Sports Extra

MLB

Baseball to grow its human growth hormone testing

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz. – Major League Baseball will test for human growth hormone throughout the regular season and will step up efforts to track the use of artificial testosterone.

Players were subject to blood testing for HGH during spring training last year, and Thursday’s agreement between management and the players’ association expands that throughout the season. Those are in addition to urine tests for other performance-enhancing drugs.

Under the changes to baseball’s drug agreement, the World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory in Laval, Quebec, will keep records of each player, including his baseline ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone, and will conduct Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) tests of any urine specimens that “vary materially.”

Golf

Langley pierces the top of the Sony Open leaderboard

HONOLULU – Scott Langley made a rookie debut on the PGA Tour he won’t soon forget.

Langley thrived on a penetrating ball flight and a pure putting stroke Thursday for an 8-under 62, giving him a one-shot lead over Henley in the Sony Open.

Henley played in the same group with Langley, and they put on a remarkable show along the back nine at Waialae Country Club. Henley made five birdies on the back nine, but couldn’t keep up at the end when he misplayed a chip on the par-5 18th.

Langley played bogey-free and made a couple of long putts, including a 55-footer for eagle on No. 9.

Scott Piercy and Tim Clark were at 66.

Soccer

MLS kicks its All-Star game to Sporting Kansas City

CLEVELAND – Rob Chudzinski’s first head coaching job will be with the team he loved as a kid.

Chudzinski, who spent the last two seasons as Carolina’s offensive coordinator, has been hired by the Browns as their sixth full-time coach since 1999. It’s the third stint in Cleveland for Chudzinski, who worked with the Browns previously as an assistant.

The Browns hope the first-time head coach can end years of despair and constant losing and maybe resurrect a franchise that has made just one trip to the playoffs in the last 14 seasons.

Tennis

Williams takes Azarenka’s side for Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia – Defending champion Victoria Azarenka and title favorite Serena Williams are in the same half of the draw at the Australian Open, meaning they could meet in the semifinals.

Top-ranked Azarenka has lost 11 of her 12 matches against Williams, who increased her career haul to 15 Grand Slam titles last year by winning at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a third consecutive Australia Open title got a boost when No. 2-ranked Roger Federer and U.S. Open champion Andy Murray both landed in the other half when the official draw was made.

Top-ranked Djokovic will face Paul-Henri Mathieu in the first round and also has fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych in his quarter of the draw and fourth-seeded David Ferrer in his half.

Williams will play Edina Gallovits-Hall of Romania in Round 1.

NHL

Players have until Saturday to end the labor lockout

NEW YORK – NHL players began the process of ratifying the new labor agreement on Thursday night and will have until early Saturday morning to vote.

Voting began Thursday night and lasts until Saturday at 8 a.m. Eastern.

If a majority of the more than 700 players vote to accept the deal that NHL owners ratified Wednesday, training camps will open Sunday, and a 48-game regular season will begin Jan. 19.

Associated Press