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Agent: Chicago Marathon champion fails doping test

STELLENBOSCH, South Africa (AP) — Chicago Marathon champion Rita Jeptoo failed a doping test in September, the Kenyan runner's agent said Friday. Federico Rosa told The Associated Press that Jeptoo tested positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition test in Kenya weeks before she won a second straight Chicago Marathon title on Oct. 12. "This is true," Rosa said in a telephone interview. Rosa said Jeptoo's "A'' sample had tested positive and they were waiting for her backup "B'' sample to be tested. Rosa declined to name the substance. Rosa said he had learned of the positive test "a few days ago." "We will legally go after the person or the people that convinced Rita to do this," Rosa said, adding Jeptoo's management had "nothing to do with" any doping. "I am sorry for Rita." The 33-year-old Jeptoo has won back-to-back titles at the both the Chicago and Boston Marathons and leads the World Marathon Majors series. The series said earlier Friday that it had postponed Sunday's awards ceremony because of the positive test. "No athlete can win the World Marathon Majors Series title who has been in breach of IAAF anti-doping rules," the series said. The IAAF said in a statement that it was "not in position where it can confirm or deny" Jeptoo's positive doping test. "The case remains in the confidentiality phase," the IAAF said, "although that should be lifted within the next week." Jeptoo's failed doping test comes as Kenya is under close scrutiny for a recent spike in doping cases. A report into doping in Kenya was released this month. The investigation found that the East African country has problems with athletes from a number of sports using banned substances.

  • icon Posted: October 31

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Thursday 10/30/2014
BERRY FOOTBALL: Berry looks to rebound against Millsaps
Posted: October 30, 2014

Coming off last Saturday’s 23-17 loss at Birmingham-Southern College, the Berry Vikings (2-5, 1-3 SAA) look to regain momentum in their final three games of the 2014 season, starting with a home matchup with conference foe Millsaps (2-4, 1-2 SAA).

BERRY WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Vikings eager to get season started
Posted: October 30, 2014

The Berry College women’s basketball team is excited to get the season going. With 10 newcomers and eight returnees, the Vikings look to improve on last year’s 14-13 season.

SHORTER GOLF: Lady Hawks win first ever golf national title
Posted: October 30, 2014

Panama City Beach, Fla. — The Lady Hawks are National Champions.

Wednesday 10/29/2014
Berry women’s basketball team eager to get season started
Posted: October 29, 2014

The Berry College women's basketball team is excited to get the season going. With ten newcomers and eight returnees, the Vikings look to improve on last year's 14-13 season.

Crunch time: SEC teams relying on defense - again
Posted: October 29, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — It's the time of year when SEC teams seem to start flexing their defensive muscle.

Offenses have deservingly garnered headlines in an age of spread offenses and run-it-up attacks, but the league that built its national championship run on defense has taken another step forward this season: 10 Southeastern Conference teams have allowed fewer yards this year than last and half of the 14 league members are among the country's 30 stingiest in points given up.

"There's no question that defense is most important at this time of the year," said LSU coach Les Miles, who won the 2007 national title and played for a second crown in 2011.

The sentiment is shared throughout the SEC.

It also may be one reason there were six SEC teams in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, four in the top six.

No. 3 Alabama (No. 6 CFP) is the country's fifth best defense, giving up about 10 fewer yards a game than in 2013. Seventh-ranked Mississippi (No. 4 CFP) is yielding 305 yards, 65 fewer a game than last season. No. 4 Auburn (No. 3 CFP), No. 9 Georgia (No. 11 CFP) and No. 16 LSU (No. 19 CFP) are all allowing less yards than last season.

Ole Miss leads the country with just 10.5 points a game, a decrease of nearly two touchdowns from the 23.7 yielded a year ago. Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Missouri, Auburn and top-ranked Mississippi State (No. 1 CFP) are all in the top 30 of the FBS in that category.

"That's just the culture in the SEC," former Texas coach and ESPN analyst Mack Brown said. "That hasn't changed."

While TCU's 82-point outburst against Texas Tech gained headlines last week, the SEC answered with a 10-7 defensive struggle with LSU topping Ole Miss.

The SEC's defensive push comes during a year after some of its marquee stars on that side of the ball left for the NFL — including South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, Alabama's C.J. Mosley and Missouri's Michael Sam left for the pros.

Now, others have filled the void.

— Tennessee linebacker A.J. Johnson leads the SEC with 86 tackles for the Vols, who are holding opponents to almost 80 yards less this season than last.

— Missouri defensive end Shane Ray picked up where Sam left off, on top in the SEC — and third nationally — with 10 sacks.

— Mississippi's Senquez Golson has eight interceptions to tie for most in the country.

Not everything's rosy for all SEC defenses.

One the league's leading groups the past few years could be found in South Carolina. But the Gamecocks have allowed 38 points a game in its six SEC contests, an increase of 18 points from a year ago and a major reason the Gamecocks went from preseason SEC East favorites to 2-4 in the conference.

And then there's Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have managed to win though statistically they are not as strong defensively as they were last year: Mississippi State is last in SEC defense, giving up 90 yards more a game than in 2013.

Brian Jones, a former Texas linebacker and current CBS Sports analyst, said the numbers are misleading. He said the Bulldogs offense, led by Heisman Trophy contender Dak Prescott, builds big leads and forces opponents to throw the ball to get back in games, and that skews the numbers.

"The key," Jones said, "is what they do in the red zone and the turnovers they get."

Tennessee coach Butch Jones thinks improved defense as the season moves on is as much a product of more opponent game film as work on the field.

"So, the more video you have out there, the more games you play, the more things you have to game plan," he said.

Injuries also can affect teams on top defensively.

Ole Miss lost starting linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche to a broken ankle against LSU this past week and won't have him for critical games against Auburn this week and Mississippi State down the road.

"You look at the teams that win consistently in November, late October, that go on championship stretch runs," Jones said, "they have great depth."

There's also a competition in the league to be considered the SEC's top defense.

"I know our defense enjoys playing and wants to be the best," said Vols linebacker-defensive end Curt Maggitt, whose four sacks rank 10th in the SEC. "We play to be the best, and I'm sure other teams could say the same."

___

AP Sports Writers Brett Martel in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Gary B. Graves in Lexington, Kentucky; David Brandt in Oxford, Mississippi; Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tennessee; and John Zenor in Auburn, Alabama, contributed to this report.

Georgia's Todd Gurley suspended 4 games by NCAA
Updated: October 30, 2014 - 12:40 am

The NCAA said Wednesday that Georgia star running back Todd Gurley must sit out until Nov. 15 for accepting more than $3,000 for autographing memorabilia and other items over a two-year period.

VOLLEYBALL: Lady Hawks earn 5th straight win
Posted: October 29, 2014

The Shorter Lady Hawks’ volleyball team turned in its fifth straight win Tuesday night, topping Alabama Huntsville, 3-1, on the road.

GOLF: Hawks finish 8th at UWG Matt Dyas Invitational
Posted: October 29, 2014

The Hawks posted a two-day, three-round total of 889 to finish eighth at UWG Matt Dyas Invitational.

GOLF: Berry men’s golf team finishes fourth
Posted: October 29, 2014

The Berry College men’s golf team shot a 316 in the final round of the O’Briant-Jensen Memorial golf tournament on Tuesday.

Tuesday 10/28/2014
Lady Hawks in second at NCCAA National Golf Tournament
Posted: October 28, 2014

Panama City Beach, Fla. -- After the second round of the NCCAA Women's Golf National Championship the Lady Hawks are in second placed, poised to make a run to capture the title in Wednesday's final round.

College Football: 3 of 4 spots belong to SEC in first rankings
Updated: October 29, 2014 - 1:51 am

GRAPEVINE, Texas — The College Football Playoff selection committee has spoken — and it likes the SEC.

Arsenal Rome’s Under 14 girls grab first win
Updated: October 29, 2014 - 1:38 am

The YMCA’s Arsenal Rome Soccer Club’s Select teams saw the Under 14 girls record their first win this season.

Berry women’s soccer ranked fifth in South Atlantic Region
Updated: October 28, 2014 - 4:48 pm

For the second straight week, the Berry College women's soccer team is ranked fifth in the South Atlantic region, according to the poll released today by the National Soccer Coaches' Association (NSCAA).

Berry’s Johnathon Purdy named SAA Swimmer of the Week
Posted: October 28, 2014

The Southern Athletic Association announced that Berry College's Johnathon Purdy is the men's swimmer of the week.

LakePoint announces partnership with United States Basketball Association
Updated: October 29, 2014 - 1:50 am

The United States Basketball Association has signed a deal with the LakePoint Sporting Community to bring its national championships to courts in Cobb and Bartow counties in 2015 and then to the LakePoint development in 2016.

CROSS COUNTRY: Too earns national honor
Posted: October 28, 2014

Shorter runner Silas Too has now added U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Athlete of the Week to his resume.

GOLF: Hawks in 7th place after opening round
Posted: October 28, 2014

The Hawks finished the first day of the Matt Dyas Invitational hosted by West Georgia in seventh place with a 294. West Georgia leads the event by a 16 stroke margin at 278 rounding out the top three are Young Harris with a 283, and Delta State at 284.

GOLF: Lady Hawks’ golf team in 4th at national championship
Posted: October 28, 2014

The Shorter Lady Hawks’ golf team is in fourth place after the first round of the NCCAA Women’s Golf National Championship with a 312.

Monday 10/27/2014
Braves hire hitting coach Seitzer from Toronto
Posted: October 27, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have hired Kevin Seitzer from the Toronto Blue Jays to replace Greg Walker as hitting coach.

Walker was assisted by Scott Fletcher this season as the Braves finished 79-83.

The 52-year-old Seitzer was the hitting coach for Arizona during part of the 2007 season, for Kansas City from 2009-12 and for the Blue Jays this past season. The former All-Star third baseman hit .295 in 12 major league seasons with the Royals, Milwaukee, Oakland and Cleveland.

Walker resigned after the Braves finished 14th among National League teams, ahead of only San Diego, in runs scored. Fletcher and third base coach Doug Dascenzo also are not returning.

The Braves announced Thursday that John Hart has agreed to a three-year deal as president of baseball operations.

Sunday 10/26/2014
SOCCER: Berry blanks Rhodes at home
Posted: October 26, 2014

The Berry College women’s soccer team defeated Rhodes College, 3-0, at Ford Field on Sunday. With the win, the Vikings clinched at least a share of the Southern Athletic Association regular season championship.