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FIFA medical chief 'hates' Brazil drug test doubts

AP Interview: FIFA medical chief 'really not happy' with World Cup drug testing plans
John Leicester, The Associated Press

MONACO, Monaco - FIFA's medical chief is "really not happy" with drug-testing plans for the World Cup in Brazil because samples taken from players must be flown across the Atlantic for analysis at a laboratory in Switzerland, which could slow results.

FIFA had to turn to the Swiss lab because the Brazilian laboratory that was expected to analyze World Cup samples repeatedly failed to comply with World Anti-Doping Agency standards.

Real Madrid to face Bayern, Atletico gets Chelsea

Real Madrid to face Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid gets Chelsea in Champions League semifinals
Graham Dunbar, The Associated Press

NYON, Switzerland - In a stellar pairing of clubs who won Europe's top title 14 times, Real Madrid will play Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals.

Atletico Madrid and Chelsea were matched in the other semifinal as UEFA threatened the English club with sanctions if it tried to enforce a pay-to-play clause written in the contract for loaning goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to its Spanish opponent since 2011.

Whitecaps look for first road win at L.A.

Whitecaps face a challenge looking for their first MLS win over Galaxy on the road
Jim Morris, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The Vancouver Whitecaps have cleared many hurdles in their four Major League Soccer seasons.

One hedge that has continually tripped them up is playing the L.A. Galaxy on the road. Vancouver has never beaten the Galaxy at StubHub Center, where they have lost four times and been outscored 10-1.

"Thanks for reminding me," coach Carl Robinson said with a grin this week after his team practised at the University of British Columbia. "It's got to change at some stage."

UN expert weighs in on Redskins controversy

UN human rights expert weighs in on Washington Redskins controversy, says name is disparaging
The Associated Press

GENEVA - A United Nations human rights expert says the name of the Washington Redskins football team is a "hurtful reminder" of the mistreatment of Native Americans, but stopped short of joining in calls for the team's owner to change the name.

Last month, team owner Dan Snyder said he was creating a foundation to assist American Indian tribes but gave no indication he had plans to change the name, which he says honours Native Americans.

Canucks fall to Avalanche 4-2

Avs top Canucks with new president of hockey operations Trevor Linden looking on
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - Mistakes have cost the Vancouver Canucks time and time again during this lost season.

With newly minted president of hockey operations Trevor Linden looking on from above one day after being handed the keys to the franchise, it was more of the same on Thursday night.

The Canucks directed 40 shots on goal and played well for long stretches, but turnovers at key moments were the difference as the Colorado Avalanche downed Vancouver 4-2.

NL Capsules

NL Capsules
The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer to cap a five-run seventh inning and Jason Grilli retired Emilio Bonifacio on a bases-loaded grounder to end the game, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

The Pirates trailed 4-0 heading into the seventh, but two big drives changed things.

Pinch hitter Travis Snider cut the deficit in half with a two-run homer off Brian Schlitter. Alvarez put Pittsburgh ahead with his three-run drive against James Russell (0-1), his third homer in two games.

Thursday's Scoreboard

Thursday's Scoreboard
The Canadian Press

Thursday's Games

NHL

NY Rangers 2 Buffalo 1

Washington 5 Carolina 2

NY Islanders 2 Montreal 0

Ottawa 2 New Jersey 1 (SO)

Tampa Bay 4 Philadelphia 2

Florida 4 Toronto 2

Winnipeg 2 Boston 1 (SO)

Nashville 2 Phoenix 0

Minnesota 4 St. Louis 2

Los Angeles 3 Edmonton 0

Colorado 4 Vancouver 2

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AHL

Charlotte 3 Grand Rapids 0

Utica 3 Lake Erie 2 (OT)

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MLB

American League

Houston 6 Toronto 4

Oakland 6 Minnesota 1

N.Y. Yankees 4 Boston 1

NHL Capsules

NHL Capsules
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Rick Nash scored the winning goal with 1:42 left, on New York's third shot of the third period, and the Rangers clinched home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

New York secured second place in the Metropolitan Division when the Philadelphia Flyers lost at Tampa Bay later Thursday. The Rangers will face either the Flyers or Columbus in the playoffs.

NBA Capsules

NBA Capsules
The Associated Press

DALLAS - Patty Mills scored 26 points starting in place of Tony Parker and the San Antonio Spurs moved to the brink of the top seed in the Western Conference with a 109-100 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night.

Making his second start of the season and seventh of his career with Parker nursing a bad back, Mills had 11 points and a pair of steals in the third quarter when the Spurs turned a two-point deficit into an 11-point lead.

The Spurs beat the Mavericks for the ninth straight time in the regular season, a streak that has lasted more than two years.

Little scores as Jets win final home game

Bryan Little lifts Winnipeg Jets past Boston Bruins 2-1 in shootout
Judy Owen, The Canadian Press

WINNIPEG - Rookie Winnipeg Jets goaltender Michael Hutchinson couldn't stop grinning after his first NHL win Thursday night.

That will happen when it's a 2-1 shootout victory against the NHL-leading Boston Bruins, a team that cast him aside.

Hutchinson, who made 32 saves in only his second NHL game, was drafted by the Bruins in the third round (77th overall) in the 2008 entry draft and was signed by the Jets prior to this season.

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