NEW YORK (AP) John Saunders, the versatile sportscaster who has hosted ESPN's ''The Sports Reporters'' for the last 15 years, has died, the network announced. He was 61.
Saunders joined ESPN in 1986. The Canadian did play-by-play, led NHL Stanley Cup and World Series coverage on ESPN and ABC, and hosted studio shows for baseball, college football and college basketball.
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A cause of death was not announced.
Saunders took over as host of ''The Sports Reporters,'' a Sunday morning staple of ESPN programming, after Dick Schaap died in 2001. Saunders played the role of calm traffic cop on the panel show that features three sports journalists volleying opinions on the top sports news of the day.
Saunders was also a founding member of the board of directors for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, a charity started by the network after former college basketball coach and ESPN announcer Jim Valvano died of cancer in 1993.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Military police in Rio de Janeiro are stepping up security at the Olympics after a bus carrying journalists had two of its windows shattered by a projectile and a bullet flew into the stables area of the equestrian venue.
Two large windows on the media bus were shattered Tuesday by what Rio organizers said was a rock. But a passenger disputed the account, saying she was sure it was gunfire. There were no serious injuries.
Security has been a major concern surrounding the Olympics as Rio is plagued by rampant crime, including frequent murders, gun battles and muggings. Police near the Olympic beach volleyball venue in Copacabana found body parts on the shore last month, and an off-duty bodyguard for Rio's mayor was shot to death around the same time in an apparent mugging. Adding to the anxiety is terrorism fears about the Islamic State.
Rio is deploying about 85,000 soldiers and police to secure the games, twice as many as London did four years ago. Soldiers in military fatigues and carrying guns have been a common sight around Olympic venues.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - It seems everywhere you turn in track and field right now there's bad news.
Two days before the track competition starts at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, IAAF President Sebastian Coe said that he's ''not confident'' there will be full crowds.
''Are we going to have full houses? I don't know the answer to that,'' Coe said.
The Rio crowds could have given Coe a rare positive to highlight in a news conference that was almost completely about the negatives: Doping, banned athletes, previously banned dopers being able to compete in Rio, and what the IAAF is doing to change the way it works after 12 months that rocked the sport and its governing body to the core. Along with the huge doping scandal in Russia - Coe called it ''cataclysmic'' - corruption crept into the IAAF, too, under former president Lamine Diack.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - Justin Gatlin, the sprinter considered the best threat to stop Usain Bolt in the 100-meter final Sunday, told The Associated Press he's not paying attention to what people are saying about him, and is not concerned with those who think he doesn't belong here because of past doping scandals.
''At the end of the day, the time has been served. I've served that time,'' the 34-year-old Gatlin told AP on Wednesday. ''I've dealt with that punishment. I've moved forward.''
Gatlin, who won gold at 100 meters at the 2004 Olympics, has been caught using banned substances twice. The first was for amphetamines, though arbitrators determined he didn't use them for doping but to treat attention deficit disorder. The second came for excessive testosterone in 2006 and resulted in a four-year ban.
His name almost always comes up in the debate over how past dopers should be treated. In Rio, it surfaced in the wake of American swimmer Lilly King's finger-wagging display toward Yulia Efimova, the Russian who was allowed to compete after a last-minute appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Like Gatlin, Efimova has served a doping ban but was reinstated.
Gatlin does not see himself as a villain - and does not buy into the now-hackneyed portrayal of him vs. Bolt as track's version of ''Good vs. Evil.''
''People want to label people and that's all they want to do,'' Gatlin said. ''They don't want to get to know them, they don't want to understand the story, in-depth.''
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Prince Fielder will not be able to come back after a second neck surgery.
The Texas Rangers slugger choked up and shed tears as he said health issues are forcing him to end his 12-season major league career. He was still wearing a neck brace 12 days after his second cervical fusion in just over two years.
The 32-year-old Fielder says it's going to be tough not being able to play again after being around the majors since he was a kid with his father, Cecil, a slugger who played 13 seasons for five different teams. Prince's two young sons sat with him, also shedding tears.
All of his Rangers teammates, along with coaches and staff, filled the interview room at their home ballpark to support him.