Sports Extra

Cycling

Heras, meet Dr. Fuentes: Former director testifies

MADRID – A former cycling team director told a Spanish court Friday that he had allowed four-time Spanish Vuelta winner Roberto Heras and other riders to contact Eufemanio Fuentes, the doctor at the center of the Operation Puerto blood-doping case.

Manolo Saiz, former director of the ONCE and Liberty Seguros team, said during the trial’s fourth day that he let Heras, Marcos Serrano Rodriguez and Angel Vicioso Arcos see Fuentes but he “did not want to become a middleman between Fuentes and my team.”

“Heras asked me on various occasions to go to doctor Fuentes,” Saiz told the court. “I told him that he could not see anyone outside the team, but after he insisted, I agreed. With Serrano and Vicioso, the same thing happened. I accepted, and from that moment on I don’t know anything, whether they established a relationship or not.

“I never contacted Fuentes. I didn’t know about the practices of Dr. Fuentes nor of any other doctor that wasn’t on my team.”

NBA

NBA players’ union places its chief on indefinite leave

NEW YORK – NBA players put union chief Billy Hunter on an indefinite leave Friday, two weeks after a report they commissioned questioned Hunter’s leadership and criticized him for bad decisions and questionable business practices.

The union is forming an interim executive committee and an advisory committee, the group’s president, Derek Fisher, said in a statement released Friday. An outside attorney also is being hired as players begin moving forward, likely without the man who has guided them since 1996.

Fisher pushed for the outside review of Hunter and the union. That examination by a New York law firm found no illegal use of funds but cited Hunter for a number of poor choices and recommended players discuss whether he should remain in charge during their All-Star weekend meetings.

NFL

Foster says his heart is fine; no surgery required

HOUSTON – Texans running back Arian Foster said he has not spoken with his doctors about “any surgery,” disputing a report that he likely was to undergo a heart procedure in about a month.

The NFL Network reported Thursday that Foster was considering an ablation procedure because of a heart condition that forced him from a game late this season.

NHL

Deadline comes and goes; Coyotes belong to the NHL

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Greg Jamison was unable to pull together the funds and investors he needed to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes before a deadline with the city of Glendale expired.

His bid to buy the team from the NHL may not be over, though. More complicated, yes, but not necessarily finished.

Jamison was unable to complete his purchase of the Coyotes before midnight Thursday, the deadline set in a 20-year, $308-million lease agreement he reached with Glendale for Jobing.com Arena last year.

Despite the disappointment for the Coyotes and their fans, nothing changes – the team has been run by the NHL for more than three years.

Tennis

Isner and Querrey give USA a 2-love Davis Cup head start

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – John Isner and Sam Querrey each won their matches Friday to give the United States a 2-0 lead over Brazil in the first round of the Davis Cup.

Isner earned a straight-set win over Brazil’s Thiago Alves 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-3, two hours after Querrey earned a 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Thomaz Bellucci.

The United States is one win away from advancing. Bob and Mike Bryan, the world’s No. 1 ranked doubles team, will take on Brazil’s Marcelo Melo and Bruno Soares today, followed by Sunday’s reverse singles, if needed.

Associated Press

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