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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Jan. 10, 2013 at 5:30 PM   |   Comments

Seau had debilitating brain condition

BETHESDA, Md., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The NFL's Junior Seau suffered a debilitating brain disease brought on by head impact during his football career, neurological analysts said.

Seau's family donated his brain to researchers at the National Institutes for Health, who are conducting ongoing research on traumatic brain injury to football players, after his suicide in May 2012 at age 43. He retired from football in 2010.

In a statement, the NFL Players Association said, "The only way we can improve the safety of players, restore the confidence of our fans and secure the future of our game is to insist on the same quality of medical care, informed consent and ethical standards that we expect for ourselves and for our family members. This is why the players have asked for things like independent sideline concussion experts, the certification and credentialing of all professional football medical staff and a fairer workers compensation system in professional football."

The statement said, "Our players deserve the best care, and we will fight to hold the NFL and the clubs accountable for providing it."

A team of independent researchers, who were unaware the brain tissues they studied were those of Seau, concluded he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy a degenerative disease typically caused by blows to the head, ABC News and ESPN reported Thursday.


Baseball to test in-season for HGH

PARADISE VALLEY, Ariz., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Major league baseball players will be subject to unannounced in-season blood tests for human growth hormone, baseball officials and the players' union said.

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association said Thursday the policy represents an expansion of the game's current HGH rules.

The added policies also call for records to be kept on testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratios to check against the possible use of synthetic testosterone.

"The players are determined to do all they can to continually improve the sport's joint drug agreement," MLBPA Executive Director Michael Weiner said.

"Players want a program that is tough, scientifically accurate, backed by the latest proven scientific methods and fair. I believe these changes firmly support the players' desires while protecting their legal rights."

MLB has been randomly testing players for HGH since June 2010 but not during the season. The MLB-MLBPA release stated each player will be tested at least once during the season. A first offense would result in a 50-game suspension with a second leading to a 100-game suspension. A third offense would lead to a lifetime ban.


Mularkey fired as Jaguars coach

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Mike Mularkey was fired Thursday after one season as head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the NFL team said.

The move comes one day short of the first anniversary of Mularkey being hired to coach the Jaguars

Mularkey was let go by General Manager David Caldwell, who was hired Tuesday

"I informed Mike today that he will not return as head coach of the Jaguars," Caldwell said in a release on the team website. "I know Mike well and do not want anyone to misinterpret the rationale behind my decision. Mike is an excellent coach and I am sure he will succeed in his next stop in the NFL.

"However, I must do what I believe is best for the Jacksonville Jaguars and immediately explore every avenue possible to turn our football team around. For that to happen as seamlessly as we want, and as quickly as our fans deserve, I feel it is in everyone's best interests for an immediate and clean restart."

The Jaguars lost their last five games and 11 of their last 12 in finishing 2012 with a 2-14 record. That tied the Kansas City Chiefs as the worst record in the NFL this season. Because of tiebreaking procedures, however, Kansas City will have the first overall pick in the NFL draft with Jacksonville going second.


Jaidee leads Euro Tour's champions event

DURBAN, South Africa, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Thongchai Jaidee, riding an early hot streak, has the lead after Thursday's first round of the European Tour's Volvo Golf Champions tournament in South Africa.

Jaidee was 5-under through eight holes and finished at 7-under-par 65 for a three-stroke lead over Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen. Another seven players are at 3-under 69.

The field includes 33 players who received invitations by virtue of winning a European Tour event in 2012.

Jaidee had birdies at Nos. 2 and 3 and added another at the fifth hole. Birdies at 7 and 8 had him 5-under through eight holes. He had another birdie at No. 10 and got to 7-under the first time with a birdie at the 194-yard, par-3 15th.

He gave that stroke back with a bogey at 17 but posted a birdie at the 273-yard, par-4 closing hole.

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