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Sports briefs for Sept. 26, 2013

By Wire Service Reports, Special to the BDN

McQuaid denies telling team member not to cooperate

FLORENCE, Italy — International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid denied on Thursday an allegation that he told an employee of a professional team not to cooperate with an investigation into disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

“Never did anything like that,” McQuaid told Reuters in a text message.

Garmin Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters told Reuters that McQuaid, who stands for re-election on Friday in Florence, asked an unidentified employee to ignore the team’s instructions to cooperate with a U.S. federal investigation in May 2010.

McQuaid, who has had to deal with the fallout from the Armstrong doping scandal, was first elected in 2005 and is facing a stern challenge from Britain’s Brian Cookson in his bid to secure a third four-year term. The election is Friday.

Girardi: Rivera may play CF in Houston

New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said closer Mariano Rivera will definitely pitch Thursday night regardless of the score and may play one inning in center field this weekend at Houston.

Rivera, 43, has shagged fly balls during batting practice his entire career and his teammates say he is the best athlete on the team. He did miss most of last season with a knee injury when he was hurt in the outfielder during batting practice before a game last May.

Girardi said Rivera will pitch no matter what Thursday since it is his final game at Yankee Stadium.

He may play an inning in center against the host Astros this weekend because the series has no playoff implications, unlike Thursday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Girardi said the Yankees want to respect the pennant race and Tampa Bay is still fighting for a spot.

Saints RB Ingram denies trade report

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram denied a New Orleans Times-Picayune report that he wants the team to trade him.

“No. Never came from me,” Ingram told ESPN.com Thursday. “I don’t know who that came from. But I love New Orleans. It’s home to me. I love this organization, love my teammates, love my coaches. I’m happy here. And we’re 3-0. So I’m excited about that.”

Ingram said the report did not bother him.

Electronic Arts says no ‘NCAA Football’ game next year

SAN FRANCISCO — Electronic Arts will not publish a new version of its college football video game “NCAA Football” next year and is evaluating the fate of the game franchise, which is mired in legal disputes with former collegiate athletes, the company said on Thursday.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) had said in mid-July that it will not renew a contract that expires in June next year to license its name and logo for EA’s college football game.

Cowboys WR Austin misses practice

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin missed practice for the second straight day Thursday due to a hamstring injury, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The team said earlier in the week that the injury was not serious but Austin might not play Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.

He has been slowed by hamstring injuries the past two seasons, so the team has been cautious with him.

Also, wide receiver Dwayne Harris has been unable to practice the past two days because of a hip injury.

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