Buffs Bannan back in Colo.: Broncos sign defensive end
ENGLEWOOD Veteran defensive tackle Justin Bannan is returning to the Denver Broncos. The 11th-year pro signed a free agent contract with his old club Wednesday.
Bannan started all 16 games for the Broncos in 2010 his only year with the team before signing last year with St. Louis, where he started 14 games, collecting 35 tackles and one sack.
Drafted by Buffalo after a standout career at the University of Colorado, Bannan has played in 144 NFL games with the Bills, Ravens, Broncos and Rams.
Defensive tackle is one of the Broncos biggest areas of need. They lost Brodrick Bunkley in free agency, and Ryan McBean faces a drug suspension to start the 2012 season, although he and linebacker D.J. Williams are suing the league to have their six-game punishments overturned.
Oilers again strike it rich: Edmonton wins draft lottery
TORONTO The Edmonton Oilers won the NHLs draft lottery, and they own the No. 1 selection for the third consecutive year.
Edmonton had an 18.8-percent chance of winning the first overall pick in the lottery held Tuesday night.
After choosing center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins last year, and fellow forward Taylor Hall No. 1 in 2010, the Oilers now will be in line to take Sarnia Sting forward Nail Yakupov, unless they trade the pick.
The Columbus Blue Jackets, who had the best chance to win the lottery after a league-worst 29-46-7 mark, will choose second, followed by the Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs on June 22 in Pittsburgh.
Spain leads FIFA rankings; USA men fall to No. 29
ZURICH World champion Spain remained No. 1 in FIFAs monthly rankings, while Uruguay rose to a new high of No. 3.
The United States fell two places to No. 29.
The Netherlands dropped two spots to No. 4. Germany advanced to No. 2 despite not playing since beating England 3-2 in an exhibition in February.
Portugal climbed two places to No. 5, overtaking England and Brazil. The Italians dropped from the top 10, with Denmark replacing them at No. 9.
No. 15 Ivory Coast is the highest-ranked African team. Mexico still leads CONCACAF nations after rising to No. 20. Australia, at No. 21, leads Asian confederation nations. No. 130 New Zealand leads Oceania.
For the Americans Fed Cup, one Williams will have to do
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. Serena Williams is on the U.S. Fed Cup roster for matches against Ukraine on April 21-22, but her sister Venus is not.
Joining the 13-time Grand Slam champion on the team, announced by Fed Cup captain Mary Joe Fernandez on Wednesday, are Christina McHale, Sloane Stephens, and Liezel Huber.
The best-of-five-match series will be on clay at Kharkiv, Ukraine.
The country that wins will be promoted into the main Fed Cup group in 2013 and be able to compete for the title. The loser will drop into World Group II.
Voecklers solo vector wins Brabant Arrow cycling classic
BRUSSELS Thomas Voeckler of France finished a 17-mile solo breakaway over the final hills to win the Brabant Arrow cycling classic.
Voeckler built a gap of more than a minute and a half over the last eight hills and braved a succession of rain, hail and high winds to keep ahead of a chasing group, where three-time winner Oscar Freire of Spain won the sprint ahead of home rider Pieter Serry to finish second.
The 32-year-old Voeckler won the 121-mile race in 4 hours, 49 minutes, 2 seconds for his first victory of the season.