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Chapman latest Toronto FC homegrown talent

Midfielder Jay Chapman becomes Toronto FC's latest homegrown talent
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Jay Chapman didn't get to hear his name announced at the MLS SuperDraft. Toronto FC was happy to lock the central midfielder up in advance.

"We think he would be a top-five player if he was in the draft," GM Tim Bezbatchenko said.

Chapman officially signed as a homegrown player the day of the Jan. 15 draft and was in Philadelphia with the team to savour the moment.

Overseer: FIFA presidential 'candidates' not official yet

FIFA election overseer Scala urges caution about status of presidential 'candidates'
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

Not so fast, would-be FIFA presidential candidates.

FIFA's election overseer urged caution on Friday before regarding applicants for the May 29 ballot as official candidates.

In a statement released by FIFA, compliance chairman Domenico Scala said his three-man panel overseeing the election rules has not even begun its work before next week's entry deadline.

Squash, snooker, billiards seek inclusion in Tokyo Olympics

Cue the Olympics: Snooker, billiards join squash in lobbying for inclusion in 2020 Games
The Associated Press

TOKYO - The list of candidates is getting longer among sports hoping to be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Squash, snooker and billiards are the latest to push their case to be added to the Tokyo sports program.

The International Olympic Committee passed a resolution in December that allows Tokyo organizers to request the addition of one or more new sports.

Bouchard says time to stop talking about 'Twirlgate'

Eugenie Bouchard 'not offended' by twirl and says she'd like fans to focus on her tennis
Jocelyn Gecker, The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia - Eugenie Bouchard — the unwitting protagonist of an Australian Open saga that has been dubbed "Twirlgate" — would prefer if people just focused on her tennis.

For the record, Bouchard said Friday she was "not offended" by the male interviewer who asked her to twirl for the crowd earlier in the week.

Gloves from infamous Ali-Liston rematch going to auction

Gloves from infamous Ali-Liston 'phantom punch' bout going to auction; could fetch $1 million
Ula Ilnytzky, The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Just months before the 50th anniversary of the heavyweight rematch between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston, boxing fans are getting a chance to own a piece of one of the most hotly debated title fights of all time.

Both pairs of gloves from the May 25, 1965, bout in Lewiston, Maine — won by Ali with a first-round knockout from what some saw as a "phantom punch" — go up for auction Feb. 21 in New York. They are expected to fetch more than $1 million.

Federer out of Aussie Open in 3rd round after loss to Seppi

Roger Federer upset in 3rd round of Australian Open, loses in 4 sets to Andreas Seppi
John Pye, The Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia - Roger Federer is out of the Australian Open, his chances of reaching a 12th consecutive semifinal at Melbourne Park erased in a shocking third-round loss to Andreas Seppi on Friday.

Rafael Nadal is still in contention, rebounding from his five-set, second-round win to beat No. 106-ranked Dudi Sella 6-1, 6-0, 7-5 in a third-round match lasting a little over two hours to reach the fourth round.

Snooker, billiards seek inclusion in 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Cue the Olympics: Snooker, billiards seek big break on 2020 Tokyo Games stage
The Associated Press

LONDON - Snooker and billiards are lobbying for inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and the World Confederation of Billiards have submitted a bid to win a spot on the Tokyo program.

The sports previously planned to seek inclusion in the 2024 Olympics, but decided to push for 2020 after the IOC passed a resolution in December that allows Tokyo organizers to request the addition of one or more sports.

RG3 TD run - without logo - featured in anti-'Redskins' ad

RG3 touchdown run - without the logo on his helmet - featured in latest anti-'Redskins' ad
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - Robert Griffin III runs 76 yards for a touchdown — without a Washington Redskins logo on the side of his helmet.

That's the latest visual from a group that opposes the team's name.

The National Congress of American Indians on Friday released a 38-second online ad coinciding with the run-up to the Super Bowl. It shows footage of Griffin's highlight run against the Minnesota Vikings in 2012, but the team's logo has been digitally removed from his helmet.

Then come the words: "Take it away and it's still Washington football" and "Change the mascot."

Russia's top athletics coach resigns amid doping scandals

Valentin Maslakov, Russia's top athletics coach, resigns amid doping scandals
The Associated Press

MOSCOW - Russia's top athletics coach has resigned amid a series of doping scandals in the country.

Valentin Maslakov, 70, had overseen the training of all Russian national team athletes since 2007 as part of a coaching career spanning more than 40 years.

The head of the Russian athletics federation, Valentin Balakhnichev, tells the R-Sport agency on Friday that Maslakov took a "dignified decision" to step down after consulting federation management.

Miller pushed out as Bulldogs hockey coach

Hockey coach Shannon Miller getting pushed out at University of Minnesota-Duluth
Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

Canadian Shannon Miller is among the most successful coaches in NCAA Division 1 women's hockey and also among the highest-paid. It's the pay that's putting her out of a job.

Canada's coach when women's hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998 has since led the University of Minnesota-Duluth women to five national championships. With a record of 378-138-48, Miller has a winning percentage of .713 in her 16th season with the Bulldogs.

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