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Saudi Arabia may send women to the Olympics

The Middle Eastern nation is moving closer to allowing female athletes to represent the country at the Olympic Games.

June 25, 2012|Wire reports

A month before the London Games, Saudi Arabia appears to be moving closer to sending female athletes to the Olympics for the first time amid mounting pressure on the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom to grant women more rights.

Deliberations by Saudi officials on sending women to the Games have been wrapped in secrecy for fear of a backlash from the powerful religious establishment within a deeply traditional society, in which women are severely restricted in public life and are not even allowed to drive.

Saudi Arabia is one of three countries that have never included women in their Olympic teams, along with Qatar and Brunei. The International Olympic Committee said talks have been continuing with Saudi Arabia to ensure participation, and a statement by the country's embassy in London said female athletes, who qualify, could be allowed to participate.

HOCKEY

Kings finalize deals with Stoll, Fraser

The Kings finalized contracts with forwards Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser.

The Stanley Cup champions announced the deals Monday. The Kings had confirmed tentative agreements on both contracts Friday.

Stoll gets a three-year deal worth $9.75 million, and Fraser has a two-year deal worth $1.65 million.

Stoll and Fraser were key depth forwards during the Kings' run to their first championship. Both could have been unrestricted free agents this summer.

Stoll matched his career low with 21 points in the regular season but played extensive minutes on the Kings' third line and top penalty-killing unit.

Fraser, who played mostly on the fourth line in his first season with the Kings, scored the first goal of the Stanley Cup Final against New Jersey.

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The head of the NHL players' union said negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement will begin "very quickly" — perhaps this week — and didn't rule out talks stretching into the season.

New NHL Players Assn. Executive Director Donald Fehr said negotiations will begin after Wednesday's meeting of the NHLPA's executive board, though he did not specify a date.

ETC.

NFL's Griffin alleged target of extortion

A former Baylor basketball player is facing a federal extortion charge for allegedly threatening to release "derogatory information" about Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III unless he was paid.

Richard Khamir Hurd, 25, was arraigned Monday in federal court in Waco, Texas. His bond was set at $25,000.

A person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press that Griffin, the Baylor quarterback who was the No. 2 overall draft choice of the Washington Redskins, was the target of the alleged extortion attempt. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because authorities had not disclosed the fact.

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The Atlanta Hawks hired Danny Ferry as president of basketball operations and general manager.

Ferry succeeds Rick Sund, whose contract expires this week.

Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson said Ferry has the right character and experience the team needs to create "enduring and successful organizations."

Ferry comes to the Hawks after two years as vice president of basketball operations for San Antonio.

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London police have begun an investigation into the alleged online racist abuse of two England players after they missed penalty kicks in the quarterfinal loss to Italy at the European Championship.

Ashley Cole and Ashley Young, who are black, were singled out for abuse on social networking site Twitter after Sunday's shootout loss in Kiev, Ukraine.

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UEFA fined the German soccer association $31,200 after fans displayed a neo-Nazi flag at a European Championship match.

Germany has now been disciplined for fans' behavior at all three Euro 2012 group-stage matches, and paid fines totaling $50,000.

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