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Sports Extra

NFL

Broncos want Elvis to sing/sign a new contract

DENVER – The Broncos are asking defensive end Elvis Dumervil to take a pay cut so they can create more salary cap room for free agency.

Dumervil signed a six-year, $61.5-million contract in 2010 when Josh McDaniels was coaching the team and before John Elway joined the Denver front office. The seven-year veteran is scheduled to make $12 million in 2013. The team wants Dumervil to take a cut or restructure his contract.

Dumervil had 11 sacks last season, second on the team behind Von Miller. Dumervil led the league with 17 sacks in 2009.

The Broncos need more cap space while trying to shore up their interior defensive line, cornerback and running back positions. Peyton Manning will earn $20 million in 2013, and if the Broncos had Dumervil play at his current number, those two would account for more than a quarter of their cap space.

NHL

NHLPA gives a thumbs-up to conference realignment

NEW YORK – The NHL moved a step closer to realignment Thursday as the players’ association approved a proposed plan that is set to go into effect next season.

Now that the league has gotten the go-ahead from union chief Donald Fehr, the NHL only will need to get approval from team owners to put it in place.

No official details of the changes have been released by the NHL.

Instead of the current system, the new plan will award playoff spots to the top three teams in each division along with the next two teams with the best records as wild cards.

The new Atlantic Division in the East would be comprised of Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York’s Islanders and Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington. The Central Division would contain Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Toronto.

Out West, the new Midwest Division would feature Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg. The Pacific Division would be made up of Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose and Vancouver.

Cycling

Farrar, Garmin-Sharp will ride for 4 in a row in California

SAN FRANCISCO – Reigning world road race champion Philippe Gilbert and the BMC Racing Team are among 16 squads that have accepted invitations to the Tour of California in May.

Organizers of North America’s largest cycling event announced Thursday the Belgian rider will headline the team that’s based in Santa Rosa, the Sonoma County town where the eight-stage tour will end May 19.

Tyler Farrar will lead Team Garmin-Sharp of Denver, which has topped the team standings the last three years, a race record.

Full rosters will be announced at a later date.

SAINT-VALLIER, France – Michael Albasini of Switzerland beat four other riders in a sprint finish to win Stage 4 of the Paris-Nice race Thursday, while American Andrew Talansky kept hold of the leader’s yellow jersey.

INDICATORE, Italy – Matthew Goss won a bunch sprint Stage 2 on Thursday, while Mark Cavendish retained the overall lead in the Tirreno-Adriatico.

Tennis

Tennis, like cycling and track, adopts biological passport

LONDON – Tennis is adopting the biological passport program and increasing the number of blood tests as part of a new anti-doping drive that players themselves have demanded.

With the sport under pressure to do more against doping, the International Tennis Federation said Thursday the measures will go into effect this year on both the men’s and women’s tours in an effort to ensure the game is clean.

The biological passport tracks a player’s blood profile over time for any changes that could indicate doping. The system already is applied in cycling and track and field.

Associated Press