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Tuesday Sports in Brief

Tuesday Sports in Brief

NEW YORK (AP) Alex Rodriguez was ensnared in a doping investigation once again Tuesday when an alternative weekly newspaper reported baseball's highest-paid star was among a half-dozen players listed in records of a Florida clinic the paper said sold performance-enhancing drugs.

The Miami New Times said the three-time AL MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances during 2009-12 from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Cables, Fla., near Rodriguez's offseason home.

The new public relations firm for the New York Yankees third baseman issued a statement denying the allegations.

The newspaper said it obtained records detailing purchases by Rodriguez, 2012 All-Star game MVP Melky Cabrera, 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon and 2011 AL championship series MVP Nelson Cruz of Texas.

PRO FOOTBALL

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Of all the topics Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis wanted to talk about at Super Bowl media day, deer-antler spray probably was not on the list.

He declined to directly address in any detail questions about a Sports Illustrated report that he sought help from a company that makes the unorthodox product to speed his recovery from a torn right triceps. Lewis was the NFL's leading tackler in the playoffs after missing 10 regular-season games with the injury.

The company, Sports With Alternatives To Steroids (SWATS), says its deer-antler substance contains a banned performance-enhancer connected to human growth hormone.

The 37-year-old Lewis, who has announced he will retire after playing against the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's Super Bowl, dismissed the report as ``stupidity.''

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Randy Moss used to be a star. Now, he's just an afterthought with the San Francisco 49ers.

It's a role he's still struggling to accept.

Moss spent much of his career as one of the NFL's top receivers. During Super Bowl media day, he called himself ``the greatest receiver ever to do it.'' That's a claim sure to be debated in NFL circles.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco apologized for his word selection in criticizing the NFL's decision to hold next year's Super Bowl in an outdoor stadium at a cold-weather site.

On Monday, Flacco was asked about the game being played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

``I think it's retarded. I probably shouldn't say that. I think it's stupid,'' he said.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Rams have decided not to hire Rob Ryan as defensive coordinator and stepped in a new direction by hiring Frank Bush as linebackers coach.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A federal judge will hear oral arguments in about two months on requests to throw out lawsuits by thousands of former NFL players regarding concussions suffered while playing for the league.

U.S. Eastern District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia on Tuesday scheduled an April 9 hearing on motions to dismiss filed by the NFL Inc., NFL Properties Inc. and All American Sports Corp.

PRO BASKETBALL

NEW YORK (AP) - Executive director Billy Hunter has fired his daughter and daughter-in-law from the NBA players' association, less than two weeks after a review criticized his hiring practices.

In a letter to the union's special committee of players, dated Jan. 23, Hunter informed them that Robyn Hunter was to be let go as of Jan. 25. Megan Inaba will stay on through the All-Star break to help coordinate activities in Houston before leaving her job on Feb. 17.

Hunter also states in the letter, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, that the NBPA will no longer work with Prim Capital, the banking firm that employs Hunter's son, Todd

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Allen Iverson is taking a pass on the D-League.

Iverson, the 2001 NBA MVP, has turned down an opportunity to return to basketball with the Dallas Mavericks' Development League affiliate. He posted a series of tweets on Tuesday explaining his decision to decline an offer from Texas Legends' co-owner Donnie Nelson to join the team.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o didn't show any signs of being affected by the girlfriend hoax leading up to the BCS title game, but his play indicates it may have taken a toll, coach Brian Kelly said.

``Hindsight is 20-20. I didn't think going into the game he was affected by it. But he didn't play his best. Alabama had something to do with that, clearly. But I really don't know,'' Kelly said.

``It's a lot to weigh on the shoulders of somebody. I think we can make the leap that maybe it did. But I think Manti would know for sure.''

Te'o said in an interview with ESPN after the news of the hoax broke that it did not affect his performance in the title game blowout.

Kelly spoke to reporters Tuesday by conference call for the first time since the Irish were beaten 42-14 by Alabama in the BCS title game on Jan. 7. He said his interview the Philadelphia Eagles was mainly to get more information about coaching in the NFL, and his heart remains in college football. He's also working on a contract extension with Notre Dame.

SOCCER

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - American forward Jozy Altidore was the target of racist chants Tuesday during AZ Alkmaar's 5-0 win over second-tier Den Boscha in the quarterfinals of the Dutch Cup.

Altidore, who is black, said he had never faced such serious abuse from the stands.

HOUSTON (AP) - The United States prepped for its opening game in the final round of World Cup qualifying with a dull 0-0 tie against Canada as defender Omar Gonzalez returned to the American national team lineup after a two-year absence.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann changed all 11 starters from November's 2-2 tie at Russia and is likely to change the entire lineup against for the Feb. 6 qualifier against Honduras at San Pedro Sula.

CYCLING

LONDON (AP) - The World Anti-Doping Agency called the UCI ``deceitful'' Tuesday for shutting down its independent doping panel and said it won't participate in an amnesty commission set up by the cycling governing body.

WADA said the UCI has ``again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport'' by disbanding the panel looking into claims that cycling leaders helped cover up Lance Armstrong's suspicious doping tests and accepted $125,000 in donations from him.

Instead, the UCI announced Monday plans to set up a separate amnesty-style ``truth and reconciliation commission'' (TRC) that it claimed was supported by WADA President John Fahey.

AUTO RACING

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Ashley Judd and Dario Franchitti are separating after 11 years of marriage.

Judd's spokeswoman confirmed a Tuesday report from People magazine that the 44-year-old actress and 39-year-old Scottish IndyCar driver are ending their marriage.

WINTER SPORTS

DENVER (AP) - Snowmobiler Caleb Moore was in critical condition in a Colorado hospital after a dramatic crash at the Winter X Games in Aspen, and a relative said the family wasn't hopeful about the 25-year-old's chances for survival.

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Ravens hope to force Brady into kind of mistakes he rarely makes

Ravens hope to force Brady into kind of mistakes he rarely makes

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has thrown just one interception this season.

That’s one of the many challenges facing the Ravens (7-5) as they prepare for Monday night’s game at New England (10-2). The Ravens’ defense is tied for fifth in the NFL with 22 takeaways – 14 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries. But Brady is a quarterback that rarely turns it over, with 19 touchdown passes and just one interception in 302 passing attempts.

Can the Ravens force Brady into uncharacteristic mistakes? It won’t be easy. Watching Brady on film, coach John Harbaugh sees a quarterback who looks as good as he ever has.

“If he’s lost anything physically, he definitely makes up for it with his mind and his experience,” Harbaugh said. “He’s moving very well. He’s moving around the pocket very well and creating throws for himself in the pocket. I don’t really see any diminished skill set whatsoever.”

Even if the Ravens can’t force Brady into interceptions, their pass rush could make his job a lot more difficult. The more pressure the Ravens can get on Brady, the less time he will have to pick them apart.

When the Seahawks won at New England last month, they sacked Brady twice, intercepted him, and held him without a touchdown pass. That’s the blueprint the Ravens hope to follow. However, the two starting quarterbacks with the best TD-interception ration are Brady (19-1) and Dak Prescott (19-2) of the Cowboys. Prescott threw three TD passes and no interceptions against the Ravens last month and beat them. The Ravens hope for better success against Brady.

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Ravens safety Eric Weddle was nearly a Patriot this season

Ravens safety Eric Weddle was nearly a Patriot this season

When Eric Weddle was released by the San Diego Chargers after last season he had plenty of offers to sign with other NFL teams.

One of those teams was the New England Patriots, the team Weddle will play against on Monday Night Football this week. 

When the two-time All-Pro safety hit the open market, he said he was looking to play for a winning organization. He ended up choosing the Ravens over the Patriots because there was a more clear-cut opportunity for playing time. 

“I’m good buddies with Patrick Chung,” he said. “I grew up playing with him and Devin McCourty is one of the best to play, so I don’t know if it would have worked out personnel-wise. But obviously, I could have seen myself fitting in there seamlessly.”

Although the Ravens don't have quite as many wins as the Patriots this season, Weddle clearly made a good choice. The Ravens are tied for first place in the AFC North with the Steelers and Weddle is currently the highest graded safety in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus. 

The Ravens defense is playing dominant football as a whole as well. Through week 13 Baltimore ranks first in the NFL in total defense surrenduring just 296.1 yards per game. 

RELATED: Weddle consumes a gallon of ice cream after Ravens wins