Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Super Bowl security shows the easy-going 1960s are long gone
Ensuring the safety of fans and players at this year's Super Bowl in Miami entails an extraordinary deployment of law enforcement assets, even by recent standards, in keeping with heightened global tensions and fears of home-grown violence. The show of force stands in stark contrast from the relatively easy-going atmosphere that prevailed in the late 1960's, when Miami hosted its first Super Bowls.
NFL to hold game in Mexico in 2020, 2021 seasons
The NFL will return to Mexico's Estadio Azteca for one game in each of the 2020 and 2021 seasons, Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday in Miami during his annual state of the league address. The date and teams for the 2020 game in Mexico City will be revealed with the release of the full-season schedule in the spring.
Thiem slays nemesis Nadal to reach Australian Open semi-finals
Dominic Thiem ended six years of Grand Slam frustration against Rafa Nadal on Wednesday with a seismic 7-6(3) 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(6) upset that booked his maiden Australian Open semi-final and rocked the old guard of men's tennis. After pulling off a nerve-shredding win that quashed doubts about his prowess on hardcourts, the 26-year-old Austrian will face Alexander Zverev for a place in the final, a match-up scarcely imaginable at the start of the tournament.
NFL not doing enough when it comes to diversity: Goodell
The National Football League needs to do better when it comes to minority hiring, Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday in his Super Bowl state of the league address, but he stood by the league's efforts to improve player safety. Despite the fact that 70% of NFL players are African American over the last three years, only two of 19 head coaching jobs have gone to black candidates.
Russian federation at risk of expulsion over doping offences
The Athletics Integrity Unit Board on Wednesday called for the expulsion of Russia's suspended athletics federation (RUSAF) after what it described as a "total lack of contrition" in its response to a long list of anti-doping violations. The AIU's recommendation, made to the council of World Athletics, comes after it assessed the explanations provided by the federation regarding its leadership's involvement in serious breaches of anti-doping rules.
NASCAR Hall of Fame to honor Stewart's love of racing
For those who ever watched him race; saw him win and win and win; watched him hoist NASCAR's cherished Cup Series championship trophy, again and again and again -- Tony Stewart's place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame certainly seemed an inevitability. And on Friday evening, Stewart, 48, will be enshrined with a group of the sport's highest achievers in the NASCAR Hall of Fame -- joining his former team owner Joe Gibbs and former teammate Bobby Labonte along with legendary crew chief Waddell Wilson and the late, multi-talented Buddy Baker.
Canadian Sinclair breaks international scoring record
Canadian forward Christine Sinclair became the all-time top scorer in international soccer, breaking the mark held by American Abby Wambach when she netted her 185th goal against St. Kitts and Nevis in south Texas on Wednesday. Sinclair, playing her 290th international, scored the milestone goal from close range in the 23rd minute of Canada's opening game at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifiers at H-E-B Park in Edinburg after tying the record with a seventh-minute penalty.
Lakers will aim to make Kobe proud, coach Vogel says
Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel said on Wednesday his heartbroken team would aim to honor the memory of Kobe Bryant, who died along with his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash on Sunday. "We want to represent what Kobe was about more than anything," Vogel told reporters after a team practice at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo.
Daimler CEO dismisses Mercedes F1 exit speculation
World champions Mercedes are not preparing to pull out of Formula One, Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kaellenius said on Wednesday. Autocar and the racefans.net website reported earlier that the subject of whether Mercedes should leave the sport as a constructor would be discussed at the next board meeting of parent body Daimler.
Zverev breaks Grand Slam semis barrier with win over Wawrinka
German seventh seed Alexander Zverev recovered from a slow start to beat former champion Stan Wawrinka 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the Australian Open on Wednesday to reach his first career Grand Slam semi-final. Zverev was once considered one of the leading 'Next Gen' contenders to break the Grand Slam hegemony of Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer who have shared the last 12 majors between them.