Singh suing PGA over proposed suspension
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Vijay Singh sued the PGA Tour on Wednesday for exposing him to “public humiliation and ridicule” during a 12-week investigation into his use of deer antler spray that ended last week when the tour dropped its case against him.
The lawsuit was a surprise, and so was the timing — the day before The Players Championship, the flagship event on the PGA Tour held on its home course where Singh has honed his game for the last two decades.
Singh filed the lawsuit in New York, where he has a home and the tour has an office. He is in the field at The Players Championship.
The 50-year-old Fijian, inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2006, said in a Sports Illustrated article in January that he used deer antler spray and he was “looking forward to some change in my body.” The spray was said to include an insulin-like growth factor that was on the tour’s list of banned substances. The tour sent a sample from Singh to be tested, and it returned small amounts of IGF-1.
PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem announced April 30 that the tour was dropping its case because of new information from the World Anti-Doping Agency, which said deer antler spray was no longer considered prohibited because it contained just minimal amounts of the growth factor.
49ers reach stadium naming rights deal with Levi’s
SAN FRANCISCO — The future home of the San Francisco 49ers will be called Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers and Levi Strauss & Co. announced an agreement Wednesday for a $220 million, 20-year naming rights deal for the team’s stadium in Santa Clara.
Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh and 49ers CEO Jed York announced the deal at Levi’s Plaza in San Francisco. Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee also attended the news conference.
While the stadium will be in the heart of technology-rich Silicon Valley, the San Francisco-based apparel company best known for its jeans will hold the name. The proposal, which also has an option to be extended for an additional five years, will be submitted to the Santa Clara Stadium Authority for approval Thursday.
“Levi’s jeans were designed for the 49ers during the gold rush,” York said. “It was a good fit for them then and it’s a good fit today.”
Orioles 2B Roberts to have hamstring surgery
BALTIMORE — Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts will undergo surgery on his ailing right hamstring, a procedure that will add an extra six weeks to his time on the disabled list.
Roberts was placed on the DL with a strained right hamstring on April 5. Unsatisfied with his recovery, Roberts visited Dr. Daniel Cooper in Dallas on Wednesday for a second opinion.
After the consultation, Roberts agreed to have surgery. Cooper will attempt to repair a muscle in the hamstring at the Carrell Clinic on Thursday, according to the Orioles.
The 35-year-old Roberts played in only three games this season before hurting his hamstring, the latest in a series of injuries he’s experienced over the past four years.
Roberts has played in only 118 games since the start of the 2010 season.
Aching A’s place OF Josh Reddick on 15-day DL
CLEVELAND — Oakland placed outfielder Josh Reddick on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right wrist on Wednesday, where he joined center fielders Coco Crisp (hamstring) and Chris Young (quadriceps). The A’s have seven players on the disabled list and have used the DL nine times in just over a month.
Reddick hurt his wrist colliding with the wall in foul territory while chasing a pop on April 7 at Houston. He missed three games, but the injury was not improving and the A’s decided to put him on the DL.
Reddick returned to Oakland for treatment. He was batting just .152 — third lowest in the AL — with one home run and 14 RBIs in 29 games.
The A’s also recalled first baseman Daric Barton from Triple-A Sacramento. To clear a spot on the 40-man roster, the A’s released left-hander Jordan Norberto.
Azarenka loses her cool, falls at Madrid Open; Nadal rolls on
MADRID — Victoria Azarenka lost her temper, broke her racket and argued with the chair umpire in an exit Wednesday from the Madrid Open, where she’s been runner-up the last two years.
Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova beat Azarenka 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 in the second round, ending Azarenka’s 18-match winning streak to start the season.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal spoiled Benoit Paire’s 24th birthday by sweeping past the Frenchman 6-3, 6-4. The fifth-ranked Nadal’s hopes of returning to the top four in time for the French Open were boosted by Novak Djokovic’s loss on Tuesday.
Fourth-seeded David Ferrer eased past Denis Istomin of Russia 7-5, 6-2 and next faces Tommy Haas.
Also, seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 7-6 (5), 7-6 (2), sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic got past Jerzy Janowicz of Poland 6-7 (3) 6-3, 6-2, and Kei Nishikori of Japan defeated Viktor Troicki of Serbia 7-5, 6-2.
Humber moved to bullpen for Astros
HOUSTON — The Houston Astros have moved struggling starter Philip Humber out of the rotation and into the bullpen.
Just a year removed from pitching the 21st perfect game in major league history, Humber has had a terrible start to 2013. He is 0-7 with an 8.82 ERA.
Dallas Keuchel, who started in Triple-A this season before joining the Astros, will take start on Friday against Texas. Keuchel is 0-1 with a 4.96 ERA in six appearances.
Erik Bedard, who was moved into the bullpen after his last start on May 1, will return to the rotation to start on Saturday.
Houston manager Bo Porter wouldn’t commit to keeping the current rotation and says competition among his pitchers makes it a “fluid situation.”
NASCAR panel reduces Joe Gibbs racing penalties
CONCORD, N.C. — A three-member NASCAR appeals panel has dramatically reduced most of the penalties levied against Joe Gibbs Racing for an illegal part found in Matt Kenseth’s race-winning engine at Kansas.
The panel reduced the points deducted from Kenseth from 50 to 12, and reinstated his bonus points earned for the April 21 victory. The race will count toward the Chase and he moves from 11th in the Sprint Cup standings to fourth.
The panel also reduced crew chief Jason Ratcliff’s suspension from six races to one race, and eliminated the six-race suspension for owner Joe Gibbs. It let stand Ratcliff’s $200,000 fine.
NASCAR found one of eight connecting rods in Kenseth’s engine was 3 grams too light. JGR appealed, saying Toyota was responsible for the engine part.
Gov. Dayton wary of Vikings cutting Kluwe
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton has joined the list of those wondering if the Minnesota Vikings cut veteran punter Chris Kluwe solely for performance purposes.
Dayton says “I don’t feel good about” the Vikings cutting Kluwe, an eight-year veteran who is being replaced by rookie Jeff Locke. Kluwe earned a reputation over the last few years as an outspoken advocate for several civil rights and social issues, most notably for gay marriage.
Vikings GM Rick Spielman said during the draft he supports Kluwe’s right to speak his mind.
When asked if he thought Kluwe’s campaign for gay marriage last season played a role in his departure, Dayton said, “I can’t say for sure.” The governor says he thought Kluwe should’ve had the chance to compete for the job in the preseason.
From wire sources