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Margarito suspended for at least one year

Antonio Margarito’s boxing license was revoked for at least one year Tuesday by the California State Athletic Commission for illegal wraps discovered on Margarito’s hands before his loss last month to Shane Mosley.

The loss cost Margarito his WBA welterweight title, and the commission’s decision to suspend him effectively bans him from boxing in the U.S., since other states generally uphold such suspensions under federal law.

Margarito’s trainer, Javier Capetillo, also lost his license for at least one year, despite claiming he made an innocent mistake while wrapping Margarito’s hands.

The decision stunned and infuriated Top Rank promoter Bob Arum, who attended the hearing in Van Nuys, Calif. Arum, Capetillo and Margarito all insisted the boxer had no knowledge of the illegal nature of the wraps, which contained a plaster-like substance nestled tightly inside the usual tape on a fighter’s fists.


Running back Green dumped by Texans

Running back Ahman Green and linebacker Morlon Greenwood were released by the Houston Texans.

Green was hailed as the solution to Houston’s rushing woes when he was signed, but he finished each of his two seasons with the Texans on injured reserve. He leaves after rushing for 554 yards and missing 18 games with various injuries.

The 31-year-old four-time Pro Bowler started Houston’s season opener but missed the next game with an injury. Rookie Steve Slaton filled in, and when Green was healthy, coach Gary Kubiak decided to stick with Slaton.

Slaton responded by rushing for a team-record 1,282 yards.

Also: Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward underwent minor shoulder surgery this week but apparently will not need an operation to repair the right knee he injured during the AFC Championship Game.

Bill Parcells’ escape clause with the Miami Dolphins was expanded before the sale of the team was completed last month, and he can now leave at any time and collect the balance of the $12 million due him under a four-year contract.

The contract Parcells signed a year ago gave him a 30-day window to depart with full pay if the team was sold. Outgoing owner Wayne Huizenga said he removed the window before completing the sale of the team Jan. 20 to Stephen Ross.

The New York Jets released defensive back David Barrett after five seasons with the team.

Barrett, who started 37 games, was entering the final year of his contract, and the move saves the Jets just over $5 million on the salary cap.

The University of Miami squad will take charter buses to games at Central Florida and South Florida this fall instead of flying, as part of cost-cutting efforts at the school.

The decision by Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon will save the school $140,000, athletic director Kirby Hocutt said.

West Virginia wide receiver Jock Sanders was arrested Saturday on a drunken driving charge in Morgantown, W.Va.

Sanders was the team’s leading receiver last season, with 53 catches for 462 yards.


Bruins forward Ryder out with broken orbital

The Boston Bruins will be without forward Michael Ryder for up to three weeks as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken face bone.

Ryder, who has 19 goals in his first season with Boston, had surgery Monday on the orbital bone between his eyes.

Also: Controversial left wing Sean Avery is resuming his career with the New York Rangers’ affiliate in Hartford, Conn., hoping to return to the NHL.

The Dallas Stars assigned Avery to the American Hockey League team, and he practiced with the Hartford Wolf Pack on Tuesday.

Edmonton Oilers defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky will have season-ending shoulder surgery this week. Visnovsky has eight goals and 23 points in 50 games this season.


Motocross star Lusk dies after failed trick

Jeremy Lusk, a freestyle motocross rider from Temecula, Calif., died of head injuries Tuesday in San Jose, Costa Rica, after crashing while trying to land a backflip in competition. He was 24.

Jorge Ramirez, chief of the intensive care unit at Calderon Hospital, where Lusk was taken, said the motocross racer suffered severe brain damage and a possible spinal cord injury.

Lusk won a gold medal at the 2008 X Games. He was injured Saturday night when he failed to complete a full rotation while attempting a Hart Attack backflip and slammed headfirst into the dirt. Lusk crashed in almost identical fashion in the freestyle semifinals at the 2007 X Games but was not hurt.

Also: Doug Kalitta earned his first Top Fuel victory in more than a year, winning the rain-delayed Kragen O’Reilly Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., the first event of the NHRA season.

Kalitta clocked 3.822 seconds at a top speed of 308.57 mph to beat top qualifier Antron Brown. Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) won their respective divisions.

An executive with the group that oversees the Louisiana Superdome and New Orleans Arena warned lawmakers the state must find $27.5 million next year to fulfill contracts that keep the Saints and Hornets in New Orleans.

The state pays the two pro teams each year to retain the clubs, subsidies the team owners have said are needed to make operating in the relatively small New Orleans market worthwhile.

Maria Sharapova’s return to the WTA tour is still on hold. Even she is not sure when her injured right shoulder will be ready.

Sharapova pulled out of this week’s indoor event in Paris and next week’s hard-court event in Dubai, and her next scheduled event is next month in Indian Wells, Calif.

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