hockey

IIHF has encouraging talk with NHL on 2018 Olympics

International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel said he had a “good discussion” Wednesday with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association executive director Don Fehr about the world’s top hockey players participating in the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

Bettman described the meeting as “constructive and candid.”

“Still lots of issues,” Bettman wrote in an email to the AP.

Fasel said his job is to raise funds for the players’ transportation and insurance. The International Olympic Committee does not want to cover those costs as it has the previous five Olympics. Fasel hopes to persuade the IOC to financially support the NHL’s participation.

“It is the only league that shuts down to participate in the Winter or Summer Olympics,” Fasel said.

Bettman and NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly declined to comment on a Sportsnet report indicating the league offered to sign off on allowing players to go for gold in South Korea in exchange for the union not opting out of the collective bargaining agreement in September 2019, which would in effect extend the deal for three years.

TENNIS

ATP FINALS: Andy Murray survived the longest three-set match in ATP finals history by outlasting Kei Nishikori 6-7 (9), 6-4, 6-4 in London and posting a 21st consecutive win.

Top-ranked Murray needed 3 hours, 20 minutes to separate himself from Nishikori. The first set alone took 85 minutes.

Murray, 2-0 in his group, can clinch a semifinal berth for the first time in four years with a win over U.S. Open champion Stan Wawrinka on Friday.

Losing to No. 5-ranked Nishikori would have hurt Murray’s chances of holding off Novak Djokovic to keep the No. 1 ranking.

Wawrinka eliminated Marin Cilic from contention 7-6 (3), 7-6 (3) in an almost two-hour-long late match.

COLLEGES

FOOTBALL: Oklahoma defensive lineman Charles Walker has chosen to leave the program and enter the NFL draft.

Walker has played in only four games this season because of a concussion and his playing status was uncertain as of Monday.

n Wake Forest said it has begun an internal investigation after documents related to the team’s game plan for playing No. 3 Louisville were found at the Cardinals’ stadium.

Coach Dave Clawson did not accuse Louisville of taking the information and when asked if it affected the outcome of the game responded, “I’m not going there.” The Cardinals won, 44-12.

SOCCER

FIFA: A Qatari candidate for election to FIFA’s ruling council has been banned from all soccer duty for one year for refusing to cooperate with ethics investigators.

Saoud Al-Mohannadi “did not cooperate with the investigatory chamber in the proceedings against a third party,” FIFA ethics committee judges said in a statement. It also fined him 20,000 Swiss francs ($19,900).

GOLF

LPGA: The New Zealand Women’s Golf Open will be part of the tour next season.

The tournament will be played at Auckland’s Windross Farm Golf Club, moving from Clearwater in Christchurch where it has been staged for the last four years.

– From staff and news services