Goodell discusses the state of the game...NBA union chief placed on leave


NEW ORLEANS (AP) — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (guh-DEHL') conducted his annual State of the Game address yesterday and said he welcomed recent comments from President Barack Obama about football safety. Goodell said the league will look into eliminating certain low blocks and improve the quality of playing fields. He also said believed there will be an agreement soon with the players union concerning the testing of human growth hormone.

HOUSTON (AP) — Texans running back Arian Foster has denied a report on the NFL Network that said he is considering a heart procedure. Foster, who has had a heart issue since he was 12, says he has not spoken to his doctors about "any surgery."

NEW YORK (AP) — NBA players' association executive director Billy Hunter is being placed on an indefinite leave of absence. The action was taken after a report commissioned by players criticized his leadership and decision making. Union attorney Ron Klempner has been appointed acting executive director.

UNDATED (AP) — The New York Yankees have worked out a one-year contract with designated hitter Travis Hafner yesterday, while the St. Louis Cardinals gave lefty Marc Rzepczynski (ZEHP'-chihn-skee) a $1.1 million, one-year deal. The Cincinnati Reds have worked out a one-year, $1 million contract with lefty pitcher Manny Parra and agreed to a minor league pact with catcher Miguel Olivo (oh-LEE'-voh). And the New York Mets have agreed to a minor league contract with outfielder Marlon Byrd, who served a 50-game suspension last season after testing positive in June for a performance enhancing drug.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The U.S. can wrap up a first-round victory over Brazil in Davis Cup action today. Sam Querrey (kweery) and John Isner won their singles matches in straight sets to give the Americans a 2-0 lead. The top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan look to clinch the round for the United States.

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