Team USA’s Tatum game-time decision vs. France

DONGGUAN, China — Jayson Tatum took part in Team USA’s shootaround and has been upgraded to a game-time decision ahead of Wednesday’s World Cup quarterfinal against France (7 a.m. ET, ESPN2), coach Gregg Popovich said. Tatum has missed the past three games after rolling an ankle against Turkey last week. He has been able to go through practice the past several days and has expressed an interest in getting back. Marcus Smart, his Boston Celtics teammate, went through the shootaround and said he expects to play against France. Smart banged…

Read More

Inside Matt Duchene’s decision to sign with the Predators

When center Matt Duchene signed a seven-year, $56 million contract with the Nashville Predators this summer, the rest of the league barely batted an eye. “Come on,” one prominent agent told me recently. “Everyone knew that was going to happen.” Indeed, the 28-year-old Duchene — who has also played for the Avalanche, Senators and Blue Jackets — has been linked to the Predators for years. In a conversation with ESPN, Duchene addressed why there was so much speculation surrounding the move (country music! property records!) as well as reaction to…

Read More

NASCAR lifeline for DiBenedetto at Wood Brothers as Menard retires – NASCAR

Matt DiBenedetto has secured a place on the NASCAR Cup Series grid for 2020, signing for Wood Brothers Racing to replace the retiring Paul Menard. DiBenedetto has enjoyed a breakthrough season in the Cup series with the one-car Leavine Family Racing outfit in 2019, lifting the team out of the struggles it had when running former Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne last year. But DiBenedetto was told he would not keep his place at the squad days before he almost won his first Cup race at Bristol due to LFR’s…

Read More

Statement on Dmitrii Smoliakov | UFC

USADA announced today that Dmitrii Smoliakov, of Kaliningrad, Russia, has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC® Anti-Doping Policy after testing positive for prohibited substances. Smoliakov, 37, tested positive for recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) and intact human chorionic gonadtrophin (hCG) as the result of urine samples he provided out-of-competition on April 22, 2019 and in-competition on April 27, 2019 at ESPN+ FN 10, where he lost by technical knockout. rHuEPO is a synthetic hormone used to stimulate the body’s production of red blood cells, thereby increasing oxygen transport…

Read More

Will Vettel bounce back?

After a thrilling and controversial Italian Grand Prix, we assembled ESPN’s panel of F1 journalists — Kate Walker, Maurice Hamilton, Nate Saunders and Laurence Edmondson — to discuss the main talking points from the race weekend. Will Sebastian Vettel win an F1 race again? Sebastian Vettel spun out of fourth place in Monza and finished 13th. Guido de Bortoli/Getty Images KW: Yes. Because if I say no, he’ll go and win the next race. Seb may be going through the opposite of a purple patch — his heart certainly doesn’t seem…

Read More

NHL next? Four women officials blazing a new trail in pro hockey

Growing up in Massachusetts in the late 1980s and early ’90s, there weren’t as many opportunities for girls hockey, so Katie Guay played with the boys until ninth grade. She always tucked her hair under her helmet. “I did it so when I was going into the boards, I wasn’t as easy of a target,” says Guay, now 36. After graduating from Brown University in 2005, Guay began a post-hockey career in officiating. Now when she’s on the ice — in stripes — she keeps her ponytail visible, poking out…

Read More

Antonio Brown accused of rape in civil lawsuit

Antonio Brown has been accused of sexually assaulting his former trainer, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida. In the civil lawsuit, a copy of which was reviewed by ESPN, Brown’s former trainer, Britney Taylor, accuses the newly signed New England Patriots receiver of sexually assaulting her on three separate occasions in 2017 and ’18. “We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio’s representatives,” the Patriots said in a statement on…

Read More