Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Soccer: Manchester City banned from European competition for two seasons by UEFA
English champions Manchester City have been banned from European competition for the next two seasons and fined 30 million euros ($32.53 million) by European soccer's governing body UEFA after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. UEFA said in a statement https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/about-uefa/news/newsid=2638659.html that City had committed "serious breaches" of the rules while the Premier League club swiftly said on their website https://www.mancity.com/news/club-news/club-news/2020/february/manchester-city-club-statement that they will appeal the decision to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
NHL roundup: Lightning run win streak to 9
Yanni Gourde broke a second-period tie with a short-handed game-winner as Tampa Bay beat the visiting Edmonton Oilers 3-1 on Thursday night, extending the Lightning's winning streak to an NHL-high nine games. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy made 29 saves for his league-best 31st win and ran his point streak to 20 contests (18-0-2) for the Lightning, who won for the 10th consecutive time at home -- tying the franchise record.
WHO says no case for canceling, moving Tokyo Games: IOC coordinator
The World Health Organization has told the International Olympic Committee there is no case for canceling or relocating the Tokyo 2020 Olympics over the coronavirus outbreak, the head of the IOC's Coordination Commission said on Friday. WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib declined to comment, telling reporters to wait for the daily briefing in Geneva on Friday by its top emergencies expert Dr. Mike Ryan, scheduled for 1500 GMT.
Bertens advances, Bencic eliminated in St. Petersburg
Defending champion and No. 2 seed Kiki Bertens beat Russian qualifier Anastasia Potapova 6-4, 7-6 (3) on Friday to move into the semifinals of the St. Petersburg Ladies' Trophy in Russia. Bertens, the world No. 8, fought back from a 5-2 second-set deficit and also saved three set points in the one-hour, 53-minute match.
Carreno Busta, Auger-Aliassime into Rotterdam semis
Spain's Pablo Carreno Busta overcame a gritty challenge from Italian Jannik Sinner to win 7-5 3-6 7-6(6) in a marathon clash to reach the Rotterdam Open semi-finals on Friday. Carreno Busta squandered three match points while leading 5-4 in the final set before saving two himself at 6-4 down in the tiebreak to advance in two hours and 45 minutes and set up an encounter with Canadian teenager Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Celebrity lawyer Michael Avenatti is found guilty in Nike extortion case
A U.S. jury on Friday found Michael Avenatti guilty in a criminal trial accusing the celebrity lawyer of trying to extort Nike Inc out of millions of dollars and defraud a youth basketball coach he represented. Jurors in Manhattan federal court needed 2-1/2 days to decide the fate of Avenatti, a brash lawyer all but unknown until two years ago when he began representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against U.S. President Donald Trump and making hundreds of television appearances.
Kuala Lumpur and Shenzhen events postponed due to coronavirus outbreak
The Maybank Championship to be held in Kuala Lumpur and the Volvo China Open in Shenzhen that were both scheduled for April have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the European Tour announced on Friday. The outbreak has killed more than 1,300 people and infected more than 60,000 in China after emerging late last year in Wuhan, the capital of central Hubei province.
Browns' Garrett reiterates Rudolph used racial slur
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett reiterated this week that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph directed a racial slur at him prior to the melee at the end of the game between the teams in November. "He called me the N-word," Garrett told ESPN reporter Mina Kimes in an interview on Outside the Lines that aired Thursday. "He called me a 'stupid N-word.'"
At this year's NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago, Kobe will dominate once again
A few blocks from Chicago's United Center, a sprawling mural depicting the late Kobe Bryant looms over a nondescript city street, his intense gaze surrounded by Laker purple and gold catching the eyes of motorists as they drive by in the frigid air. The portrait, which popped up after the former Los Angeles Lakers star and his 13-year-old daughter were killed in a helicopter crash, is a solemn reminder of the shadow his death has cast over the 2020 NBA All-Star weekend.
Bryant named Basketball Hall of Fame finalist, three weeks after death
Three weeks after Kobe Bryant, one of the most dominant players in NBA history, was killed with his daughter and seven others in a helicopter crash, the global sports icon was named a finalist to the Basketball Hall of Fame. Bryant, fourth all time in NBA scoring, played for the Los Angeles Lakers during an illustrious 20-year career that was highlighted by five NBA championships, two NBA Finals MVPs and one league MVP.