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Federer, Williams say Armstrong let athletes down

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Federer, Williams say Armstrong let athletes down

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Roger Federer says Lance Armstrong's admission that he took performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career has affected all of sport and the world's athletes.

``What a sad story,'' Federer said after his three-set win Saturday over Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open.

``Obviously he's hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports maybe as well.''

Federer, a 17-time major winner, said he watched the first portion of the interview that Armstrong did with Oprah Winfrey.

``I guess all I needed to see was the first few minutes and then I knew what was the deal, and the rest I don't really care,'' Federer said. ``I'm an active athlete right now, and it's not fun times really to be in sports to a degree.''

Serena Williams said Armstrong let all athletes down by doping and lying about it for so long, while No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka says the disgraced cyclist ``deserves everything he gets.''

``I think a lot of people now look and are like, `OK, if somebody (is) that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?''' Williams said.

``As an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was 4 or 3, I think it's a sad day for all athletes in general. Overall, it's even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them.''

Azeranka said ``everybody works so hard to be the best.''

``You cannot be a hero in the end of the day,'' Azeranka said. ``You cannot lie. You cannot cheat. Everybody works so hard to be the best, and you have to respect that.''

On Friday, Novak Djokovic said it was a ``disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this'' and that Armstrong should ``suffer for his lies.''

In the second half of his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey on Friday in the U.S., Armstrong said he lost $75 million in sponsorship deals after his doping use was revealed.

In the first part, broadcast Thursday, Armstrong admitted he used drugs such as blood-boosting EPO when he won seven straight Tour de France races. Those titles and an Olympic bronze medal he won in the Sydney road time trial in 2000 have been taken away.

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John Wall takes another step in rehab, facing teammates in practice

John Wall takes another step in rehab, facing teammates in practice

WASHINGTON -- The steady progress continues for John Wall in his rehab from a ruptured left Achilles tendon, as the Wizards point guard is now facing teammates in 4-on-4 drills at practice.

Head coach Scott Brooks described the games as "controlled," noting they were not full-speed or with contact and featured a 10-second shot clock. But that remains a notable step in his road back after he had previously been playing mostly against player development coaches.

"He practiced for the whole practice. He looked great," Brooks said. "There is still a ways to go. But his energy, his enthusiasm, his strength [looks good]. His shot looks better."

Wall, 29, hasn't played in a game since Dec. 26 of 2018. He had surgery on his Achilles on Feb. 12, 2019. He is currently over 11 months into what is typically an 11-to-15 month recovery.

Brooks, though, makes a point to couch positive updates about Wall with patience. The team has indicated he may not play at all this season.

"I don't know if he plays this year," Brooks said. "We can be patient and we're going to be patient because we need him to be right for a lot of years. This is his career and we know how serious that injury is. He's taking it serious."

Part of the equation is the financial commitment the Wizards have made in Wall. He is due roughly $131.5 million over the next three seasons. They want to make sure he is good to go not just for this year, but that he can be effective for the remainder of his contract.

According to Brooks, even having Wall back to this level has added some positive energy to the Wizards' organization.

"I know the excitement is around because he's around and he's looking [good]," Brooks said. "When he comes back, he's going to be the John Wall we all love."

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Houston QB D'Eriq King reportedly transfers to Miami over Maryland

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Houston QB D'Eriq King reportedly transfers to Miami over Maryland

Just one week after announcing that he had entered the NCAA transfer portal, University of Houston QB D'Eriq King has reportedly chosen Miami over Maryland.

The Athletic's Hurricanes beat writer Manny Navarro reports that King has informed Canes coaches of his decision and intent to start classes Tuesday, Jan. 21. 

At the same time, Mark Berman of Fox26 reported that King has not made a final decision but did indeed like Miami.

 

King was scheduled to visit Miami Friday night and Maryland on Saturday, but Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports reports that King may have cancelled his visit to second-year head coach Mike Locksley and company last minute after liking Miami. Berman reports that King is still "planning" on visiting College Park.

The Terps struggled to finish 3-9 with Josh Jackson and Tyrell Pigrome under center, combining for 16 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions. Under first-year head coach Manny Diaz, Miami went 6-7 over 2019.

King redshirted this season after playing the maximum four games allowed under new NCAA rules in order to preserve eligibility and transfer for  his senior season. In those four games, King tallied 663 passing yards and six touchdowns. 

The sought-after QB is also just one of three in FBS history that have recorded at least 35 passing touchdowns and 13 rushing touchdowns in a single season.

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