Castroneves.

The margin was 0.0033 of a second, the second-closest finish in IRL history.

PASSINGS

Gutteridge, player and White Sox manager

Don Gutteridge, who played for four major league teams and managed the Chicago White Sox in 1969 and 1970, died at his home in Pittsburg, Kan. He was 96. Story, Section B

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