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Court Saves Lawsuit Over Maryland’s ACC Divorce

Raleigh, n.c. — A North Carolina appeals court Tuesday preserved a lawsuit that could force the University of Maryland to pay a $52 million fee for leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The ACC sued Maryland after the school said last November it was leaving for the Big Ten Conference. That lawsuit came after the ACC voted to increase the exit penalty to three times the conference’s operating budget, which the appeals court calculated at nearly $52.3 million.

A state Court of Appeals panel rejected Maryland’s bid to dismiss the lawsuit. It was filed in Greensboro, where the ACC is headquartered. The three-judge panel’s unanimous decision means Maryland has no automatic right to a state Supreme Court appeal, but the higher state court could choose to hear an appeal.

The $52 million fee is the highest penalty ever assessed on a school for leaving an athletic conference and would be nearly equal to the school’s yearly athletic budget, Maryland’s attorney general’s office said in May.

NCAA Sued Over Concussions

Minneapolis — Three former college football players have filed a federal lawsuit in Minnesota alleging that NCAA did not inform former players about the risks of concussions inherent in the sport.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday also says the NCAA failed in its duty to establish protocols to prevent, monitor and treat brain injuries. Former University of Minnesota linebacker Joey Balthazor and former Vanderbilt players Paul Morgan and Cliff Deese are named as plaintiffs.

The suit seeks medical monitoring and testing for former players who are suffering from head injuries related to their playing days. The suit seeks class-action status, but is limited to players who did not play in the NFL.

Olympics

IOC Retesting Turin Samples

London — Olympic officials are using a new steroid test to reanalyze frozen doping samples from the 2006 Winter Games in Turin to catch any drug cheats who avoided detection at the time.

The International Olympic Committee tells The Associated Press “we can confirm we are using the new long-term metabolites method to detect anabolic steroids.”

The IOC confirmed Tuesday that the Turin retesting involves an improved method that can detect the use of steroids going back much further than before.

Rio Course Progress ‘Reasonably Good’

Melbourne, Australia — PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem says progress on the construction of the troubled course for golf’s return to the Olympics at Rio in 2016 is “reasonably good” and he would travel to Brazil early next year to check on its progress.

The course at Venue Reserva de Marapendi has been plagued by delays over land rights. It originally was scheduled to be completed by 2014 but American architect Gil Hanse, who is designing the course, admitted in July that it would not be tournament-ready until 2015.

Cycling

Ex-UCI Boss Questions Armstrong’s Credibility

Amsterdam — Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen has questioned Lance Armstrong’s credibility after the American rider implicated the Dutchman in covering up doping at the 1999 Tour de France.

Armstrong told Britain’s Daily Mail that Verbruggen insisted “we’ve got to come up with something” to explain the American’s positive tests for a banned corticosteroid.

A backdated prescription for a saddle sores cream was accepted, allowing Armstrong to continue racing and win his first Tour.

“His story is illogical because it was not about a positive/punishable act according to the anti-doping authority involved,” wrote Verbruggen, adding that cycling’s governing body did not have lead responsibility for anti-doping at the race 14 years ago.

“That authority was not the UCI but the French ministry. From accusations a year ago about large-scale complicity of the UCI in doping by Lance Armstrong and his team, we’re now back to a cortisone case from 1999 that was not even handled by the UCI,” said the former president, who stepped down in 2005 after Armstrong’s seventh straight Tour victory.

Verbruggen, the honorary UCI president and an honorary IOC member, is a likely witness for an independent commission panel which the UCI is creating to investigate claims of collusion to protect Armstrong from scrutiny.

The UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency said in Johannesburg last week that the panel could begin work early next year.

Armstrong is expected to be the star witness and has suggested he wants a reduction in his lifetime ban imposed last year by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.