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Gay athletes chosen for Sochi honor

NEWSWIRE

Tennis champion Billie Jean King to join U.S. delegation for opening and closing ceremonies at 2014 Sochi Olympics.

December 17, 2013|Wire Reports
  • Tennis champion Billie Jean King has been selected as one of two openly gay athletes to join the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
Tennis champion Billie Jean King has been selected as one of two openly gay… (Jason DeCrow / Associated…)

President Obama sent Russia a clear message about its treatment of gays and lesbians with whom he is — and isn't — sending to represent the United States at the Sochi Olympics in February.

Billie Jean King will be one of two openly gay athletes in the U.S. delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies, Obama announced Tuesday. For the first time since 2000, however, the U.S. will not send a president, former president, first lady or vice president to the Games.

Russia has come under fierce criticism for passing national laws banning "gay propaganda." Though the White House did not specifically address the Russian laws in making its announcement, spokesman Shin Inouye said that the delegation "represents the diversity that is the United States."

The White House said Obama's schedule will not permit him to attend the Games.

Hockey player Caitlin Cahow is the other openly gay representative to the delegation. She'll attend the closing ceremony.

ETC.

Orioles, Balfour agree on contract

Two weeks after trading their closer to Oakland, the Baltimore Orioles agreed to a two-year, $15-million contract with former Athletics closer Grant Balfour, according to a person familiar with the deal.

Balfour's contract will not be completed until the right-hander passes a physical, the person told the Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the transaction had not been announced by the Orioles.

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The New York Yankees were hit with a $28-million luxury tax bill, pushing their total past the $250-million mark since the penalty began in 2003.

According to Major League Baseball calculations sent to teams Tuesday, the Dodgers were the only other team to exceed the tax threshold this year and must pay $11.4 million. Boston was just under the threshold for the second straight year, coming in $225,666 shy of the $178-million mark.

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Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 21 points on a career-high seven three-pointers, and the No. 1 Connecticut women's basketball team beat second-ranked Duke, 83-61, at Durham, N.C.

Breanna Stewart had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Huskies (11-0).

Chelsea Gray had 13 points and Haley Peters finished with 11 for Duke (10-1), whose 24-game winning streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium ended — a run that dated to Connecticut's last visit in 2011.

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Zack Fischer closed with an eight-under-par 64 in Q-school at La Quinta to earn top status on the Web.com Tour next year.

This was the first year that Q-school offered status only on the PGA Tour's secondary circuit. Fischer finished at 31-under 401 in the six-round tournament at PGA West. As the medalist, he is assured entry into every Web.com Tour event.

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A Los Angeles man who allegedly made prank calls about job vacancies to coaches in major league sports and at universities, then posted them on social media sites, was charged with eavesdropping.

Kenneth Edward Tarr, 32, is charged with a felony for allegedly recording more than half a dozen calls without consent. He could face a potential three-year sentence if convicted, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office announced.

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