Sports briefs 7/27/06

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cycling

* An unidentified cyclist tested positive for doping during the Tour de France, widening the scandal that gripped this year's race before it began.

The rider's name, team and nationality will not be released until the testing process is completed, including the analysis of a backup sample, the International Cycling Union said Wednesday.

The sport's governing body did say, however, that the rider's team and national federation were notified, as well as national and world anti-doping authorities. USA Cycling has not been contacted by UCI, spokesman Andy Lee said. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency spokeswoman Carla O'Connell said that group had no comment.

Football

* Bengals middle linebacker Odell Thurman has been suspended for the first four games of the season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policies,

Thurman became the team's starting middle linebacker as a rookie last season, when the Bengals made their first playoff appearance since 1990. Thurman was excused from the team's minicamp last month for personal reasons.

Thurman, 23, a second-round pick from Georgia, had 1.5 sacks and led the team in tackles in nine games last season.

Thurman's suspension is the latest embarrassment for a team that has had four other players arrested in recent months.

Soccer

* Brian McBride, the only American player to score in two different World Cups, is retiring from international soccer. McBride, 34, plays for Fulham in the English Premier League, is the second-leading scorer in U.S. national team history with 30 goals in 95 games.

The three-time World Cup veteran has the second-most appearances for the U.S. in World Cup matches with 10, starting all five games in 2002 and scoring one goal each against Portugal and Mexico. He also had the team's only goal in 1998.

McBride was the tournament MVP in the 2002 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

-- The Associated Press

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