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Roger Clemens’ trial postponed until July

A federal judge on Wednesday postponed the trial of retired baseball star Roger Clemens for three months until July 6 so his attorneys can review the voluminous evidence generated during a 2 1/2-year investigation into whether he lied about using performance enhancing drugs.

At a hearing in federal court in Washington, prosecutors said the case has produced 54,000 pages of evidence. They are required to turn over to the defense any material that might tend to clear the former major league pitcher. Clemens’ attorney Rusty Hardin asked for more time to go through the material his legal team receives and to hire an expert witness to examine the scientific evidence against Clemens, presumably including the syringes Clemens’ former trainer says he used to inject the pitcher with the drugs.

Hardin also said baseball investigator George Mitchell and a congressional panel that examined the use of performance enhancing drugs are refusing to turn over material as evidence for the criminal case.

Clemens pleaded not guilty Aug. 30 and has long fought any suggestion that he cheated during a 23-season career that ended with 354 wins, 4,672 strikeouts and seven Cy Young awards.

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If convicted of six counts — three of making false statements, two of perjury and one of obstruction of Congress — Clemens could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1.5-million fine, although 15 to 21 months is the more likely sentence under federal guidelines.

The charges stem from testimony he gave to Congress in 2008. He went before a House committee to clear his name after becoming a prominent figure in the Mitchell Report, which came out a year earlier with an unflinching account of baseball’s drug crisis.

Back then, Clemens testified: “Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH.”

Clemens’ former trainer Brian McNamee said the pitcher did use steroids and HGH. Former teammate Andy Pettitte also told congressional investigators that Clemens told him he had used HGH — a conversation Clemens said Pettitte “misremembers.”

College basketball: Duke, Michigan State, Kentucky and Kansas set up November tournament

Four of college basketball’s elite programs will play a difficult opponent early in each of the next three seasons: each other.

Duke, Michigan State, Kentucky and Kansas will take turns playing one another over the next three years in the Champions Classic, a new tournament designed to give the college basketball season an early jump start.

That’s three of the four winningest programs in the sport with a combined 16 national championships under one roof.

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“It’s like having a Final Four in November,” Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said.

The Champions Classic will open next Nov. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York, with Duke facing Michigan State and Kentucky playing Kansas.

The tournament shifts the next year to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, where Michigan State will play Kansas and Duke gets Kentucky. The Champions Classic will be played in Chicago’s United Center for 2013, with the Spartans facing the Wildcats and the Jayhawks against the Blue Devils.

Black players outnumber white players in Division I football

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An NCAA report shows that black football players outnumber whites on Division I teams for the first time since the survey began more than a decade ago.

The annual Race and Ethnicity Report released this week found that 45.8% of football players in the NCAA’s top division in 2009-10 were black, compared with 45.1% who were white.

The NCAA began tracking athletes’ race and ethnicity in 1999. That year, 51.3% of Division I football players were white and 39.5% were black.

Golf: Florentyna Parker takes lead at Dubai

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England’s Florentyna Parker shot a five-under-par 67 and had a one-shot lead after the opening round of the Dubai Ladies Masters, while a late triple-bogey dropped Michelle Wie down the leaderboard.

Wie finished with a 71 after the miscue on the eighth hole at the season-ending tournament on the Ladies European Tour.

Maria Verchenova of Russia was second at 68, a shot better than a group of five tied for third.

Budde, Fry, Keyes named to Rose Bowl Hall of Fame

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Rose Bowl game legends Brad Budde ( USC), Hayden Fry (Iowa) and Leroy Keyes (Purdue) headline the 2010 Rose Bowl Hall of Fame class to be installed in an induction ceremony at noon Dec. 30 at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Italy’s Matteotti wins in snowboardcross

Luca Matteotti of Italy won a snowboardcross race at Lech am Arlberg, Austria, for his first career World Cup victory, and American Nate Holland finished 13th to keep his lead in the standings.

The 21-year-old Matteotti defeated Alex Pullin of Australia and Paul-Henri De le Rue of France in the final run.

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In the women’s event, Dominique Maltais won her second straight race by beating fellow Canadian and Olympic champion Maelle Ricker. Alexandra Jekova of Bulgaria took third.

Boxing: Wladimir Kitschko injured, pulls out of bout

Wladimir Klitschko withdrew from his WBO and IBF heavyweight title defense against unbeaten British challenger Dereck Chisora because of a torn muscle in his back. Klitschko’s 19th title defense had been scheduled for Saturday in Mannheim, Germany.


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