Update on the latest sports
Thomas Davis says he’s done with Panthers after 14 seasons
UNDATED (AP) – Thomas Davis says he’s been informed by the Panthers he won’t be back with them for a 15th NFL season.
The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker is the Panthers’ all-time leading tackler. He overcame a torn ACL in his same knee three times to record 1,094 tackles, 28 sacks and 13 interceptions. Davis was an All-Pro in 2015, the year he went to his only Super Bowl.
However, Davis posted on Twitter late Wednesday night that the Panthers informed him they were moving in a different direction at linebacker. The 35-year-old Davis thanked the organization for “14 special years,” but said that he’s not retiring. He becomes a free agent in March.
Davis says “I feel like I have way too much football left in me to walk away from the game right now.”
In other NFL news:
– New York Jets tight end Chris Herndon has pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated in New Jersey. A municipal judge in Rockaway Township on Wednesday suspended the fourth-round draft pick’s driver’s license for 90 days and fined him $639. New Jersey State Police say the 22-year-old Herndon was driving his Nissan Armada in June when he crashed into a Toyota Land Cruiser that was towing a trailer carrying another vehicle. The 76-year-old driver was not injured. Herndon could face suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
TENNIS-AUSTRALIAN OPEN DRAW
Djokovic, Federer on opposite sides of Aussie draw
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (NOH’-vak JOH’-kuh-vich) are each aiming for a record seventh men’s Australian Open title and the draw has ensured they can’t play each other at Melbourne Park until the final.
Serena Williams already has seven Aussie titles, and is a strong contender to add another after skipping her title defense in 2018 while she was on leave after having a baby.
Now seeded 16th, Williams was drawn into the same section Thursday as No. 1-ranked Simona Halep, the runner-up here last year. The pair could meet in the fourth round.
No. 1-ranked Djokovic starts at the top of the draw and will open against a qualifier. He has the potential of a second-round meeting against wildcard entry Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He defeated Tsonga in the 2008 Australian final. Djokovic also has a potential quarterfinal against No. 8-seeded Kei Nishikori.
No. 4 Alexander Zverev is in the same half and looms in the semifinals if both players advance that far.
Defending champion Federer is in the bottom half of the draw with No. 2-ranked Rafael Nadal.
Aiming for a third consecutive Australian title and a 21st Grand Slam crown, Federer will open against Denis Istomin. And with No. 6 Marin Cilic in the same quarter, there’s potential for a rematch of the 2018 final a few rounds early. Cilic has Andy Murray, who is coming back from a long-term hip injury, in his section.
WORLD CUP-VONN’S RETURN
Vonn return to racing set for rescheduled downhill in Italy
OBERHOFEN, Switzerland (AP) – Lindsey Vonn’s rescheduled return to World Cup racing is set for Friday next week in Italy.
The International Ski Federation says a downhill canceled this week by heavy snowfall in St. Anton, Austria, will be raced on Jan. 18 in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Italian venue also stages its traditional downhill on the Saturday and a super-G on Sunday.
Vonn is joining the World Cup circuit for the first time this season after a Nov. 19 crash in training in Colorado. She hyperextended her knee and sprained a ligament.
The new schedule in Cortina calls for two downhill training sessions next Thursday.
Vonn has nine of her women’s record 82 World Cup race wins at the picturesque Italian course, including both downhill and super-G in 2010, ’15, and ’16.
WORLD CUP-WINNER DISQUALIFIED
German skier stripped of World Cup win for oxygen tank use
UNDATED (AP) – The International Ski Federation has disqualified Stefan Luitz from his first World Cup win for inhaling from an oxygen tank between giant slalom runs.
FIS says the German racer will lose his prize money of 45,000 Swiss francs ($46,000) and 100 World Cup points for the Dec. 2 victory in Beaver Creek, Colorado. Luitz will not be banned.
Racing at an altitude of 10,340 feet, Luitz used the oxygen before retaining his first-run lead over Marcel Hirscher. The Austrian great will be awarded the win.
FIS prohibits using supplemental oxygen even though the World Anti-Doping Agency does not.
EU executive launches probe into Dutch tax regime for Nike
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) – European Union regulators have opened an in-depth investigation into whether the Dutch government gave tax breaks to global sneaker giant Nike that might have breached EU rules governing state aid.
The EU’s executive Commission said Thursday that the probe is centered on two Dutch-based companies that are part of the sports goods maker’s global operations.
EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager says EU member states “should not allow companies to set up complex structures that unduly reduce their taxable profits and give them an unfair advantage over competitors.”
Nike and the Dutch government did not immediately comment on the probe.
It is not the first time Dutch tax treatment of foreign companies has run into regulatory trouble. In 2015, the Commission ruled that the Netherlands gave tax advantages to Starbucks.
Russia says WADA has started copying doping data
MOSCOW (AP) – Russia says World Anti-Doping Agency experts have started copying data from a Moscow laboratory which could implicate numerous Russian athletes in past drug cases.
Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov says in televised comments that “work has started with the equipment, setting the equipment up and copying the database.” He adds “work is proceeding with full coordination” between Russian authorities and WADA.
WADA demanded in September that Russia turn over the data by Dec. 31 in return for lifting a nearly three-year suspension of Russia’s national anti-doping agency. Many Western athletes and organizations criticized WADA for letting Russia provide data after the deadline.
An earlier WADA delegation left Moscow empty-handed in December after Russian officials alleged its equipment wasn’t certified under Russian law.