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Tour de France winner Alberto Contador blames bad meat for positive drug test

October 1, 2010

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— Alberto Contador blamed it all on a bad piece of filet mignon and promised he would prevail in the end.

The three-time Tour de France winner said contaminated meat caused his positive doping test for a “very small concentration” of the banned substance clenbuterol. It was found in his urine sample on July 21 at the Tour, according to the International Cycling Union, the sport’s governing body.

“The idea of anyone questioning my Tour victory does not worry me,” the Spanish cyclist said. “I am not going to let something like this destroy everything I have done.”

NFL

Ochocinco cereal boxes pulled

Cincinnati — Charity-minded callers are getting intercepted by a phone-sex line because of a typo on Chad Ochocinco’s cereal boxes.

The phone number is supposed to connect callers to Feed the Children, which benefits from sales of the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver’s cereal. But the box has the wrong toll-free prefix, meaning callers get a seductive-sounding woman who makes risque suggestions and then asks for a credit card number.

Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. said Thursday it was pulling all Ochocinco cereal boxes from its grocery shelves because of the error.

Revis will miss Jets’ game

Florham Park, N.J. — Darrelle Revis will miss the New York Jets’ game at Buffalo on Sunday, sitting out a second straight game while he recovers from a strained left hamstring.

Saints RB a game-time decision

Metaire, La. — Saints coach Sean Payton says he’ll wait until Sunday to decide whether hobbled running back Pierre Thomas plays against Carolina.

Harris wants to stay with Bears

Lake Forest, Ill. — Tommie Harris says he wants to stay with the Chicago Bears even though they benched him for the game against the Green Bay Packers on Monday night.

Parcells says retirement can wait

Miami — Even though Bill Parcells has given up control of the Miami Dolphins, he says retirement can wait.

That could be a signal to NFL teams he’s in the market for a new job. Or not.

Parcells said Thursday he isn’t sure what he wants to do after leaving the Dolphins, but he expects to find something to keep him busy.

Jets sign DE Pryce

Florham Park, N.J. — The New York Jets signed Trevor Pryce on Thursday, reuniting the former Baltimore Ravens defensive end with coach Rex Ryan.

Pryce will play in the team’s game at Buffalo on Sunday, Ryan confirmed, and likely will be used in passing situations against the Bills.

NBA

James’ manager: Race played role

Hurlburt Field, Fla. — LeBron James’ manager said he believes race played a factor in how the two-time reigning NBA MVP’s decision to join the Miami Heat was covered this summer.

Maverick Carter did not cite specifics when talking to CNN for a story that aired Wednesday night, other than saying race “definitely played a role in some of the stuff coming out of the media” during coverage of James’ free-agent saga.

James did not want to spend much time on the subject after Thursday’s Heat practice.

“I think people are looking too far into it,” James said. “But at the same time, sometimes it does play a part in it. I’ve said what I had to say, and I’ll continue to move on.”

Dean Smith watched 2nd practice

Wilmington, N.C. — A smiling Dean Smith has taken in his second Charlotte Bobcats practice in as many days.

The 79-year-old former North Carolina coach watched from a chair at midcourt at UNC Wilmington on Thursday as the Bobcats went through a midday workout. Smith spent an extended time chatting with Coastal Carolina coach Cliff Ellis during the practice and Bobcats coach Larry Brown after it ended.

Pacers pick up option on Hibbert

Indianapolis — The Indiana Pacers have picked up the team option on center Roy Hibbert’s contract, meaning the former first-round pick is signed through next season.

Hibbert, entering his third season with the Pacers, averaged 11.7 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game last year. Coach Jim O’Brien said earlier in the week that Hibbert had the best offseason he’s ever seen.

MLB

No ALDS for Morneau

Minneapolis — Minnesota slugger Justin Morneau has ruled himself out of the first round of the playoffs, though he is aiming to be available later in October if the Twins advance.

Morneau took batting practice and fielded grounders at Target Field on Thursday. He was upbeat afterward and told reporters he felt fine, hoping to ramp up workouts to be ready to play in the AL championship series if possible.

Hamilton to return tonight

Arlington, Texas — Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton will return to the lineup tonight for the AL West champions, while outfielder David Murphy will be held out until the playoffs.

Mariners shut down Hernandez

Seattle — Felix Hernandez is done pitching for the season. Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik says Hernandez will not start Sunday in the regular-season finale against Oakland.

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