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Coyotes' Raffi Torres is suspended for hit

The forward is suspended indefinitely for his shoulder-to-head hit on Chicago's Marian Hossa.

April 18, 2012|Staff and wire reports

The NHL suspended Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres indefinitely on Wednesday for knocking Chicago's Marian Hossa out of the game — and maybe the playoffs — with a shoulder blow to the head.

Hossa won't play in Game 4 on Thursday with the Coyotes leading the series, 2-1. He was at home resting, exchanging text messages with his Blackhawks teammates less than 24 hours after he was carried off the ice on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.

The hard knock by Torres was the latest in a first round that has been dominated by brawls and violent hits. The NHL scheduled a Friday hearing in New York for Torres.

ETC.

Study examines fighters' brain activity

A yearlong Cleveland Clinic study of the brain activity of about 170 boxers and mixed martial arts fighters suggests that participants begin losing brain volume after six years of fighting.

"What we've found suggests changes and damage in the brain happens years before symptoms emerge," said the study's author, Dr. Charles Bernick, who supervised testing in his Las Vegas facility. "It's what we see in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients."

Currently, fighters are required to undergo only one brain MRI test, which could be taken at the beginning of their career. State commissions can request an additional MRI exam if they're alarmed by a fighter's age, performance or behavior. But pinpointing when to stop a fight remains an undefined point of discretion.

With his research, Bernick was hoping to help establish the threshold neurologists can use to determine the start of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease.

—Lance Pugmire

USC basketball player Ari Stewart, who was arrested in February in Arizona on suspicion of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia, will not be charged and has been offered the opportunity to participate in a drug diversion program, a spokesman for the Maricopa County district attorney's office said Wednesday.

A letter informing Stewart of the offer was drafted and mailed last week, according to the spokesman. The program consists of education, counseling and screening. Prosecution would ensue if the program is not completed.

Stewart, a 6-7 forward, sat out last season after transferring from Wake Forest. He could not be reached for comment. USC Coach Kevin O'Neill has said that Stewart was disciplined internally and that he would face further discipline.

—Gary Klein

Seven-time defending champion Rafael Nadal and top-ranked Novak Djokovic began their clay-court seasons with comfortable wins in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Djokovic opened with a 6-1, 6-4 win against Andreas Seppi of Italy, and Nadal followed with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Jarkko Nieminen of Finland.

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Didier Drogba marked a superb display with the first-half winner as Chelsea produced a resilient performance to beat Barcelona, 1-0, at London and take a narrow lead into the second leg of their Champions League semifinal.

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Roy Storey, who did play by play of Kings games on radio and television during the 1972-73 season, died Tuesday in Desert Hot Springs. He was 85. His survivors include his wife, Eileen.

—Helene Elliott

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