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Tuesday Sports in Brief

March 2, 2022 GMT

MLB

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Major League Baseball has canceled opening day, with Commissioner Rob Manfred announcing Tuesday the sport will scrap regular-season games over a labor dispute for the first time in 27 years after acrimonious lockout talks collapsed in the hours before management’s deadline.

Manfred said he is canceling the first two series of the season that was set to begin March 31, dropping the schedule from 162 games to likely 156 at most. Manfred said the league and union have not made plans for future negotiations, and that players won’t be paid for missed games.

After the sides made progress during 13 negotiating sessions over 16 1/2 hours Monday, the league sent the players’ association a “best and final offer” Tuesday on the ninth straight day of negotiations.

Players rejected that offer, setting the stage for MLB to follow through on its threat to nix opening day.

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INTERNATIONAL SPORTS

GENEVA (AP) — More and more sports are following the appeal of the International Olympic Committee and banning Russian athletes from competing in the wake of the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Russia was barred from competing in international ice skating, skiing, basketball, track and some tennis events Tuesday, a day after being kicked out of soccer competitions and hockey — Vladimir Putin’s favorite team sport. The decisions follow the IOC’s request to international sports federations to keep Russian athletes out of events they organize.

The International Skating Union, the body that runs the sport around the world, said no athletes from Russia or Belarus “shall be invited or allowed to participate” in events until further notice.

NFL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder after the season, a procedure coach Mike McCarthy said was a clean up for an issue that isn’t a concern.

McCarthy told reporters at the scouting combine Tuesday he expects Prescott to be available for offseason work. The coach said he didn’t think the left shoulder bothered Prescott during the season.

It was the third surgery in less than 18 months for Prescott. The first two surgeries were to repair the compound fracture and dislocation of Prescott’s right ankle in Week 5 of the 2020 season against the New York Giants.

NHL

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Blackhawks hired Kyle Davidson as general manager on Tuesday, dropping his interim tag instead of going outside the floundering franchise for new leadership.

Davidson has been with the Blackhawks since he joined the organization as a hockey operations intern in 2010. The 33-year-old from Ottawa, Ontario, also has worked as a video analyst, hockey operations manager and assistant GM.

Davidson was among six known candidates for the job.

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SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle University removed the interim tag and made Chris Victor its permanent head coach on Tuesday.

Victor took over the Redhawks program after Jim Hayford resigned in November. Hayford was placed on paid administrative leave just before the start of the regular season following a published report that he had used a racial slur during a scrimmage. He resigned just a few days after being placed on leave.

With Victor in charge, the Redhawks are 22-8 overall, 13-4 in conference play, and sitting in second place in the Western Athletic Conference entering the final week of the regular season. The 22 wins are the most for Seattle as a Division I program since the 1963-64 season.

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic and coach Marian Vajda are no longer working together, splitting up after 15 years and 20 Grand Slam titles.

A statement that went up on Djokovic’s website on Tuesday said that the two men “agreed to end their partnership” after last year’s season-ending ATP Finals.

During Vajda’s tenure, Djokovic also has picked up other coaches at various times — including Boris Becker, Andre Agassi and Radek Stepanek — and Goran Ivanisevic, who has been part of the team since 2019, will continue to work with the 34-year-old from Serbia.

Djokovic and Vajda took a break from each other in 2017 but reunited the next year.

SPORTS BROADCASTING

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. Soccer Federation has reached an eight-year multimedia rights agreement with Turner Sports that will put broadcasts of both men’s and women’s national team games on TNT, TBS and HBO Max.

The broadcast deal announced Tuesday starts in 2023 and runs through 2030. Turner Sports is a division of Warner Media.

The primary home for national team games will be HBO Max, which will livestream more than 20 matches each year, with about half of those games also broadcast on TNT or TBS.

U.S. Soccer’s current broadcast deal with ESPN, FOX and Univision expires at the end of this year.

COURTS

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after he allegedly shot a man in Northern California, police said.

Velasquez, 39, was arrested Monday in San Jose and is being held without bail at Santa Clara County Main Jail, records show. He is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.

It was not immediately known if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bob Baffert has sued Churchill Downs and track leadership in federal court, seeking to overturn the embattled Hall of Fame trainer’s two-year suspension on grounds it violated his due process rights.

The suit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court names Churchill Downs Inc., CEO William C. Carstanjen and board chair R. Alex Rankin. The historic track suspended Baffert last spring through 2023 and cited a recent spate of failed drug tests by his horses including now-deceased colt Medina Spirit after he won the Kentucky Derby. A postrace drug test revealed the corticosteroid betamethasone in his system, which is allowed in Kentucky but prohibited on race day.

Kentucky racing stewards last week disqualified Medina Spirit and handed Baffert a 90-day suspension and $7,500 fine.

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