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Headlines from Around the World in Sports

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel walks off the field after the Chiefs lost to the San Diego Chargers 31-13 in an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in San Diego.  (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Kansas City Chiefs head coach Romeo Crennel walks off the field after the Chiefs lost to the San Diego Chargers 31-13 in an NFL football game, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

NFL

Chiefs’ Crennel removes
himself as D-coordinator

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Chiefs Coach Romeo Crennel relieved himself of duties as defensive coordinator on a day in which the team waived starting cornerback Stanford Routt and signed defensive tackle Shaun Smith.

Crennel had been juggling head coaching and coordinator duties since taking over on an interim basis when Todd Haley was fired last December. Crennel announced yesterday that Gary Gibbs would become defensive coordinator and he would spend more time with the entire team.

Routt was one of the Chiefs’ notable free-agent acquisitions, signing a three-year, $18 million deal to fill in after Brandon Carr left for the Dallas Cowboys. Crennel said Javier Arenas will move into the starting lineup opposite Brandon Flowers.

Smith has been out of the league since the Titans waived him in August.

Tennis

Murray wins opening
match at ATP finals

LONDON – Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray won their opening matches yesterday at the ATP finals, setting up a showdown between two of the top three players in the world.

The top-ranked Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-6 (4), 6-3, in Group A, hours after third-ranked Murray rallied to defeat Tomas Berdych, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. Djokovic and Murray will play tomorrow.

The ATP finals is the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world. Fourth-ranked Rafael Nadal, however, pulled out because of injury.

Group B will play today at the O2 Arena.

Baseball

Cardinals promote
Mabry to replace McGwire

ST. LOUIS – The Cardinals promoted John Mabry to hitting coach as the replacement for Mark McGwire, who told St. Louis he won’t return after three seasons and appears headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The 42-year-old Mabry, whose 14 major league seasons included three stints with St. Louis, was assistant hitting coach last season.

St. Louis also promoted Blaise Ilsley to bullpen coach as the replacement for Dyar Miller, who was not retained after one season under new Manager Mike Matheny. The 48-year-old Ilsley was pitching coach for the Cardinals’ Triple-A Memphis affiliate the past five seasons.

The team extended offers to pitching coach Derek Lilliquist, bench coach Mike Aldrete, third base coach Jose Oquendo and first base coach Chris Maloney to return in their current positions. They have not identified a successor to Mabry as assistant hitting coach.

Baseball

Astros add Perez
and Martinez to staff

HOUSTON – The Houston Astros hired Eduardo Perez as bench coach and Dennis Martinez as bullpen coach to complete the staff of new Manager Bo Porter.

Martinez was a pitching coach in the Cardinals system for the last six seasons. He was a four-time All-Star and threw a perfect game in a playing career from 1976-98.

Perez is the manager of the Colombian team in the World Baseball Classic. He recently worked as hitting coach for the Marlins. The first baseman spent parts of 13 seasons in the majors as a player.

The Astros also announced that Tony DeFrancesco, who was Houston’s interim manager at the end of last season, would return to his former job as manager of Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Baseball

Three minor leaguers
suspended for drug violations

NEW YORK – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Jose Dominguez has been suspended for 25 games for a violation of baseball’s minor league drug program, and free agents Emerson Martinez and Luis Valenzuela have been penalized 50 games apiece after positive tests.

Dominguez is a right-hander with Chattanooga of the Double-A Southern League. He was 4-3 with a 5.25 ERA in five starts and 28 relief appearances this year for Great Lakes of the Class A Midwest League and 0-1 with a 1.29 ERA in five relief appearances for Chattanooga.

The reason for his suspension was not announced.

Martinez, a right-hander, tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol, as did Valenzuela, a shortstop.

There have been 101 violations of the minor league program this year and six of the major league plan.

College football

Washington State
suspends star WR Wilson

SPOKANE, Wash. – Washington State star receiver Marquess Wilson was suspended yesterday for an unspecified violation of team rules.

Team spokesman Bill Stevens could not say how long the suspension would last or specifics about why Wilson was punished by first-year Coach Mike Leach.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported yesterday that Wilson stormed out of a team practice early on Sunday evening.

Washington State (2-7, 0-6) was blown out 49-6 at Utah on Saturday for its sixth consecutive loss. Afterward, Leach complained that the effort of his players was “bordering on cowardice.”

“That could have been a zombie convention,” he said of his team’s play.

Cycling

UCI opens inquiry into
alleged Vinokourov race fix

AIGLE, Switzerland – The International Cycling Union is investigating allegations that Olympic champion Alexandre Vinokourov of Kazakhstan bribed a rival in order to win the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege race.

The UCI says it “will ask Alexandre Vinokourov and Alexandr Kolobnev to attend a meeting at our headquarters in Aigle as soon as possible” to help its inquiry.

Vinokourov allegedly paid Russia’s Kolobnev nearly $200,000 after arranging a fix during their two-man breakaway in the April 2010 one-day classic.

The UCI says it has received information from an Italian prosecutor in Padua, who is leading a wider investigation of corruption in cycling linked to Dr. Michele Ferrari, a former adviser to Lance Armstrong.

The allegations were first made by a Swiss magazine last year. Italian daily Corriere della Sera published further details Saturday.

Track & field

Bolt, Merritt, Rudisha
vie for World Athlete award

MONACO – Usain Bolt, Aries Merritt and David Rudisha are the finalists for the World Athlete of the Year award.

Track and field’s governing body said yesterday that they had the most votes in a three-week poll. The winner will be announced during the IAAF’s centenary celebrations in Barcelona on Nov. 24.

Bolt became the first man to retain both 100- and 200-meter titles at the London Olympics.

Merritt won the 110 hurdles at the Olympics. The American set a world record of 12.80 seconds at the Van Damme Memorial in Brussels in September.

Rudisha of Kenya won the 800 in London in a world record of 1 minute, 40.91 seconds.

Luge

Valiant Entertainment
to design U.S. race suits

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – USA Luge is getting new race suits designed by Valiant Entertainment.

Valiant, one of the leading comic character-based entertainment companies, will design competition and practice race suits for the team through 2014.

The company and USA Luge will work together to create the look of the team’s race gear when they compete at Sochi, Russia, in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. Each suit will be designed to resemble the look of the character X-O Manowar, a time-displaced warrior bonded to a suit of extraterrestrial armor.

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