Alex Rodriguez tested positive for a banned stimulant in 2006, The New York Times reported Monday, an accusation denied by Lanny Davis, a representative of the legal team for the Yankees third baseman. The newspaper cited two unidentified people involved with baseball’s drug-testing program. Baseball’s joint drug agreement specifies the discipline for a first positive test for a banned stimulant is six unannounced drug tests over the year following the violation. A second stimulant violation would result in a 25-game ban. Rodriguez’s legal team accused MLB of leaking the allegation of a positive test. The three-time AL MVP is battling a 211-game suspension that MLB handed down in August. He can keep playing until an arbitrator rules on a grievance filed by the players’ association to overturn the ban. Hearings are scheduled to resume Nov. 18. The paper said it wasn’t clear whether a failed stimulant test was introduced by MLB as evidence in the grievance. Rodriguez has admitted using banned substances while with Texas from 2001-03.
Cano, Beltran get qualifying offers
Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, outfielder Curtis Granderson, and pitcher Hiroki Kuroda were among players receiving qualifying offers of $14.1 million. Players have until Nov. 11 to accept the offers. If a player does not accept and signs elsewhere, their team would receive an additional first-round draft pick next June. Among others players receiving the $14.1 million offer were St. Louis outfielder Carlos Beltran, Atlanta catcher Brian McCann, and Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz . . . A day after the Rays exercised a $6.5 million option on outfielder David DeJesus, the sides reached an agreement on a two-year contract with a 2016 option. The deal is subject to a physical. DeJesus also played for Kansas City and Washington last season and hit .251 . . . Colorado exercised a $4.25 million mutual option with reliever Matt Belisle. The righthander had a 4.32 ERA in 73 innings last season . . . San Francisco declined a $6.5 million option on righthander Ryan Vogelsong, who gets a $300,000 buyout; Baltimore turned down a $3 million option on infielder Alexi Casilla, who gets a $200,000 buyout; and Atlanta declined a $1.6 million option on outfielder Reed Johnson, who receives a $150,000 buyout . . . Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera won his second straight player of the year award in voting by major leaguers, while retiring Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was voted AL comeback player of the year. Pittsburgh’s center fielder Andrew McCutchen won NL outstanding player . . . Retired managers Joe Torre, Tony La Russa, and Bobby Cox will join holdovers George Steinbrenner and Marvin Miller on the Hall of Fame expansion era committee ballot next month.
Smart unanimous All-America pick
Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart was a unanimous selection to the Associated Press’ preseason All-America team. Smart was on every ballot from the 65-member national media panel, the first unanimous selection since Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger in 2011-12. The 2013 team also includes seniors Doug McDermott of Creighton and Russ Smith of Louisville, sophomore Mitch McGary of Michigan, and freshman Andrew Wiggins of Kansas . . . Virginia starting cornerback Demetrious Nicholson will miss the rest of the season with the lingering effects of turf toe, coach Mike London said . . . Kentucky receiver Alex Montgomery (16 catches, 2 TDs) tore his ACL celebrating a touchdown catch last Saturday against Alabama State and is out for the rest of the season . . . Richland County Sheriff’s spokesman Curtis Wilson said former South Carolina running back Kenny Miles was shot in the arm during a robbery in the parking lot of a business park in Columbia, S.C., and was in stable condition. Miles ran for 1,341 yards on 315 carries while backing up Marcus Lattimore . . . Dan Sileo, a former Miami defensive lineman who tweeted that he would pay $1,000 to any Hurricane who ‘‘takes . . . out’’ a Florida State player, was fired as sports radio host by WMEN, one day after posting the tweet. Sileo said he only intended it as a joke.
Ovechkin feels he is ready for return
Alex Ovechkin said he’s ‘‘able to play’’ after missing two games with an upper-body injury. The Capitals forward said he still has ‘‘a little soreness’’ but will probably be on the ice when his team hosts the Islanders on Tuesday. Coach Adam Oates said the three-time league MVP will be a game-time decision. Ovechkin was hurt a week ago, when he crashed headfirst into the goalie and net at Vancouver . . . A beaming President Barack Obama saluted the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks at the White House — a rare moment for a president hungry to see more victorious teams from his hometown.
Del Potro, Wawrinka win in ATP Finals
After Stanislas Wawrinka defeated Tomas Berdych, 6-3, 6-7 (0-7), 6-3, in the opening round-robin match of the ATP World Tour Finals in London, Juan Del Potro beat Richard Gasquet, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 7-5, in his maiden appearance at the season-ending event . . . The first-round Davis Cup match between Britain and the US will be played at Petco Park in San Diego, two people with knowledge of the event said . . . Brandt Snedeker (knee) withdrew from the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast . . . Philadelphia 76ers rookie Michael Carter-Williams joined Shaquille O'Neal as the only NBA players to win a Rookie of the Week award to open a career. The Hamilton native averaged 20.7 points and 9.0 assists.