Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Tour leader saddened by drug innuendo

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ENTRECHAUX, France -- There appears to be little to stop Chris Froome from reaching the Champs-Elysees on Sunday in the yellow jersey and becoming the second straight British cyclist to win the Tour de France.

After another brutal attack in the mountains on Sunday, Froome leads Bauke Mollema and Alberto Contador by more than four minutes with only six stages left -- four of them suited to him. There is a time trial on Wednesday, followed by three straight days of tortuous climbs in the Alps.

But winning looks like the easy part.

The 28-year-old Froome's physical superiority at the 100th Tour has raised eyebrows, practically inevitable in the climate of suspicion that haunts cycling after Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles for serial doping.

This year's race is the first since Armstrong lost his titles, and Froome understands the tone of the questions. Still, he was unhappy doping became a main topic of his news conference on Monday's rest day.

"I just think it's quite sad that we're sitting here the day after the biggest victory of my life... quite a historic win, talking about doping," Froome said. "Here I am basically being accused of being a cheat and a liar and that's not cool.

"To compare me with Lance, I mean, Lance cheated. I'm not cheating. End of story."

 

Hextall back to Philly

PHILADELPHIA -- Ron Hextall is back with the Philadelphia Flyers, joining a long list of former players in the front office.

Hextall on Monday was named assistant general manager and director of hockey operations, leaving the Los Angeles Kings. The former goaltender was vice-president and assistant general manager in Los Angeles.

Hextall joins former Flyers players in management, including GM Paul Holmgren and senior vice-president Bobby Clarke.

"We are very pleased to welcome back Ron Hextall to our management team," Holmgren said in a statement on Monday. "Ron has a wealth of experience in the front office in various capacities, which will be a valuable addition to our staff."

 

Peace be with you, Knicks

LAS VEGAS -- Metta World Peace says he will be signing with the New York Knicks.

Team officials at the NBA summer league in Las Vegas would not confirm the move, but World Peace says he is excited to join Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks.

"The team is amazing, the players; I'm excited to play and hustle," he said Monday while attending NBA summer league games in Las Vegas.

World Peace was waived Thursday by the Los Angeles Lakers.

 

Johnny Football off hook

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanour stemming from a 2012 bar fight that took place near the universty campus, closing a case that had dogged his Heisman Trophy-winning season.

Manziel admitted he failed to identify himself to police following the altercation. As part of a plea deal, other charges against the 20-year-old, including disorderly conduct, were dismissed.

Brazos County Attorney Rod Anderson says Manziel was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine plus about $230 in court costs and was credited with the overnight jail time he served following his arrest. He had faced up to 180 days in jail for the June 2012 incident.

 

-- from the wire services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 16, 2013 C8

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