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Labor agreement includes HGH testing

November 20, 2011

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Major League Baseball’s new labor contract will include blood testing for human growth hormone, a rise in the minimum salary to $480,000, and luxury taxes on both amateur draft signings and international free agents coming to the major leagues. Lawyers for players and owners hope to sign the deal by Tuesday. A person familiar with the negotiations disclosed some of the agreed-upon provisions to the Associated Press yesterday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The blood-testing provision was first reported by the New York Times. Blood testing for HGH will start when players report to spring training in February. There will be a slight increase in the total of players eligible for salary arbitration after the 2012 season, when there also will be a new method to determine compensation for clubs losing top major league free agents. There also will be modifications to the luxury tax on high-payroll teams, but the threshold will remain at $178 million next year.

Park, Gal share the lead in LPGA finale

Hee Young Park birdied three of the final four holes for a 3-under-par 69 and a share of the third-round lead with Sandra Gal at the LPGA Tour’s season-ending Titleholders in Orlando, Fla. Gal, who won the Kia Classic in March for her first tour title, shot a 71 in tricky wind conditions to match Park at 7 under. Park is winless in four seasons on the LPGA Tour. Suzann Pettersen was a stroke back after a 68, and Paula Creamer (71) was 5 under . . . Garth Mulroy birdied five straight holes on the back nine en route to an 8-under 64 and a two-stroke lead over Felipe Aguilar at the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Championship in Malelane, South Africa. Mulroy’s surge helped him overtake Jbe Kruger, who lost a four-shot advantage when he finished with a 1-over 73.

Leafs’ Komisarek out two months

Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek will be out at least eight weeks and undergo surgery for a broken arm. Toronto is also without goalie James Reimer (concussion-like symptoms) and forwards Clarke MacArthur (upper body), Mikhail Grabovski (lower body), Colby Armstrong (ankle sprain), and Matthew Lombardi (upper body). The Leafs called up former Bruins’ No. 1 pick Joe Colborne from their AHL Toronto affiliate.

Djokovic is good to go against Berdych

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who withdrew from the Paris Masters quarterfinals last week with a shoulder injury, said he would be ready for his opening match tomorrow against Tomas Berdych at the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London. Andy Murray and David Ferrer make up the rest of Djokovic’s group, while Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Mardy Fish compete in the other group starting today . . . Former star Yannick Noah accused Spanish athletes of widespread doping, adding the only way to level the playing field would be to allow everyone to use banned drugs. The 1983 French Open champion told Le Monde newspaper that French athletes no longer had a chance against Spanish opponents and said his homeland was wrong to impose such stringent testing on its athletes.

Rubio considers a return to Barcelona

Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio is considering playing for his former team Barcelona if the NBA season is canceled because of the lockout . . . The Dolphins signed kicker Shayne Graham and will activate him today against Buffalo if Dan Carpenter (groin) is unavailable. Graham appeared in eight games for the Patriots last season, making all 12 of his field-goal attempts . . . American Michael Grant stopped South Africa’s Francois Botha in the 12th round of their heavyweight fight to claim the vacant WBF title in Johannesburg . . . Dan Henderson, 41, celebrated his return to the UFC with a unanimous decision over Mauricio Rua in a light heavyweight fight at San Jose, Calif. . . . World figure skating champion Patrick Chan of Canada won the Trophee Bompard in Paris for the third time, and 14-year-old Russian Elizaveta Tuktamisheva captured the women’s title. Russia’s Tatiana Volosozhar and Maxim Trankov won the pairs title . . . Babak Rafati, a soccer referee in Germany’s Bundesliga, was found bleeding in his hotel bathtub in Cologne following an apparent suicide attempt hours before he was due to take charge of the Cologne-Mainz game. Rafati, 41, was hospitalized. The game was postponed . . . Sabercat surged on the final turn to edge Basmati by a head in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot in Vinton, La. Sabercat earned $600,000.