Gary Bettman
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Gary Bettman: No going back on NHL Olympic decision

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman reportedly left no doubt Friday.

Bettman said the NHL will not participate in the PyeongChang Olympics, even if a new, sweetened deal is offered by the International Olympic Committee, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We’re not going,” Bettman told media Friday in New York, according to the newspaper. “That decision has been made.”

The NHL has taken a break in its season to send the world’s best players to the Olympics at every Winter Games since 1998.

The NHL said in an April 3 statement that streak is over and considered the Olympic matter “officially closed.”

The following day, Bettman didn’t rule out the possibility that the NHL could change its mind, if concessions were made, in his first public comments on the decision.

The NHL wanted a concession from the IOC, International Ice Hockey Federation or the NHL Players’ Association to entice owners and officials to take a break in its season to accommodate the Olympics for a sixth straight time.

The NHL made clear for months its stance — it would not break for the Olympics if the status quo didn’t change. The NHL said no meaningful dialogue materialized over a number of months.

Russian star Alex Ovechkin said two weeks ago that he planned to defy the NHL (and his contract) and go to PyeongChang anyway. Other Russian NHL stars also hope they can join Ovechkin.

Bettman challenged Ovechkin’s comments, saying Friday it was unlikely any NHL players will be in PyeongChang, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“We’re confident our players will remain with their teams,” Bettman said, according to the newspaper.

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New Zealand sweeps Rugby World Cup Sevens, celebrates with haka

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SAN FRANCISCO — New Zealand has won a World Cup Sevens double for the second time after the men’s team beat England 33-12 in San Francisco on Sunday to follow the Black Ferns’ win in the women’s tournament.

The New Zealand teams won the men’s and women’s titles in Russia in 2013 and again were dominant.

Sione Molia scored two of New Zealand’s five tries in the men’s final, and South Africa held off Olympic champion Fiji 24-19 to take bronze.

The weekend results mean New Zealanders are the men’s and women’s World Cup holders in the traditional 15-a-side rugby and the sevens.

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MORE: U.S. women get fourth at Rugby World Cup Sevens

Tour de France rider expelled for punching cyclist

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CARCASSONNE, FRANCE (AP) — Team Sky rider Gianni Moscon was expelled from the Tour de France on Sunday after he appeared to deliberately hit a fellow cyclist during the race.

The Italian lashed out at French rider Elie Gesbert of Team Fortuneo while both were competing during Stage 15 from Millau to Carcassonne.

“I’m sorry for today’s incident, and I totally regret my actions,” Moscon said. “I would like to personally apologize to Elie Gesbert…. What happened was wrong and was a bad example coming from me to everyone, and I want to publicly apologize. … I make no excuse for it and accept the decision of the race organizers.”

Team Sky director Dave Brailsford said the team would consider taking further action against Moscon after the Tour concludes next weekend.

The 24-year-old Moscon was suspended by Sky for six weeks last year for using a racial slur against an opponent.

His expulsion leaves Sky with seven riders.

Sky’s Geraint Thomas is leading the race ahead of teammate Chris Froome after 15 of 21 stages.

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