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Doping charge doesn’t deter Brazil’s Cielo

Tue., July 26, 2011

Swimming: Cesar Cielo said his doping ordeal was behind him. On Monday, the emotions of the past month came back in full force when the Brazilian won the 50-meter butterfly at the world championships in Shanghai.

Cielo propped himself up on a lane rope, looked up at the scoreboard and began sobbing.

Last week, Cielo was cleared of wrongdoing by the Court of Arbitration for Sport following an emergency hearing here in China.

“It’s been a tough time for me, something that I didn’t expect at all for my career,” Cielo said. “But I had to deal with it and it feels like the biggest relief of my life to overcome something like that and be able to compete.”

Also on the second night of the eight-day meet, host China took its first gold when 15-year-old Ye Shiwen went from fifth to first during the final freestyle leg in the women’s 200 individual medley.

Alexander Dale Oen led from start to finish to take gold in the 100 breaststroke, then pointed to the Norwegian flag on his swim cap in honor of the 76 people killed during the twin attacks in his country.

Earlier, the powerful American team took its first title when Dana Vollmer won the 100 fly for her first individual gold at a worlds or Olympics.

Also, Michael Phelps qualified only fifth in the 200 freestyle semifinals, which was led by French teenager Yannick Agnel. Germany’s Paul Biedermann, who handed Phelps a stinging defeat in this event at the last worlds in Rome two years ago, qualified second, and Phelps’ teammate Ryan Lochte was third.

Cielo, who will also attempt to defend his 50 and 100 freestyle titles later this week, finished his race in 23.10 seconds. Matthew Targett took the silver in 23.28 and Australian teammate Geoff Huegill, who has come out of a four-year retirement, took the bronze in 23.35.

Cielo and three teammates tested positive for furosemide, a banned diuretic, at a meet in Rio de Janeiro in May. After the Brazilian swimming federation gave Cielo a warning, swimming governing body FINA appealed the decision to the CAS, which upheld the Brazilian ruling.

The ruling prompted an outcry from other swimmers, who called it unfair, and there were some whistles in the crowd after his victory.

Tentative agreement on L.A. stadium

Football: Los Angeles moved a step closer to coaxing a pro football team back to the region with the release of a draft agreement between city negotiators and the company planning a downtown NFL stadium.

Officials said the non-binding memorandum of understanding, which still requires a City Council vote, contains taxpayer protections that go further than those initially sought by stadium planner Anschutz Entertainment Group.

The agreement calls on the city to issue $275 million in tax-exempt bonds for the relocation of a convention center hall to accommodate the roughly 72,000-seat venue. The bond amount was down from the $350 million bond issue that AEG had initially sought.

• Alabama tells store to stop selling items: The University of Alabama told a local Tuscaloosa store to stop selling items signed by current athletes, which is a potential violation of NCAA rules.

University compliance director Mike Ward sent a letter to T-Town Menswear owner Tom Albetar on Dec. 22, 2010, instructing him to “immediately cease and desist” selling, distributing or promoting items signed by or depicting current athletes.

The letter warned that otherwise it could “jeopardize the student-athlete’s eligibility.” The NCAA prohibits using the likeness or name of a current college athlete to promote a product or service.

The letter, obtained by the AP, was initially reported on, which also ran a picture of running back Trent Richardson in a store signing the back of a shirt bearing his name and number.

• Ex-Raider Thomas dies: Former Oakland Raiders cornerback Alonzo “Skip” Thomas, one of the more colorful members of the club’s first Super Bowl championship team, died in Kansas on Sunday of an apparent heart attack.

Thomas, 61, a seventh-round draft pick out of USC in 1972, played six NFL seasons, all with the Raiders, and was on the 1976 team that beat Minnesota in Super Bowl XI.

U.S. wins World Cup softball title

Miscellany: Taylor Hoagland hit a two-run home run, Valerie Arioto and Megan Langenfeld had RBI singles and the United States beat rival Japan 6-4 in Oklahoma City to win its fifth straight World Cup of Softball championship.

Jordan Taylor (1-0) retired the first eight batters she faced and carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning, never letting the Americans fall behind after they grabbed a 2-0 lead without needing a hit in the first inning.

• Murray joins Tulsa: Former NBA player Tracy Murray is joining Teresa Edwards’ coaching staff with the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock.

Murray’s first game as a Shock assistant will be Thursday night against Chicago.

Murray played 12 seasons in the NBA for six different teams and then served as a radio broadcaster for UCLA men’s basketball.

• Oregon State A.D. has Parkinson’s: Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease but he plans to fulfill his contract with the Beavers.

Earlier this year, De Carolis, 58, signed a five-year contract extension with Oregon State that keeps him in the AD’s office through June 2016.

• Scandal rocks Turkish soccer: Turkey has postponed the start of its soccer season until Sept. 9 because of a game-fixing investigation that has landed 30 suspects in jail, including the president of the league champs.

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