Danica Patrick, the only female driver at NASCAR’s top level, is likely at the end of her driving career after a sponsorship shake-up left her without a ride at Stewart-Haas Racing. Patrick, 35, posted a statement on her Facebook page Tuesday saying her time with Stewart-Haas ‘‘had come to an end’’ due to a new sponsorship arrangement for the team next season. The statement came shortly after Smithfield Foods said it will leave Richard Petty Motorsports to become a primary sponsor at Stewart-Haas next year. ‘‘It has been my honor to drive for Tony Stewart, Gene Haas and everyone at Stewart-Haas Racing for the past six seasons,’’ Patrick wrote. ‘‘Sponsorship plays a vital role in our sport, and I have been very fortunate over the course of my career, but this year threw us for a curve.’’
Lakers to retire both Bryant numbers
The Los Angeles Lakers will retire Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 in a ceremony Dec. 18 during their game against Golden State. Bryant wore No. 8 from 1996-2006, when he switched to No. 24 for the remainder of a 20-year career spent entirely with the Lakers.
Claiming defamation, Oakley sues
Former New York Knicks star Charles Oakley sued the team’s owners, saying he was defamed when they claimed he committed assault and was an alcoholic after his February arrest at a game. Oakley was forcefully removed from Madison Square Garden during the first quarter of a Feb. 8 Knicks’ loss to the Clippers. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Oakley was a Knicks fan favorite from 1988-98. He was accused of striking a security guard during the February fracas. . . . Seimone Augustus scored 24 points as the host Minnesota Lynx rolled to a 101-81 victory over the Washington Mystics in Game 1 of the WNBA semifinals . . . Shabazz Muhammad agreed to return to the Minnesota Timberwolves on a one-year deal, a person with knowledge of the situation the Associated Press reported.
WADA clears 95 Russian athletes
Global antidoping authorities have begun assessing the cases of individual athletes implicated in Russia’s yearslong doping program that was exposed last year, and their early decisions are expected to fuel the debate over Russian athletes’ eligibility, The New York Times reported. The World Anti-Doping Agency, the regulator of drugs in sports that produced mountainous evidence of Russia’s doping scheme, has agreed to clear 95 of the first 96 athletes whose cases have been reviewed, according to an internal report circulated among the organization’s executives in recent days. The closed cases are very likely to set off a debate in the sports world over whether Russia’s schemes were so successful in destroying evidence that defensible cases cannot be built against some athletes, or whether officials have taken a soft approach to punishments.
Penguins’ Letang cleared for contact
Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Kris Letang was cleared for contact before training camp opens Friday. Letang, who underwent season-ending neck surgery on April 13 to repair a herniated disk, said he felt healthy but continues to take his recovery one day at a time. He hopes to play when the defending Stanley Cup champions open their regular season against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 4.
Tigers stars doing well after surgery
LA, USOC agree to revenue-sharing
The US Olympic Committee and Los Angeles 2028 Olympic organizers agreed to a revenue-sharing deal in which the USOC will receive a fixed amount over eight years instead of the 20 percent cut of gross revenues agreed upon in the 2024 contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press . . . The LPGA Tour canceled its event next month in China because of permitting problems. The Alisports LPGA was set for Oct. 5-8 in Shanghai. ‘‘Unfortunately, we have just received word that the tournament was unsuccessful in obtaining approval from the local district government,’’ LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan said . . . The South African Football Association said it accepts FIFA’s decision to replay a World Cup qualifier against Senegal after the referee was found guilty of match-fixing. SAFA had been considering an appeal against the order to annul South Africa’s 2-1 win last November. However, federation officials said they now accept the decision. The federation said it has decided ‘‘on ethical and moral grounds that if this match was manipulated, we should replay it.’’ . . . Yulia Lipnitskaya, Russia’s golden girl at the 2014 Winter Olympics, said she has chronic anorexia, an eating disorder that has dogged her for years . . . Sports radio personality Craig Carton, the host of WFAN’s ‘‘Boomer and Carton’’ show with Boomer Esiason, took to Twitter and vowed to defeat fraud charges and return ‘‘stronger than ever.’’ He was arrested a week ago amid claims that he and others misappropriated at least $5.6 million from two investors. Federal authorities said Carton began committing fraud in 2016 to pay off gambling debts . . . Alana Beard of the Los Angeles Sparks has been named WNBA Defensive Player of the Year for the first time in her 12-year career.