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Canadians earns Olympic rugby qualification

Canadian women qualify for Olympic rugby sevens competition in Rio
The Canadian Press

AMSTERDAM - It was a day to remember for John Tait's women's rugby sevens side as it battered the opposition Friday en route to becoming the first Canadian team to qualify for the 2016 Olympics.

Fresh from blanking Spain and dumping the host Dutch on Day 1 of the final event of the Women's Sevens Series season, World Rugby officials notified the Canadians that they had secured enough points to book their ticket to Rio de Janeiro.

The top four teams in the overall standings at the end of play Saturday automatically qualify.

Montreal Alouettes sign Michael Sam

Montreal Alouettes sign openly gay defensive end Michael Sam
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press

The Montreal Alouettes signed Michael Sam because they believe he can be a star rush end in the Canadian Football League. His sexuality is a non-issue, as far as general manager Jim Popp is concerned.

"Michael Sam is a very good football player, and that's the reason we signed him," Popp said of Sam, who is openly gay. "He's an outstanding pass-rusher."

Johnson returns to the scene of the crime

Eight months after horrific leg injury, Johnson hopes to make BMO Field comeback
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Eight months after suffering a horrific leg injury at BMO Field, Canadian international Will Johnson is healthy and looking to make his first-team comeback Saturday as the Portland Timbers visit Toronto FC.

The hard-nosed midfielder has no qualms about setting foot on the pitch where he lasted just one minute last time out, stretchered off after an ugly shin-on-shin collision with Toronto fullback Mark Bloom on a 50-50 ball.

Wounded Impact prepare for surging Dallas

Injury-riddled Impact know depth will be tested by red-hot FC Dallas
Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - The Montreal Impact know their depth will be tested as their list of injuries keeps growing.

With a league-high eight players out injured, the Impact will need to rely on a few periphery players when they welcome red-hot FC Dallas to Saputo Stadium in Major League Soccer action on Saturday.

Lions expect Lulay to be ready for camp

B.C. Lions expect QB Travis Lulay to be ready for Day 1 of training camp
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER - The B.C. Lions expect veteran quarterback Travis Lulay to be a full participant on Day 1 of training camp.

The 31-year-old has been plagued by injuries to his throwing shoulder over the last two seasons, but head coach Jeff Tedford said Friday that Lulay should be good to go when veterans report next weekend.

Manfred: MASN eventually must pay Nats increased rights fees

Manfred says MASN eventually will be required to pay Nats increased rights fees
The Associated Press

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network will eventually be forced to pay increased rights fees to the Washington Nationals.

Both teams own stakes in MASN, and the Orioles hold a controlling interest. When they could not agree on the Nationals' rights fees for 2012-16, the dispute went to MLB's three-man Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee.

Pan Am Games release quarterly report

Pan Am Games under budget for capital infrastructure, quarterly report says
Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Organizers for this summer's Pan Am Games say they're about $53.5 million under budget for capital infrastructure spending, largely because bidding for major venues was done four to five years ago.

In its fourth-quarter financial report released Friday, the TO2015 organizing committee said it has spent $551.7 million of its $672-million capital budget, which includes venue construction, with only two venues still to be finished.

Bouchard gets favourable draw at Franch Open

Bouchard gets favourable draw at French Open, but could get Kvitova in quarters
The Canadian Press

PARIS - If Canadian tennis star Eugenie Bouchard can break out of her current slump, she has a good chance to make a deep run at the French Open.

The sixth seed has a favourable draw at Roland Garros, starting with a first-round match against France's Kristina Mladenovic.

The two have met only once in on the WTA circuit, with Bouchard defeating Mladenovic 6-3, 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the 2013 Coupe Banque National in Quebec City.

Bouchard wouldn't face a seeded opponent until the third round, where she could meet No. 32 Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.

Leafs getting a 'school teacher' in Babcock

Maple Leafs need Babcock the 'school teacher' before Babcock the winner
Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Mike Babcock's shiny accomplishments, his Stanley Cup and Olympic gold medals, made him a $50-million man. His teaching skills made him coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

At some point over the next eight years, the Leafs hope to go deep in the playoffs and contend for a championship. Until then they'll set a foundation under Babcock, who calls himself a "school teacher."

Geller new voice at Woodbine Racetrack

Geller to succeed veteran Loiselle as race-caller at Woodbine Racetrack
The Canadian Press

TORONTO, ONTARIO, - Robert Geller will succeed veteran Dan Loiselle as Woodbine Racetrack's thoroughbred race-caller.

Woodbine Entertainment Group made the announcement Friday. Geller, the former track announcer at Emerald Downs Racetrack, is scheduled to call his first race at Woodbine on June 13.

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