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Friday’s Sports In Brief

August 20, 2016 6:02 AM
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RIO DE JANEIRO — Three Olympics, three races at each, three gold medals every time for Usain Bolt.

The man who transcended track and became a world-class celebrity bid a blazing-fast farewell to the Rio de Janeiro Games — and, he insists, the Olympics altogether — with yet another anchor leg for the ages. He turned a close 4x100 relay race against Japan and the United States into a typical, Bolt-like runaway, helping Jamaica cross the line in 37.27 seconds.

Japan won the silver medal, finishing .33 seconds behind. The U.S. finished the race third but was disqualified because of an early handoff in the first exchange. That promoted Canada to the bronze medal.

RIO DE JANEIRO — U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte apologized for his behavior surrounding an incident at a Rio de Janeiro gas station, saying he should have been more “careful and candid” about how he described what happened after a night of partying with his teammates.

But he didn’t explain in his lengthy post on his Instagram account why he embellished details of an encounter with armed security guards and called it a robbery, and why he omitted to say that he and three teammates had vandalized a gas station restroom.

RIO DE JANEIRO — The U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team is still a little better than Spain. One more win and the Americans are again the best in the world.

The U.S. advanced to its third straight gold-medal game, beating Spain 82-76 in another tight matchup between the teams that met in the last two championship games.

Klay Thompson scored 22 points for the Americans, who will play Serbia on Sunday for their third consecutive Olympic title.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Allyson Felix achieved something unprecedented in women’s track and field by winning her fifth Olympic gold medal.

And together with the rest of the 4x100-meter relay team, she brought the United States closer to its biggest medal haul in decades. The tally could have been higher, too, had the U.S. men’s 4x100 team not been disqualified after finishing third in the subsequent final.

Running the second leg in the relay, Felix kept the U.S. up there with the mighty Jamaicans, before English Gardner and Tori Bowie brought the baton, tightly clenched in their hands, home for gold.

RIO DE JANEIRO — With one last chance for a gold medal in what’s probably her last Olympics, Vivian Cheruiyot turned to — who else — Usain Bolt for a pre-race pep talk. It worked.

The Kenyan ran down world champion and heavy favorite Almaz Ayana in the 5,000-meter final to win a long-awaited first Olympic title. She also set a new games record.

PITTSBURGH — The NFL suspended Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell for the first three games of the season for missing multiple drug tests, a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.

Bell initially faced a four-game suspension, but it was reduced to three games following an appeal to the league. Bell offered an apology in an Instagram post shortly after the suspension was announced, a post he later deleted.

This is the second time Bell has faced discipline from the league. He sat out the first two games of the 2015 season as punishment for his arrest in August 2014 on DUI and marijuana possession charges following a traffic stop.

Bell will be eligible to return to the active roster Sept. 26, before the team’s Week 4 home game against Kansas City.

NEW ORLEANS — The NBA has decided to hold the 2017 All-Star Game in New Orleans after taking the midseason event out of North Carolina because of a state law that limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay and transgender people.

New Orleans was announced as the new location of the game, replacing Charlotte — which was set to host the game until the NBA decided last month to move it elsewhere.

Unlike several other Southern states, Louisiana has not been swept up in legislative efforts to pass laws similar to that in North Carolina — a fact Gov. John Bel Edwards has touted while lobbying the NBA to bring its All-Star weekend to New Orleans.

NEW YORK — Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard and Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman have been cleared by Major League Baseball of allegations they used banned performance-enhancing substances.

Pharmacist Charlie Sly claimed in an Al-Jazeera America documentary “The Dark Side: Secrets of Sports Doping,” which was broadcast Dec. 27, that the two used banned performance-enhancing substances.

In a brief statement, MLB said its investigation “did not find any violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Howard or Zimmerman.”

MLB said the players cooperated with its investigation and Sly did not.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Si Woo Kim and Lucas Glover had putts for 59 on another low-scoring day in the Wyndham Championship.

Kim’s 50-foot birdie try on his final hole — the par-4 ninth — slid by the right edge, leaving the 21-year-old South Korean player with a tournament-record 10-under 60 and a two-stroke lead.

Glover shot 61, missing a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-4 17th and three-putting the par-4 18th for bogey in the PGA Tour’s regular-season finale.

Kim had a 12-under 128 total to take the two shot advantage over Jim Furyk, Glover, Kevin Na and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama.

MASON, Ohio — Angelique Kerber advanced to the Western & Southern Open semifinals, staying on track to overtake Serena Williams at No. 1, with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Carla Suarez Navarro.

If Kerber wins the tournament, she’ll move ahead of Williams in next week’s WTA rankings. Williams, who has been No. 1 for 183 consecutive weeks, is the two-time defending champion in this tournament but withdrew because of a sore shoulder.

In the men’s bracket, Andy Murray struggled with a stiff back and gritted out a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Bernard Tomic to reach the semifinals and extend his successful summer, which includes his second Wimbledon title and another Olympic gold medal. He has won his last 21 matches, a career high.

Kerber will play third-seeded Simona Halep, who beat Agnieszka Radwanska for her 13th straight match victory. Karolina Pliskova also advanced with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 win over Svetlana Kuznetsova. She’ll face Garbine Muguruza, who beat qualifier Timea Babos in straight sets.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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