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Bob Baffert suspended from Preakness Stakes by Maryland Racing Commission

FILE - Trainer Bob Baffert has now been removed from two of this spring’s three Triple Crown races after the Maryland Racing Commission announced he is suspended from next month's Preakness Stakes.Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Bob Baffert, the horse trainer who has been under fire since Medina Spirit’s victory in the 2021 Kentucky Derby was disqualified, will not be allowed to compete in the Preakness Stakes next month, the executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission said in a letter to an animal rights organization Monday. The move follows a decision by Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) stewards in February to suspend Baffert for 90 days, fine him $7,500, and disqualify Medina Spirit for having the corticosteroid betamethasone in his system when he won the Kentucky Derby last year. Baffert’s appeal of the decision was denied April 1, and he began serving the suspension. In a letter to Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action and senior vice president of the Center for a Humane Economy, J. Michael Hopkins, the MRC executive director, noted that, under Maryland rules, “an individual whose license is suspended or revoked in another state or country is suspended or revoked in this state” and “denial of a license by the racing commission of another state may be considered as grounds for the denial of a license by the Commission. The move confirms Hopkins’s comment in February that Maryland would reciprocate Kentucky’s decision if it were upheld in court, and Irby praised “swift and decisive action” that will now remove Baffert from two of this spring’s three Triple Crown races. The Derby will take place May 7, followed by the Preakness, in Baltimore, on May 21. The third Triple Crown leg, the Belmont Stakes, is June 11 in New York.



Fairfield tabs Carly Thibault-DuDonis as new women’s basketball coach

Carly Thibault-DuDonis was an associated head coach at Minnesota before taking over the Fairfield women's program.CRAIG LASSIG/Associated Press

Carly Thibault-DuDonis was hired as women’s basketball coach at Fairfield. Thibault-DuDonis, 30, replaces Joe Frager, who retired after leading the Stags to a 25-7 record and the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in his 15th season. She spent the past four seasons as an assistant under Lindsay Whalen at Minnesota, where she also was the recruiting coordinator. She was previously on staffs at Mississippi State, Florida State, and Eastern Michigan. Thibault-DuDonis is the daughter of Mike Thibault, the coach and general manager of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics ... West Virginia’s athletic department said Monday it will commit $1.5 million annually in education-related benefits starting this fall for its scholarship athletes. WVU athletes will have the chance to receive assistance based on their academic achievement and progress toward graduation, the department said in a news release. Last fall the Big 12 announced it would allow its member schools to decide the amount of education-related benefits athletes can be given in an academic year following the US Supreme Court decision over the summer ... Brandon Murray has chosen to transfer to Georgetown, a potential boost for the once-storied program coming off a 6-25 season with no victories in the Big East.



Olympian’s mother killed by stray bullet

The mother of a Puerto Rican Olympian was killed by a stray bullet in her Connecticut home over the weekend, according to the athlete and police. Mabel Martinez, 56, was the mother of Yarimar Mercado Martinez, a rifle shooter on the Puerto Rico Olympic team who competed in the summer Olympics last year and in 2016. Mabel Martinez died Sunday after having been shot in the head Saturday afternoon inside her home in Waterbury, Connecticut, city police said. A man who was walking outside her home, who was shot in the leg and survived, appeared to be the target, authorities said. No arrests have been announced.



Fox to carry 35 World Cup matches on main network

Fox will televise 35 World Cup matches on its main Fox broadcast network, including all three US first-round games in Qatar and all from the quarterfinals on. The total on the Fox network is down from 38 at the 2018 tournament in Russia. There will be 29 on the FS1 cable network, an increase of three, Fox said ... The Washington Commanders re-signed kicker Joey Slye to a two-year contract, according to two people with knowledge of the deal, ensuring the team enters the season with a trusted leg on special teams. The deal is worth up to about $5 million and includes $2 million in guarantees ... Penguins star Evgeni Malkin has been suspended four games for cross-checking Nashville’s Mark Borowiecki in the face. The NHL’s department of player safety announced the suspension after holding a hearing with Malkin about the play ... Chinese club Shanghai Port has been forced by the city’s COVID-19 lockdown to withdraw from the Asian Champions League, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said ... Alexander Bublik cut short Stan Wawrinka’s return to the tour, defeating the Swiss 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the first round of the Monte Carlo Masters in his first singles in 13 months. Wawrinka, 37, last competed on tour in March 2021 when he lost his opening match at the Qatar Open. He’s had two surgeries on his left foot since then and months of difficult recovery ... Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his wrist. The former Norris Trophy winner had surgery, the team said. He is expected to be ready for training camp, but his absence damages the Kings’ hopes of ending their three-year playoff drought.