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O'Meara says Singh should be punished for doping

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O'Meara says Singh should be punished for doping

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Mark O'Meara doesn't think Vijay Singh would ever try to cheat but still believes the Fijian should be suspended ``for a couple of months'' by the PGA Tour for admitting he used a deer-antler spray that contains a banned substance.

O'Meara, who called Singh a friend, said he heard about the Fijian's admission on Wednesday, but doesn't believe he benefited on the course from the unorthodox treatment.

``I was obviously a little bit surprised with what I heard, but I don't think Vijay is a guy that would ever take advantage of anything. I know Vijay,'' O'Meara said after finishing his first round at the Dubai Desert Classic.

``I guess they could probably suspend him for a couple of months. I would think so,'' the two-time major winner said. ``Listen, people have had to pay the price before and he should be no different. If that is the case and the commissioner and tour feels he should be suspended for X amount of time, I think Vijay is man enough that he'll do that.''

The 49-year-old Singh said he paid one of Sports With Alternatives To Steroids' owners $9,000 in November for the spray and other products, Sports Illustrated said. Singh released a statement at the Phoenix Open confirming he had taken it, but that he was ``absolutely shocked that deer-antler spray may contain a banned substance and am angry that I have put myself in this position.''

Singh, who won the last of his 56 titles in 2008, said he will cooperate with the tour's review of the issue.

Bob Charles, the 1963 British Open winner, said in New Zealand on Thursday he also used and promoted deer-antler spray for more than 20 years, and was surprised to learn it contained a banned substance. Charles was a spokesman for the deer-antler product and used it daily over two decades.

Despite Singh's admission, O'Meara and other golfers said they felt the measures in place to combat doping in golf, including random testing, were adequate.

``I don't think doping is a problem in golf whatsoever. I really don't,'' Paul Casey said. ``There are so many facets to our sport. Why was he taking it? Was he taking it to recover from injury? It doesn't help you get the ball in the hole at the end of the day. This is the first case I've heard where a guy admitted to taking anything.''

The oddity of deer-antler spray being used by golfers was the talk on the Dubai course on Thursday, with Lee Westwood among the players having a good laugh about it. Most said they had never heard of it until the story on Singh.

``Deer-antler spray? That sounds like something you wax your car with, doesn't it?'' Westwood said. ``I've never heard of it. ... You have to be careful about what you take. I try not to take anything now, really, other than Corona and vodka.''

Colin Montgomerie, a rival of Singh during their heydays, called the whole case ``odd'' and said the European Tour doctor ``came to us (and said) deer antler, whatever it is, don't take that this afternoon lads.''

Montgomerie said the tour had nothing to worry about with him when it came to doping.

``I can only speak for myself and it's not widespread within the Montgomerie family,'' the 2010 Europe Ryder Cup captain said, looking down at his torso. ``Unfortunately. You can see that though, can't you, really.''

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Panthers honor Florida shooting victims before game against Capitals

Panthers honor Florida shooting victims before game against Capitals

Prior to their matchup against the Capitals, the Panthers honored the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Thursday night's game was the Panthers' first game on home ice since the shooting last week. BB&T Center, the home of the Panthers, is located about 20 minutes south of Parkland.

Both teams wore the school’s hat during warmups, and the Panthers will wear the school’s logo on their helmets and “MSD” patches on their jerseys for the rest of the season.

There was a was a moment of silence and ceremony prior to the game, during which the video board showed the pictures and names of all 17 victims.

Following the video Panthers goaltender Roberto Luongo, who lives in Parkland, took the ice to give his own moving tribute. 

"It's time for us, as a community, to take action. Enough is enough." Luongo commended the school's teachers and said of the students, "You guys are an inspiration for all of us. You guys are giving us hope for the future." 

"When I'm done playing hockey, I want to spend the rest of my life in Parkland," Luongo said. "I love that city."

In addition to the ceremony and uniform tributes, the Panthers hosted a blood drive beginning at today noon and lasting through the second intermission of the game in an effort to replenish local blood banks.

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5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

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Associated Press

5 things to know about new Wizards player Ramon Sessions

The Washington Wizards signed point guard Ramon Sessions to a 10-day free agent contract on Thursday. Here are five things to know about the newest Wizards player...

**Sessions has played for Washington before. He was acquired by the Wizards at the trade deadline in 2015 and played out the 2014-15 season, appearing in 28 regular season games and 10 more in the playoffs. Sessions then spent the whole 2015-16 season with the team before leaving the following summer to sign a free agent deal with the Charlotte Hornets. In 1 1/2 seasons with the Wizards, Sessions averaged 9.2 points, 3.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. He shot 46 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from three.

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**Sessions played one season for the Hornets and spent part of this year with the New York Knicks. The Knicks waived Sessions on Jan. 13. Over the past two seasons in Charlotte and New York, Sessions has averaged 5.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds while shooting 37 percent.

**This is Sessions' 11th NBA season. In addition to the Wizards, Hornets and Knicks, he has spent time with the Bucks, Cavs, Lakers and Kings. He began his career in Milwaukee after getting selected in the second round of the 2007 draft.

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**Sessions went to the University of Nevada from 2004 through 2007 and left an impressive legacy as one of the best players in the program's history. The school's practice facility is, in fact, named after Sessions. It is called the 'Ramon Sessions Basketball Performance Center' and Sessions donated $1 million towards construction costs.

**Sessions overlapped with former Wizards player JaVale McGee at Nevada. Sessions was in his final season as a junior when McGee was a freshman. The Wolfpack were quite good that year. They peaked at No. 10 in the nation, the highest ranking in school history, and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

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