Monday's Sports in Brief


The NFL has said the four linebackers being investigated for an alleged link to performance-enhancing drugs will be suspended, if they don't agree to be interviewed by the league in the next 10 days.

NFL senior vice president of labor policy and league affairs Adolpho Birch sent a letter to the NFL Players Association detailing the plan to suspend James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers of the Green Bay Packers and free agent Mike Neal if they don't speak with the league by Aug. 25. Their punishment would then start the following day.

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Birch's memo to the union was obtained by The Associated Press, according to a person with knowledge of the investigation who was not authorized to speak publicly about it.


RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) The runner who blew the whistle on the doping scandal in Russia fears for her safety and has switched residences after hackers breached a database that records her whereabouts.

Yulia Stepanova and her husband, Vitaly, were the informers who detailed a state-run doping system in Russia that led to the ouster of the country's athletes from the Olympic track meet.

Recently, their email was hacked and the password stolen for Stepanova's account on a database controlled by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Like hundreds of athletes, Stepanova accesses the WADA system to enter her whereabouts, so doping-control officers can find her if she's selected for out-of-competition testing. The database contains personal contact information, such as phone numbers and addresses.

Stepanova was part of the Russian doping system for years, but after being cast aside by the country's track team, she and her husband, a former worker for the Russian anti-doping agency, approached WADA with their information.

They moved to the United States, fearing a stay in Russia could lead to harm.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - An Egyptian athlete who refused to shake his Israeli opponent's hand after their judo bout has been reprimanded and sent home from the Rio Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee said Islam El Shehaby received a ''severe reprimand'' for his behavior following his first-round heavyweight bout loss to Or Sasson on Friday.

When Sasson extended his hand, El Shehaby backed away and shook his head, injecting Middle Eastern politics into the Rio Olympics. The referee called the 34-year-old El Shehaby back to the mat and obliged to him to bow; he gave a quick nod and was loudly booed as he exited.

Judo opponents typically bow or shake hands at the beginning and end of a match as a sign of respect.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - A brush fire caused light ash to fall on the playing surface of the Olympic field hockey venue, and officials are monitoring the nearby mountain bike competition site for problems there.

The women's field hockey quarterfinal between Britain and Spain started on time and was not affected as the wind quickly blew away any ash that might have made it on the surface.

The fire started in the afternoon when temperatures at Deodoro Olympic Park reached 97 degrees Fahrenheit (36 Celsius), and a 26 mph wind picked up. The fire occurred near X-Park, the venue for canoe slalom, BMX and mountain bike. The scorching temperatures later gave way to torrential rain in Rio that caused a delay at the track and field venue.

High winds rattled and shook the media workroom tent on the site and blew smoke and ash into the area. Germany and the United States had finished playing about an hour before the problem became noticeable.


CINCINNATI (AP) - Top-seeded Serena Williams has withdrawn from the Western & Southern Open with a shoulder injury, the tournament announced.

Williams, the tournament's two-time defending champion, withdrew after a morning practice session, according to tournament officials.

She accepted a wild-card berth in the tournament last week after being upset in the third round of the Rio Olympics.

The withdrawal gives second-seeded Angelique Kerber an opportunity to earn the WTA No. 1 ranking if she were to win the W&S title.

Williams has been ranked No. 1 for 183 consecutive weeks and 306 overall.

Japan's Misaki Doi replaces Williams in the draw, receiving Williams' first-round bye.


NEW YORK (AP) - Alex Rodriguez says he won't play again this season.

The three-time AL MVP was released Saturday by the New York Yankees, who owed him about $27 million for the rest of his contract, which runs through 2017.

Any team could sign A-Rod for a prorated share of the major league minimum of $507,500, and Rodriguez's hometown Miami Marlins said Sunday they were discussing whether to reach out to the 41-year-old.

Rodriguez spokesman Ron Berkowitz says in a statement Monday: ''I want to put all this talk to rest about Alex playing for any team this season.''

Berkowitz adds: ''It's not happening. Like he said Friday night, he is happy and he is going to take some time to relax and hang with his family and friends.''


HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) - Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel says he will end his retirement after just four months and return to racing on Aug. 27 at Ellis Park.

The track confirmed Borel's return on its website. He had abruptly announced his retirement on March 30, but said in a release that ''when you love something, it's hard to break away'' and added that it was all he knew how to do.

Borel, 49, won the Kentucky Derby three times from 2007 to 2010 and rode Hall of Famer Rachel Alexandra to victory in the 2009 Preakness en route to Horse of the Year honors. He was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2013.

Borel's 5,146 victories rank 27th all time.


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - Donald Trump testified that he transformed a Florida golf club as the trial in a $6 million federal lawsuit brought by disaffected members opened.

The Palm Beach Post reported that in a videotaped deposition, the Republican presidential candidate said most members of the renamed Trump National Golf Club are happy with the changes made since he bought it for $5 million from Ritz-Carlton in 2012. The deposition was recorded in April 2015.

But some members wanted to resign and Trump wouldn't return their $35,000 to $210,000 initiation fees as Ritz-Carlton had promised until new members joined. Meanwhile, they were barred from the club but still charged $6,000 annual dues and $1,800 for food and drink.

The judge-only trial is expected to conclude Wednesday.