Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Sports digest


Armstrong disputes claims in French book

The Enquirer and wire reports

A former staff member on Lance Armstrong's team says in a new book that the cycling great asked her to dispose of used syringes and lend him makeup to conceal needle marks on his arms.

Armstrong disputed the claims made in the French-language book, L.A. Confidential, the Secrets of Lance Armstrong by author David Walsh. A spokesman for his U.S. Postal Service team, Jogi Muller, said Walsh was seeking "personal revenge" against the cyclist.

The heart of the accusations come from Emma O'Reilly, who worked for several years as Armstrong's masseur, physical therapist and personal assistant. A USPS team spokesman confirmed O'Reilly "was a past employee" but declined additional comment.

The book claims Armstrong asked O'Reilly to dispose of a black bag containing the used syringes after the Tour of the Netherlands in 1998. O'Reilly did not know what was in the syringes, according to the book. Armstrong has said that he never failed a drug test.

Excerpts of the book were published in France's L'Express magazine Monday, a few weeks before Armstrong begins his bid to win a record sixth straight Tour de France next month. His legal team plans to "immediately institute libel proceedings."

NFL

PACKERS SIGN COUCH: Tim Couch took a pay cut to get a fresh start with the Green Bay Packers and serve as the backup quarterback to one of his idols, Brett Favre. Couch, released last week after five stormy seasons with the Cleveland Browns, agreed to terms on a one-year contract.

"I'm excited," the former Kentucky star said. "This is a great opportunity for me to start a new chapter in my career. I'm going to a team that has a real chance to win the Super Bowl."

Couch said his contract with Green Bay was for just the 2004 season, but that the Packers have already talked to him about the possibility of extending it.

The deal is worth a reported $1.25 million for Couch, who would have made $7.6 million this season and $8 million in 2005 if he stayed with the Browns.

SHOCKEY HURTING: Tests on the right foot of two-time Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey have found a "hot spot" that is causing concern among the New York Giants. Shockey is probably going to get a second opinion, coach Tom Coughlin said.

PANTHERS: Wide receiver Donald Hayes will miss four to six weeks after fracturing his shoulder last week at minicamp.

Colleges

MIAMI BASEBALL: Pitchers Jeff Day (Lakota East) and Keith Weiser (Talawanda) became the fourth and fifth RedHawks to be named Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-Americans. The duo combined for a 15-5 record.

Weiser, a left-hander, was named the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year after recording an 8-3 record and 4.30 ERA in 83 2/3 innings. Day, a right-hander, posted a 7-2 record and 4.58 ERA in 11 starts.

Hockey

PRIMEAU SIGNS: Flyers captain Keith Primeau, 32, signed a four-year, $17 million contract, 10 days before he was eligible to become an unrestricted free agent. He was the team's leading playoff scorer with nine goals and 16 points in 18 games.

AHL MIGHTY DUCKS: Under the AHL-Professional Hockey Players' Association contract through Aug. 31, 2007, the roster regulation, which specifies the number of "development players" on the 17-man playing roster, has been amended to increase the minimum number of such skaters from 10 to 11 in 2004-05 and to 12 in 2005-06 and beyond.

AHL Cincinnati is the primary farm club of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.




REDS / BASEBALL
Griffey watches Reds finish 0-7 trip
Family first for Junior
Griffey's off day wasn't premeditated
Thome hits 400th career home run
Clark recalled, placed in the lineup at second
Reds vs. Rangers series preview
Junior second in outfield All-Star voting
Monday's other games

HUGGINS SUSPENDED
Peters new UC decision maker
Kennedy: It's Huggins' program
Log says Huggins stop not his first

BENGALS
Bengals announce preseason schedule

GOLF
Plunkett earns No. 1 seed in Women's Met
Met Amateur qualifying results
Surprise! Furyk plans to defend his title

OLYMPICS
Road to Athens begins in Mason

SOCCER
UPDATE: A weekly look at Cincinnati's minor-league soccer team
Beckham bears burden of defeat

MOTOR SPORTS
Waltrip returns to his Ky. roots
Preparing for next step

MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Sports digest
Sports on TV, radio

THIS WEEK'S SPORTS POLL
Do you follow the progress of the Reds minor league teams and players?