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Hutchinson says he's always there for Canada

Atiba Hutchinson savours soccer award, looks to lead Canada to higher ground
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - At 31, Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson is hitting his stride at Turkey's Besiktas. And people are taking notice.

"Atiba is our best player,'' says Canadian coach Benito Floro. "He is the best player in Besiktas.''

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger agreed after his team played Besiktas in the Champions League in August. "I was impressed by Hutchinson," he said.

Gardiner could be odd man out for Leafs

Gardiner could be odd man out for Maple Leafs on Saturday against Flyers
Dhiren Mahiban, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner could be the odd man out Saturday night when his team hosts the Philadelphia Flyers at Air Canada Centre.

Gardiner, who had a minus-2 rating in Thursday's 4-1 loss at Carolina, didn't exactly get a ringing endorsement from head coach Randy Carlyle when he was asked to describe the blue-liner's recent play.

"I think Jake's been very erratic," he said Friday after practice. "Simple as that."

No dinosaur: Raptors unveil new logo

No dinosaur: Toronto Raptors unveil sleek new logo in short video
The Canadian Press

TORONTO - The Toronto Raptors' basketball-dribbling dinosaur logo will soon be extinct.

The NBA team has unveiled a sleek new logo that's a silver basketball, ripped by dinosaur claw marks, inside a red circle. The current dinosaur logo will be retired after this season.

The Raptors unveiled the logo in a short video clip Friday ( entitled "This is our Shield." It's part of the team's "We The North" marketing campaign.

Canadian rapper Drake, the Raptors' global ambassador, had a hand in the redesign.

Jerry Sandusky is denied $4,900-a-month pension

Jerry Sandusky won't be getting back his $4,900-a-month pension, state agency says
Mark Scolforo, The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky has lost a legal battle to restore his $4,900-a-month pension, a benefit that was cancelled two years ago after he was sentenced for child molestation.

US skier Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time

'I had rocket ships on': Self-funded US skier Steven Nyman wins Gardena downhill for 3rd time
Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press

VAL GARDENA, Italy - With performances like this, Steven Nyman should have no problem regaining his funding from the U.S. Ski Team.

He may even find a helmet sponsor, too.

Nyman showed off his complete mastery of the Saslong course by winning a World Cup downhill at the classic venue on Friday for the third time.

The 32-year-old Nyman has never won a World Cup race anywhere else, and he had the added pressure of entering as a favourite after leading Wednesday's only training run.

Browns' Thomas accused of environmental violations

Browns lineman Thomas accused of environmental violations on Wisconsin property
Todd Richmond, The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin officials have accused Cleveland Browns lineman Joe Thomas of committing nearly a dozen environmental violations on his hunting land west of Madison.

Fucale traded from Halifax to Quebec

Rebuilding Halifax Mooseheads trade goalie Zach Fucale to Quebec Remparts
The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - Zach Fucale will get to take another run at the MasterCard Memorial Cup, but it won't be with the Halifax Mooseheads.

Halifax traded the 2013 Memorial Cup-winning goaltender to the Quebec Remparts along with defenceman Matt Murphy and a 2015 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for goalie Eric Brassard, first- and third-round picks in 2016 and first- and second-round picks in 2018.

Marathon runner Jeptoo's 'B' sample positive

Kenyan officials say Boston marathon champion Rita Jeptoo's 'B' sample positive
Tom Odula, The Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya - Marathon runner Rita Jeptoo's "B'' sample tested positive, Kenya's athletics federation said Friday, confirming an earlier test that found traces of a banned performance enhancer.

Jeptoo is a three-time winner of the Boston Marathon and two-time winner in Chicago. She is one of the highest profile Kenyan athletes to fail a doping test.

FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes

Blatter says FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes, will release Garcia's report
John Leicester, The Associated Press

MARRAKECH, Morocco - Defiantly declaring that FIFA is no longer in crisis, Sepp Blatter said Friday the decision to hold the next two World Cups in Russia and Qatar won't be revoked and the governing body will publish a confidential probe into the process that picked those countries as hosts.

Gold medallist Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI

Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI charge 3 months after arrest
Juliet Linderman, The Associated Press

BALTIMORE - Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps has pleaded guilty to drunken driving in Baltimore almost three months after he was arrested.

Phelps entered his plea to a charge of driving under the influence in Baltimore City District Court on Friday morning. He was sentenced to a year in prison, but the prison sentence is suspended. He must be on probation for a year and a half.

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