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Sports briefs for April 24, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

Cowboys Stadium gets first college title game

Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, will be the site of the first College Football Playoff championship game in 2015, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

An official announcement is expected during a meeting of BCS conference commissioners in Pasadena, Calif., where a formal vote was to be taken.

Tampa, Fla., the only other bidder for the title game, reportedly made a strong presentation and lost out in a close call.

The commissioners also were to reveal the final three bowl sites for the semifinal rotation. ESPN.com reported late Wednesday that the Cotton Bowl, played in Cowboys Stadium, the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta and the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., were chosen.

The Rose, Orange and Sugar bowls previously were selected to be in the six-bowl semifinal rotation.

NFL to fight anti-gay bias, says N.Y. attorney general

NEW YORK — The National Football League will step up its efforts to fight discrimination based on sexual orientation, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said on Wednesday.

The action comes after at least three college football players said they had been asked about their sexual orientation during NFL recruitment interviews earlier this year.

As a result of discussions with Schneiderman’s office, the NFL will display posters in locker rooms that communicate the league’s anti-discrimination rules, and all 32 teams in the league will undergo training, including the people involved in hiring and recruitment, Schneiderman said.

Kenseth, crew penalized by NASCAR

An piston rod on Matt Kenseth’s Toyota was 3 grams too light when the NASCAR driver raced to victory Sunday at Kansas Speedway. On Wednesday, he drew a 50-point penalty from NASCAR for having the unapproved part, knocking Kenseth from eighth in the Cup standings to a tie for 14th.

Kenseth’s crew chief Jason Ratcliff was suspended for six races plus NASCAR’s All-Star Race on May 18, and Kenseth’s team owner, Hall of Fame NFL coach Joe Gibbs, also was penalized with the loss of car-owner championship points for those six races.

Kings’ Brown gets two-game suspension

Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown was suspended on Wednesday for the final two games of the regular season for throwing an elbow during a loss to the Minnesota Wild, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Brown knocked down Wild forward Jason Pominville on Tuesday night with an elbow that appeared to land in the face area as Pominville skated toward him. No penalty was called on the play.

Pominville was helped off the ice and never returned to the game.

Liverpool’s Suarez gets 10-game ban for biting

LONDON — Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was handed a 10-match suspension by the Football Association (FA) on Wednesday following his bite on Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic at the weekend.

Suarez accepted a charge of violent conduct after the incident in the 2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield on Sunday but disputed the FA view that it merited more than a three-game ban.

An Independent Regulatory Commission met in London on Wednesday to decide the Uruguayan international’s fate and added seven games to the usual ban for violent conduct.

The suspension begins immediately, meaning Liverpool’s leading scorer will miss his side’s last four games of the season and the first six at the beginning of next term.

The 26-year-old Suarez, who was banned for biting an opponent while with Dutch club Ajax before joining Liverpool in 2011, apologised after the game and was fined a reported 200,000 pounds ($305,700) by the club.

Ohno rules out Sochi, says career is over

NEW YORK — American Apolo Anton Ohno has confirmed he will not compete at next year’s Sochi Winter Olympics and has effectively retired from short-track speed skating.

Although Ohno, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympian, had been reluctant to speculate on his future, he told Reuters on Wednesday his days of competing were all but over and that he intended to pursue a broadcasting career.

The 30-year-old retires with eight Olympic medals, one more than retired speed skater Bonnie Blair.

Grizzlies’ Gasol is NBA’s top defender

Memphis center Marc Gasol was named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, becoming the first Grizzlies player to win the award.

Gasol, 28, beat out Miami’s LeBron James and Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka for the honor in voting by sportswriters and broadcasters.

The 7-foot-1 Gasol averaged 1.7 blocked shots and 1.0 steals for a defense that allowed a league-low 88.7 points per game. He also averaged 14.1 points and 7.8 rebounds.

Russian promoter bids $23 million for fight

Russian promoter Vladimir Hryunov secured the rights to a future heavyweight championship fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Alexander Povetkin for what is believed a record $23,333,330 on Wednesday.

Hryunov far outbid Klitschko’s K2 Promotions ($7.13 million) and Povetkin’s promoter, Sauderland Event ($6.014,444), during a ceremony at WBA headquarters in Panama City.

Because Klitschko is the reigning champion, he would receive 75 percent ($17,499,997) and Povetkin would get the other 25 percent ($5,833,333).

Provided both boxers win their next fights, they would meet for the title on Aug. 31. Possible sites include Moscow, Berlin and Las Vegas.

Brodeur plans to play next season

Veteran New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur reiterated Tuesday that he plans to honor the final year of his contract and return for a 20th NHL season in 2013-14.

Broedur, 40, had 19 saves in the Devils’ 3-2 win over Montreal on Tuesday. The Devils already are eliminated from playof contention.

Brodeur is the NHL’s career leader in wins and shutouts.

NFL to observe moment of silence before draft

Before commissioner Roger Goodell announces the No. 1 pick in the 2013 NFL Draft on Thursday night in New York, there will be a moment of silence.

“We will have a moment of reflection for both the victims in Boston and in Texas,” Goodell said Wednesday in reference to the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer plan explosion in west Texas last week.

The NFL is beefing up security for the draft at Radio City Music Hall. No backpacks will be allowed inside and fans who attend will face screenings before entering.

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