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Originally published Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 8:38 PM

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Yankees frustrated by latest A-Rod reports | A.M. Briefing

Alex Rodriguez, once considered a player who could shatter the career home-run record, has transformed from All-Star to annoyance for some...

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Baseball

Latest A-Rod troubles have Yankees frustrated

Alex Rodriguez, once considered a player who could shatter the career home-run record, has transformed from All-Star to annoyance for some in the New York Yankees organization.

He hasn't played a full season since he was voted his third AL MVP award in 2007, he's out for at least the first half of this year after hip surgery Jan. 16, and now he's been accused of again receiving performance-enhancing drugs — an allegation he denies.

Even before the charges were published Tuesday, some Yankees executives were wishing Rodriguez would just go away. Speaking on condition of anonymity because the team isn't publicly commenting on A-Rod's latest troubles, they revealed their frustration with the slugger.

New York is not likely to be able to void A-Rod's contract, which has five years and $114 million remaining. Baseball's drug agreement between management and the players' association specifies the commissioner's office has all disciplinary authority for violations.

A-Rod's poor health, however, may provide the path to savings for the team. If he doesn't play again due to a career-ending injury, about 85 percent of the $114 million he's owed would be covered by insurance.

Judge nixes Sandusky's bid

for new trial

Jerry Sandusky lost a bid for a new trial when a judge in Harrisburg, Pa., rejected his argument that his lawyers were not given enough time to prepare for the three-week proceeding that ended with a 45-count guilty verdict on child sex-abuse charges.

Judge John Cleland's 27-page order said lawyers for the former Penn State assistant coach conceded that their post-trial review turned up no material that would have changed their trial strategy.

Coach apologizes to Saban

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin apologized to Alabama coach Nick Saban for calling him "Nicky Satan" at a high-school banquet in Georgia. Franklin told The Tennessean his comment was meant strictly as a joke about a coach who has won four national championships.

Big 12 wants title game

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the league likely will seek permission from the NCAA to hold a championship game even though it doesn't have the 12 members required under the current rules.

Cycling

USADA chief: UCI obstructed Armstrong probe

The International Cycling Union did all it could to stall its doping investigation into Lance Armstrong, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart said.

"At every turn, the UCI attempted to obstruct our efforts to reveal the truth," Tygart told a special hearing of the Bundestag sports committee in Berlin.

Tygart added that the cycling body still "appears to be irresponsibly trying to script a self-interested ending to this affair."

Armstrong fall guy?

Armstrong, in an interview with a British publication, said no generation was ever "clean," and the best way forward is a truth and reconciliation process offering amnesty to riders and officials who detail doping in the sport.

"It's not the best way, it's the only way," he said. " ... Publicly lynching one man and his team will not solve this problem."

Asked if he felt like a fall guy, Armstrong said: "Actually, yes I do. But I understand why. We all make the beds we sleep in."

Schleck banned for year

Cyclist Frank Schleck was suspended for a year and will miss the Tour de France for using a banned substance during last year's Tour.

Luxembourg anti-doping authorities backdated the suspension, sidelining Schleck until July 14 when the Tour enters its last week.

Schleck, who finished third in the 2011 Tour, dropped out of the race last year after testing positive for the diuretic Xipamide.

Tennis

Stephens leads U.S. team

Sloane Stephens will lead the U.S. Fed Cup team that is without the Williams sisters for the World Group first-round match against Italy on Feb. 9-10. U.S. captain Mary Joe Fernandez also included doubles specialist Liezel Huber and rookies Varvara Lepchenko and Jamie Hampton.

Elsewhere

Chase Headley and the Padres avoided arbitration, agreeing on an $8,575,000, one-year contract that gives the San Diego third baseman a $5.1 million raise.

• The Los Angeles Angels and reliever Kevin Jepsen agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,181,250.

• Colorado Rapids midfielder Martin Rivero is expected to miss two to three months while recovering from a fracture in his right foot.

• Toronto FC traded winger Joao Plata to Real Salt Lake for a second-round draft pick.

• Forward Kei Kamara was loaned from Sporting Kansas City to Norwich of England through May 6.

• D.C. United midfielder Andy Najar transferred to Belgian club Anderlecht.

Raphael Varane scored in the 81st minute, giving host Real Madrid a 1-1 tie against Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal. Lionel Messi's streak of scoring in 16 straight starts ended.

• The Dutch club Den Bosch pledged to identify and punish a group of fans who racially abused American forward Jozy Altidore during a game.

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