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Gatorade is latest to cut ties with Tiger Woods

NEWSWIRE

The sports drink company says it no longer sees a promotional role for the world's top-ranked golfer, who is enmeshed in scandal.

February 27, 2010

Gatorade officially ended its relationship with Tiger Woods, saying the company no longer sees a role for the world's top-ranked golfer, who one week ago apologized for the sex scandal that has enveloped him.

Gatorade, which dropped its Tiger Focus sports drink before the scandal broke, issued this statement: "We no longer see a role for Tiger in our marketing efforts. . . . However, our partnership with the Tiger Woods Foundation will continue. We wish him all the best."

This is the third sponsor to cut marketing ties with Woods, who is in rehabilitation and remains on a self-imposed break from the game.

-- Diane Pucin Mark Wilson shares the lead with Camilo Villegas halfway through the Phoenix Open after birdies on the final four holes of the second round at Scottsdale, Ariz.

Villegas slipped into a tie at 11-under-par 131 after 36 holes when he missed a 14-foot putt for par on the 18th. The 28-year-old Colombian tied the tournament first-round record with a nine-under 62 on Thursday.

Eleven players are within two shots of the lead.

Angela Stanford shot a one-under 71 for a share of the lead with KimSong-Hee after the second round of the HSBC Champions in Singapore.

Stanford, who has four LPGA Tour victories, and Kim (70) had five-under 139 totals on Tanah Merah's Garden Course.

TENNIS

Venus Williams reaches final

Top-seeded Venus Williams reached the final of the Mexican Open, beating Romanian Edina Gallovits, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, at Acapulco.

Williams will face eighth-seeded Polona Hercog of Slovenia in the final. Hercog beat Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, 6-3, 7-5, to reach her first WTA final.

Fourth-seeded Juan Carlos Ferrero reached the men's final when Juan Monaco retired because of a rib injury after losing the first set, 7-5. Ferrero, seeking his third straight tour title, will face either No. 3 David Ferrer or No. 2 Fernando Gonzalez.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic edged unseeded Marcos Baghdatis, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-4, to reach the final of the Dubai Championships in the United Arab Emirates. Djokovic will play Mikhail Youzhny, who defeated Jurgen Melzer, 7-5, 7-6 (4), to reach the Dubai final for the second time in four years.

ETC.

China might lose 2000 medal

China should be stripped of the team bronze medal it won in gymnastics at the 2000 Sydney Olympics because one of its members was underage, the international gymnastics federation FIG said. The recommendation is now in the hands of the International Olympic Committee.

FIG's investigation found Dong Fangxiao was 14 at the time of the Sydney Games. Gymnasts must be 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible. Should the IOC take back the medal, the U.S. team, which finished fourth, could be in line for the bronze. The IOC said it would make a decision at a later date.

-- Diane Pucin The San Diego Chargers have decided not to tender a contract to Darren Sproles, allowing the speedy running back to test the free-agent market, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team hadn't made an official announcement.

The move came four days after the team released LaDainian Tomlinson.

Kurt Busch won the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway by shattering his brother's track record.

Busch turned a lap of 188.719 mph to claim the top starting spot for Sunday's race. Jeff Gordon is second with a lap at 188.646.

Kyle Busch held the previous track record of 185.995 mph. In all, 18 drivers bettered that speed.

Former NBA All-Star Alvin Robertson faces charges of sexual assault of a child and sex trafficking because he is alleged to be among seven people who kidnapped a 14-year-old girl who was forced into prostitution and made to dance at a strip club, authorities said.

Robertson was taken into custody Friday in Bentonville, Ark., said Bexar County Sheriff's Deputy Ino Badillo. Robertson lives in San Antonio.

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