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Sports briefs for May 9, 2014

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Browns’ Gordon headed for season-long suspension

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon faces a season-long suspension for a positive marijuana test, his second violation of the NFL policy, according to an ESPN “Outside the Lines” report Friday.

Gordon told the network he was unaware of the report and directed all questions to Drew Rosenhaus, who said the information was not true. Gordon, 23, is the top playmaker on the roster. The Browns passed on two wide receivers in the top 10 of the 2014 NFL Draft on Thursday, dealing their initial pick to the Buffalo Bills, who drafted Clemson’s Sammy Watkins.

Gordon was suspended last season without pay for two games but returned to catch 87 passes for 1,646 yards, including back-to-back 200-yard games in 14 regular-season games. Upon returning from this 2013 suspension, Gordon said the “banned substance” he was suspended for using was cough syrup that contained codeine.

NBA appoints interim CEO for Clippers

Dick Parsons, former chairman of Citigroup and Time Warner, was named on Friday as interim chief executive officer of the Los Angeles Clippers by the NBA, replacing Donald Sterling, who was suspended for life because of racist comments.

Commissioner Adam Silver of the NBA said Parsons, a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners who sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates, will take over immediately.

Meanwhile, a new audio tape of Sterling claiming that he is not a racist was posted by Radar Online on Friday. In the audio recording, presumed to be from a phone conversation with an unidentified listener, Sterling yells, “You know I’m not a racist!”

“You think I’m a racist?” he continues. “You think I have anything in the world but love for everybody? You don’t think that! You know I’m not a racist!”

France stuns Olympic champion Canada at worlds

France produced a stunning 3-2 shootout victory over Olympic champions Canada thanks to a goal from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare as the ice hockey world championship began in Belarus on Friday.

Bellemare was the only scorer in the shootout after the preliminary round Group A game was tied at 2-2 following overtime at the Chizhovka Arenawere in Minsk.

It was only the second time France had beaten Canada at the worlds since the event began in 1931 after their first victory over the Canadians at the 1995 tournament.

Stephane da Costa struck two powerplay goals for France while Brayden Schenn and Erik Gudbranson scored for Canada.

NFL Draft gets highest-ever TV rating

ESPN and NFL Network reported huge ratings spikes in their coverage of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

The first round drew the networks’ highest major-market television rating ever for the event as the two networks combined for an 8.64 overnight Nielsen rating, with ESPN accounting for 6.8 of that. ESPN announced via Twitter that Thursday night’s viewership was 48 percent higher than last year’s first-round coverage. NFL Network wrote via Twitter that its rating was 50 percent higher than in 2013.

This is the first year the NFL held the draft in May after traditionally having it in April.

Brad Adgate, director of research at Horizon Media, attributed the increase to an interest in where former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel would get selected. Manziel fell to the Cleveland Browns at No. 22.

“If he went in the top five, the viewership would be a lot lower than it was with him going No. 22,” Adgate said.


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