Update on the latest sports


Fans back at spring training

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The sun and the baseball have returned to Arizona and Florida for spring training games, which began on Sunday. So have the fans.

All 30 teams in Major League Baseball are allowing fans to return to spring training in a limited capacity amid declining COVID-19 case numbers.


Nationals slugger Juan Soto sits after fouling ball off foot

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Washington Nationals slugger Juan Soto is sitting out the team’s exhibition home opener because he fouled a ball off his right foot a day earlier.

Manager Dave Martinez said the 2020 NL batting champion originally was scheduled to play today against the Houston Astros. But then the mishap happened during live batting practice Sunday.

Martinez said the team was “just being cautious” with the slugging outfielder. Martinez said the ball went underneath the shin guard the left-handed-hitting Soto wears on his front foot while batting. The 22-year-old Soto hit .351 with a 1.185 OPS that also led the NL last season.


Questions surround death of former NFL player Louis Nix III

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Former Notre Dame and NFL player Louis Nix III has died after being missing for several days, but many questions linger about the circumstances of his death.

Nix’s mother Stephanie Wingfield told multiple news outlets in Jacksonville, Florida, that authorities said her son died but haven’t been able to tell her how. Family members say his car was pulled out of a pond near his home on Saturday.

In December 2020, he was shot in an armed robbery. Nix had received high praise during his time with the Fighting Irish. He was then drafted by the Houston Texans in 2014 but struggled to make an impact in the NFL due to injuries.


Russian doping reform plan approved by track authorities

MONACO (AP) — Russia has moved a step closer to having its longstanding suspension from track and field lifted after a new plan of doping reforms was approved by World Athletics.

The plan tasks the Russian track federation with implementing “immediate actions” with deadlines at various points this year. World Athletics hasn’t set a final date to lift the suspension first imposed in 2015.

The approval didn’t come in time for Russia to send athletes to this week’s European indoor championships in Poland. World Athletics president Sebastian Coe says “this is not the end but the beginning of a long journey.”


British horseracing chiefs outraged at trainer photo

LONDON (AP) — The body that runs British horseracing has reacted with outrage after leading trainer Gordon Elliott admitted to sitting on a horse that had just died of a heart attack.

The three-time Grand National-winning trainer has confirmed the authenticity of an undated photo that was shared across Twitter on Saturday showing him sitting on the dead horse shortly after it died during a training session.

The British Horseracing Authority says it is “appalled” by the “totally unacceptable” behavior and believes the values of those involved in horse racing have been deeply undermined. The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board is investigating the incident and the BHA says it is “considering its own regulatory options.”