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Sports Log

Brittney Griner’s wife makes plea for WNBA star

Brittney Griner has been detained in Russia for more than three months.Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Brittney Griner’s wife, Cherelle, wants President Joe Biden to secure her partner’s release, doing whatever is necessary to get the WNBA star home from Russia where she has been detained for more than three months. “I just keep hearing that, you know, he has the power. She’s a political pawn, " said Cherelle, who became emotional detailing what little she knows about Griner’s detainment during an interview that aired Wednesday on Good Morning America. “So if they’re holding her because they want you to do something, then I want you to do it.” The Phoenix Mercury center has been detained since Feb. 17 after vape cartridges containing oil derived from cannabis were allegedly found in her luggage at an airport near Moscow … The Indiana Fever fired coach Marianne Stanley with the team off to a 2-7 start in her third season and promoted assistant Carlos Knox to interim coach. Stanley, 68, brought a Hall of Fame resume to the Fever bench, but her teams won just 14 games in a little more than two seasons.

Soccer

Britain OKs Chelsea sale

Roman Abramovich’s 19-year ownership of Chelsea is ending after the British government approved the sale of the Premier League club by the sanctioned Russian oligarch to a consortium fronted by Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly. The government had to be sure that Abramovich, who was sanctioned over his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin after the invasion of Ukraine, did not profit from the enforced sale of the club that his investment turned into one of the most successful in European football. The reigning FIFA Club World Cup winners and 2021 European champions will be sold for $3.1 billion — the highest price ever for a sports team — with Premier League approval already granted on Tuesday.

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Ibrahimović out 8 months

Left knee surgery is expected to keep Zlatan Ibrahimović on the sidelines for roughly eight months.Enrico Locci/Getty

AC Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimović had surgery on his left knee and faces up to eight months on the sidelines — if he decides to continue his playing career. After Milan clinched its first Italian Serie A title since 2011 on Sunday, Ibrahimović said he would only continue playing if he felt well and added that it had been a difficult few months for him … Nicolò Zaniolo scored in the first half, goalkeeper Rui Patrício made some big saves in the second and Roma beat Feyenoord, 1-0, to win the inaugural edition of the third-tier Europa Conference League in Tirana, Albania … NBC Sports averaged 507,000 viewers per match window for its Premier League coverage, making this the second-most watched season since the network began airing games in August 2013 … Barcelona’s first-ever match in Australia ended in a 3-2 victory over an A-League All-Star team with substitute Ansu Fati scoring the winning goal before 70,174 spectators at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.

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Hockey

Women move forward on pro league

North America’s top women’s hockey players are teaming up with former tennis star Billie Jean King and Los Angeles Dodgers chairman Mark Walter to explore launching a pro league within the next year, a person with direct knowledge of the agreement told the Associated Press on Tuesday night. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association only revealed the agreement during a meeting with its membership. The PWHPA informed its members, who include US and Canadian national team players, that it signed a letter of intent with Billie Jean King Enterprises and the Mark Walter Group to expand on the association’s effort to establish what would become North America’s second women’s pro league. Details of the proposed league have not yet been finalized, though tentative plans have the new league featuring six teams with players paid an average salary of $55,000. The PWHPA would compete with the Premier Hockey Federation, which includes the Boston Pride and is entering its eighth season.

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Miscellany

Portland tops Somerset

Ryan Fitzgerald hit his 10th home run of the season while Roberto Ramos and Connor Wong each had three hits, but the visiting Worcester Red Sox still couldn’t overcome an early lead by the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, losing, 7-6, in Triple A baseball …Pedro Castellanos hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season as the host Portland Sea Dogs beat the Somerset Patriots, 7-4, in Double A baseball … The Indianapolis 500 will be presented by Gainbridge for the next several years in a multi-year contract extension with the online investment platform. Gainbridge is an Indianapolis company that in 2019 became presenting sponsor of the most iconic motorsports race in the world. The initial partnership was a four-year deal. Gainbridge CEO Dan Towriss would not reveal terms of the extension.