Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Davis Cup Finals turning into the late, late show
The Davis Cup Finals schedule was thrown into chaos on Wednesday as, for the second day running, the challenge of fitting in six ties in a day at La Caja Magica proved almost impossible. Tuesday's action concluded with Spain completing victory over Russia just before 2am local time and Wednesday's program is likely to go even later.
Maple Leafs fire head coach Babcock
The Toronto Maple Leafs fired Mike Babcock on Wednesday and promoted Sheldon Keefe from their AHL franchise to take over head coaching duties. Babcock, 56, was in his fifth season the Maple Leafs, posting a 173-133-45 regular-season record and an 8-12 mark in three postseason appearances. Toronto is 9-10-4 this season and is winless in its past six games (0-5-1), its longest losing streak since an 0-5-1 stretch from Feb. 27-March 7, 2016.
WADA suspends Bangkok laboratory
The National Doping Control Centre in Bangkok has been suspended for six months due to non-conformities, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Wednesday. The suspension, which took effect on Nov. 18, prohibits the laboratory from carrying out any anti-doping activities, including all analyses of urine and blood samples.
Canada's gift to U.S. criticized by rival nations
Canada's decision to forfeit their doubles rubber in Tuesday's Group F clash against the U.S. at the revamped Davis Cup Finals has come under fire from rival teams. Victories in both singles rubbers had given Canada a 2-0 lead to seal a first ever Davis Cup win over their neighbors in 16 attempts and guarantee them top spot in the group.
Ruiz defeat made me a smarter fighter, says Joshua
Briton Anthony Joshua has said his first career defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz Jr. was down to a lack of experience and he has become a "smarter" fighter ahead of December's rematch. Mexican-American Ruiz produced one of boxing's biggest upsets when he dethroned the previously undefeated world heavyweight champion with a seventh-round stoppage at New York's Madison Square Garden in June.
NFL notebook: Browns' Garrett states case in appeal
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett on Wednesday appealed his suspension for his on-field conduct last Thursday, when he took Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph's helmet and hit Rudolph in the head, stating in his hearing that precedent doesn't support his indefinite ban, ESPN reported. Citing a source, ESPN's Dan Graziano said Garrett and representatives from the players union argued in an appeal hearing in New York that a player involved in a similar incident in 2013 received only a three-game suspension.
Spain, Australia cruise into Davis Cup last eight
Hosts Spain and Australia made smooth progress to join Canada in the last eight of the Davis Cup Finals but elsewhere in La Caja Magica on Wednesday it proved a more trying day for players, organisers and fans. World number one Rafa Nadal sealed top spot in Group B for Spain as he crushed Croatia's Borna Gojo 6-4 6-3 to give his side an unassailable 2-0 lead after Roberto Bautista Agut had beaten Nikola Mektic 6-1 6-3.
Six-time All-Star Pau Gasol has been waived by the Portland Trail Blazers, the 7-foot-1 power forward said Wednesday. Signed in July as a free agent, Gasol, 39, did not play a game this season while trying to recover from surgery on his left foot. He will continue his rehabilitation in Portland while discussing a coaching job with the Blazers.
Braves re-sign RHP Martin to two-year deal
The Atlanta Braves brought back right-hander reliever Chris Martin with a two-year, $14 million deal, the team announced. The move comes one day after the Braves landed free agent, left-handed closer Will Smith with a three-year, $40 million deal.
Caps' Hathaway suspended three games for spitting incident
Washington Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway was suspended without pay for three games for spitting on an opponent, the NHL announced Wednesday. Hathaway, who had a hearing with the NHL earlier in the day, will sit out the Capitals' road game against the New York Rangers on Wednesday as well as home contests versus Vancouver (Saturday) and Florida (Nov. 27).