• Anti-Doping Leaders Petition IOC Boss to Ban Russia

    by Christine Brennan July 2016

    Pressure intensified Wednesday on the International Olympic Committee in the midst of one of the largest sports doping scandals ever when anti-doping leaders from 14 nations called upon IOC President Thomas Bach to ban Russia's Olympic committee and its athletes from the upcoming Rio Games.

  • Rio Olympics May Feature First Openly Trans Athletes

    by Scott Gleeson and Erik Brady July 2016

    The International Olympic Committee held a meeting in May about transgender issues in which members of an international sports federation said two closeted transgender athletes who competed in their sport were considering coming out publicly before the Games this summer, according to two people who attended the meeting and spoke to USA TODAY Sports.

  • Big 12 Likely to Expand Amid Concerns About Falling Behind

    by Dan Wolken July 2016

    In the span of one afternoon, the Big 12 all but decided to change the very nature of its conference and shake up the entire college sports universe for the foreseeable future. The conference of One True Champion is about to undergo One True Expansion. After a meeting of Big 12 presidents here Tuesday, Oklahoma President David Boren announced that Commissioner Bob Bowlsby had been authorized to engage schools interested in joining the Big 12 and said the league could grow by as many as four teams.

  • Top NCAA Tourney Seed to Choose Opening-Round Site

    by Jason Scott July 2016

    Beginning this upcoming season, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA basketball tournament will be able to choose the location of its first- and second-round games, giving the top seed an even greater competitive advantage.

  • Opinion: State-Sponsored Doping Must Result in Ban

    by Christine Brennan July 2016

    Russian summer sports are dirty to their core, according to an independent World Anti-Doping Agency report issued Monday by Canadian attorney Richard McLaren. Russia just won the gold medal for doping: systemic, long-term, state-sponsored doping. This is Lance Armstrong times 100. Perhaps 1,000. The McLaren Report says Russia and its athletes are not to be trusted, that instead of promoting clean sport, as Russia signed on to do as a major player in the Olympic world, it has become the new East Germany.

  • Opinion: Baylor Fiasco Produces Tough Talk, Little Else

    by Dan Wolken July 2016

    For two months, Big 12 Conference presidents have been standing up and waving their arms, using every available buzz phrase to tell us they want to do something about Baylor. Transparency! Potential sanctions! Nothing is on or off the table! Heck, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby didn't even dance around it Monday at the Big 12's media days: "There are certainly those among our board that have felt that the image of the Big 12 and the other members of the Big 12 have been sullied as a result of this incident."

  • Could MLB Reduce Regular Season to 154 Games?

    by David Lennon July 2016

    After taking steps recently to shorten the games, will Major League Baseball's next significant move be to trim the length of the season? Sounds radical. But with negotiations already underway to craft a new collective-bargaining agreement, the practicality of playing 162 games in the span of 183 days - as influenced by the often grueling scheduling demands of TV networks - is a topic that is generating plenty of discussion between MLB officials and the union. The idea of returning to a 154-game regular season has gained momentum recently. Exhausted players have complained about the rigors of the modern travel schedule, which can force teams to jump as many as three time zones on consecutive days. The American League switched to a 162-game schedule in 1961 after expanding by two teams, which then allowed the 10 teams to play each other 18 times. The NL didn't go to 162 games until the following season, when it also went to 10 teams.

  • Anti-Doping Leaders Call for Russian Ban from Olympics

    by Stephen Wilson and Eddie Pells July 2016

    A letter drafted by U.S. and Canadian anti-doping leaders urging Russia's removal from the upcoming Olympics is circulating days before the public release of a report expected to detail a state-sponsored doping system that corrupted the country's entire sports program.

  • College Football Playoff May Shift Semi Schedule

    by George Schroeder July 2016

    The College Football Playoff's attempt to change the paradigm of New Year's Eve might be finished after only one year. "We will be exploring whether there is a better way for the semifinals," Bill Hancock, the Playoff's executive director, said Wednesday. "We will be thinking about whether New Year's Eve is the right way to go."

  • MLB Commish: Baseball's Drug Testing Best in Sports

    by David Lennon July 2016

    The day after Giancarlo Stanton's personal fireworks display lit up Petco Park in the Home Run Derby, commissioner Rob Manfred faced a volley of questions about Major League Baseball's sudden power surge, and what might be behind it. Stanton is one of the strongest players in the sport, at a chiseled 6-6, 245 pounds, and seeing him launch long drives over 450 feet is nothing new. But league-wide, teams are mashing home runs with much more frequency this season, one every 30.7 at-bats, down from 34.9 a year ago and 40.7 in 2014.