Sports Extra

Auto Racing

Drivers’ ‘chase for the Chase’ under way in Sprint Cup

BROOKLYN, Mich. – Some of NASCAR’s biggest names are trying to keep their championship hopes alive, and the Chase for the Sprint Cup still is about a month away.

Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon all would be on the outside looking in if the Chase started now. They have four races to change that, starting this weekend at Michigan International Speedway.

The top 10 drivers advance, along with the two with the most wins who are between 11th and 20th in the points standings. Gordon calls this time of year the “chase for the Chase.”

Edwards is 12th in points but has no victories this year.

Busch and Gordon have a victory apiece but are 14th and 15th, just behind Ryan Newman for the second wild card spot.

Cycling

Armstrong, USADA arguing over jurisdiction in case

NEW YORK – Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency are exchanging written arguments in federal court about who has jurisdiction in the drug case against the seven-time Tour de France winner.

In papers submitted Friday to U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, the cyclists’ attorneys attached a letter from a lawyer for USA Cycling. The lawyer said the governing body for American cycling must accept the jurisdiction of the sport’s international federation and side against USADA in the case.

But USADA chief executive officer Travis Tygart counters “the World Anti-Doping Agency has already announced USADA has jurisdiction” in the doping conspiracy case. He said that’s under the rules adopted by both the International Cycling Union (UCI) and USADA.

USADA charged Armstrong in June with using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. Armstrong sued in federal court in Austin, Texas, to block the case, claiming USADA’s rules violate athletes’ constitutional right to a fair trial.

UCI then jumped in to say it should have jurisdiction in the case. Since then, most of the court fight has centered on that issue.

NHL

NHLPA head says the players unsurprised by lockout threat

ROSEMONT, Ill. – NHLPA head Donald Fehr said the players are unified as they face the threat of a lockout from owners if a new collective bargaining agreement can’t be reached.

Fehr met for part of two days with about 40 players at a hotel outside of O’Hare International Airport. The union will hold similar informational meetings next week in British Columbia and Toronto.

Fehr said it’s no surprise to the players to hear about the possibility of a lockout, especially since both the NFL and NBA recently have weathered shutdowns. He said the players fully understand what the ramifications of a work stoppage would mean, since most of them are familiar with what happened when the NHL shut down in 2004.

Soccer

American star Dempsey refuses to play for Fulham

LONDON – United States international Clint Dempsey has refused to play for Fulham and is seeking a transfer to a Champions League team, the Premier League club’s coach Martin Jol said Friday.

Dempsey was linked to Liverpool last month after Reds coach Brendan Rodgers admitted during a preseason tour of the U.S. and Canada that the Merseyside club had inquired about the player.

Asked if the attacking midfielder would face Norwich in today’s first league match of the season, Jol said: “Clint is not involved ... Clint told us that he wanted to leave, and that he wasn’t ready to play for this club anymore.”

The problems follow a superb season for the 29-year-old midfielder, who had 23 goals in 46 games to become Fulham’s top scorer. He joined the west London club in 2007 and is the highest scoring American in the Premier League with 50 goals.

Associated Press