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March 6, 2013 at 5:05 PM
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Dutch cyclist admits doping

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, March 6 (UPI) -- Dutch cycling champ Michael Boogerd has admitted doping during the last decade of his career that ended in 2007.

In a television interview broadcast Wednesday, Boogerd said he used erythropoietin, blood transfusions and cortisone to boost his performance while a member of the Rabobank team, DutchNews.nl reported.

Boogerd said he mainly used doping during training periods in preparation for races.

He is the eighth Rabobank cyclist to admit doping.

Boogerd won two stages of the Tour de France and a string of other titles. He was Dutch Champion in 1997, 1998 and 2006.

Reid, Cowan seek pardon for Jack Johnson

WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- Sen. Harry Reid, himself a former boxer, said he has joined several other legislators seeking a pardon for Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion.

Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Mo Cowan, D-Mass., announced Tuesday they are joining Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., in working to persuade President Barack Obama to get Johnson, who died in 1946, a posthumous pardon for what is regarded as a racially motivated conviction, the Las Vegas Sun reported Wednesday.

Johnson won the heavyweight title and kept it until 1915, but was convicted in 1913 for violating the Mann Act, designed to prevent prostitution and "immorality" but often exploited to intimidate interracial couples.

Many have since argued Johnson, a charismatic black superstar, was persecuted for his involvement with white women, the newspaper noted.

"Johnson's memory was unjustly tarnished by a racially motivated criminal conviction, and it is now time to recast his legacy," Reid said in a statement.

The House and Senate previously passed resolutions to posthumously pardon Johnson, but no president has granted the pardon.

Boston Olympics idea criticized

BOSTON, March 6 (UPI) -- A proposed effort to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston has been derided by civic and political leaders.

After organizer Eric Reddy expressed optimism for the project after a meeting with City Hall leaders earlier in the week, others were critical of the $3 billion idea, the Boston Herald reported Wednesday.

"I don't think our resources should be diluted by going after something so far out," said John Fish, a construction company executive and top supporter of Boston Mayor Thomas Merino. "If someone wanted to pour $1 billion into our healthcare or education system or the life sciences industry, I'd be all for that discussion."

Dot Joyce, the mayor's spokeswoman, downplayed the meeting with Reddy's group, calling the proposal "a far-fetched idea, but the city meets with thousands of people every day that have ideas."

"It's a cost we cannot afford. We need those resources for other purposes," added Stephen Freyer, chairman of a group that explored Boston's Olympic feasibility in the 1990s.

78 football players sue UFL

LAS VEGAS, March 6 (UPI) -- Court officials said 78 football players have sued the United Football League claiming they were never paid for the 2012 season.

The lawsuit, the latest in a string of suits against the league, does not specify the wages owed, Courthouse News Service said.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Scott Albrittion, who sued the UFL Management, the Las Vegas Locomotives, the Omaha Nighthawks and UFL founder William Hambrecht.

The players said they told Hambrecht they wouldn't play until they were paid, Courthouse News Service said.

Hambrecht then allegedly told them he would "personally guarantee the players and/or staff's wages/compensations and that he would pay them in full no later than Oct. 31, 2012."

The complaint states that he then gave each player $1,000, but the players were never paid in full.

Two UFL coaches, Marty Schottenheimer and Mark Cuban, have also recently sued the Hambrecht.

The UFL was founded by Hambrecht in 2009 and was disbanded in 2012.

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