Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

UFC President Dana White joins the fight to save wrestling

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After saying in February that he can’t be the guy to “run out and save wrestling,” UFC President Dana White has apparently decided to do just that in the two months before the IOC will vote on whether the sport find its way back into the 2020 Olympics.

“[Wrestling] needs to be more fan-friendly, it needs to be more exciting,” White said Tuesday. “I’ve met with a lot of the top guys in wrestling. Actually I met with them last Tuesday, and yeah, the UFC is joining the fight to help save Olympic wrestling.”

“Not just Olympic wrestling, but colleges are dropping wrestling now. High schools have been dropping wrestling… I’ve personally funded tons of wrestling programs, and the UFC has funded tons of wrestling programs for high school kids.”

No one’s entirely sure how White, who’s admitted that he thinks the sport will eventually evolve into more of a mixed martial arts style event, plans to help. But lending his voice, his league’s talent, and some financial support could go a long way in helping wrestling retain its spot in the Olympics.

“It’s in the discussion phase,” White added during a conference call. “These guys are going out and fighting the fight, and whatever they need from me and what I think I could do, [I’ll do].”

Wrestling will be up against fellow candidate sports squash, wakeboarding, sport climbing, roller sports, karate, wushu, and a baseball/softball joint bid during an initial IOC vote in Moscow next month.

MLB Players Association head says ‘continuing dialogue’ about 2020 Olympics

Jake Arrieta
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SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association says it will be difficult for big leaguers to participate at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baseball returns to Olympics after a 12-year absence for the Tokyo Games, which are scheduled for July 24-Aug. 9 — in the middle of baseball’s season.

“There are challenges with the schedule, and there are challenges with major leaguers being involved,” Tony Clark said Thursday at the Baltimore Orioles’ spring training camp.

In 2008, players on major league 25-man rosters and disabled lists on June 26 were ineligible to play. The U.S. roster included 17 players from Triple-A, seven from Double-A and college pitcher Stephen Strasburg, now with the Washington Nationals.

“It doesn’t mean that we are not continuing to have dialogue. We have going back. We will going forward. Where we land, I don’t know,” Clark said. “One of the things we were able to discuss during this round of bargaining were some additional flexibility in the schedule moving forward. Maybe there are some opportunities for a broader discussion than there have been a year ago. We’ll have to wait and see. We haven’t had that kind of substantive sit down yet.”

Many players are preparing for the fourth edition of World Baseball Classic, an international tournament launched in 2006 that is co-owned by Major League Baseball and the union. Clark hopes to see a fifth edition in 2021.

“I see no reason at this point why it wouldn’t,” he said. “I’m hopeful it continues, understanding that the world we live in four years from now may be different from the one we’re in now.”

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Lance Armstrong’s $100 million trial set for November

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 20:  Lance Armstrong (C) heads out with cyclists on December 20, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. The disgraced Tour de France rider is in New Zealand to film a commercial, and put out a call on social media for local riders to join him on a ride along the Auckland Waterfront.  (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Lance Armstrong‘s $100 million legal fight with the federal government has been set for a November trial.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper on Thursday set a Nov. 6 trial start in Washington. Armstrong’s legal team had asked to postpone trial until 2018 because of a potential scheduling conflict.

The government wants Armstrong to pay back the $32 million the U.S. Postal Service paid his team for sponsorship, plus triple damages.

Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis initially filed the whistle-blower case in 2010, accusing him of violating the sponsorship contract by taking performance-enhancing drugs. The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong admitted cheating and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for cheating, could collect up to 25 percent of damages awarded.

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MORE: Armstrong intrigued by ultra marathon, obstacle-course races