March 8, 2013

Sports Digest

AUTO RACING

NASCAR fines Hamlin for criticizing Gen-6 car

Denny Hamlin was fined $25,000 by NASCAR on Thursday for criticizing the new Gen-6 race car after last week's race at Phoenix.

Hamlin finished third Sunday in the second race for NASCAR's new Gen-6 race car. On pit road he said: "I don't want to be the pessimist, but it did not race as good as our generation five cars. This is more like what the generation five was at the beginning."

The Gen-6 car was developed by NASCAR last year with input from the manufacturers to improve the on-track product. Drivers have been asked to be careful in how they publicly discuss the car, and NASCAR has put together a tremendous marketing effort in an attempt to avoid the poor reception the previous model received.

TENNIS

ITF: Tennis has agreed to adopt the biological passport program and to increase blood testing as part of a new anti-doping drive.

The move was announced by the International Tennis Federation, which said the measures will go into effect this year on both the men's and women's tours.

The biological passport tracks an athlete's blood profile over time for any changes that could indicate doping. The system is already applied in track and field, and cycling.

FOOTBALL

NFL: Financing terms have been reached for the Atlanta Falcons' proposal for a new $1 billion stadium in downtown Atlanta. The Atlanta City Council must now vote on the proposal.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the public contribution to stadium construction through hotel-motel tax revenue will be capped at $200 million, and the Falcons will pay $800 million and an additional $50 million for infrastructure-related costs associated with construction, and be responsible for paying for overruns.

The Tennessee Titans have agreed to two-year terms, keeping kicker Rob Bironas off the free-agent market and with the team he has spent the past eight seasons.

Bironas, 35, ranks as the third- most accurate kicker in NFL history, connecting on 85.6 percent of his attempts.

The San Francisco 49ers have tendered a one-year contract to restricted free-agent cornerback Tramaine Brock and signed wide receiver Joe Hastings to a one-year deal.

The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to a two-year deal with running back Cedric Peerman, a special-teams standout who could have become a free agent next week.

Following a 90-minute hearing before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in Alexander, Va., Washington Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen reiterated that there were no plans to change the team's name, even though momentum against "Redskins" has been growing in recent weeks, spurred by a high-profile symposium at the Smithsonian that detailed its dubious history.

The board can't stop the Redskins from using the name, but the loss of trademark protection would hurt the team financially from a marketing perspective, enough, some Native American plaintiffs hope, for owner Dan Snyder to consider a change.

OLYMPICS

WINTER GAMES: Russian auditors said the state company responsible for building facilities for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi has systematically overstated costs by a total of $504 million.

The report said executives of the state company Olympstroi "created the conditions for an unjustified increase in the estimated cost of the sports facilities." The current price is estimated at $51 billion.

The acting head of wrestling's world body met with the IOC president, Jacques Rogge, promising to fight to retain the sport's Olympic status and apologizing for the protest by wrestlers who have returned their medals.

SKIING

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: World Cup champion Qi Guangpu of China won the men's aerials gold medal in freestyle skiing at Voss, Norway, and teammate Xu Mengtao took the women's title.

-- From news service reports

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