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Yankees pitcher Domingo German suspended for domestic violence

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Yankees pitcher Domingo German has been suspended by Major League Baseball under its domestic violence policy.

The Yankees pitcher, who is currently second in the majors in wins with 18, has been suspended for seven days, "barring an extension," according to the league.

The 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic has been a surprise star for the Yankees this season and carries a league-leading 18-4 win-loss record. He has a 4.03 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 123 innings pitched.

The Yankees currently have the second-best record in baseball to the Houston Astros and German was expected to get a postseason start. He pitched 2 1/3 shutout innings Wednesday night, just hours before his suspension.

Now, his 2019 future is unclear.

"We’ll wait and see what ultimately comes down, but we have to certainly make plans," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of German's postseason availability at a pregame press conference Thursday. "He may not be a part of it."

The Yankees issued a statement in agreement with the suspension, saying, "We fully support all measures being undertaken by the Commissioner’s Office pursuant to the Policy on Domestic Violence. We support this policy which reinforces that domestic violence has no place in our society and cannot be tolerated. We have followed the lead of Major League Baseball and will continue to provide our complete cooperation throughout the investigative process. We reserve any further comment until the investigation reaches its conclusion."

MLB is still investigating the incident and released no details.

"MLB Department of Investigations has commenced an investigation into the matter that led to his placement on Administrative Leave," the league said. "MLB will have no further comment until the investigation is complete."

Boone said he had yet to speak to the team about the incident, but he'd "get up there and talk as a group, as a family, and speak from the heart about it."

"Set baseball aside," Boone said. "This is a bigger issue obviously and something that, you know, when you hear the words ‘domestic violence’ it’s one of those things that stops you in your tracks."

The Yankees are currently in position to face either the Minnesota Twins or Oakland Athletics in the first round of the playoffs with nine games left to play.

"There's denying the importance of Domingo to our team," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said at a pregame press conference Thursday. "So there is that element of we must continue on and continue to press forward."

The Yankees host the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Thursday night.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


ESPN, Special Olympics extend broadcast agreement through 2027, will continue to promote 'inclusion'

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- ESPN and the Special Olympics have extended their broadcast agreement for another eight years into 2027, ensuring the continuance of dynamic storytelling to portray the journeys of the thousands of athletes who participate in the games.

The first event in the new extension will be world winter games in Sweden in 2021 followed by the USA games in 2022, which will be held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando and the world games in Berlin in 2023, according to a press release.

More than 4,000 athletes, 1,500 coaches and 10,000 volunteers will be participating in the 2022 USA games, Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis told ABC News.

"We'll be continuing to build on this storytelling for various media platforms for the games in 2022," Davis said.

ESPN's broadcast coverage will reach reach fans in North, Central, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, according to the release.

The Special Olympics uses the power of sports to create an environment where athletes can showcase their talents and capabilities, and the broadcasts present an "exciting opportunity" for the families and friends of athletes who could not witness the opening ceremony or games live, Davis said.

The relationship between ESPN and the Special Olympics, which has been ongoing for nearly 35 years, is a "catalyst for inclusion," which then portrays to the rest of the world "that there's nothing wrong with being different," Davis said.

Kevin Neghandi, ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor and co-host of the Special Olympics games for the last five years, told ABC News that ESPN's mission is about serving sports fans and capturing significant moments, both on and off the field.

"That's what we do here," he said. "We cover these athletes and we share their story and we open the door for them."

Neghandi described the idea of inclusion as a "big deal," adding that the coverage an athlete receives follows them back to their hometown, where they may have once been bullied or denied access.

"They go back and bring pride and a sense of community," he said.

Neghandi recalled speaking to the emotional father of one athlete at the USA games in Seattle last year, who told him, "You have no idea what this means to my son, but also what it means to my family."

The relationship between ESPN and the Special Olympics is "built on a bedrock of shared belief in the power of sports to positively impact lives and make lasting change in the world," ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

ESPN will also continue to serve as the global presenting sponsor for Unified Sports, a sports program that unites Special Olympics athletes with partners who do not have intellectual disabilities for training and competition, a role it has held since 2013.

Participation in the program has increased 172 percent to more than 1.8 million athletes since the collaboration began, according to the release.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 9/18/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Wednesday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE

Seattle 4, Pittsburgh 1
San Francisco 11, Boston 3
Tampa Bay 8, LA Dodgers 7 -- 11 innings

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Oakland 1, Kansas City 0 -- 11 Innings
Cleveland 2, Detroit 1 -- 10 Innings
LA Angels 3, NY Yankees 2
Houston 3, Texas 2
Chi White Sox 3, Minnesota 1
Toronto 11, Baltimore 10

NATIONAL LEAGUE
St. Louis 5, Washington 1
Arizona 5, Miami 4
NY Mets 7, Colorado 4
Philadelphia 4, Atlanta 1
San Diego 2, Milwaukee 1
Cincinnati 3, Chi Cubs 2

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Atlanta 2, Cincinnati 0
New York 2, Portland 0
FC Dallas 0, Seattle 0

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


New Jersey referee suspended after forcing teen wrestler to cut dreadlocks or forfeit match

iStock(BUENA, N.J.) -- A New Jersey referee who forced a black teenager to cut his dreadlocks or forfeit a wrestling match was suspended on Wednesday, concluding a months-long racial bias investigation.

The white referee at the center of the December incident was suspended from the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association for two years and other officials were ordered to undergo anti-bias training to "help prevent such discrimination in the future," according to the state's attorney general.

Video of the incident sparked outrage online, showing Andrew Johnson -- a 16-year-old wrestler at South Jersey's Buena Regional High School -- wincing as a gloved staff member chopped his locs on the mat. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy even tweeted about the video when it surfaced, saying "no student should have to needlessly choose between his or her identity & playing sports."

Johnson was wearing his usual headgear and covering, but the referee said it was not in compliance with rules by the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.

"Student athletes should be able to compete with each other on a level playing field," said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement Wednesday. "Racial discrimination in the enforcement of the rules of any sport is inconsistent with the spirit of fair play."

He said the ruling, handed down by his office's civil rights division, "makes it less likely that any student athlete will have to endure discrimination that not only undermines fair competition but also violates our state laws."

Grewal's office also issued new "Guidance on Race Discrimination Based on Hairstyle" to explain how treating someone differently based on a hairstyle could violate the state's anti-discrimination laws, according to the statement.

The guidance states that discrimination on the basis of race includes discrimination based on a trait "inextricably intertwined with or closely associated with race," including hairstyle. It also clarifies that policies that ban, limit or restrict hairstyles closely associated with being black or having black ancestry -- including twists and locs -- may violate New Jersey law, the statement said.

The office did not release the referee's name in its statement, but ABC's Philadelphia affiliate WPVI-TV identified him as Anthony Maloney, who it said was previously accused of calling a fellow referee the N-word during an argument in 2016.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Reports of sexual abuse, misconduct in Olympic sports up 55% from last year

ccahill/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Reports of sexual abuse and misconduct rose 55% from a year ago, according to a national Olympic sports oversight center.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport, founded by the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee in 2017 to investigate sex-abuse claims in Olympic sports, said it receives about 239 reports a month, compared with 154 during an average month in 2018, a spokesperson confirmed to ABC News Tuesday.

It currently has 1,290 open cases, with 2,237 that have been closed since its inception in March 2017, underscoring its need for more funding and better staffing, officials said.

In the most-prominent case of sexual abuse, former U.S. gymnastics trainer Larry Nassar pleaded guilty to sexually abusing gymnasts under his medical care over many years. Dozens of other high-profile gymnasts, including Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and McKayla Maroney, all former Olympic gold medalists, also accused him of abuse.

He was sentenced last year to 40 to 175 years in jail in just one case, but was also sentenced to jail for possession of child pornography.

The case has prompted firings, resignations and changes across the U.S. Olympic Committee and safeguards such as SafeSport.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 9/17/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Tuesday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE

Seattle 6, Pittsburgh 0
San Francisco 7, Boston 6 -- 15 innings
LA Dodgers 7, Tampa Bay 5

AMERICAN LEAGUE

NY Yankees 8, LA Angels 0
Cleveland 7, Detroit 2
Toronto 8, Baltimore 5
Houston 4, Texas 1
Minnesota 9, Chi White Sox 8 -- 12 innings
Oakland 2, Kansas City 1

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Milwaukee 3, San Diego 1
Philadelphia 5, Atlanta 4
Washington 6, St. Louis 2
Cincinnati 4, Chi Cubs 2
NY Mets 6, Colorado 1
Miami 12, Arizona 6

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Connecticut 84, Los Angeles 75
Washington 97, Las Vegas 95

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


New York Giants name rookie Daniel Jones starting QB for Week Three

Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Giants are turning to rookie Daniel Jones at quarterback for Week Three, ending Eli Manning's run as the team's starter after nearly 15 years.

"Eli and I spoke this morning," head coach Pat Shurmur said in a news release. "I told him that we are making a change and going with Daniel as the starter."

Shurmur said Manning was disappointed by the news, but vowed to continue to be a good teammate.

Jones was the team's first-round selection in this year's draft, number six overall. The selection was questioned by some experts, who questioned whether his collegiate performance at Duke warranted such a high draft pick.

Manning made a franchise-record 232 starts for New York. He won two Super Bowls with the team, beating the New England Patriots both times.

"Ultimately, this is a move that I felt was best for this team at this time," Shurmur said. "This move is more about Daniel moving forward than about Eli."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Pittsburgh Pirates' Felipe Vazquez arrested on child solicitation charge

Rockard/iStock(PITTSBURGH) -- Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez was arrested on Tuesday on multiple felony charges, including statutory sexual assault.

In a statement, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said it began an investigation into Vazquez in August after it received information that the pitcher had engaged in a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old girl in Florida. The victim is now 15 years old, and was allegedly continuing to have a relationship with Vazquez via text message.

Major League Baseball placed Vazquez on administrative leave this afternoon. Sources told ESPN that the league was not immediately launching an investigation of its own, waiting to use the police's findings in potential discipline against Vazquez.

"We take this matter, and these charges in particular, extremely seriously," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said.

Vazquez also faces charges of computer pornography/soliciting a child, providing obscene material to minors, unlawful contact with a minor, and corruption of minors.

According to the police, the girl's mother found texts, photographs, and a lewd video sent by Vazquez to her daughter. On July 23, the mother sent a text message to Vazquez to inform him that her daughter was a minor.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Beijing Olympics unveils adorable panda mascot in a suit of ice for 2022 games

BalkansCat/iStock(BEIJING) -- Meet Bing Dwen Dwen, the adorable face of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

The Beijing organizing committee shared a photo on Twitter of the black and white bear in a glistening suit of ice and wrote "this panda is ready to share the true spirit of the Olympics with the world."

Bing Dwen Dwen is the official #mascot of Olympic Winter Games #Beijing2022! With a suit of ice, a heart of gold and a love of all things winter sports, this panda is ready to share the true spirit of the #Olympics with the whole world. pic.twitter.com/TSalSny3q1

— Beijing 2022 (@Beijing2022) September 17, 2019

They also posted an animated short that shows the spunky bear's magical origin story. Bing Dwen Dwen transforms his icy outer layer into ice skates, a snowboard and more, featuring the marquee sports of the winter games.

Nihao #BingDwenDwen! Let's find out how this adorable panda #mascot came to life as we count down to #Beijing2022! pic.twitter.com/rfAMd9o0pm

— Beijing 2022 (@Beijing2022) September 17, 2019

While there's still plenty of time for nations to prepare for the games, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said he expects the mascot launch "will generate even more interest in these Games, especially among young people."

“The launch of the mascot today will generate even more interest for these Games, especially among young people. What I can say already is that it will be a wonderful ambassador for China and the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022.” - IOC President Thomas Bach #Beijing2022 pic.twitter.com/oTYonu4HKB

— IOC MEDIA (@iocmedia) September 17, 2019

The mascot launch ceremony took place Monday evening at Shougang Park in Beijing, China. The 2022 Winter Olympics takes place Feb. 4 to 20.

The air is still buzzing with excitement following this evening’s #mascot launch in Shougang Park. Let us know what you think of #BingDwenDwen & #ShueyRhonRhon! #Beijing2022 pic.twitter.com/reO2uoEl4Y

— Beijing 2022 (@Beijing2022) September 17, 2019

The organizing committee also unveiled Shuey Rhon Rhon, a red paper lantern child that will be the mascot for the Paralympic Games.

#ShueyRhonRhon is here to light the way to #Beijing2022. Watch below to find out more about this lovable lantern child! pic.twitter.com/PFi4hKU0dx

— Beijing 2022 (@Beijing2022) September 17, 2019

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Soccer star Alex Morgan announces knee injury, out remainder of 2019 season

Eric Lars Bakke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Orlando Pride star forward Alex Morgan will miss the rest of the NWSL season due to a knee injury and took to social media Monday to address the setback.

"This year has had the highest of highs but along with that comes challenges and sometimes even falling short of my goals I set for myself in 2019," she wrote alongside three photos on Instagram. "I’m disappointed I won’t be able to compete with the Pride for the remainder of 2019 due to a knee injury I’ve been managing since the World Cup, and that I can’t be there to help my teammates and my club have more success. Thank you fans, friends, teammates, and teams for all your support. I have already started physical therapy in LA and am eager to get back on the field doing what I love."

Morgan, who competed with the Pride in six National Women’s Soccer League matches before the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and two matches after, sustained a patella stress reaction in her right knee, according to the Orlando Pride. Morgan was ruled out for the conclusion of the season and the team said it stemmed from a prior injury she sustained while playing with the U.S. women's national team, which Morgan also confirmed.

"It’s obviously difficult to lose a player of Alex’s caliber due to injury," Orlando Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said. "However, after consulting with the Club’s medical team at Orlando Health and U.S. Soccer, we felt it was in the best interest of Alex’s long-term health to shut her down for the season to focus on the rehabilitation process and take the appropriate time to recover from the lingering knee injury.”

The 30-year-old California native has scored 18 of her 33 career goals with the Pride since joining them in 2016.

Shortly after the team's World Cup win, Morgan took home another trophy when she received the 2019 ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete.

As co-captain of the USWNT, Morgan tied a record, which stood from Michelle Akers when the World Cup tournament began in 1991, for most goals scored in a single women's soccer game with five in the win over Thailand.

The Orlando Pride will face Sky Blue football club in New Jersey on Sept. 29, the first of their final three games to be played without Morgan.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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