CYCLING

TOUR DE FRANCE: Gendarmes in Brittany, France, arrested a fan involved in a massive pileup at the Tour de France during the opening stage at cycling’s biggest event, local media reported. The fan brandished a large cardboard sign while leaning into the path of oncoming riders. She appeared to be looking in the other direction, apparently at a camera, and not at the approaching peloton.

The woman, not publicly identified, was arrested by gendarmes in the Finistere region who tracked her down based on “solid” accounts from people questioned this week, France Bleu Finistere said, citing a source close to the probe. Investigators had spoken to dozens of people since the incident on Saturday, the local radio station said.

Tour organizers had announced after the crash on the stage from Brest to Landerneau that they would start legal proceedings against the fan, who disappeared from the crash scene. She had leaned into the path of veteran rider Tony Martin, who fell off his bike and took dozens of others down in his slipstream. German rider Jasha Sutterlin was forced to abandon the race.

Defending champion Tadej Pogacar powered to victory in Wednesday’s time trial in Laval, France, to assert himself as the odds-on favorite at the three-week race. Pogacar lagged 39 seconds behind leader Mathieu van der Poel at the start of Stage 5 in the western Mayenne region and erased a big chunk of the deficit to move into second place in the general classification.

The 22-year-old Slovenian mastered the technical 22.7-kilometer (14-mile) loop from Change to Laval to gain time on all other main contenders in an impressive display of power and technical skills.

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Van der Poel has limited abilities in high mountains and is not expected to remain in the mix once the race reaches the Alps later this week.

BASEBALL

MINOR LEAGUES: The Portland Sea Dogs game against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on Wednesday was postponed because of inclement weather. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

NECBL: The Upper Valley Nighthawks took the lead for good with three runs in the seventh inning to earn a 6-5 win over the visiting Sanford Mainers in an New England Collegiate Baseball League game in White River Junction, Vermont.

Andrew Walker scored on a wild pitched to pull the Nighthawks (12-8) to within 1, 5-4, and William Sullivan followed with a two-run homer.

Martin Higgins, Jonathan Barditch and Mitchell Moralez each had two hits and scored a run for the Mainers (4-12).

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acrifice fly by Jonathan Barditch, an RBI single by Evan Sleight and an RBI double by Cam Ridley. They pushed their lead to 4-2 in the top of the seventh before Upper Valley took control.

OLYMPICS

TRACK AND FIELD: Caster Semenya failed in her bid to achieve the qualifying time for the 5,000 meters at the Tokyo Olympics during a meeting in Belgium.

Semenya was taking part in a race at Liege which was held after an Olympic qualifying deadline of June 29 had already expired. The South African athlete finished in fourth place with a time of 15 minutes, 50.12 seconds, meeting organizers said, falling short of her target of 15:10.00.

The two-time Olympic champion has been barred from defending her 800-meter title and from running in events from 400 meters to one mile at top track meets under World Athletics’ testosterone rules. She has refused to bow to those rules and take medication to lower her natural testosterone levels, calling the regulations unfair and discriminatory.

She can now only run in the 100 and 200 meters, or in long-distance races. All of those events are unfamiliar to her.

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TENNIS: Coco Gauff and Jennifer Brady will lead a U.S. Olympic tennis team that will go to the Tokyo Games without any of the country’s two highest-ranked women or four top men, according to a roster obtained by The Associated Press.

The list of players heading to Japan includes 17-year-old Gauff, 2021 Australian Open runner-up Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske for women’s singles, and Tommy Paul, Frances Tiafoe, Tennys Sandgren and Marcos Giron for men’s singles.

Notably absent: Serena and Venus Williams, the owners of a combined nine Olympic medals, in addition to their 30 total Grand Slam singles titles and another 14 majors together in doubles.

HIGH SCHOOLS

LACROSSE: The Maine Lacrosse Coaches’ Association recently announced the 2021 US Lacrosse All-Americans for Maine.

The players are Archie McEvoy and Tiernan Lathrop of Cape Elizabeth, Alex St. John of Thornton Academy, Wyatt Kerr of Falmouth, Jake Sullivan of Kennebunk, Tiger Hopkins of Oak Hill, Brennan Wade of Messalonskee, Alex Callahan of Scarborough, Holden Anderson of Windham, and South Berwick resident Padraic Condon of Berwick Academy.

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SOCCER

WORLD CUP: Denmark’s culture minister criticized FIFA’s bid process that allowed Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, saying it was “wrong” and raised questions of corruption in international sports organizations.

Joy Mogensen said it “undermines the values and integrity of the beautiful sport that binds the world together.” In a statement after a virtual meeting of the Nordic culture ministers that she hosted, Mogensen said the five nations – Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland – “share a similar view of the problem.”

“Closeness and corruption is something we must get rid of in top sports,” she said, adding that the Nordic countries must work together “if we want to get anywhere.”

In 2010, Qatar won the right to host the World Cup in a contentious FIFA vote that sparked corruption investigations into the entire bidding process. Evidence was not found by FIFA to warrant stripping Qatar of the hosting rights. The natural gas-rich emirate has spent tens of billions of dollars to build hotels, a new transport system and lavish stadiums to cope with staging one of the biggest sporting events.

WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE: European women’s soccer will gain new exposure when all Women’s Champions League games from the group stage are broadcast live on YouTube by DAZN for the next two seasons.

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In the second half of the four-year deal, the number of free games will drop to 19 games including the final. The games will be streamed worldwide except in China, and the Middle East and North Africa region.

Next season marks the start of a new format for the competition as it moves to a 16-team group stage, with the top two from each group moving to an eight-team knockout phase.

SOCCER: Olympic soccer rosters will be expanded from 18 players to 22 for the Tokyo Olympics, a person with knowledge of the change told The Associated Press.

Teams can include 22 players on squads, but must stay with 18 on team sheets for individual matches, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the change had not been formally announced by the International Olympic Committee.

TRACK AND FIELD

DOPING BAN: World champion sprinter Salwa Eid Naser was banned for two years and will miss the Tokyo Olympics after sport’s highest court on Wednesday overturned a ruling that had cleared her on a technicality for doping tests she missed.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport reversed an independent tribunal’s October 2020 decision that at the time cleared the Bahraini 400-meter runner to compete in the Tokyo Games.

The 23-year-old Naser, who was born in Nigeria but competes for Bahrain, ran the fastest women’s 400 since 1985 to win the world title in 2019 in Doha, Qatar. The World Athletics Disciplinary Tribunal had ruled in October 2020 that Naser had not committed an anti-doping violation related to a filing failure and missed tests between March 2019 and January 2020.


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