Day 1 in court, Pistorius faces life in prison
PRETORIA, South Africa – Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius wept in court Friday as prosecutors said they’ll pursue a charge of premeditated murder against him in the killing of his model girlfriend, meaning the man who once inspired the world could spend the rest of his life in prison.
Pistorius’ family and London-based management issued a statement disputing the murder charge he now faces for the slaying of Reeva Steenkamp. The athlete himself initially appeared solemn and collected in his first court appearance, then later sobbed loud enough for his cries to be heard over the more than 100 spectators gathered for the hearing.
Broncos likely to tag Clady while sorting out his future
ENGLEWOOD – Peyton Manning can rest easy: His blindside protector isn’t going anywhere. Denver Broncos boss John Elway is planning to put the franchise tag on his All Pro left tackle Ryan Clady as early as Tuesday.
A franchise tag would mean a salary of just less than $10 million for Clady in 2013, about three times what he earned last season when he surrendered just one sack in more than 1,100 snaps.
Elway told The Denver Post the Broncos still hope to work out a multiyear extension with Clady, who is recovering from a recent operation on his right shoulder that kept him out of the Pro Bowl. Clady rejected five years, $50 million last summer.
Gary Payton? Tim Hardaway? Hall announces 12 finalists
HOUSTON – Gary Payton, Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond are among 12 finalists for election into the Basketball Hall of Fame. The announcement of the finalists kicked off All-Star Weekend in Houston.
Former Houston Cougars coach Guy Lewis has been chosen as a finalist for the first time since 2003. Current Louisville coach Rick Pitino and former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian also are finalists for the 2013 class.
The others include former NBA stars Maurice Cheeks, Spencer Haywood and Bernard King, longtime North Carolina women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell and five-time WNBA All-Star Dawn Staley. Boston Celtics great Tom Heinsohn, already inducted as a player, is a finalist in the coaching category.
The ’13 class will be announced at the Final Four in April.
It appears the 2014 Games will feature NHL players
NEW YORK – Two days of talks between the NHL and international hockey officials wrapped up Friday with signs the league will wind up sending its players to the 2014 Sochi Games.
NHL players have participated in the last four Winter Games, and the league is weighing whether it gets enough return on its overall investment, which requires North American hockey to shut down its season for over two weeks to take part.
Russian Katusha wins appeal for top-tier team status
LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Russian cycling team Katusha won its appeal against the International Cycling Union’s decision to deny it top-tier status for the 2013 season.
Katusha now automatically will be entered in all World Tour events, including the Tour de France, major stage races and one-day classics.
At 31, Serena Williams will be the oldest No. 1 ever
DOHA, Qatar – An emotional Serena Williams secured the No. 1 ranking after coming from a set down to beat former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 to reach the Qatar Open semifinals Friday.
The 31-year-old American will become the oldest women’s player to be No. 1 in next week’s rankings.