By Carlos Sastre (above), his first Tour de France championship. The 33-year-old Spaniard took the yellow jersey on July 23 after Stage 17—the most rigorous climb—and held on to it for the final four stages, including Sunday's final ride into Paris during which he sipped champagne with team officials. He beat Cadel Evans of Australia by 58 seconds and Bernhard Kohl of Austria by 1:13, making it the second-closest podium finish in the 105-year history of the tour.
From the U.S. Olympic team, gymnast Paul Hamm, 25. The 2004 all-around gold medalist broke his hand in May. He thought he would be healthy enough to compete, but on Monday he announced that he'd had setbacks in his recovery, including a strained rotator cuff, and would cede his spot on the team.
By Andrew Giuliani (right), Duke University and golf coach O.D. Vincent, after he was thrown off the school's golf team. Giuliani, the son of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, claims that Vincent, who trimmed the 14-player roster in half—trumped up allegations of misconduct, including club throwing and tossing an apple at a teammate, to turn his teammates against him and remove him from the team. (Several of his teammates e-mailed Giuliani, who will be a senior this year, in April telling him they wanted him off the team.) Giuliani, who last year had the 12th best scoring average on the team, is asking for unspecified damages and the right to use Duke's golf facilities for the rest of his life. A Duke spokesman said the school intends to "vigorously defend this lawsuit."
By swimmer Jessica Hardy, a drug test after the Olympic trials last month. A former world-record holder in the 100-meter breaststroke, the 21-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., qualified for Beijing in three events, but she will be off the team unless she wins her appeal. Hardy's agent said that she told him, "I never did anything wrong. I never cheated."
August 3, 2008
From Triple A Iowa to the Cubs, former Notre Dame wide receiver Jeff Samardzija. The righthanded pitcher got the call-up when closer Kerry Wood was placed on the DL. Samardzija, who was 4--1 with a 3.13 ERA as a starter with Iowa, will be used in the bullpen. After setting Notre Dame single-season records for receiving yards (1,249) and TDs (15), Samardzija was considered a possible first-round NFL draft pick. Instead he decided to sign a five-year, $10 million deal with the Cubs, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2006. He picked up a save in his second appearance when he struck out three Marlins in two scoreless innings on Sunday.
By the WNBA, 10 players and one coach after the Los Angeles Sparks and the Detroit Shock brawled near the end of a game on July 22. Shock forward Plenette Pierson received the longest ban, four games, for starting the fight by standing over L.A.'s Candace Parker and taunting her as she was on the ground. Parker then grabbed Pierson, and both benches emptied. Detroit assistant Rick Mahorn was suspended two games for "escalating the altercation." Said WNBA president Donna Orender, "None of us can recall an incident like this."
At age 82 after suffering a stroke, Jerome Holtzman, who was enshrined in the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Holtzman wrote for two Chicago papers and The Sporting News in his 55-year career, and he also wrote the entry on baseball for the Encyclopaedia Britannica. In 1959 he established the criteria for a new stat he called the save, which was officially adopted in '69. Padres closer Trevor Hoffman, who holds the career record for saves, said he intended to honor Holtzman, a cigar aficionado, by lighting up a stogie. "Obviously, I benefited quite a bit from him thinking that a reliever's value was something that could be quantified," Hoffman said. "He had a major impact on the game."
They Said It
Red Sox manager, when asked who was tougher to handle, his 14-year-old daughter or petulant slugger Manny Ramirez:
"I plead the eighth."
SIGN OF THE APOCALYPSE
An eight-year-old girl was kicked out of a tennis tournament in New Zealand when she was discovered wearing a hidden earpiece to receive coaching from her father.