Global tag team striving to save Olympic wrestling

USA Wrestling has announced that a group led by former world champion Bill Scherr will work to fight the International Olympic Committee’s decision to eliminate wrestling from the 2020 Games.

Scherr’s brother, former U.S. Olympic Committee head Jim Scherr, will take part along with World and Olympic champions Bruce Baumgartner, John Smith, Rulon Gardner and Dan Gable, and two-time Olympians Kerry McCoy and Clarissa Chun.

The IOC executive board will meet in May in Russia to choose which sport or sports to propose for inclusion in 2020. The final vote will be made at the IOC general assembly in September.


ABN AMRO: Defending champion Roger Federer beat Dutchman Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals in the Netherlands, and will face France’s Julien Benneteau.

QATAR OPEN: Serena Williams moved with a victory of becoming the oldest top-ranked women’s player, sweeping aside Urszula Radwanska 6-0, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals.

If the 31-year-old Williams reaches the semifinals by beating seventh-seeded Petra Kvitova, she will return to No. 1 for the first time in 21/2 years. Chris Evert was No. 1 in 1985 while just shy of her 31st birthday.

BRAZIL OPEN: Juan Monaco, the 15th-ranked Argentine, lost an opening-round match for the third time this season, falling to Simone Bolelli of Italy.

INTERNATIONAL TENNIS FEDERATION: Czech player Barbora Zahlavova Strycova has been banned six months for doping. The ban for the 124th-ranked player has been backdated from Oct. 16 and all her results since then will be wiped out. She will be eligible to return April 15.


NORTHERN TRUST OPEN: Matt Kuchar started with three straight birdies and finished with back-to-back birdies at Riviera in Los Angeles for a 7-under 64 that gave him a two-shot lead after the opening round.

WOMEN’S AUSTRALIAN: Teen star Lydia Ko shot a 10-under 63 to take the first-round lead in the LPGA Tour’s season opener in Canberra.

The 15-year-old amateur won the New Zealand Women’s Open on Sunday for her third victory in a professional tournament. Last year, Ko won the New South Wales Open to become the youngest player to win a pro tour event and the Canadian Open to become the youngest LPGA Tour winner. She also won the U.S. Women’s Amateur.


MLS: D.C. United acquired defender James Riley from Chivas USA for a 2015 second-round pick in the supplemental draft. The 30-year-old Riley has played for four teams over eight MLS seasons. He started 32 games for Chivas last year and tied for the club lead in minutes played.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: The NCAA denied Notre Dame safety Jamoris Slaughter a sixth year of eligibility.

Slaughter, who did not play as a freshman, tore his left Achilles tendon in the third game of the season, a 20-3 victory over Michigan State. He has been invited to the NFL Combine.


AFC EAST: The Buffalo Bills continued their purge of veteran defensive players by releasing oft-injured cornerback Terrence McGee, a 10-year veteran.


WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: If Ted Ligety wins Friday’s giant slalom in Schladming, Austria – an event he’s dominated all season – the American will become the first man to win three or more gold medals at a world championships since French great Jean-Claude Killy took home four golds in 1968.

The only other three men to accomplish the feat were Emile Allais, Stein Eriksen and Toni Sailer.

Tessa Worley mastered a difficult giant slalom course twice, earning France its second gold medal and fourth overall at the world skiing championships.

— From news service reports