May 27, 2018
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UMaine track teams earn national academic honors

By Dave Barber, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine – The University of Maine women’s and men’s and field teams have been honored as All-Academic Teams by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

To be eligible for the distinction, the team must have a cumulative grade point average above 3.0.

The women’s team earned the award via a 3.19 GPA while the men’s team had a 3.11 GPA.

Both teams were successful on the track as well. On the women’s side, Corey Conner garnered second team All-American honors after placing 16th at the NCAA Championships in the 5,000 while Robyn McFetters took the America East title in the hammer. The men’s side had Wilson Adams take the conference title in the hammer, Justin Gagne of Biddeford take the crown in the discus and David Currier of Sidney take the title in the 10,000. In addition, both Gagne and McFetters competed at the NCAA East Preliminary Round.

Vilma court hearing ends with no decision on TRO

NEW ORLEANS — A hearing in federal court for suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has wrapped up without an immediate decision about whether he can temporarily return to work.

Vilma is trying to persuade U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan to impose a temporary restraining order while his lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell proceeds.

Berrigan did not say when she would rule but has expressed an interest in a quick resolution.

Vilma, former teammates and New Orleans assistant head coach Joe Vitt testified Thursday that Vilma never put up cash for tackles that injured opponents.

Retired Saints Troy Evans and Randall Gay also testified on Vilma’s behalf, along with current New Orleans defensive players Roman Harper, Sedrick Ellis, Jonathan Casillas and Scott Shanle.

JR Motorsports hopes to have Danica Patrick back in 2013

INDIANAPOLIS — JR Motorsports hopes Danica Patrick will stay the course next season.

Team co-owner Kelly Earnhardt-Miller says Patrick has expressed interest in running again in the Nationwide Series and that the team is trying to finalize sponsorship and a driver for the No. 7 car. Earnhardt-Miller spoke just before Patrick started practicing for Saturday’s Indy 250.

Patrick is familiar with the historic 2.5-mile oval from her days as an IndyCar driver and has grown accustomed to all the questions regarding her future.

She’s been running part-time this season in the Sprint Cup Series and full-time in Nationwide.

Earnhardt-Miller says a best-case scenario would be keeping Cole Whitt in the No. 88 car, while putting Patrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and others split time in a fully-funded No. 7 car.

Romania’s chances for gold hurt by Iordache injury

LONDON — Looks like Romania can be scratched off the list of U.S. challengers.

The European champions’ chances of contending for the gold medal in women’s gymnastics were seriously damaged when Larisa Iordache developed plantar fasciitis in her left heel. Iordache only did full routines on uneven bars and balance beam during podium training Thursday, and coach Mariana Bitang said afterward that there was just a “50 percent chance” the 16-year-old would be able to do all four events at the London Olympics.

The women’s competition begins Sunday with qualifying.

Iordache is the latest Romanian to be dubbed “the new Nadia.” In addition to leading Romania to an upset of Russia at Europeans, she won the title on floor exercise and was second to Catalina Ponor on beam. She won six medals at last year’s European Youth Olympic Festival, including the all-around title and golds on floor exercise and balance beam.

The injury is a blow to Romania, which is finally back on track after several dismal years.

The Romanians won five straight world titles from 1994 to 2001, as well as the team gold medal at the Sydney and Athens Olympics. But the team fell into disarray when Bitang and Octavian Belu left the team, finishing a distant third at the Beijing Games. Sandra Izbasa’s gold on floor was the only individual medal in those games. They didn’t even make the podium at last year’s world championships.

NASCAR president will keep drug test details private

INDIANAPOLIS — NASCAR is sticking to its policy of not disclosing the specific substances that cause positive drug tests.

Series President Mike Helton said Thursday that even though the rulebook allows series officials to disclose which drugs a competitor has tested positive for, he does not intend to stray from the long-standing policy of keeping those results private. Helton cited federal privacy laws as one reason the series has not publicly said what caused A.J. Allmendinger’s positive test.

The comments come less than three weeks after Allmendinger tested positive for a banned substance at Daytona.

NASCAR has not provided details of the test and has said only that the two urine samples tested positive for the same substance. Allmendinger was suspended hours before the July 7 race and is now serving an indefinite suspension after his backup “B” sample also tested positive this week.

Allmendinger’s business manager, Tara Ragan, said the driver tested positive for an amphetamine. Allmendinger has said he did not knowingly ingest a banned substance, and has hired an independent laboratory in an attempt to figure out how he tested positive.

But Allmendinger is not fighting the suspension and has instead said he will participate in NASCAR’s anti-drug program, which includes an evaluation by a substance abuse professional, along with potential counseling and rehabilitation, so he can be reinstated.

FIFA suspends Bin Hammam from soccer for 90 days

LONDON — FIFA stepped up investigations into alleged bribery by Mohamed bin Hammam on Thursday by banning the former presidential candidate from soccer for 90 days.

FIFA said its new independent prosecutor Michael Garcia wanted bin Hammam suspended while he examines an audit detailing alleged financial mismanagement of Asian Football Confederation accounts and billion-dollar commercial contracts during the Qatari official’s leadership.

“The decision was taken … in order to prevent interference with the establishment of the truth in respect of a preliminary investigation,” FIFA said in a statement.

Garcia also is searching for new evidence that bin Hammam bribed Caribbean voters during his challenge to Sepp Blatter last year, FIFA said.

Bin Hammam had his life ban from soccer overturned last week by the Court of Arbitration for Sport last week which decided that FIFA failed to prove its case.

Three days before the verdict, the Asian soccer body ensured that bin Hammam could not immediately return to office by imposing a 30-day ban while it studies the audit it commissioned.

FIFA’s new suspension acts as a second blocking tactic, and denies him his seat at the FIFA executive committee table when it next meets in Zurich on Sept. 27-28.

Bonds asks for another delay in appeal

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds has requested another delay in his appeal of his obstruction of justice conviction.

Bonds’ lawyers asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday to postpone the deadline for his reply brief from Aug. 2 to Aug. 16.

A jury found Bonds guilty in April 2011 of one count of obstruction of justice, finding he gave an evasive answer in 2003 to a grand jury investigating illegal steroids distribution. The trial jury deadlocked on three counts of making false statements, charges which then were dropped.

Major League Baseball’s career home run leader was sentenced in December to 30 days of house arrest, two years of probation and a $4,000 fine.

His initial brief was due March 21 and the government’s response on April 20, but both sides obtained extensions.

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