As federal grand jurors in Los Angeles resumed hearing testimony about drug use in cycling Wednesday, reports emerged that Tour de France champion Alberto Contador of Spain had scheduled a news conference Thursday to address a positive test he submitted for the banned stimulant clenbuterol during this year's Tour.
According to a statement from a Contador spokesman obtained by Cycling News and VeloNews, the cyclist will begin presenting his side at a news conference in his hometown of Pinto, Spain. The statement said Contador, a three-time Tour winner, has consulted experts who "agreed … this is a food contamination case." A positive result could cause authorities to strip the title from Contador and suspend him for two years. This comes four years after American Floyd Landis had a positive test after winning the Tour and lost his title.
Clenbuterol, used by asthma patients, is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned substances list and is also banned by the international cycling organization that sets Tour anti-doping rules.
In Los Angeles, meanwhile, Allen Lim, a former exercise physiologist who worked for Landis and who Landis has claimed assisted in his cheating, was called before the grand jury. The proceedings are secret. Food and Drug Administration investigator Jeff Novitzky declined to comment about the session or about Contador. An attorney for Lim, who worked with Lance Armstrong during this year's Tour, failed to return messages.
— Lance Pugmire
NASCAR denies appeal on Bowyer penalty
An appeals committee upheld NASCAR's penalty assessed to Clint Bowyer's No. 33 Richard Childress Racing team after his winning car failed an inspection following the Sept. 19 Sprint Cup race in New Hampshire.
NASCAR docked Bowyer's team 150 points and suspended his crew chief, Shane Wilson, and car chief, Chad Haney, for six races and placed Wilson and Haney on probation for the remainder of the year. Wilson also was fined $150,000.
Team owner Richard Childress said he would make his final appeal in front of NASCAR's Chief Appellate Officer, John Middlebrook.
Beckham says it's unlikely he will play in Europe this season
Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said it is unlikely he will return to Europe on loan this season as he continues to recover from an Achilles' tendon injury.
Beckham joined the Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007, but he has spent the last two seasons on loan at AC Milan in hopes of regaining a place on England's national team.
Beckham, 35, suffered a ruptured Achilles' during his last stint with AC Milan this year, and having just returned to the Galaxy lineup Sept. 11 against the Columbus Crew, his main concern is getting back to full health.
When asked in an interview with FIFA.com if he expected to return to Europe on loan this season, Beckham said, "I don't think so. I'll never say never, but after my injury I need to really focus on getting my full fitness back.
"Physically I need to get myself back in order after a very long time out of the game. I can't say for sure, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see."
NBA fines Wizards' owner $100,000
The NBA fined Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis $100,000 for making unauthorized public comments regarding the league's collective bargaining negotiations.
The Wizards owner told a business audience Wednesday that the NBA, which is working on a new labor deal, will soon have a hard salary cap similar to the model used by the NHL.
NBA teams are allowed to exceed the salary cap as long as they pay a luxury tax. The league's collective bargaining agreement is set to expire June 30.
The Golden State Warriors exercised their contract option on shooting guard Stephen Curry for the 2011-12 season. Curry, the seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft, finished second in the rookie of the year voting last season after averaging 17.5 points, 5.9 assists and 4.5 rebounds in 80 games for the injury-plagued Warriors.
Orlando Magic point guard Jason Williams is scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Thursday. According to General Manager Otis Smith, the operation will sideline Williams for approximately one month.
The Milwaukee Bucks signed veteran forward Brian Skinner. Terms were not announced.
Tigers' Cabrera done for season
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, a leading candidate for the American League MVP award, will sit out the rest of the season because of a right ankle sprain. He rolled the ankle Monday while getting back to first base on a pickoff attempt after a seventh-inning single. X-rays were negative, but an MRI exam confirmed the sprain.
The New York Mets decided to shut down outfielder Carlos Beltran for the rest of the season after an MRI revealed minor inflammation in his surgically repaired right knee.
Baltimore Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon had his suspension for hitting Toronto's Jose Bautista on Sunday reduced from three games to two after appealing the decision.
U.S. women beat Australia at world championship
The United States made a major statement entering the medal round with an 83-75 victory over fellow powerhouse Australia at the women's basketball world championship at Ostrava, Czech Republic. Diana Taurasi scored 24 points for the U.S., which used an 18-0 run to pull away in the first half. The Americans completed pool play with a 6-0 record and will face South Korea (3-3) in the quarterfinals.
Lovemark leads Nationwide field in San Jacinto
All but one of the top 60 players on the Nationwide Tour will compete this week in the Soboba Classic at the Country Club of Soboba Springs in San Jacinto. Jamie Lovemark, a former All-American at USC, is the top money winner despite being the tour's youngest player at 22. The four-round event is one of two on the tour to offer $1 million in prize money.
Four events remain on this season's schedule after this week, culminating in the $1-million Nationwide Tour Championship, after which the top 25 players earn PGA Tour cards for next year.