July 25, 2020 MLB says Barrera tested positive for the performance-enhancing substance DHCMT, the chemical compound used in a drug that fueled Olympic athletes in the former East Germany decades ago.Barrera said Saturday that he appealed his suspension but it was upheld by an arbitrator. The 25-year-old made his major league debut last September.His suspension is another element in a turbulent opening to Washington’s defense of its 2019 World Series championship. Hours before the Nationals lost their rain-shortened opener of the pandemic-delayed season to the New York Yankees 4-1 on Thursday night, star slugger Juan Soto was put on the COVID-19 injured list because he tested positive for the coronavirus.In other MLB news:— Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw’s back issue that forced him to miss his opening day start is improving and he hopes to return soon. Manager Dave Roberts said Friday that Kershaw had an MRI after tweaking his back three days earlier. It showed no structural damage. Kershaw gave no timetable for his return. The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner has been receiving treatment daily. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-NEWSNationals catcher Tres Barrera banned 80 games for drug testUNDATED (AP) — Washington Nationals catcher Tres Barrera has been suspended for 80 games without pay by Major League Baseball after testing positive for an anabolic steroid. Associated Press UNDATED (AP) — Kansas City offensive lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is the first player to announce he is opting out of the upcoming NFL season. The 29-year-old is choosing to put his medical degree to use on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic rather than helping the Chiefs defend their first Super Bowl title in 50 years.Duvernay-Tardif has been working to fulfill his requirements to become a doctor in the offseason, and has spent this summer working at a clinic in his native Canada. He said that experience helped him decide that if he was going to take any risks with his health, it would be to help patients dealing with the virus.In his announcement on Twitter Friday, Duvernay-Tardif said it was “one of the most difficult decisions I have had to make in my life,” but that he must follow his convictions.The NFL and its players association agreed Friday to an opt-out clause for the upcoming season. Two people with knowledge of the decisions told The Associated Press that those who opt out voluntarily will receive a $150,000 stipend and those with medical opt outs will receive $350,00 rather than their contractual salary. The deadline to opt out is Aug. 3.In other NFL news: The European Tour made its full return following a four-month suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic with an event held without spectators and featuring regular COVID-19 testing of players and caddies. Update on the latest sports GOLF-BRITISH MASTERSParatore wins British Masters for 2nd European Tour titleNEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Renato Paratore has won the British Masters for his second career victory on the European Tour after closing with a 2-under 69 containing his first bogeys of the week. The Italian golfer’s first dropped shot of the Newcastle tournament came on his 63rd hole, which was at No. 9 in his final round. It ended his bid to become the first player to win a European Tour event without a bogey since Jesper Parnevik in the 1995 Scandinavian Masters. Paratore also bogeyed the 11th hole but recovered to play the last seven holes in one under par and claim his first title since the Nordea Masters in 2017.Paratore finished on 18 under overall, three strokes ahead of Rasmus Højgaard,. — Right-hander Taijuan Walker returns to the mound for the Seattle Mariners Saturday in Houston after two injury-plagued seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Walker missed most of the 2018 season after having Tommy John surgery and had various setbacks that limited him to just one inning in 2019. Astros righty Lance McCullers will make his first start since 2018 after missing last season following Tommy John surgery.— Royals right-hander Brady Singer is expected to make his MLB debut Saturday at Cleveland. The 23-year-old was the No. 18 overall pick in 2018 after a stellar college career at Florida. He pitched well in summer camp and earned the spot after starters Brad Keller and Jakob Junis tested positive for the coronavirus. The rookie will face righty Mike Clevinger, who is 9-0 in his career against Kansas City.— The pandemic-delayed Major League Baseball opener was a hit on television. The Nationals-Yankees game on ESPN was the most-watched regular season game in baseball on any network in nine years. It averaged 4 million viewers according to Nielsen fast national ratings and peaked at 8:30 p.m. EDT with 4.48 million viewers. No regular season game had been viewed by that many since 4.7 million watched Boston beat the Yankees 3-2 in 10 innings on Aug. 7, 2011. That game was also on ESPN.NFL-NEWSChiefs’ Duvernay-Tardif first to opt out of 2020 NFL season — Alex Smith could move one step closer to returning to the football field after a gruesome injury. A team spokesman says the Washington quarterback is set to take a physical with a team doctor on Monday that he must pass before being cleared for football activities. The 36-year-old Smith hasn’t played since November 2018 when he broke the tibia and fibula in his right leg. He underwent multiple surgeries and has worked to get back to game action. Washington expects 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins and former Carolina QB Kyle Allen to compete for the starting job this season under new coach Ron Rivera.— The Minnesota Vikings signed head coach Mike Zimmer to a three-year contract extension through the 2023 season, finalizing a key piece of business Friday before the beginning of training camp. The deal was agreed to earlier in the week.. Zimmer has a 57-38-1 record over six years. It is the third-best winning percentage of the nine head coaches the Vikings franchise has had over 59 seasons. The 64-year-old Zimmer trails Bud Grant and Dennis Green on the team list.— Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his pop star wife Ciara are now parents to a baby boy. The couple announced Friday the birth of their son named Win Harrison Wilson on Instagram. They both shared from their accounts that their son was born Thursday and weighed just over 8 pounds. Ciara posted video footage from the hospital of her holding her baby while in bed shortly after his birth. The singer sang “Happy Birthday” to him while sporting a black mask.NHL-BLACKHAWKS-CRAWFORDGoalie Corey Crawford returns as Blackhawks await Oilers CHICAGO (AP) — Corey Crawford has rejoined the Chicago Blackhawks, giving the team a boost in its preparation for its qualifying series against the Edmonton Oilers.The veteran goaltender skated Saturday and faced shots from teammates. The Blackhawks travel to Edmonton on Sunday, and Game 1 of their best-of-five series against the Oilers is Aug. 1.Crawford had been absent since the Blackhawks started training camp in the NHL’s return after the season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. Coach Jeremy Colliton stuck closely to the league’s approved language for discussing missing players while Crawford was out, declaring his top goaltender was “unfit to play.”Crawford missed parts of the previous two seasons because of concussions. But he had been playing well when the league was shut down, recording a .930 save percentage in his last 17 games.The return of the 35-year-old Crawford is a big development for Chicago as it prepares for Edmonton and its high-scoring duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. But he has little time to get up to speed before the qualifying round begins.
As an inspiration to the Egyptian team, Omar Assar believes Egypt would be the team to beat to the overall title in Morocco.“I do believe that Egypt is the strongest country in African table tennis and I trust my teammates and coaches that we can achieve that in Morocco. I am looking forward to a classic final between Egypt and Nigeria and this kind of match has always been every fun to play and to watch for the spectators. I can also see that Tunisia now has a better team,” stressed Assar.He threw light more about his preparations for the battle in Morocco.“I have been preparing very well for this event and I am looking forward to a great performance. I had two weeks of physical, mental and technical preparation in Germany where I had my last training camp so I can say I am looking forward to a good performance in Morocco.”Assar admitted that Nigeria’s Arna Quadri has the capacity to also do well at the Championship. “Well, I must acknowledge that Quadri Aruna has been playing in a good level in the French league and international events so it will be interesting to see our match in Morocco especially in the men’s singles.”Having tasted an unexpected defeat against Nigeria in the final of the men’s team event of 2015 African Games in Brazzaville, Omar Assar is not ruling out the possibility of a rematch, which he says would be in Egypt’s favour. “I expect a good start with my teammates in the team event first, and in the singles, I am very hungry to show a very good performance because when it comes to representing Egypt, you always look for gold medal not only in Africa but everywhere else.”With the excellent display by Dina Meshref at the 2016 Women’s World Cup, Omar Assar is hopeful that the Egyptian female team would be unbeatable in Morocco. “Our women team is very strong and stable however some injuries can affect the team but as I see that there are some new young stars that are coming up now and they are fresh and hungry to win. Also Dina Meshref has been playing in high level and she showed that she is one of the best African female players of all time.”The Men’s singles defending champion is excited with the attention table tennis is getting in Africa. “Table tennis in Africa has taken a different shape since the President of African Table Tennis Federation (ATTF); Khaled El-Salhy took charge as his efforts to promote the sport have paid off. I am very happy that I can see that ITTV is covering the African events almost everywhere. But we are waiting for much more and expecting more promotion locally in Egypt and Nigeria and particularly in Egypt.”As a Pan Africanist, Omar Assar believes in having an African team to compete against the world’s best players. “I would love to see that there is a formation of Team Africa that will compete against teams from Europe and Asia from time to time.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Egypt’s Omar Assar is heading to the 2016 ITTF African Senior Championship in Morocco, a wounded lion.The 2015 African Games gold medalist has been shaping up in Germany for the championship and hopes his preparation would be good enough to aid his success in Morocco.Assar was beaten in the final of the 2016 African Top 16 Cup in Sudan earlier this year by his continental arch-rival, Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri and was again bundled out in the second round of the Rio Olympic Games by Turkey’s Lei Kou. It is these defeats in the past months that are making the African champion to want to be at his best in Morocco to regain his pride.