Jonathan Lee’s Sports Recap: July 13-17

“I have never used steroids, human growth hormone, or any other type of illegal performance enhancing drugs.” So said MLB pitcher Roger Clemens at his Congressional hearing in February. We always hear about athletes denying the use of steroids, and time and again they are caught red-handed. Clemens is next on the chopping block as the pitcher’s ex-gym owner, Kelly Blair, has been subpoenaed by the grand jury in Washington to see if Clemens lied to Congress.

NASCAR has asked a federal judge to reinstate driver Jeremy Mayfield Wednesday, after he tested positive for the same illegal substance. Mayfield has denied the claim that he has used any drugs in the first place.

Tony Andre Hansen will appear in court in October to defend his Olympic equestrian medal after his horse tested positive for the banned pain-relieving medicine capsaicin. The International Equestrian Federation ruled to disqualify Hansen from the Beijing games. The court date is set for October 26-27.

The strike that has been preventing further work to be completed for the World Cup in South Africa has been ongoing, as management has not met the demands for a 13% pay increase. The latest proposal for an 11.5% pay increase was rejected by the workers, but they have lowered their demands to 12%.

The Nationals, who hold the worst record in major league baseball, have fired manager Manny Acta. Their record coming into the All-Star game was 26-61. Bench coach Jim Riggleman was named interim coach.

Aroldis Chapman, who defected from Cuba, has signed with an agent. Chapman will be represented by Athletes Premier International. The talented lefty is already being pursued by Major league clubs such as the Yankees and the Red Sox. (Speaking of agencies, players agents are pushing the players’ union to pursue a collusion grievance against the owners, after the way the free-agent market played out in 2008. Commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig, has denied the accusation).

Former Mets and Red Sox pitcher, Pedro Martinez, agreed to a one year deal Wednesday, worth $1 million with the Philadelphia Phillies.

A committee to develop guidelines for baseball players heading into the Hall of Fame was rejected by baseball writers. The issue was brought up by baseball writer Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times at the Baseball Writers’ Association of America meeting. The proposal was rejected 30-25.

Baltimore Ravens’ wide receiver Derrick Mason has told a website that he is retiring after 12 years in the NFL. This comes as a shock to many who still felt Mason could make a big impact. Mason has yet to meet with the Ravens, to discuss his plans to retire. Mason’s teammate, Terrell Suggs, will continue his career with the Ravens after he agreed to a $63-million-over-six-years contract.

While one defensive end reached an agreement on a new contract, another failed to come to terms on a long term deal. With the deadline passing for teams to negotiate a long term deal with players on Wednesday, Julius Peppers was unable to reach a new deal with the Carolina Panthers. Peppers will now play with his one year deal worth $16.7 million. Arizona Cardinals’ linebacker Karlos Dansby will yet again be franchise tagged as a deal was not completed on Wednesday. St. Louis Rams’ safety Oshiomogho Atogwe agreed on a one-year deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Twenty current and retired players went to Capitol Hill Wednesday, to build political support to head off a lockout. The NFL and players have continued their talks on the new collective bargaining agreement.

Steve McNair’s wife will control his estate because no will was made by McNair. The former Baltimore and Tennessee quarterback was laid to rest last week.

The latest signings in the NBA have been from the Eastern Conference. After making a deal for big man Shaquille O’Neal, the Cavaliers shore up their guard spot by signing former Toronto guard Anthony Parker Monday.

The Central Division was busy this week, as the Pacers signed Dahntay Jones to a deal worth $11 million over four years. They also re-signed Forward Josh McRoberts. Mike Bibby and Zaza Pachulia of the Hawks re-signed, while Lindsay Hunter re-signed with the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls also bought out the contract of forward Tim Thomas. The Magic retain big man Marcin Gortat, after they matched Dallas’s offer of $34 million over five years.

The Pistons traded away Arron Afflalo and Walter Sharpe to the Nuggets in exchange for a future second‑round pick. David Anderson of the Atlanta Hawks was also traded Tuesday to the Houston Rockets in exchange for a second‑round pick. The Lakers retracted their offer to Lamar Odom after stalled negotiations. The Heat are said to be looking into possibly acquiring Odom.

Minnesota Timberwolves team President David Kahn is set to go to Spain to discuss the buyout of point guard Ricky Rubio. Kahn is set to meet with DKV Joventut in Spain to discuss possibly lowering the buyout amount of $6.6 million. Rubio was selected sixth by the Timberwolves.

Phoenix Mercury guard Diana Taurasi faces three drunk‑driving charges, after police caught her speeding near Downtown Phoenix. She will appear in court July 22.

The Islanders signed top pick John Tavares to a three year deal Wednesday. Tavares was selected number one is this year’s NHL draft.

Wayne Gretzky of the Phoenix Coyotes is fighting the courts to keep his personal finances out of the ongoing bankruptcy case of the Coyotes. This is after the city of Glendale requested to review Gretzky’s income tax return.

The Blackhawks fired general manager Dale Tallon following grievances set out by the Players Association after the team missed the deadline to send qualifying offers to the restricted free agents.

Dwayne Wade has decided to switch from Converse for the Nike Jordan Brand. The announcement was made Friday. Nike, which owns both Converse and the Jordan brand, will add Wade to the likes of Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony to bring its basketball division to new “heights.”

The final news of the week was ESPN and Sky agreeing to a five year deal worth $106 million to show Scottish Premier League games in Britain and Ireland. That’s all for sports law news.

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