ESPN's Lester Munson discusses what happens next in the legal process for swimmer Michael Phelps, who was arrested Tuesday on a DUI charge.

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Volleyball should be a big ticket in 2016

September, 23, 2014
Sep 23
10:21
PM ET
Men's VolleyballJoe Klamar/AFP/Getty ImagesPoland beat Brazil in this past weekend's final of the FIVB men's world championship.


RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazil's loss to Poland in the final of the men's volleyball world championship on Sunday was a blow to the South Americans, but should boost the sport in two years at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Poland upset three-time defending champion Brazil 3-1 in Katowice to end an astounding three-week tournament in Poland that drew more than 500,000 fans -- including 62,000 for the tournament's opening match in Warsaw's national stadium.

Poland won its only other men's volleyball title in 1974, and then took Olympic gold in 1976.

"I have no doubt volleyball is going to be a big success at the Olympics," Ary Graca, a Brazilian who heads volleyball's world governing body the FIVB, said in an interview from Poland with The Associated Press.

He suggested it would be among the hottest tickets in Rio.

"I know everybody in Rio," Graca joked. "The politicians are going to asking me for everything."

Brazil is a dominant player in indoor volleyball and beach volleyball, and the sports are probably No. 2 in the country behind football.

The Olympic volleyball venues in Rio are also on schedule. Several others have been facing well-publicized delays.

The Maracanazinho, a 12,000-seat arena located next to the famous Maracana stadium, has already been built and will host indoor volleyball. And beach volleyball will be played at a temporary venue on Copacabana beach.

(Read full post)

Video: Does Coach K have recruiting edge?

September, 18, 2014
Sep 18
4:08
PM ET

C.L. Brown discusses Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's denial that coaching Team USA gives him a recruiting advantage:

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Lolo responds to 'Dancing With the Stars' elimination

September, 17, 2014
Sep 17
9:12
AM ET

Lolo Jones has famously lost at multiple Olympics in both the hurdles and bobsled and, as a result, has been stuck with a reputation of being overhyped and overrated.

And sadly for Lolo, her appearance on “Dancing with the Stars” did absolutely nothing to help her image -- she was the first contestant eliminated from the show’s 19th season on Tuesday night. After botching her debut dance, which Lolo herself called “awful,” she failed to win over the judges or fans at home.

After the show, Lolo seemed disappointed by the outcome but turned her attention to social media -- the arena in which she is the undisputed champion. We all have our talents.

On the plus side, maybe this means Lolo will have time to find yet another sport to master. May I humbly suggest curling?

See something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? Let me know on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn.

Lolo Jones makes 'awful' debut on 'Dancing With the Stars'

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
10:05
AM ET


The 19th season of “Dancing With the Stars” premiered on Monday night, and a whole new batch of celebrities showed off their moves on the dance floor. And then there was Lolo Jones. The Olympian struggled with partner Keo Motsepe, even calling the performance “awful” during her post-dance interview with the judges.

The usually upbeat Jones was clearly still feeling down about her debut when she took to Twitter later in the night.

Cheer up, Lolo. You’ve already got hurdles, bobsled AND social media down, isn’t that enough?

See something entertaining on social media that you think deserves to be shared? Let me know on Twitter, @darcymaine_espn.


The expectation back in June was that the NHL and NHL Players’ Association would have some kind of World Cup announcement by the end of summer, but that’s going to wait a bit longer.

Both sides have an understanding that they will wait to get more concrete details in order, including being able to commit firmly to a regular interval for the tournament, which hasn’t been held since 2004 when Canada beat Finland in the final at Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

In other words, while the NHL and NHLPA could have easily announced by now that the event is returning in September 2016, they want to have much more to give than that.

What we know at this point: The World Cup is scheduled to return in September 2016, primarily anchored in Toronto, but there may also be some games in Montreal. That’s still in discussion.

[+] EnlargeTeam Canada at 2004 World Cup
Dave Sandford/Getty ImagesThe World Cup hasn't been held since 2004 when Canada beat Finland in the final at Air Canada Centre.
There likely will be eight countries in the tournament, which is the same as 2004 and 1996. There are six countries fixed: Olympic champion Canada, Russia, the United States, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. The additional two teams and the manner in which they will be selected hasn’t been nailed down yet. It might be a pure invitational situation where two countries are handed entries, or there could be a play-in tournament for those last two spots. My vote is for the latter, although without question that comes with more logistical challenges. My guess is the play-in part would be overseas for obvious reasons.

What possibly could also be part of a World Cup announcement -- although it depends on the timing of it over the next few months -- is the return of the Premiere Games. The NHL hopes to have regular-season games back across the pond next season, but no firm details are finalized on that front.

Meanwhile, is an Olympic decision tied directly to a World Cup announcement? Not necessarily, and one source even suggested, "probably not." They don’t need to be tied to each other. The NHL and NHLPA can announce World Cup plans for the next few years without having to know exactly what they’re doing on the Olympic front.

I think the NHL and NHLPA would like to make a decision as quickly as possible about whether NHL players will continue to play in the Olympics. But part of the issue is that they’re not sure where the IOC stands with respect to whether the same types of accommodations would be available to NHL players in South Korea in 2018. The standard was set really high in Sochi last February. NHL players who participated raved about the venues, the logistics, the lodging, well, pretty much everything. (The lone exception would be the handling by the IOC of the Nicklas Backstrom doping controversy.) No offense to the Vancouver Games in 2010, but it was the best NHL player experience ever.

Now, I’m not sure that even if the IOC guaranteed the exact same high-level setup in South Korea that NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman would vote yes. That’s to be determined. But the NHLPA would almost surely be a yes if the players were guaranteed the same standard as Sochi.

However, where both the NHL and NHLPA are on the same page right now is that they need to at least find out if the IOC can deliver those goods for South Korea, and right now that answer hasn’t been delivered.

There is still much to be determined on the international front; the only thing that's basically assured at this point is that there will be World Cup hockey in two years.

JOHANSEN UPDATE
It’s been a long time since there were actual talks between Ryan Johansen's camp and the Columbus Blue Jackets, but that’s expected to change any day.

Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen and agent Kurt Overhardt each confirmed via text to ESPN.com on Friday that they plan to meet sometime this weekend while both are in Traverse City, Michigan, for the rookie tournament.

It’s believed both sides are about $3 million apart per year on a new two-year deal for the restricted free agent.

NEUVIRTH REFRESHED
The most frustrating season of Michal Neuvirth's career is behind him, and he’s refreshed, re-energized and ready for the challenge in Buffalo this season.

"Super-excited," Neuvirth told ESPN.com this week.

That’s about the exact opposite he was feeling last season. Once seen as the future No. 1 goalie in Washington -- appearing in 48 games with the Caps in 2010-11 and 38 games in 2011-12 -- Neuvirth lost the net to Braden Holtby. But what was obviously tough to swallow last season is that, while Holtby struggled, Neuvirth felt he didn’t get much of a chance to get back in. He appeared in only 13 games with the Caps, and agent Patrik Stefan was working with Caps management behind the scenes to try to get Neuvirth dealt. All the while, his lack of playing time is likely what cost him a chance at an Olympic roster spot for his native Czech Republic.

All in all, a season to forget.

"It was frustrating, but you got to take it for what it is, and I think it made me stronger," Neuvirth said. "You got to go through tough times in your career sometimes. I feel it’s going to make me better and stronger for the long run. I’m just focused now on the opportunity I have here in Buffalo and [will] play the best I can for the Sabres."

The Caps dealt Neuvirth to the Sabres at the trade deadline, where he'll compete in goal this season with Jhonas Enroth, who as the incumbent likely would start the season with just a bit of an edge. But they’re both 26, both eager to prove much, and the sense is both will get a fair chance.

"The net is up for grabs," Neuvirth said. "Right now we’ve got two No. 1s. Jhonas is a great goaltender and I like him as a person, I respect him as a goalie. It’s going to be a good competition. We’re going to push each other every day to get better, and I think we’re going to be a good tandem."

In the meantime, Neuvirth goes to camp next week as ready as he’s ever been.

"I’ve been working hard in the offseason, focusing on my core, on my groin and hips, they feel like never before," he said. "I feel a lot stronger and my goal is to play as many games as I can."

As for the last-place Sabres, there’s a sense of renewal all-around after a busy offseason.

"We had some great signings here," Neuvirth said over the phone from Buffalo. "We have good leadership. It’s going to be a hardworking team that plays as a group, a team that never gives up on a loose puck. I think that we’re going to surprise some people this year."

Kipsang, other NYC elites by the numbers

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10
2:25
PM ET
Wilson KipsangAP Photo/Sang TanWilson Kipsang set the world marathon record last fall and makes his NYC debut in November.
As if a star-studded American field wasn't enough, the 2014 TSC New York City Marathon has added men's world record holder Wilson Kipsang to its Nov. 2 lineup.

The New York Road Runners finalized their elite athlete field with the announcement of Olympic medalists and past NYC champions from around the world.

“We’re proud to welcome Wilson, a world-renowned marathon icon; Buzunesh Deba, the ultimate running ambassador for our City; and an unparalleled field to “get their New York on” with every stride they take through the City’s five boroughs, as they lead runners from Staten Island to Central Park,” NYRR CEO Mary Wittenberg said in a press release.

Last fall, Kipsang set the world record of 2:03:23 in Berlin. Earlier this year he won the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon in a course-record time of 2:04.27. The addition of Kipsang threatens two-time defending New York Marathon champion Geoffrey Mutai’s goal of winning his third consecutive New York City Marathon.

2010 NYC champion Gebre Gebremariam is also entered in the field.

(Read full post)

Six-time Olympic gold medalist Amy Van Dyken-Rouen stopped by the “Today” show on Friday morning to talk about her continued recovery after being paralyzed in an ATV accident in June. Joined by her husband, Tom, the swimming legend explained to Matt Lauer how her competitive spirit has helped her rehabilitation and discussed her increased spirituality.

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But the inspiring Olympic hero didn’t just talk with Lauer during her 30 Rock visit. Van Dyken-Rouen met and posed for pictures with Usher and Andy Cohen during the show.

As mentioned in her interview, Van Dyken-Rouen was heading to her home to Arizona after the show for the first time since the accident. She expressed her excitement for her homecoming on Twitter.

Could there be a more positive and inspiring person? Good luck, Amy. Everyone is rooting for you.

Check out more from D'Arcy and espnW.com.

Reaction: Lolo Jones on 'DWTS' cast

September, 4, 2014
Sep 4
2:16
PM ET

Hurdler, bobsledder ... ballroom dancer? Yes, Lolo Jones is taking on another new role, as the three-time Olympian will be a contestant on "Dancing With the Stars."

Here is some reaction to Thursday's announcement:

Rock 'n' Roll Philly boasts stacked field

September, 3, 2014
Sep 3
5:14
PM ET
Dathan RitzenheinAP Photo/Charlie RiedelDathan Ritzenhein has run for the U.S. on the world stage and will take on the world's best in Philly.
Race organizers for the 2014 Rock N’ Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon have assembled one of the deepest fields of the fall, including several marathon champions and Olympians.

“Philadelphia is one of the most famous half-marathons in the U.S. and we have a world-class field to match a world-class event,” Elite athlete coordinator Matthew Turnbull said.

Dathan Ritzenhein headlines the American field. The three-time Olympian makes a return to the roads after an injury forced him to withdraw from April’s Boston Marathon. Ritzenhein did not race on the track this summer, and in Philadelphia he will be challenged by 2014 Boston Marathon surprise Jeffrey Eggleston.

Kenyan Geoffrey Mutai will also use this race as a tuneup with his sights are set on a three-peat in the New York City Marathon in November.

Kara Goucher, also returning from injury, leads the field of American women. This will be her first long-distance race since leaving her Nike training group and inking a deal with Oiselle and Sketchers. Goucher's toughest challenger will Deena Kastor, the fastest American woman ever over 13.1 miles, who is looking to extend her road-racing career.

Here’s a look at the field by the numbers:

(Read full post)

Usain Bolt: Let them play cricket at 2020 Games

September, 2, 2014
Sep 2
3:35
PM ET

We've seen Usain Bolt on the soccer pitch. We've seen him "try out" for the New York Giants. Now, he's playing cricket.

On Tuesday, the world's fastest man was in Bangalore, where his sponsor, Puma, organized a seven-a-side, four-over match against Yuvraj Singh and more of India's top stars at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Bolt, who played cricket as a child before taking the world by storm on the track, talked about his visit with cricinfo.com:

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Bolt added that he thought cricket's inclusion in the Olympics, perhaps beginning in 2020, would be huge for the sport given the Games' large worldwide audience.

Here are some more images from Bolt's first visit to India:

Usain BoltManjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty ImagesTuesday's exhibition cricket match was organized by Puma, which sponsors both Usain Bolt and Yuvraj Singh.

Usain BoltManjunath Kiran/AFP/Getty ImagesAfter Bolt's squad won Tuesday's exhibition cricket match against some of India's top players, Yuvraj Singh got a little revenge in a 100-meter sprint. Bolt recently decided not to formally compete on the track until the 2015 season.






ICYMI: Katie Ledecky's big finish at Pan Pacs

August, 25, 2014
Aug 25
1:34
PM ET

Here's a recap of Katie Ledecky's record-winning weekend at the Pan Pacific championships in Gold Coast, Australia:

Countdown to Rio: Storylines to watch

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5
1:12
PM ET
Usain BoltPaul Gilham/Getty ImagesThe 2016 Summer Olympics will likely be Usain Bolt's last.

The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are two years out from Tuesday. Here are some early storylines to keep on the radar:

Michael Phelps: Will he or won’t he?

After retiring from swimming following the 2012 London Games, the most decorated Olympian of all-time is back in the pool. But will the 29-year-old Phelps add to his 22-medal total? Since returning to competitive races, he has been careful to say what his Olympic intentions are, so the Phelps Watch continues. In the meantime, he will compete in four events at this week’s U.S. Championships.

Brazil as host

The success of the World Cup boosted some morale within the International Olympic Committee that Rio de Janeiro could host a large sporting event like the Summer Games. A special task force was assembled to keep an eye on the project and address concerns on the preparations. On Monday, a Brazilian newspaper estimated that while only 25 percent of construction is competed, workers remain on schedule.

[+] EnlargeAlan Fonteles Oliveira
Phillippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty ImagesAlan Oliveira won 200-meter gold at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

Usain Bolt’s treble-treble

The Jamaican world-record holder looks to become the first runner to win three gold medals in three consecutive Olympics. Bolt is carefully mapping out his road to Rio, as a foot injury has sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. He won three gold medals at the 2013 IAAF World Championships in Moscow and will use 2015’s edition in Beijing as a lead-up to his final Summer Games. Bolt has also said he aims to better his world record in the 200 meters before retiring.

Kerri Walsh Jennings back for more

After three consecutive beach volleyball gold medals with Misty May-Treanor by her side, Kerri Walsh Jennings looks to make her fifth U.S. Olympic team. She is now partnered with April Ross and has moved to the right side of the sand in the transition. Ross and playing partner Jennifer Kessy lost to May-Treanor and Walsh Jennings in the all-American final at the London Games.

Winning streaks for women

Walsh Jennings isn’t the only woman looking to continue her Olympic winning streak in Rio. In London, Kim Rhode became the first American athlete to win five medals in an individual event in five consecutive Olympics after locking up another gold in women’s skeet. The U.S. women’s basketball team also will vie for a sixth consecutive gold medal and ninth overall. After the U.S. rowing team won its second gold in the women’s event, it won team titles at the 2013 World Rowing Cup in Lucerne and 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, South Korea.

(Read full post)

New Team USA uniforms: Yay or nay?

August, 1, 2014
Aug 1
2:43
PM ET
Heads up, hoops fans: Nike has yet another new Team USA uniform for you to feast your eyes on!

On Friday, the company officially unveiled the U.S. men's national basketball team's gear for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup, which begins Aug. 30 in Spain. Check 'em out:

Kevin DurantNikeKevin Durant, you are the real MVP!


The home and away looks:

USA UniformsNike
USA UniformsNike


So, what do you think of the uniforms? Cast your vote or write a comment below:

SportsNation

Do you like the new Team USA basketball uniforms?

  •  
    82%
  •  
    18%

Discuss (Total votes: 1,886)



Keflezighi returns to New York Marathon

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
11:27
AM ET
Meb KeflezighiAP Photo/Charles KrupaMeb Keflezighi will attempt to get the rare Boston/NYC double victory this year.
Reigning Boston Marathon champion Meb Keflezighi will run the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon on Nov. 2 as an ambassador for the Team for Kids Charity Program, the New York Road Runners announced on Thursday. The 2004 Olympic silver medalist is the first elite runner announced by NYRR for the 2014 edition of the race.

Keflezighi in April became the first American man since 1983 to win Boston, and his 2009 victory in the NYC Marathon was the first for an American man there since 1982.

"I am excited to be running the TCS New York City Marathon for the ninth time. This is a very special race and city for me,” Keflezighi said. "Additionally, I am honored to be a Team for Kids Ambassador and raise funds for the MEB Foundation."

The NYRR also announced that tennis pro Caroline Wozniacki, formerly the WTA's No. 1-ranked player, will be running in New York.

"I can’t wait to trade my tennis racquet for a pair of running shoes and take part in the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon as a New York Road Runners Team for Kids Ambassador," said Wozniacki.

As for Keflezighi, his return to New York offers up some interesting notes.

Meb by the numbers

6 – Only five men have doubled as the Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon champion in the same year. Bill Rodgers accomplished the feat twice, in 1978 and 1979. Alberto Salazar was the last American to do so, in 1982. Kenyans Joseph Chebet (1999), Rodgers Rop (2002) and Geoffrey Mutai (2011) are the most recent.

6 – Keflezighi has finished in the top 10 of the New York City Marathon six times in his career.

9 – 2014 will mark the ninth time that Keflezighi has raced 26.2 miles through the streets of New York.

14 – Since its inaugural race in 1970, there have only been 14 American winners of the New York City Marathon. There has been only one since Alberto Salazar’s third consecutive crown from 1980 to 1982: Keflezighi in 2009.

23 – Just four years removed from his victory, Keflezighi placed 23rd in last year’s NYC marathon. Calf cramping slowed him down to the point where he walked for a few minutes, yet he was determined to cross the finish line.

39 – Keflezighi turned 39 years old on May 5. He was the oldest winner of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2012, when he was 36. Geoffrey Mutai was 30 and 32 when he won the NYC Marathon in 2011 and 2013.

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