Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Russia blames political chicanery, not itself, for Olympic ban
The Kremlin is blaming political chicanery, not its own sports officials, after doctored laboratory data resulted in a ban that means Russia will appear on the global sports stage without its flag or anthem for the next four years. In the latest twist to the country's continuing doping scandal, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed Russia a four-year ban from top international sporting events, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup.
MLB to hold first regular-season games in Mexico City
Major League Baseball (MLB) announced plans on Tuesday to hold regular season games in Mexico City for the first time in 2020, with the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Diego Padres expected to play a two-game series there on April 18-19. The games will take place at the Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium, a 20,000-capacity facility that was completed in March.
NFL notebook: Eagles' Jeffery reportedly out for season
The Philadelphia Eagles' 23-17 overtime victory Monday against the New York Giants came with a heavy price. Right tackle Lane Johnson is week-to-week with a left high ankle sprain, while wide receiver Alshon Jeffery's season is reportedly over with a foot injury. Coach Doug Pederson on Tuesday described Jeffery's injury as "a little more significant" than Johnson's, and ESPN later reported that Jeffery is done for the rest of the season.
NHL roundup: Flames stretch streak to 5, end Avs' at 6
Sean Monahan scored in overtime and the Calgary Flames overcame blowing a two-goal lead in the third period to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in Denver on Monday night. Andrew Mangiapane and Michael Frolik had goals in the first 1:39 of the third period to give the Flames a 4-2 lead. But Nathan MacKinnon and Joonas Donskoi each scored in the third to even the game and ultimately send it to overtime.
NBA roundup: Kings' Bjelica beats buzzer to stun Rockets
Nemanja Bjelica drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Sacramento Kings claimed a 119-118 victory over the host Houston Rockets on Monday. Bjelica drilled a 33-footer off an inbound pass from Cory Joseph to answer a driving layup from Rockets guard Russell Westbrook on the preceding possession. Bjelica scored over PJ Tucker to cap his 17-point performance as the Kings finished 20 of 45 from behind the arc.
Woods, Couples continue golden Presidents Cup alliance
The Presidents Cup has showcased high-quality pairings throughout its 25-year history but none have endured quite like the dynamic duo of Tiger Woods and Fred Couples. The President Cup has never run without the involvement of at least one of Woods or Couples in one role or another, and at Royal Melbourne this week they will team up for the seventh time in the United States' cause.
Smith has 'tension' with Reed at Presidents Cup after cheating claim
Australian Cameron Smith has said he has lost any friendship he had with Patrick Reed after criticizing the American for his controversial bunker penalty in the Bahamas last week. Reed received a two-stroke penalty for improving his lie when he moved sand with his practice swing on Friday at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, earning a rebuke from Smith, who accused the former Masters champion of "cheating the rules".
British Olympic Association responds to athletes' legal challenge
The British Olympic Association (BOA) says it has "formally responded" to a legal challenge over sponsorship rights brought by a group of its own athletes that could cast a shadow over its preparations for next year's Tokyo Games. The group, which includes Mo Farah, Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Laura Muir and Adam Gemili, are seeking to challenge an International Olympic Committee rule that bars them from using their name, image or performance in advertising during the Games without the IOC's prior consent.
Russian athletics champion blasts own sports authorities over Olympic ban
Russian high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene on Tuesday accused her country's own sports authorities of failing to protect athletes from the deepening doping crisis, in a rare public broadside at top officials. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed Russia a new, this time four-year, ban from top global sporting events, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with laboratory data.
Stars say coach's firing unrelated to NHL's new conduct plan
Dallas Stars general manager Jim Nill said the undisclosed act that led to the team's head coach Jim Montgomery being fired on Tuesday was not related to abuse allegations or anything else covered under the NHL's umbrella of new policies. The firing comes a day after NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman outlined a four-point plan to better deal with personal conduct issues following a number of recent allegations of verbal, physical and emotional abuse between coaches and players.