All posts by phnseo

UFC lightweight Bobby Green disappointed after positive drug test

Popular UFC lightweight Bobby Green stated in an Instagram video Friday night that he was forced out of a scheduled fight at UFC 276 due to a positive drug test.

Green said — as he was in training camp for the scheduled July 2 fight versus fellow veteran fighter Jim Miller — that he received a call from the UFC informing him he had tested positive for a banned substance. Green said he believes the adverse finding came from a dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplement he was taking.

DHEA is a banned substance in the UFC’s anti-doping policy, which is administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), under the anabolic category. USADA, in a statement to ESPN, confirmed Green’s “adverse analytical finding,” which the agency was able to do because Green made it public first.

USADA does not typically announce anti-doping policy violations until the conclusion of its adjudication process. USADA did not comment on the substance found nor any discipline. Green said he knew he could face a longer suspension by coming forward with the information before USADA and the UFC announced it, but he wanted to be open with his fans.

Green could face up to a two-year suspension for testing positive for such a prohibited drug, though a full, two-year suspension is uncommon in these situations.

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Green stated DHEA was recommended by a doctor he frequently watches on YouTube, and his wife bought the supplement from the company Spring Valley at Walmart. In the video, Green apologized for his mistake, said he has never tested positive before in 14 years as a professional MMA fighter and is vehemently against performance-enhancing drug use.

“I’m crushed,” Green said. “I’m like what the f—? I had no idea, guys, what I was doing, that it was wrong, that there was any benefits to what I was doing. I would never try to cheat. I would never try to lie to my public. I’m against drugs, I’m against PEDs.”

Green stated he had purchased multiple all-natural supplements recommended by Dr. Eric Berg, a doctor with more than 8.5 million YouTube subscribers. Green said he’s a “hoarder” of pills, and is willing to try anything for his physical and mental health, provided the pills are “all natural.” He said he earnestly did not know DHEA was a banned substance.

“It’s not USADA’s fault; it’s my fault,” Green said. “I did wrong in this. I f—ed up and I’m taking responsibility. … I don’t want any way to cheat. I do not want any edge that’s not natural over any of my opponents. I believe my skills should pay the bills.”

Green (29-13-1) was coming off a UFC Fight Night loss on short notice versus top contender Islam Makhachev in February. Prior to that, the California native was on a two-fight winning streak and had won five of seven overall. Green, 36, has been in the UFC since 2013, compiling a 10-8-1 record.

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New York Yankees not worried about Aaron Judge’s mental or physical state in his quest for 62 home runs

Aaron Judge has been a mainstay in the New York Yankees’ lineup all season as he keep to put up numbers that could define his MVP-caliber 2022 season as one of the best ever.

Manager Aaron Boone, however, isn’t concern about the mental or physical state of his All-Star outfielder before the playoffs while he is steeped in the chase for home run history.

Judge is one home run from tying Roger Maris’ American League single-season record of 61, but he has played in 45 consecutive matches — he also played 47 straight earlier this season. In total, he has played 147 of the Yankees’ 151 games, and he has 73 starts in center field, which is a career high.

“Hopefully, we can continue to kind of stack up some wins here and put ourselves in a position to where, in the last week, [we can] rest,” Boone said before Saturday’s 7-5 win, in which Judge went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts versus the Boston Red Sox.

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“Paying attention to not just Aaron, but to all the guys and what their needs are. I feel like [Judge] is in a good spot, as fresh as you can be mentally. I don’t think this has been something that’s worn him down. Because if I felt like it was, and he needed a day, I would give it to him.”

Boone stated Judge has benefited not only from the rest days built into the schedule of late — the Yankees had three days off during their latest road trip — but noted that Judge’s physical conditioning and durability are better than last year.

“That’s a unique part of the schedule that I think served [Judge] and us well,” Boone said. “But coupled with the fact that, I think, this year, more than last year where he remained remarkably healthy, there were still days where I knew he was a little beat up and felt like he needed something. It’s been a little cleaner throughout. There were some true strategic [days off] early in the middle of the year around some off days that hopefully served him well.”

Boone stated Judge’s chase for history hasn’t worn him down mentally, either.

“I don’t think it has taken that mental toll, because you are always paying attention to that with players,” Boone said. “Sometimes you feel like a guy does need a break. I haven’t felt that to be the case [with Judge].

“I think it’s the evolution of him. He’s done a better job knowing he doesn’t have to do everything every day. He knows how to preserve and save some bullets, especially when you get into the second half of the season and some of the dog days. He’s really learned how to prepare and understanding that, especially physically, that less is more a lot of times.”

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Green Bay Packers WR Sammy Watkins (hamstring) out for Week 3 game at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This game still has Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, but the quarterbacks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers won’t have anything close to their full complement of receivers on Sunday.

The Packers for sure won’t have Sammy Watkins, their leading receiver through two games, because of a hamstring injury. Two of their other top receivers, rookie second-round pick Christian Watson (hamstring) and veteran Randall Cobb (illness), were listed as questionable on Friday.

The only one of the Packers’ top four receivers who has been cleared to play and taken off the injury report is Allen Lazard, who has been limited in practice this week because of the ankle injury that kept him out of the season opener.

Lazard returned for last week’s game versus the Chicago Bears and is the only receiver on the roster to have caught a touchdown this season

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Packers coach Matt LaFleur stated Friday that rookie receiver Romeo Doubs is “probably going to have to take more of a [work] load this week.”

The Buccaneers already knew earlier in the week that they would be without leading receiver Mike Evans because of his one-game suspension for last Sunday’s altercation in their game versus the New Orleans Saints.

Tampa Bay also won’t have receiver Chris Godwin, who was ruled out Friday because of a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Julio Jones (knee) was listed as questionable. The Packers also could be without one of their top tight ends, Marcedes Lewis (questionable with a groin injury).

Left tackle David Bakhtiari, who has yet to play in the 2022 season, also was listed as questionable as he tries to return from multiple knee surgeries.

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Cardinals, Rams meet Sunday for 4th time in calendar year

There aren’t many secrets between the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams, teams that will face each other Sunday for the fourth time in the past calendar year.

There’s also no secret the Rams have had a huge advantage of late.

The defending Super Bowl champions have won 10 of 11 games in the series dating to 2017, including a dominant 34-11 playoff triumph in the NFC wild-card round.

“They’ve obviously had our number here for a long time and that’s not lost upon us, but we’re just trying to improve,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “The last two weeks, we have started so slow, and we had 12 penalties last week. There’s a lot that we have to focus on.

“We know they’re a talented team and defending champs, so it’s really been about us improving this week.” The Cardinals (1-1) are in a good mood after last week’s stunning come-from-behind win. Arizona trailed Las Vegas 20-0 at halftime, but rallied for a 29-23 victory when Byron Murphy Jr. returned Hunter Renfrow’s fumble 59 yards for a touchdown with 3:51 left in overtime.

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The Rams (1-1) bounced back from a rough loss to Buffalo in Week 1 by defeating Atlanta 31-27 last week.

“I think they know us. We know them,” Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford said of the rivalry. “Every year is a little bit different, players are different, schemes a little bit different, how those players fit into that scheme, all of it. But they’re a really talented football team.”

The Cardinals did beat the Rams once last season, 37-20 in Inglewood.

Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray said facing the Rams — including seven-time All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald — is something he enjoys, no matter how difficult it can be.

“I’ve learned to embrace and love the opportunity to be able to play against (Donald) just because he’s not going to be here forever and playing the game forever,” Murray said.

“To be able to step on the field with him is an honor and to be able to go to battle against him. Like I said, he’s one of the best ever do it, so that’s how I see it.”

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Royals bullpen clutch in holding off fast-fading Twins 5-2

MJ Melendez homered for the second consecutive day, the Royals bullpen pitched five innings of two-hit ball and Kansas City beat the fast-fading Minnesota Twins 5-2 on Wednesday night to put a positive finish on a difficult day.

The Royals clinched their first winning series in nearly a month just hours after owner John Sherman fired longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, who led the franchise to two American League pennants and a World Series title.

Daniel Lynch allowed two runs on four hits over four shaky innings before giving way to the Kansas City bullpen, which was solid for the second consecutive night. 

Anthony Misiewicz (1-1) and three other relievers got the ball to Scott Barlow, pitched around an error in the ninth for his second save in as many nights and 23rd on the year.

Bailey Ober (1-3) permitted three runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings for Minnesota, which was in an AL Central race two weeks ago but has lost six of seven to start an eight-game trip that’s dashed its playoff hopes.

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The Royals opened the game the same way they finished the previous night: with production at the top of the order.

Melendez, who hit a two-run homer in the series opener, homered leading off the game for the third time this season, driving a 3-1 pitch an estimated 437 feet to center field. And after Bobby Witt Jr. reached on a base hit, Salvador Perez blooped an RBI double to right that was sneakily reminiscent of his two-out, go-ahead double on Tuesday night.

Minnesota got one back in the second on Matt Wallner’s base hit, and when the Royals answered on Edward Oliveras’ two-out single in the third, the Twins again closed within a run thanks in part to a two-bag error by Vinnie Pasquantino.

That was it for the Twins, though, because the stars of the night came out of the Kansas City bullpen.Collin Snider worked around a two-on, no-out jam in the fifth. Misiewicz retired four of the five he faced in the sixth and seventh. 

Dylan Coleman handled the rest of the seventh and the first two outs of the eighth. And Amir Garrett finished that one off before Barlow wrapped up the Twins’ 13th loss in their last 16 games.

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QB Justin Herbert day-to-day, ‘feeling more comfortable,’ says Los Angeles Chargers coach Brandon Staley

Six days removed from suffering a fracture to his rib cartilage, Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert is considered day-to-day ahead of a Week 3 matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, coach Brandon Staley said Wednesday.

“He’s gotten a lot of rest since the last game,” Staley said. “He’s feeling more comfortable. I know that he was able to do some light throwing yesterday, some rotational work, but we’re just going to take it day by day and see where his comfort level is.”

Herbert did not throw any passes during the brief portion of practice open to reporters Wednesday. The third-year quarterback watched as backup quarterbacks Chase Daniel and Easton Stick took throwing reps.

Herbert did partake in handing balls off to running backs and was listed as a limited participant on the Chargers’ injury report.

Receiver Keenan Allen and tight end Donald Parham Jr., both of whom have been dealing with hamstring injuries, also returned to practice in a limited capacity. Staley stated whether Herbert plays Sunday will be a decision that begins with the quarterback.

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“It will start with him and then obviously him feeling good about what the medical team feels like is best, him weighing the options and then us making a good decision,” Staley said.

The Chargers doctor who is caring for Herbert’s injury is being sued for medical malpractice by former Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who is seeking at least $5 million after suffering a punctured lung while being treated for a rib injury in 2020, according to copies of the original lawsuit and subsequent filings related to the case obtained by ESPN.

When asked Wednesday if there was any trepidation about Herbert’s treatment given the recent history of quarterback care, Staley said the care of players is of utmost importance.

“Any player that goes through something like this, that’s your biggest responsibility as a coach is to take care of your players, “Staley said.

“So I think we have full alignment with Justin and his family, his agents, and then the medical professionals, and that’s what we’re going to try to do is have alignment that way and just kind of trust the process and hopefully get him well soon.”

Herbert suffered the injury in last Thursday’s 27-24 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

With 5 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game, Chiefs defensive end Mike Danna hit Herbert, leaving the quarterback lying on the field for an extended period.

Herbert returned after missing only one play and was immediately hit again, as he was crushed between Chiefs pass-rushers Frank Clark and George Karlaftis. Herbert, however, remained in the game. In two games, Herbert has passed for 613 yards and six touchdowns, with an interception.

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Roger Federer to make last-minute decision on Laver Cup participation

Roger Federer is set to make a last-minute decision on his participation in the Laver Cup, his physical trainer has stated.

Last week 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer announced he would be retiring from professional tennis after a series of knee operations and stated the Laver Cup would be his last official event.

Federer was pictured arriving in London for the Laver Cup on Sunday, with the tournament’s official account tweeting “RF has arrived.”

But the 41-year-old could be denied the opportunity to bow out at the team competition between Europe and the rest of the world, which starts on Friday at London’s O2 Arena, due to persistent injury troubles.

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“He will probably decide that at the last moment,” Pierre Paganini, Federer’s trainer, told the Swiss newspaper Blick. “He is trained to have as much information as possible about whether it’s a good idea or not.”

Paganini also explained how Federer had first contemplated retiring in July, when it became clear he was making “greater efforts for relatively low intensity.”

“Since July, when he started combining the different training elements, he has noticed that he has to make more and more detours and put in extra effort,” Paganini said.

“He had to make greater efforts for relatively low intensity.

“I think it’s a smart decision. It’s not just about the knee. Roger has played a lot of matches in his career and put his body under extreme strain.”

Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray will all play together on the same team for the first time at the Laver Cup, which is run by Federer’s management company.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers to sign WR Cole Beasley to practice squad

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will sign Cole Beasley to their practice squad, a source confirmed to ESPN, adding the 11-year veteran to a short-handed wide receiver corps.

Beasley was released by the Bills in March and did not sign with another team as a free agent in the offseason.

The Bucs plan to elevate Beasley to their active roster soon, according to NFL Network, which first reported the signing Tuesday. The Bills had granted Beasley permission to seek a trade in early March but lastly released him in a move that created about $6.1 million in salary-cap space.

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Beasley, 33, now will join a Tampa Bay team entering its Week 3 showdown versus the Packers without star receiver Mike Evans, who was suspended one game for his role in Sunday’s brawl with the Saints.

The Bucs also are dealing with injuries to veteran receivers Chris Godwin and Julio Jones, who both missed their triumph over the Saints.

Evans’ appeal of his one-game suspension was heard Tuesday, sources told ESPN, confirming a report by NFL Network. James Thrash, who is jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA was the appeals officer. A ruling is expected this week, possibly as soon as Wednesday.

Beasley concluded with 82 receptions in each of the past two seasons with the Bills and has been a reliable slot receiver over his 10-year career with Buffalo and the Cowboys.

He missed a match during the 2020 season after testing positive for COVID-19 while being unvaccinated and reportedly was fined multiple times for violating the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols.

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Dennis Schroder back with Los Angeles Lakers on one-year, $2.64 million deal

Free agent guard Dennis Schroder is finalizing a one-year, $2.64 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and new coach Darvin Ham reached out to Russell Westbrook in recent days to tell him that they planned to sign a veteran guard to the team’s 14th roster spot, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ham and Schroder spent five seasons together on the Atlanta Hawks. “We are extremely pleased to welcome Dennis Schröder back to the Lakers,” said Pelinka in a statement announcing the signing.

“Not only do Dennis and Coach Ham share a player-coach history together, but they also reflect one another’s mentality of toughness with an extremely competitive edge. Dennis will add both depth and an on-ball defensive presence to our core at the guard position. He is also a proven scorer and playmaker. We are really excited for Dennis to get to camp and get back to work in L.A. after his highly successful run with his national team this offseason.”

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Schroder averaged 15.4 points and nearly six assists during his 2020-21 campaign with the Lakers and turned down an extension worth north of $80 million during the season.

He later struck out in free agency, however, eventually settling for a one-year deal with the Boston Celtics for $5.9 million.

Schroder produced for the Celtics, averaging 14.4 points and 4.2 assists in 29 minutes per match, but was traded to the Houston Rockets in a deal for Daniel Theis. He played just 15 games for the Rockets.

Schroder, who turned 29 earlier this week, boasts career averages of 14.2 points and 4.7 assists across nine seasons in the NBA. Five of those seasons came with the Atlanta Hawks, were The news comes hours after Schroder and Germany lost to Spain in a EuroBasket 2022 semifinal game.

Schroder, who led all scorers with 30 points in Friday’s game, played a key part in helping Germany’s deep run which resulted in a bronze medal.

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Diggs scores 3 TDs for Bills in 41-7 rout of Titans

Josh Allen threw four touchdown passes, including three to Stefon Diggs, and the Buffalo Bills rolled past Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans 41-7 in their home opener on Monday night.

The Bills followed a season-opening 31-10 rout of the Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams by throttling an opponent that has been their nemesis in each of the past two seasons. Fullback Reggie Gilliam and linebacker Matt Milano, with a 43-yard interception return, also scored touchdowns for Buffalo.

Allen topped 300 yards passing for the 15th time of his career, completing 26 of 38 attempts for 317 yards, and sat out the entire fourth quarter. Diggs had 12 catches for 148 yards. He has exceeded 100 yards in each of his first two games, a feat accomplished previously for the Bills only by Hall of Famer Andre Reed.

“When we execute, how we know we’re supposed to execute, success typically leads to success,” Allen said. “We’re just trying to be the best version of ourselves.”

The Bills have topped 30 points twice after doing so nine times last year. And their defense limited Tennessee to 182 yards of offense and 12 first downs, while registering two sacks and forcing four turnovers.

The Titans, coming off a 21-20 season-opening loss to the New York Giants, opened 0-2 for the first time since 2012.

The two-time defending AFC South champions face numerous questions about a defense that gave up 313 yards passing a week after allowing 238 yards rushing. Meantime, Henry and their offense continue to sputter. The two-time rushing champion was limited to 25 yards on 13 carries while scoring on a 2-yard plunge.

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“We got our (butts) kicked, plain and simple,” coach Mike Vrabel said after the most lopsided loss in his four-plus seasons coaching the Titans.

“They outplayed us and they outcoached us, and that’s the definition of it. We’re going to go back to work and try to figure out how to win a football game.”

Injuries affected both teams, the most serious involving Bills cornerback Dane Jackson, who hurt his neck in a troubling collision with a teammate and was taken to a hospital for valuation. The Bills stated Jackson had full movement in his limbs.

Coach Sean McDermott stated Jackson was still awaiting test results.

The entire Bills team gathered around Jackson as he was loaded into an ambulance on the field.

“You go from being a coach to just a human. That’s a real moment,” McDermott said. “Just praying for him. It’s an unfortunate situation.”

Otherwise, the two-time defending AFC East champion Bills continued making a splash in their second consecutive prime-time appearance, while at the same time easing frustrations of the past, including a 42-16 loss to Tennessee in 2020.

Still stung by memories of Allen being stuffed for no gain on fourth down near the goal line in the final seconds of the last season’s loss 34-31 loss in which Buffalo squandered a seven-point fourth-quarter lead, the Bills scored on their opening drive and never looked back.

“When you can play a game like that, it doesn’t matter who it’s against,” Allen said. “That’s a good team that we played. It’s a very well-coached team. For us to go do that was great.”

Up 10-7, Allen and Diggs took over by connecting for two touchdowns spanning halftime. Faking left, Allen found Diggs in an opening for a 4-yard touchdown with a minute left in the second quarter.

Allen and Diggs then blew the game open by connecting on a 46-yard touchdown on Buffalo’s first possession of the second half. Given time in the pocket, Allen threw a perfectly placed pass to Diggs, who reached out to catch the ball before tumbling head-first into the end zone.

The wheels fell off for the Titans, who were outscored 24-0 in the third quarter. Tennessee rookie Kyle Philips muffed a punt for a second consecutive week, and Ryan Tannehill threw interceptions on consecutive possessions.

Tannehill concluded 11 of 20 for 117 yards and was benched following Milano’s interception with 3:49 left in the third quarter. Rookie Malik Willis took over, and if Tannehill continues to struggle, Tennessee fans will want to see more of the young backup.

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