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Estonia won its war on fentanyl; then things got worse

TALLINN, Estonia — Igor Smirnov was introduced to opiates the day his first son was born, when he got celebratory drunk and a neighbor injected him with an intoxicating extract of opium poppies. “I’ve never tried anything better in my life,” he said. “It’s natural, it’s a ...

NFL draft: from extravaganza to unadorned

An NFL draft handled remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic is the latest twist to an event that has become as popular as any pro football happening short of the Super Bowl. Roger Goodell alerted NFL teams in a memo Thursday night that the dates of this year’s draft would remain ...

Florida Derby still a go

MIAMI (AP) — The 69th running of the Florida Derby is Saturday, and it will be like none other — no fans in the stands, no owners allowed at the track, no bets being placed on site. The coronavirus pandemic forced massive changes in the interest of health and safety to what is typically ...

US NGBs in crisis

DENVER — The postponement of the Tokyo Games has catapulted the sports organizations that make up the backbone of the U.S. Olympic team into crisis. At least one has already started layoffs and others are desperate to stay solvent. Some are expecting a major downturn in membership ...

As we battle virus, don’t forget 1919 Stanley Cup

Anyone who scoffs at all these drastic measures to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, who wonders if it’s really necessary to shut down sports around the world, needs a primer on the 1919 Stanley Cup Finals. The tragic turns of events is right there on the silver chalice, engraved ...

Stefanik votes yes to federal stimulus package

WASHINGTON — North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik voted Friday to pass the CARES Act, the third legislative phase of Congress’ emergency coronavirus response. This stimulus provides economic relief to small businesses and families. “During this unprecedented public health ...

Uniform maker now producing masks, gowns

PHILADELPHIA — The Bryce Harper jersey that could have been worn this baseball season by the biggest Philadelphia Phillies fan is now a protective mask in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Fanatics, the company that manufactures uniforms for Major League Baseball, has ...

Curly Neal dies at age 77

Fred “Curly” Neal, the dribbling wizard who entertained millions with the Harlem Globetrotters for parts of three decades, has died. He was 77. The Globetrotters said Neal died in his home outside of Houston on Thursday morning. “We have lost one of the most genuine human beings ...

Activists assail California board for keeping tracks open

LOS ANGELES — An executive with the company that owns Santa Anita urged the California Horse Racing Board on Thursday to continue live racing despite a statewide stay-at-home order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Santa Anita in Arcadia, outside Los Angeles, and Golden Gate ...

Pros, preps and weekend warriors go virtual

Trevor May has been preparing for this. Not precisely for a global pandemic that would bring sports — and so much else — to an unprecedented standstill. Even hours and hours of dystopian video games couldn’t help foresee that. But a break in the baseball schedule? That’s ...

Could Tokyo 2021 be the spring games?

Imagine a gorgeous spring day in Tokyo. The chill of winter has melted away. The summer humidity is still a couple of months off. Maybe, just maybe, the famed cherry blossoms are still around, bathing the capital in dazzling colors. Sounds like a pretty good time to have the ...

College safety found dead

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — A Washington State football player was found dead in his apartment by an officer who responded to a call for help involving “breathing problems,’’ Pullman Police Chief Gary Jenkins said Wednesday. Jenkins said there were no signs of foul play and that the ...

Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021

Not even the Summer Olympics could withstand the force of the coronavirus. After weeks of hedging, the IOC took the unprecedented step of postponing the world’s biggest sporting event, a global extravaganza that’s been cemented into the calendar for more than a century. The Tokyo ...

Tommy John surgery for Syndergaard

NEW YORK — Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard became the latest big-name pitcher to need Tommy John surgery, joining the Yankees’ Luis Severino and Boston’s Chris Sale. New York said Tuesday that Syndergaard needs reconstruction of his ulnar collateral ligament and will miss the ...

Clemson QB can resume fundraising

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) — It turns out Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend didn’t do anything wrong when they were trying to help coronavirus victims and their families. What sounded like a noble effort but might have been an NCAA violation is OK after all. The NCAA said Tuesday the couple ...

Cowboys’ Frederick retires

(AP) — Travis Frederick said he thought he played well at center for the Dallas Cowboys after returning from a nerve disorder that sidelined him for an entire season. The 2016 All-Pro made it clear Monday it wasn’t good enough. Frederick retired from the NFL at 29, saying he “could ...

Patriots release kicker Stephen Gostkowski

BOSTON — The Patriots said goodbye Monday to another longtime staple of their two-decade run of championships, releasing kicker and franchise leading scorer Stephen Gostkowski. The three-time Super Bowl champion has spent his entire 14-year career in New England. Drafted in 2006, ...

Virtual NASCAR a big hit

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Seated inside a simulator in his living room, Denny Hamlin grew thirsty as he virtually raced some of his top rivals. He asked his one allowed crew member — his 7-year-old daughter — to get him a soda and she handed him a bottle of slightly shaken ...

IOC looking at postponing Tokyo Olympics

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — The IOC will take up to four weeks to consider postponing the Tokyo Olympics amid mounting criticism of its handling of the coronavirus crisis that now includes a call for delay from the leader of track and field, the biggest sport at the games. The IOC is ...

Horses race at an empty track

NEW ORLEANS — As Wells Bayou completed a wire-to-wire victory in the $1 million Louisiana Derby, there was hardly a cheer to be heard — other than the isolated triumphant shouts of trainer Brad Cox and his stable crew. In the 107th running of the qualifying points race for the ...