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The Early Lead: January 23, 2011 - January 29, 2011

Chemist Don Catlin fires back at Sports Illustrated story on Lance Armstrong

A prominent U.S. chemist featured in a Sports Illustrated doping expose last week on Lance Armstrong fired back this week, charging that the story "lack[s] credibility" and "misrepresents the truth." Don Catlin, the nation's pre-eminent anti-doping scientist, accused the two...

By Cindy Boren  | January 28, 2011; 11:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Lance Armstrong  
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Baltimore Ravens fire Jim Zorn as quarterbacks coach

Updated at 6:50 p.m. The Baltimore Ravens have fired Jim Zorn after one season as the team's quarterbacks coach, according to multiple reports. The firing, Jamison Hensley of the Baltimore Sun reports, came after a long meeting between Coach John...

By Cindy Boren  | January 27, 2011; 4:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  NFL  
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Green Bay Packers' injured players will get to say 'cheese' for team photo

This is what passes for controversy with the Green Bay Packers. When plans were made for the official team photo, players who are on the injured-reserve list were not included. Two of those guys, Nick Barnett and Jermichael Finley, did...

By Cindy Boren  | January 27, 2011; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Super Bowl XLV  
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Julius Peppers fined $10,000 for hit on Aaron Rodgers

(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has been fined $10,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the NFC championship game Sunday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Rodgers told Peter King...

By Cindy Boren  | January 27, 2011; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NFL  
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Alexander Semin signs one-year extension with Capitals

The Capitals have signed right wing Alexander Semin to a one-year contract extension, the team has announced. The deal reportedly is worth $6.7 million. Semin, 26, has 18 goals and 17 assists in 39 games. He is tied for the...

By Cindy Boren  | January 27, 2011; 10:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Capitals, NHL  
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Video is another front in NFL, NFLPA labor battle

As labor disagreements go, the one between the NFL and NFL Players Association is ground-breaking -- and it's only getting started. Instead of private talks in a secured room with only a few chosen occupants, this dustup is playing out...

By Cindy Boren  | January 27, 2011; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  NFL  
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Roger Federer knocked out of Australian Open by Novak Djokovic

Updated at 8 a.m. Now Roger Federer goes the way of Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic beat Federer 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 6-4 in a semifinal in Melbourne, a day after Nadal also was bounced from the tournament...

By Cindy Boren  | January 27, 2011; 6:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Tennis  
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Iowa football players describe intense workouts preceding illness

Two University of Iowa football players said they had gone through exceptionally strenuous workouts in the days before they and 10 other Hawkeye players were hospitalized in Iowa City, according to a report in the Des Moines Register. All are...

By Cindy Boren  | January 26, 2011; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  College football  
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President Obama gets a Green Bay Packers welcome in Wisconsin

How good a politician is President Barack Obama? So good that when Air Force One touched down in Wisconsin and he was handed an autographed Green Bay Packers jersey, the Chicaco Bears fan grinned. Sure, he's probably thinking, "I've...

By Cindy Boren  | January 26, 2011; 12:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  NFL  
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to cut salary to $1 if lockout occurs

Updated at 3:20 p.m. NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has a counteroffer for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's $1 salary: .bbpBox30354979147485184 {background:url(http://a3.twimg.com/a/1295646587/images/themes/theme1/bg.png) #C0DEED;padding:20px;} p.bbpTweet{background:#fff;padding:10px 12px 10px 12px;margin:0;min-height:48px;color:#000;font-size:18px !important;line-height:22px;-moz-border-radius:5px;-webkit-border-radius:5px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata{display:block;width:100%;clear:both;margin-top:8px;padding-top:12px;height:40px;border-top:1px solid #fff;border-top:1px solid #e6e6e6} p.bbpTweet span.metadata span.author{line-height:19px} p.bbpTweet span.metadata...

By Cindy Boren  | January 26, 2011; 10:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  NFL  
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Ed Reed believes body found in Mississippi River is that of his brother

The body of a man believed to be the brother of Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed was recovered from the Mississippi River near New Orleans on Tuesday evening. Brian Reed, 29, was last seen jumping into the river as he...

By Cindy Boren  | January 26, 2011; 9:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  NFL  
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Rafael Nadal's bid for fourth Grand Slam win ends in Australian Open

Rafael Nadal is in apparent pain as he stretches his left leg. (William West/AFP/Getty Images) Updated at 6:19 and 10:26 a.m. There'll be no Rafa Slam for Rafael Nadal. David Ferrer ended Nadal's pursuit of his fourth consecutive Grand...

By Cindy Boren  | January 26, 2011; 5:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Tennis  
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Twelve Iowa football players hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis

Updated at 7:07 p.m. Twelve University of Iowa football players have been hospitalized in Iowa City for treatment of a kidney condition, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette. The players are recovering from rhabdomyolysis, an exercise-induced breakdown of muscle fibers...

By Cindy Boren  | January 25, 2011; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  College football  
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Packers necktie gets Chicago car salesman fired

John C. Stone, sporting the necktie in question. (WGN) When it came time to dress for work Monday morning, John C. Stone, a big Green Bay Packers fan, did what any self-respecting Packers fan would do the day after...

By Cindy Boren  | January 25, 2011; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Super Bowl XLV  
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Herschel Walker says he'd like to be 'the George Foreman of football'

Herschel Walker, a Heisman Trophy winner and Pro Bowl running back, is 48 years old now, but he doesn't seem to be entirely kidding when he says he'd like to give the NFL another go. "I've told everyone that at...

By Cindy Boren  | January 25, 2011; 1:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NFL  
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Post Sports: NFL Championship games,
the Caps at midseason and college hoops

Katie Carrera and Eric Prisbell joined LaVar Arrington, and host Jonathan Forsythe on this week's webcast to discuss the NFL championship games, how fun the NHL All-Star Game captains picks might be, take a midseason look at the Capitals, and...

By Washington Post editors  | January 25, 2011; 1:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Post Sports Live  
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Wes Welker regrets his Jets-Patriots pregame wordplay

It was funny. It was clever. It was sly by the standards of the usual NFL pregame smackfest. But Wes Welker says he regrets his deft references to feet and the New York Jets. For those comments, Welker was benched...

By Cindy Boren  | January 25, 2011; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  NFL  
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Todd Collins suffered shoulder injury in Chicago Bears' loss to Green Bay Packers

B.J. Raji and Todd Collins, post-collision. (Brian Cassella / Tribune) Jay Cutler wasn't the only Chicago Bears quarterback to leave the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers because of an injury. Todd Collins, subbing for Cutler, hurt...

By Cindy Boren  | January 25, 2011; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  NFL, Redskins  
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Kevin Seraphin executes a spin move perfectly

There's a new wrinkle in the never-ending saga of Washington D.C. uniform failures: this one was self-inflicted. Kevin Seraphin of the Wizards committed the unpardonable fashion faux pas of wearing his shorts backward Monday night against the Knicks in Madison...

By Cindy Boren  | January 25, 2011; 8:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Wizards  
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Since Obama won't come to the Super Bowl, Packers vow to visit him

Forget Disney World. Cornerback Charles Woodson has one destination in mind if his Green Bay Packers win Super Bowl XLV: the White House. Woodson had not forgotten that President Barack Obama is a Chicago Bears fan who'd vowed to go...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 3:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  NFL  
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Lovie Smith: Jay Cutler 'is a tough guy'

Updated at 4:55 p.m. Chicago Bears Coach Lovie Smith lashed out at the "just-add-tweets-and-stir" criticism of quarterback Jay Cutler, who was knocked out of the NFC championship game Sunday with a knee injury. "I haven't seen it before. It seems...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  NFL  
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Report: Redskins deny Browns' request to interview Danny Smith

The Cleveland Browns' request to interview special teams coach Danny Smith was denied by the Redskins, according to Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network. Smith's contract is expiring, but sources have told the Post's Jason Reid that Smith will...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 12:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Redskins  
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Sidney Crosby will neither play in nor attend the NHL All-Star Game

Sidney Crosby, who is recovering from a concussion, will not go to Raleigh for the NHL All-Star Game this weekend. "The Penguins organization has decided that he will not attend the NHL All-Star Weekend and instead will continue to relax...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 12:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  NHL  
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Bengals refuse to grant Carson Palmer's request for a trade

The Cincinnati Bengals have answered quarterback Carson Palmer, who reportedly wants to be traded. Bengals president Mike Brown confirmed Monday that Palmer requested a trade last week and added, "we are not trading Carson." "He is key to our plans,...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 11:39 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (14)
Categories:  NFL  
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Report: Jay Cutler has torn MCL

Jay Cutler felt pressure on the field, too. (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler tore his medial collateral ligament in the NFC championship game Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Sean Jensen, Bears and...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  NFL  
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Giving Jay Cutler the benefit of the doubt

The instantaneous Twitter frenzy over Jay Cutler's inability to play beyond the first drive of the second half of the Chicago Bears' loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game gave way to more measured reflection...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  NFL  
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London Fletcher named to Pro Bowl, joining Brian Orakpo and DeAngelo Hall

Redskins linebacker London Fletcher has been named to the Pro Bowl roster, replacing Brian Urlacher, who suffered an injury in the Chicago Bears' loss to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game. "I am extremely honored to play...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Redskins  
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Maurkice Pouncey says he'll play in Super Bowl XLV

Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey has started every game of his rookie season and, despite the high ankle sprain he suffered in the AFC championship game Sunday, he says he'll start Super Bowl XLV against the Green Bay Packers. "Most...

By Cindy Boren  | January 24, 2011; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Super Bowl XLV  
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Quotebook: Ben Roethlisberger overwhelmed by 'how awesome it is'

Quick snippets from locker-room interviews after the Pittsburgh Steelers' 24-19 victory over the New York Jets in the AFC championship game... PITTSBURGH STEELERS Ben Roethlisberger, who will be trying to win his third Super Bowl, on his thoughts after the...

By Cindy Boren  | January 23, 2011; 10:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NFL  
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Mark Sanchez picks Mark Brunell out on the sideline

Which former Redskins quarterback had the worse day in the NFL's championship games Sunday: Todd Collins or Mark Brunell? Collins briefly brought Toddball back to the league when Jay Cutler suffered a knee injury in the Chicago Bears' NFC loss...

By Cindy Boren  | January 23, 2011; 7:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  NFL  
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Jay Cutler's toughness is not an issue with Brian Urlacher

Within moments after Jay Cutler came out of the Chicago Bears' NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers because of a knee injury, the social-media second-guessing was seriously underway. And @jaycutlersheart was up and running on Twitter. (Bio:...

By Cindy Boren  | January 23, 2011; 7:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  NFL  
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Quotebook: Aaron Rodgers says he's okay as Packers head for Super Bowl

Quick snippets from locker-room interviews after the Green Bay Packers' 21-14 victory over the Chicago Bears in the NFC championship game... GREEN BAY PACKERS Aaron Rodgers, in Fox interviews: "it's a dream come true. it's an incredible feeling. I'm at...

By Cindy Boren  | January 23, 2011; 5:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  NFL  
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NFL championship games live: Packers-Bears, Jets-Steelers

With 12 quarters of playoff football left, let's get going with live analysis, commentary and updates about today's NFL championship games between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears and the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers. I'm taking the...

By Cindy Boren  | January 23, 2011; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  NFL  
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Report: Carson Palmer wants Bengals to trade him

Quarterback Carson Palmer wants out of Cincinnati and reportedly will ask the Bengals to trade him. If the team does not do so, he is considering retirement. Palmer was unavailable to comment on the report, by ESPN's Chris Mortensen. Palmer...

By Cindy Boren  | January 23, 2011; 2:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Redskins  
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