Thursday's Sports In Brief
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) The leader of the U.S. Olympic Committee warned of turning the effort to fix the world's broken anti-doping system into a Cold War-style showdown between East and West.
Speaking to the U.S. Olympic Assembly, chairman Larry Probst reiterated his support for the International Olympic Committee's near-unanimous rubber-stamping of president Thomas Bach's decision not to ban the entire Russian team from the Rio Olympics.
''If we're going to address the inadequacies of the current anti-doping system, we can't devolve into a Cold War mentality of us versus them,'' Probst told the audience of U.S. Olympic leaders. ''The global system is broken and it needs to be fixed - the sooner the better.''
While few dispute the second part of Probst's statement, the idea of framing the Russian doping problem as a political issue certainly plays much better outside the West than inside. The World Anti-Doping Agency and other anti-doping leaders called for a blanket ban of the Russians from Rio after investigations found widespread, state-sponsored doping inside the Russian sports system. Russian President Vladimir Putin has called the doping allegations ''a dangerous return to ... letting politics interfere with sport.''
WASHINGTON (AP) - A bill moving forward in Congress would block the IRS from taxing most medals or other prizes awarded to U.S. Olympians.
The U.S. Olympic Committee awards cash prizes to Olympic medal winners: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. That's in addition to the cash value of the medals themselves: about $600 for gold and $300 for silver. Bronze medals have little intrinsic value.
Because the money is considered earned income, it is taxed - a practice some lawmakers refer to the ''victory tax.''
The Senate passed legislation to make the winnings tax-free just before the Summer Olympics. The House approved a similar bill on Thursday, 415-1, and the bill now goes back to the Senate.
The House bill would allow Olympic taxes on high-profile athletes such as swimmer Michael Phelps who earn more than $1 million a year.
ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) - NBA referees will be cracking down this season on ''unnatural acts,'' such as the hit to the groin area that resulted in Draymond Green's suspension during the NBA Finals.
They will also more closely monitor traveling after complaints from coaches that players are getting away with too many steps on the perimeter.
The referees were informed and instructed about those items this week during their preseason meetings and training camp.
The ''unnatural'' plays are a point of emphasis after a number of situations involving Green during the postseason. The All-Star forward had a habit of flailing his arms or legs and a few times made contact with opponents in the groin area.
He was finally suspended after hitting LeBron James during the finals and missed Game 5. Cleveland rallied to beat Golden State for the title in seven games.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Michael Jordan has called for peaceful demonstration and conversation in the wake of the violent protests in Charlotte.
Jordan expressed condolences to the family of Keith Scott, a 43-year-old African-American man who was killed by a black police officer, and to those injured in the ensuing protests in a statement.
The Hornets owner said, ''In light of the tragic events of the past three days, it is more important than ever that we restore calm and come together, as a community, in peaceful demonstration and conversation, and in constructive and non-violent ways.''
The Hornets team store was looted on Wednesday during the protests.
Jordan says the Hornets are committed to working with ''elected leaders and law enforcement to foster more trust, transparency and understanding so we can heal and grow together as a community.''
TRACK AND FIELD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Ed Temple, the former Tennessee State track and field coach whose Tigerbelles won 13 Olympic gold medals and helped break down racial and gender barriers in the sport, died. He was 89.
Temple's daughter, Edwina, told Tennessee State officials that her father died after an illness. He celebrated his birthday Tuesday.
Temple coached the women's track team at Tennessee State, formerly Tennessee A&I, from 1953 to 1994. He was head coach of the U.S. Olympics women's teams in 1960 and 1964 and assistant coach in 1980.
One of the athletes he coached at TSU, Wilma Rudolph, became the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics, in Rome in 1960. She won the 100 and 200 meters and teamed with Martha Hudson, Lucinda Williams and Barbara Jones to win the 400 relay.
SEATTLE (AP) - The Mariners say they are reviewing ''all internal options that are available'' after tweets from the account of reserve catcher Steve Clevenger regarding a recent police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina and the Black Lives Matter movement.
General manager Jerry Dipoto issued a brief statement saying the club is ''very disappointed'' and that while Clevenger is free to express himself, ''his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments.''
Clevenger's Twitter account was changed to private Thursday night. Screen shots of the tweets showed Clevenger made disparaging comments about protesters and President Barack Obama, saying ''everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!''
Clevenger released a statement to Fox Sports late Thursday night apologizing for ''the distraction my tweets on my personal twitter page caused when they went public earlier today.''