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Update on the latest sports

December 20, 2018

NFL-PATRIOTS-GORDON

Patriots’ Gordon stepping away to focus on mental health

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Patriots receiver Josh Gordon says he is stepping away from football in order to focus on his mental health.

In a statement posted on Twitter Thursday morning, Gordon said his decision was spurred by him feeling recently that he could have a better grasp on things mentally. He thanked the Patriots for their support and vowed to work his way back.

The Patriots did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gordon has been suspended multiple times by the NFL for violations of its drug policies since being drafted by the Browns in 2012. Any sort of violation of NFL substance abuse policy could lead to a lifetime ban.

He missed the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Prior to trading Gordon, Browns officials said they felt it was time to cut ties with him.

Gordon had an All-Pro season in 2013, with 87 receptions for 1,646 yards and nine touchdowns. He’s had 40 passes for 720 yards and three touchdowns since joining New England.

NBA-INDIA

Global ball: NBA to play exhibition games in India next year

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA will play its first games in India next year.

The league announced Thursday the Indiana Pacers and Sacramento Kings will play two exhibition games Oct. 4-5 at the NSCI Dome in Mumbai.

The NBA, in another step toward expanding its global footprint, says these are the first games in the country by a North American sports league. NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum and NBA India managing director Yannick Colaco in Mumbai announced the matchups.

The Kings are owned by Vivek Ranadive, the NBA’s first Indian-born majority owner. He calls it an honor to help bring the game to his home country. He says the “world wants to watch basketball and India is a fast-growing new frontier.”

Since 2006, more than 35 current and former NBA and WNBA players went to India on league visits. The NBA opened a Mumbai office in 2011.

SOCCER-US ROSTER

Bradley on Berhalter’s 1st roster, Guzan, Altidore left off

CHICAGO (AP) — U.S. captain Michael Bradley is being called for the team’s first training camp under coach Gregg Berhalter. But goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Jozy Altidore have been omitted from a 27-man roster picked exclusively from players in Major League Soccer.

Berhalter chose 12 players with no national team experience for the training camp, which opens Jan. 6. The U.S. is moving its January camp to Chula Vista, California, near San Diego, from its longtime site at Carson, near Los Angeles.

Berhalter was hired this month to succeed Dave Sarachan. He is the first person to coach the U.S. who played for the Americans in the World Cup.

His first matches are exhibitions against Panama on Jan. 27 at Glendale, Arizona, and against Costa Rica on Feb. 2 at San Jose, California.

WORLD CUP-MEN’S SLALOM

Hirscher wins World Cup slalom for Austrian record 63th win

SAALBACH-HINTERGLEMM, Austria (AP) — Marcel Hirscher won a World Cup slalom on Thursday for his 63rd career victory, making him the most successful Austrian skier of all time.

The seven-time overall champion overtook Annemarie Moser-Proell, who had 62 wins when she retired in 1980.

Only Ingemar Stenmark and Lindsey Vonn have won more World Cup races. Stenmark won 86 and Vonn 82.

It was the fourth straight win in the discipline for Hirscher, who has won nine of the last 10 World Cup slaloms. The race replaced a slalom which was canceled in France last week.

SKI-GISIN CRASH

After brother’s crash, skier Michelle Gisin skips WCup races

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Olympic champion skier Michelle Gisin will skip World Cup races this week to be near her brother who is in a hospital after crashing in a downhill on Saturday.

Gisin, who is fourth in the overall standings, says she will miss giant slalom and slalom races starting on Friday at Courchevel, France.

In a Swiss ski federation statement, the 2018 Olympic gold medalist in combined says “my place is beside Marc and my family.”

Marc Gisin broke ribs and sustained pelvic and back injuries in a dramatic fall at Val Gardena, Italy. He is being treated in his native Switzerland.

Michelle Gisin raced on Tuesday and Wednesday on the same Val Gardena slope and had her worst results this season in downhill and super-G.

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