Global sports roundup

Cyclist admits to doping

NEW YORK – Lance Armstrong’s former team-mate George Hincapie has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.

George Hincapie

The American, who rode for the US Postal Service team, helped Armstrong in his seven Tour de France wins.

He said: “Given the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete without them.”

And Michael Barry has revealed he was pressurised into taking performance-enhancing drugs by US Postal.

Hincapie, 39, was among 11 riders identified as having provided evidence to the United States Anti-Doping Agency in its investigation into doping.


Owen: Blame foreigners

LONDON – Stoke striker Michael Owen has blamed the growth of diving on the influx of foreign players – but admitted he has also gone to ground unnecessarily.

“It’s worse than 10 years ago with the influence of players coming from South America, Spain and Italy,” said Owen.

But he admitted he went down to win a penalty during a game against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup finals.

“I was running flat out, got a nudge, went down. Could I have stayed up? Yeah, probably,” he said.

And he added: “Four years later I got a penalty, again against Argentina, and again I could have stayed on my feet.”

The 32-year-old, speaking at the Leaders in Football conference, said the problem had “definitely” worsened over the course of his 15-year career and that English players had been influenced by those players signed from abroad.


Former football star dead at 77

CALIFORNIA – Alex Karras, the Detroit Lions football star with the puckish personality who turned to acting and won legions of fans for punching out a horse in the movie “Blazing Saddles,” died today at the age of 77.

Karras, who also starred in the television sitcom “Webster,” had been suffering from kidney failure, dementia, heart disease and cancer in recent years, his family said.

Earlier this year, Karras joined a class-action lawsuit by former National Football League players who said the league did not do enough to protect them from head injuries. The suit said Karras had sustained repeated head trauma.

His lawyer, Craig Mitnick, said Karras was surrounded by family when he died at his home in Los Angeles.

“He suffered from dementia for the last decade of his life,” Mitnick said. “He had lost his zest for life. He had suffered though dementia, he had suffered through cancer, his body just eventually gave way.

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