Sports Extra

Cycling

Julich admits to doping, loses his Team Sky job

LONDON – Former American rider and Glenwood Springs resident Bobby Julich said he used banned drugs during the late 1990s when he finished third in the Tour de France, forcing him Thursday to leave his Team Sky coaching job.

The British team asked staff and riders last week to confirm they had no past links to doping as cycling tries to clean up its mess after the Lance Armstrong scandal. The United States Anti-Doping Agency report led to Armstrong being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, and Julich is the latest cyclist to come forward.

Julich, who was a teammate of Armstrong’s at Motorola and Cofidis between 1995 and 1997, posted a letter last week on the Cycling News website.

Julich said he used erythropoietin “several times” between August 1996 and July 1998. He said his wife discovered his doping during the 1998 Tour de France when he finished a career-high third.

Julich said he was not doping at the time of his third-place in the time trial at the 2004 Athens Olympics. In August, the IOC upgraded him from bronze to silver when American teammate Tyler Hamilton was stripped of his gold after he acknowledged doping.

LeMond lays the corruption at the leaders’ feet

GENEVA – Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has urged the leaders of cycling’s governing body to resign in the wake of the Lance Armstrong doping affair, calling them “the corrupt part of the sport.”

LeMond posted an open letter on his Facebook page Wednesday night that asked those who care about cycling to join him in telling International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen to step down.

LeMond’s letter came after the UCI stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him for life Monday for his involvement in what a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report described as a massive doping program.

Verbruggen led world cycling from 1991-2005, the era when Armstrong won his titles, and retains a seat on the UCI management board. He still is perceived in the sport as a mentor to McQuaid, who succeeded him.

LeMond, the Tour winner in 1986, ’89 and ’90, said the problem is not drugs but corruption.

NBA

Stern will retire Feb. 1, 2014, leaving the job to his deputy

NEW YORK – NBA Commissioner David Stern will retire Feb. 1, 2014, 30 years after he took charge of the league. He will be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.

The announcement came at an NBA Board of Governors meeting Thursday. Stern told owners during their two days of meetings of his plans, and the board unanimously decided Silver would be his successor.

Stern, who turned 70 last month, became commissioner Feb. 1, 1984. He has been the NBA’s longest-serving commissioner, establishing the league’s brand around the world, presiding over team expansion and overseeing the establishment of the WNBA and the NBA Development League.

NHL

All quiet as deadline looms to play a full NHL season

NEW YORK – The NHL’s deadline for playing a full, 82-game season arrived Thursday with no new discussions between the league and its locked-out players.

Without a new collective bargaining agreement that would end the league’s lockout of players on its 40th day, the NHL vowed to cut the season short. An announcement officially taking a full schedule out of play wasn’t immediately planned.

Major money-making events such as the upcoming outdoor Winter Classic and the All-Star game soon could be in peril, too.

“No contact, and I don’t anticipate any announcements (Thursday),” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The Associated Press in an email Thursday, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman already painted a pessimistic picture Wednesday.

Associated Press