Vinokourov, back from doping ban, wins 13th stage

July 18, 2010


— Alexandre Vinokourov did his time for doping. Now, he’s back to basking in Tour de France glory again.

The 36-year-old from Kazakhstan capped his return to cycling’s main event by winning the 13th stage on Saturday with a solo breakaway that said more about savvy and opportunistic cycling than leg power.

It was a far cry from the 2007 Tour, when Vinokourov was kicked out and instantly became an emblem of doping shame after testing positive for a banned blood transfusion.

Police raided his Astana team’s hotel and the squad quit the race. Tour organizers lost the gamble they made by giving Astana a wild card to race a year after it was forced out in another doping scandal.

Vinokourov has since said he doesn’t want to dwell on the past. He wants to regain the trust of fans and prove that he can win with hard work alone.

“I showed I worked hard in these two years,” he said Saturday. It was his fourth career Tour stage victory. It would have been No. 6 — but his two stage wins in the 2007 Tour were nullified after his disqualification.

College football

Spielman fan favorite at Hall

South Bend, Ind. — Former Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman and former Texas defensive tackle Steve McMichael told a crowd outside the College Football Hall of Fame that they didn’t make it there on their own.

Both said that the key to their success was the players around them, saying other teams could have keyed on them and stopped them if they didn’t have help. Twenty-four former players and coaches were being enshrined Saturday.

Notre Dame wide receiver Tim Brown drew a cheer from the crowd when he struck the Heisman Trophy pose after putting on his hall blue blazer. But it was Spielman who drew the biggest cheers, with nearly 100 people watching the event wearing his No. 36 Ohio State jersey.

College athletics

11 Notre Dame athletes arrested

South Bend, Ind. — The son of former Notre Dame standout Joe Montana was among 11 Fighting Irish athletes arrested on misdemeanor charges of underage drinking at a party Friday night.

A total of 44 people were arrested after city police responded to a call about a fight near a roadway and discovered the party, said St. Joseph County Police assistant chief Bill Redman.

The most recognizable athletes arrested were Nate Montana, a walk-on who was the backup to starter Dayne Crist coming out of the spring, and Tim Abromaitis, the second leading scorer on the Irish basketball team at 16.1 points a game last season.


Torre undecided on future

St. Louis — Joe Torre wants to wait a few more months before deciding whether he wants to manage after this season.

Torre, who’ll be 70 on Sunday, is in the final year of a three-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Before the season, talks were cut off.

Boston’s Buchholz ready

Boston — The Red Sox are about to get one of their injured stars back.

Boston manager Terry Francona said Saturday that All-Star pitcher Clay Buchholz, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, will start Wednesday in Oakland.

Indians closer Wood on DL

Cleveland — Kerry Wood is back on the disabled list — for the 14th time in his career and second with the Cleveland Indians this year. Cleveland’s closer has a blistered right index finger.


Serena needs foot surgery

Serena Williams needs surgery on her right foot after cutting it on a broken glass at a restaurant.

The top-ranked women’s player was injured last week and will miss three tournaments leading to the U.S. Open, the WTA Tour said Saturday.

Auto racing

Edwards prevails in wild finish

Madison, Ill. — Carl Edwards prevailed in a wild final lap, nudging Brad Keselowski out of control on the final straightaway to take the Nationwide Dodge Dealers 250 on Saturday night.

Keselowski was on the inside and had appeared to take the lead before Edwards’ car drifted into him. Keselowski spun into the wall and was struck head-on by another car.

Edwards, of Columbia, Mo., won for the third time at Gateway International Raceway, which he considers his home track. Reed Sorenson was second and pole-sitter Trevor Bayne third, while Keselowski finally rolled across the line in 14th.

Keselowski was runner-up in the Camping World 200 truck race earlier Saturday, and led much of the Nationwide series event.

Wilson takes Toronto pole

Toronto — Justin Wilson won his first IndyCar Series pole to end Team Penske’s streak at eight Saturday in the Honda Indy Toronto, turning a series track-record lap of 104.827 mph on the 11-turn, 1.755-mile street circuit.

Wilson, the winner from the pole in the 2006 Champ Car race at the tight and bumpy Exhibition Place track, gave owner Dreyer & Reinbold Racing its first IndyCar pole since Sarah Fisher led the field at Kentucky Speedway in 2002.

Harvick wins truck race

Madison, Ill. — Kevin Harvick took the first half of a racing doubleheader Saturday with a near wire-to-wire victory in the Camping World 200.

Harvick won for the third time in four NASCAR truck races this season, leading for 143 of the 160 laps at the 1.25-mile Gateway International Raceway. He led by up to 8 seconds and the margin of victory was more than 5 seconds.


Rockets, C Miller agree

Houston — Free agent center Brad Miller has agreed to a three-year, $15 million contract with the Houston Rockets.

The 7-foot Miller averaged 8.8 points and 4.9 rebounds for Chicago last season. Miller played in Sacramento from 2003-09, including three seasons playing for current Houston coach Rick Adelman.

Heat complete Ilgauskas signing

Miami — For the Miami Heat, the first priority of the summer was the big moves, the names like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

It’s been all about big men since.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas became the third center to sign with the Heat in less than 24 hours on Saturday, completing a deal he agreed in principle to about five days earlier. On Friday, the Heat completed contracts with returning Miami veteran Joel Anthony and rookie draft pick Dexter Pittman. And Miami’s next move is expected to be the re-signing of another 7-footer, Jamaal Magloire.


Kansas City, Colorado tie

Commerce City, Colo. — Conor Casey scored in the 74th minute and the Colorado Rapids tied 1-1 with Kansas City on Saturday night, keeping the Wizards winless in Colorado since 2004.

Casey beat goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen with a left-footed shot from just outside the area for Colorado, which has four ties and a loss since June 5.

Casey has seven of Colorado’s 17 goals.

Davy Armound scored in the 20th minute for Kansas City, which last won in Colorado on June 9, 2004.

Kansas City has two ties in seven visits since then and is 1-8-6 overall at the Rapids.


McCarron takes 1-shot lead

Reno, Nev. — Scott McCarron rattled off five birdies and an eagle on the front nine on his way to a 5-under 67 and a one-shot lead entering the final round of the Reno-Tahoe Open.


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