More controversy in the sport of cycling

520780.jpg

More controversy in the sport of cycling

From Comcast SportsNet
ROUEN, France (AP) -- A director of Garmin-Sharp denied that any of the cycling team's riders have been banned for six months by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency as part of its doping probe into seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. Jonathan Vaughters said on Thursday that a Dutch media report about six-month bans is "completely untrue." Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reported that Vaughters and four other former teammates of Armstrong have been given six-month bans that are to begin in late September. De Telegraaf cited unnamed "well-informed sources" in its report that Vaughters, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde received the bans after admitting to doping and agreeing to give evidence against Armstrong. Vande Velde and Zabriskie are part of the Garmin team. Leipheimer, who rides for Omega Pharma-QuickStep, declined to comment on the report. "I'm just here to ride the Tour de France, and so far I'm still in the hunt for the general classification," he said. "I can't say anything." Hincapie also declined to comment, the BMC rider saying he just wanted to help Cadel Evans defend his Tour title. "I'm here to help Cadel win the Tour. This has nothing to do with BMC," said Hincapie, who added that he hadn't spoken to Armstrong recently. "I'm sad he is going through this. He's done so many things for the sport. His accomplishments are incredible." BMC team manager Jim Ochowicz also denied knowledge of the bans. "We've not received any information from any authority about this issue at all," he said. Armstrong has always strenuously denied doping and a two-year federal probe ended in February with no criminal charges being laid against the Texan. However, USADA has filed formal charges against Armstrong, accusing him of using performance-enhancing drugs throughout the best years of his career. The agency notified Armstrong and his former team manager, Johan Bruyneel, plus several of his team associates of the charges in a letter last month. The charges came after a USADA review panel examined evidence in the case, which now goes to an arbitration panel to decide. If found guilty, Armstrong could be stripped of the Tour titles he won from 1999-2005. Armstrong's attorney, Robert Luskin, called the charges "wrong and baseless."

Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

patriots_bill_belichick_2_092216.jpg

Griff Whalen practicing for Patriots, wearing No. 14

FOXBORO -- The Patriots took to the practice field behind Gillette Stadium on Friday with all but one player. 

Wideout Danny Amendola was the only player not present at the session. Newly-acquired receiver Griff Whalen was present and wearing No. 14. 

Safety Jordan Richards was back on the practice field for the first time since suffering a knee injury against the Jets in Week 12. Martellus Bennett (ankle/shoulder), Elandon Roberts (hamstring), Eric Rowe (hamstring) and Matthew Slater (foot) were all limited in practice on Thursday, but were on the field Friday.

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Friday, Dec. 9: John Scott calls it quits

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while digging the Spider-Man trailer that dropped last night. 

*John Scott has finally called it a day and announced his retirement, and apparently there’s a book of his memoirs also coming out too. I’m predicting it’s not headed for the New York Times best seller list. 

*Winter Olympics participation and the CBA negotiations for the NHL are starting to merge into giant issue.  

*Connor McDavid calls the Flyers' Brandon Manning classless for telling him on the ice that he purposefully tried to hurt him last season. Some players might also take issue with McDavid making public what another player said to him on the ice. That’s kind of a no-no for most hockey players and breaks an unwritten rule that McDavid might think he’s above given his star status. This whole thing isn’t a good look for anybody. 

*Kevin Stevens pleads guilty to federal drug charges in what’s become a pretty sad situation for the former NHL star. 

*New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is beginning to raise questions with his play, and his massive price tag. 

*Youngsters Zach Weresnki and Dylan Larkin took similar paths to the NHL, and are both considered part of the talented young generation full of hockey stars. 

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri has Carey Price taking a nutty on Kyle Palmieri after the player crashed into his crease last night. Price is being celebrated for sticking up for himself, but if another goalie did that to a Habs player at the Bell Centre, there would already be a warrant out for his arrest. Play it both ways, Montreal!  

*For something completely different: here’s the aforementioned new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer that looks pretty darn good.