Press Box: Three Armstrong medical allies banned for life by USADA

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

The United State Anti-Doping Agency announced lifetime bans for three former members of Lance Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service teams.
The regulatory body revealed significant evidence against Armstrong and his associates in a published news release Tuesday.
Team doctor Luis Garcia del Moral, consulting doctor Michele Ferrari and trainer Jose Marti declined to challenge allegations of a vast doping conspiracy before Monday's deadline, essentially accepting sanctions from the USADA. In the release, USADA outlined the doctor's clinical treatments in Spain during which saline infusions were given to mask prohibited blood transfusions and he "administered banned performance-enhancing drugs, including EPO, testosterone, corticosteroids and human growth hormone to cyclists."
Moral was first accused by former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, convicted of doping in 2011, of being the brains of the doping program during his five-year stint as the team's primary physician from 1999-2003.
"Permanently banning these individuals from sport is a powerful statement that protects the current and next generation of athletes from their influence, and preserves the integrity of future competition," USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in the statement.

School is out for the PGA Tour -- Qualifying School, that is.
The pressure-packed tournament known as the Qualifying School for years has determined which newcomers and journeymen will earn playing privileges on the tour for the following year. However, this year's Q-School will be the final edition before a new qualifying process is introduced in late 2013 for the 2014 tour.
The most direct route to PGA Tour qualification will be through the Tour (formerly known as the Nationwide Tour). The top 25 finishers each year in the second-tier league will automatically move up to the big leagues the following year.
The top 75 players from the Tour and players ranked Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour (the top players who failed to retain their PGA Tour cards) will enter a three-tournament series of $1 million events to be held in the fall.
The first 25 from the Tour standings will play in the series in an attempt to enhance their playing priority for the following year, though they already will be assured of PGA Tour cards. Twenty-five additional players will move up based on their results in the three-event series.

The St. Louis Blues have re-signed unrestricted free agent Jamie Langenbrunner to a one-year deal according to TSN.
The veteran forward will be 37 at the start of the 2012-13 season. He played one a one-year, $2.5 million deal last season and was named an assistant captain for the Blues to help the team transition during an early season coaching change to Ken Hitchcock.
Langenbrunner scored six goals and tallied 24 points in 70 games last season.

NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger made his first public comments since he failed a drug test that led to his temporary suspension.
Allmendinger requested NASCAR test his "B" sample, hoping it will produce a negative result. If that test does come up negative for banned substances, Allmendinger will be reinstated immediately. It the test is positive, he would be suspended indefinitely. The result is likely to take at least four or five days to produce.

Former Penn State president Graham Spanier was interviewed by former FBI director Louis Freeh on July 6 and, according to his attorneys, told the university-assigned independent investigator that he was never told of any incident involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
"At no time in the more than 16 years of his presidency at Penn State was Dr. Spanier told of an incident involving Jerry Sandusky that described child abuse, sexual misconduct or criminality of any kind," said attorney Peter Vaira in a statement.
Grand jury testimony released in November indicated otherwise, and recent email correspondence leaked to national media and published by CNN would imply Spanier had direct knowledge of at least the 2001 incident reported by graduate assistant Mike McQueary.
The findings of the Freeh Report are expected to be released Thursday morning.

Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery signed a seven-year contract extension with the Hawkeyes worth a minimum average of $1.66 million per season.
McCaffery has raised expectations in Iowa City since replacing Todd Lickliter in 2010. The Hawkeyes reached the postseason in March, and McCaffery said the logical progression is to return to the NCAA Tournament in 2013 with a team that will be missing only two players from last season, supplemented by a top-20 ranked recruiting class.

Soccer legend Diego Maradona has been fired as the coach of the Al-Wasl club in the United Arab Emirates after one year on the job.
Maradona, 51, led the team to an eighth-place finish in the 12-team league. The Dubai-based club had given him a two-year contract in May 2011, but he was removed with a year remaining on the deal.
Al-Wasl sacked the entire coaching staff, the team announced in a statement.

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