Thursday's Sports In Brief - NBC Sports

Thursday's Sports In Brief
August 23, 2013, 3:35 am

BASEBALL

A month after acknowledging only that he made "mistakes," Ryan Braun admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs during his NL MVP season of 2011.

The suspended Milwaukee slugger said he took a cream and a lozenge containing banned substances while rehabilitating an injury.

"It was a huge mistake for which I am deeply ashamed and I compounded the situation by not admitting my mistakes immediately," Braun said in a statement released by the Brewers.

Braun tested positive for elevated testosterone in October 2011, but his 50-game suspension was overturned when an arbitrator ruled that the urine sample was mishandled.

Braun took full responsibility for his actions and apologized to the collector of the urine sample, teammates and Commissioner Bud Selig among others.

Last month Braun accepted a 65-game suspension resulting from Major League Baseball's investigation of the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic, which was accused of providing banned substances to players.

ATLANTA (AP) Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had surgery Thursday on his broken right jaw after he was struck by a pitch.

The team has not said how long he will be out, but he could miss the rest of the regular season. Atlanta has a commanding lead in the NL East and hopes Heyward will recover in time for the playoffs.

Dr. Glenn Maron operated in Atlanta, one day after Heyward was injured. He inserted plates in both places where the jaw was fractured.

Before his injury, Heyward had become one of the Braves' hottest hitters. He was batting .253 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs.

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Mets signed Daisuke Matsuzaka to a one-year contract, and the right-hander is scheduled to start Friday night's game against Detroit.

Matsuzaka was released by Cleveland on Tuesday at his request. He had spent the entire season at Triple-A Columbus after failing to win a spot in Cleveland's rotation during spring training.

After working through early season injuries, Matsuzaka has pitched well in recent weeks, going 4-4 with a 3.56 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 10 starts for the Clippers since July 2.

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OLYMPICS

LONDON (AP) - The Russian government assured the IOC that it will not discriminate against homosexuals during the Sochi Olympics, while defending its law against gay "propaganda" that has provoked an international backlash.

The IOC received a letter from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak giving reassurances the host country will comply fully with the Olympic Charter's provision against discrimination of any kind.

The letter still leaves open the question of what would happen to Olympic athletes or fans if they make statements or gestures that could be considered propaganda.

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PRO FOOTBALL

ATTLEBORO, Mass. (AP) - Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was indicted Thursday on first-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of a friend whose bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park about a mile from the ex-player's home.

The six-count grand jury indictment charges Hernandez with killing 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, a semi-professional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend.

Hernandez, 23, pleaded not guilty to murder and weapons charges in June, and he is being held without bail.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was fined $10,000 by the NFL for wearing unauthorized apparel, a T-shirt with "Operation Patience" on it.

Griffin, recovering from a knee injury and yet to play in the preseason, wore the shirt on the field before Washington's exhibition game Monday night against Pittsburgh. NFL spokesman Randall Liu confirmed the fine on Thursday.

All gear worn on game days must be approved by the league.

Griffin drew a $10,000 fine last year when he wore unauthorized material to a postgame news conference.

NEW YORK (AP) - Saying the NFL Players Association is "holding HGH testing hostage" after more than two years of squabbling with the league, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee warned that Congress could get involved.

In a statement emailed by his office to The Associated Press, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland said the union "continues to disregard its promise to implement HGH testing."

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - It's Geno Smith's turn to try to prove he should be the New York Jets' quarterback this season.

The rookie second-round draft pick will start over Mark Sanchez in the Jets' preseason game against the Giants on Saturday night.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Tampa Bay guard Carl Nicks and kicker Lawrence Tynes are being treated for MRSA infections.

Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik confirmed that Nicks has an infected blister on the side of his left foot and Tynes has an infected toe on his right foot.

MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to some antibiotics.

The cases were diagnosed last week while the Bucs were in New England holding joint practices with the Patriots before a preseason game.

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GOLF

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - It took Kevin Stadler nearly 11 hours to open with a 7-under 64 at Liberty National. And he's not even guaranteed to be the first-round leader at The Barclays.

Two rain delays that lasted a total of six hours put a damper on the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Stadler teed off just after breakfast and finished his round right before dinner. Only half the field finished. Stadler had a one-shot lead over Henrik Stenson, Ryan Palmer and Camilo Villegas.

Tiger Woods ran off three straight birdies before the second delay. He only made one after returned, though he still had a 4-under 67.

British Open champion Phil Mickelson and Masters champion Adam Scott were among those who didn't finish and were to resume the round Friday morning and then go straight to the second round. PGA champion Jason Dufner had a 71, while U.S. Open champion Justin Rose recovered from a double bogey on the par-5 13th for a 68.

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TENNIS

NEW YORK (AP) - Defending champion Andy Murray could face top-seeded Novak Djokovic only in the semifinals at the U.S. Open, while Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - who have never played each other at Flushing Meadows - might meet in the quarterfinals.

Murray earned his first Grand Slam championship by beating Djokovic in the 2012 U.S. Open final, then added a second by beating the No. 1-ranked Serb in the Wimbledon title match last month. But there can't be a rematch in New York in the final, thanks to Thursday's draw.

The potential women's quarterfinals are No. 1 Serena Williams against No. 8 Angelique Kerber, No. 2 Victoria Azarenka against No. 7 Petra Kvitova, No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska against No. 5 Li Na, and No. 4 Sara Errani against No. 6 Caroline Wozniacki.

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LEGAL

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The random slaying of an Australia native who came to the U.S. to play baseball and earn a college degree has touched hearts in the U.S. and beyond, as tens of thousands of dollars streamed into a fund designed to help Chris Lane's parents bring their son back home.

Lane, a 22-year-old student at East Central University, was shot in the back and killed last week as he was jogging in an affluent neighborhood in Duncan, in south-central Oklahoma. By Thursday afternoon, a fund set up to help his parents had already amassed more than $107,000, overwhelming the friend who started it.

East Central also set up a separate memorial fund to honor Lane; and a private memorial service was being planned for Saturday at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, where Lane's girlfriend is a student.

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PRO BASKETBALL

MIAMI (AP) - The Miami-Dade Police Department says it will discipline the officer who provided a police escort to Miami Heat star LeBron James to the Justin Timberlake/Jay Z concert.

The department says it has chosen to give the officer "informal counseling" after investigating the escort involving the athlete. The statement says no further action will be taken. It does not identify the officer.

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