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Weekend Sports in Brief – Associated Press

FOOTBALL

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jon Gruden again said he is not a racist after his Las Vegas Raiders lost their first game since the revelation of the head coach’s 2011 racial remark about players’ union leader DeMaurice Smith.

Gruden apologized for his “insensitive remarks” when asked about the decade-old emails following the Raiders’ 20-9 loss to the Chicago Bears. A Wall Street Journal story last week noted that Gruden, then working for ESPN, referred in a racist way to Smith’s facial features in an email.

“I’m not a racist,” Gruden said. “I can’t tell you how sick I am. I apologize again to D Smith, but I feel good about who I am and what I’ve done my entire life. … I had no racial intention with those remarks at all. I’m not like that at all. I apologize. I don’t want to keep addressing it.”

Gruden ended his news conference after a series of questions about the emails and his behavior. He said he has not been contacted by the NFL about the remark, but “we’ll see what happens here in the next few days.”

“I’m not going to answer all these questions today,” Gruden said. “I think I’ve addressed it already. I can’t remember a lot of the things that transpired 10 or 12 years ago, but I stand here in front of everybody apologizing. I know I don’t have an ounce of racism in me. I’m a guy that takes pride in leading people together, and I’ll continue to do that for the rest of my life.”

BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) — White Sox reliever Ryan Tepera implied that Houston may have been stealing signs in Games 1 and 2 of their AL Division Series after Chicago won the third game Sunday night.

Houston was going for a sweep after it rolled to a pair of impressive victories at home. But it struck out 16 times in a 12-6 loss at Chicago after it struck out a total of 16 times in the first two games. The AL West champions went down in order in each of the last five innings.

Tepera, who worked two perfect innings, noted the difference between the Astros at home and on the road.

“Yeah. It is what it is. They’ve obviously had a reputation of doing some sketchy stuff over there,” he said. “It’s just, we can say that it’s a little bit of a difference. I think you saw the swings and misses tonight compared to, you know, the first two games at Minute Maid.”

The Astros were disciplined by Major League Baseball after it found the team used electronics to steal signs during their run to the 2017 World Series title and again in the 2018 season.

SOCCER

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s president claimed Sunday that COVID-19 protocols at soccer matches had prevented him from attending a game.

Jair Bolsonaro said he had wanted to go to a Brazilian championship match in the city of Santos, but did not because he is not vaccinated.

“Why a vaccine passport? I wanted to watch Santos now and they said I needed to be vaccinated. Why should that be?” Bolsonaro told journalists near Santos.

Bolsonaro is currently under a Senate investigation for his handling of the pandemic. Brazil has surpassed 600,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, according to health ministry data.

Santos said Bolsonaro had not asked to attend the match, which saw Santos beat Gremio 1-0 at the Vila Belmiro Stadium.

Authorities this week allowed clubs to fill 30% of available seats in Brazilian championship games.

The protocol agreed by the Brazilian soccer confederation says all people inside stadiums must be vaccinated and recently tested.

DOPING

MOSCOW (AP) — The World Anti-Doping Agency has revoked the Moscow laboratory’s license to test samples in a new twist in the long-running Russian doping saga, WADA said on Saturday.

WADA’s executive committee voted on Friday to strip the Moscow facility of its approved status, citing “the laboratory personnel’s manipulation of data” which was extracted from the lab in 2019. At the time, the data was located on servers and equipment at the laboratory which were sealed off by Russian law enforcement.

WADA wanted to use the data to prosecute cases which were covered up in the past but said later that year that entries for many cases had been tampered with, and fake messages were added to implicate witnesses. Russian authorities have denied the data stored at the lab was deliberately altered.

The laboratory had already been suspended since January 2020 and couldn’t accept new samples, but the process to revoke the status completely was held up by hearings at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland last year.

The laboratory was stopped from carrying out most drug testing in 2015 when cover-ups were first suspected, but it was allowed to resume some blood testing in May 2016. It accepted samples from sports including tennis, swimming and athletics, and was transferred by the government to the control of Moscow State University.

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