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Number of players placed on IR is way up

Houston is switching to Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference this season as the league realigns to make room for expansion Portland and Vancouver.


Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said in a statement that five of the 13 football players hospitalized this week with a muscle disorder following grueling offseason workouts are being discharged. The coach hasn't spoken to reporters since the school announced Tuesday that the players had been hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, a stress-induced syndrome that can damage cells and cause kidney problems. . . .

Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema's contract has been extended through Jan. 31, 2016 after he led the Badgers to their first Rose Bowl since 2000.


Catholic University will honor members of its 2001 Division III men's basketball national championship team at halftime of its home game against Juniata on Saturday at 4 p.m. The event is part of the program's 100th anniversary season. Pat Maloney, most outstanding player of the 2001 Final Four, is expected to attend, as is Bill Leahy, the all-time leading rebounder in school history, and John Winkler, the program's third-leading scorer.


Deresse Mekonnen won the Wanamaker Mile at Madison Square Garden in New York, becoming the first person other than Bernard Lagat to win the Millrose Games's marquee event since 2004.

The 23-year-old from Ethiopia finished in 3 minutes 58.58 seconds Friday night, holding off Lagat's challenges in the final two laps. Mekonnen, the two-time defending world indoor 1,500-meter champion, had to pull out of the Millrose Games last year when Lagat won a record eighth Wanamaker Mile - and sixth in a row - because of visa problems. . . .

Tour de France champion Alberto Contador plans to appeal any suspension for his failed doping test at cycling's showcase race.

"I will defend my innocence until the end," the three-time Tour champion said two days after Spanish cycling officials proposed a one-year ban for his positive clenbuterol test.

Contador, 28, blames the result on eating contaminated meat. The Spanish cycling federation accepted that defense and recommended a reduced ban rather than the standard two years. He also would be stripped of the 2010 Tour title.

- From news services and staff reports

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