Sports briefs for Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012

Posted Nov. 06, 2012, at 6:31 p.m.

Sea Dogs’ player fundraising for Sandy victims

PORTLAND — Portland Sea Dogs’ catcher, Jayson Hernandez, who has called the Jersey Shore home for the last 18 years, has a launched a fundraising campaign, “Grand Slam for Sandy,” to aid the relief efforts.

The Portland Sea Dogs will contribute to Hernandez’s effort by donating $1 for every ticket sold between 9 a.m. on Wednesday through 5 p.m. on Friday.

Tickets for the 2013 season can be ordered over the phone at 207-879-9500 or online at www.seadogs.com. The Hadlock Field ticket office is also open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and tickets can also be purchased at the Sea Dogs’ kiosk at the Maine Mall.

For more information on “Grand Slam for Sandy,” log on to www.seadogs.com. A Facebook page has also been established for the cause; www.facebook.com/GrandSlamforSandy. Hernandez has utilized his Twitter account, @Jays0n_Hernan to promote the cause and update fans.

NHL, union back at bargaining table for new talks

NEW YORK — The locked-out NHL players’ association returned to the bargaining table Tuesday, and this time brought Sidney Crosby along.

On Day 52 of the lockout that has delayed the start of the hockey season and threatened to wipe it out completely, the league and the players sat down for the second round of negotiations in four days at an undisclosed site.

Not only were NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly and union special counsel Steve Fehr there, as they were for a marathon session by themselves Saturday. They were joined by Commissioner Gary Bettman, NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr, a handful of team owners, and 13 players including Crosby, who has been an active participant in the process.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll start bargaining and we’ll continue bargaining until we find a way to make a deal,” Donald Fehr said Tuesday before talks started. “Sometimes that goes in rather long sessions with short breaks and sometimes you take a few hours or half a day or a day to work on things before you come back together. I don’t know which it will be.

“We certainly hope we’ll be continuing to meet on a regular basis. I hope they do, too. I’m just not making any predictions.”

Fehr’s brother Steve met with Daly on Saturday in a secret location, and neither provided many details of what was discussed, but both agreed that the meeting was productive. That was proven when the sides agreed to quickly meet again Tuesday. There had been no negotiations since talks broke off on Oct. 18 until Saturday.

Former Armstrong teammate admits doping with EPO

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — South African cyclist David George, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, admitted using the blood-boosting drug EPO on Tuesday after failing a doping test.

George failed an out-of-competition test on Aug. 29, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport said Tuesday. He was provisionally suspended by Cycling South Africa and faces a two-year ban.

George cycled on Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service team in 1999 and 2000. George said he wouldn’t ask for his B sample to be tested and would accept his punishment.

“I know the result will ultimately be the same. This decision will be communicated to Cycling South Africa (CSA) and Drug-Free Sport shortly and according to protocol,” George said in a statement: “I fully understand the consequences of my admission and will bear the results of this.”

Last month, Armstrong was banned for life by the International Cycling Union and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles because of his role in a doping scandal, which was outlined in a report by the U.S. Anti-doping Agency. Other former teammates testified against Armstrong in the report, which said he used steroids, EPO and blood transfusions.

George won silver in the road race at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and bronze in the time trial in the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998. He also represented South Africa at two Olympics, in 1996 and 2000.

Wrestler stripped of Olympic medal

Nearly three months after the closing ceremony, another Olympic athlete has been stripped of a medal for a doping violation at the London Games.

The International Olympic Committee has disqualified Soslan Tigiev, a freestyle wrestler from Uzbekistan who won bronze in the 74-kilogram class, two officials familiar with the case told The Associated Press.

The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the ruling hasn’t been announced yet.

Tigiev tested positive for the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine, and the result wasn’t confirmed until after the games finished Aug. 12, the officials said. The case has remained confidential while going through the IOC’s disciplinary process.

Hungary’s Gabor Hatos will be upgraded to bronze.

Tigiev becomes the second athlete from the London Olympics stripped of a medal because of a doping violation. Nadzeya Ostapchuk of Belarus had her gold in the women’s shot put revoked by the IOC after testing positive for the steroid metenolone.

An IOC disciplinary panel investigated Tigiev’s case and recommended his disqualification and loss of the medal. The findings were submitted for ratification to the ruling IOC executive board, whose members voted by mail. Monday was the deadline for responses.

Former NFL player David Boston guilty of battery

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former NFL wide receiver David Boston could face nearly three years in prison for punching a woman last year.

Palm Beach County prosecutors say the 34-year-old Boston pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated battery. He faces up to 35 months in prison at a Dec. 7 hearing.

Authorities say Boston had been drinking at a Boca Raton home last November when he punched a woman twice in the head, leaving a wound that required 10 stiches.

Boston was a star at Ohio State and went to the Pro Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals in 2001. He also played for the San Diego Chargers and then the Miami Dolphins before injuries and legal problems ended his career.

Telephone and email messages seeking comment from Boston’s attorney weren’t immediately returned.

Connecticut hockey coach takes medical leave

STORRS, Conn. — Connecticut men’s hockey coach Bruce Marshall is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence from the program.

The school declined Tuesday to comment on the nature of the medical issue and said it would have no further comment on the matter.

Assistant coach David Berard will take over the team until Marshall returns.

Marshall is in his 25th season as UConn coach, leading the team into Division I in 1998.

In June, the program accepted an invitation to become the 12th member of Hockey East, the region’s top college hockey conference, where it will begin play in 2014-15.

Mavericks F Shawn Marion out with sprained knee

DALLAS — Mavericks forward Shawn Marion will miss at least three games with a sprained left knee ligament.

The team said Tuesday the four-time All-Star was a scratch for Wednesday night’s home game against Toronto and won’t make a two-game trip to New York and Charlotte.

The 34-year-old Marion will be re-evaluated next week. He sprained his left medial collateral ligament in the third quarter of the Mavericks’ 114-91 win over Portland on Monday night.

Marion is averaging 8.0 points and 9.0 rebounds through four games this season. He played at least 75 games in nine of his first 12 seasons and has career averages of 16.4 points and 9.2 rebounds.

Bobcats lose starting G Henderson for 2-4 weeks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Bobcats announced starting guard Gerald Henderson could miss approximately 2-4 weeks with a sprained left foot.

Henderson, Charlotte’s leading scorer last season, injured the foot during Saturday night’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The team initially didn’t think the injury was going to be a problem, but further medical tests revealed Henderson sprained the mid-foot area and will miss more time than expected.

Through two games Henderson is averaging 12.5 points, 3 steals, 2.5 assists and 2 rebounds in 28 minutes. He had 18 points in Charlotte’s season-opening win against Indiana last Friday night.

Either Ramon Sessions or Ben Gordon will take Henderson’s spot in the starting lineup when the Bobcats (1-1) host the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

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