© 2023
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

WAMC Sports News: IPC Bans Russian, Belarusian Athletes from Paralympics

In a stunning reversal, Russian and Belarusian athletes have been banned from the Paralympics for their countries’ roles in the war in Ukraine.

The International Paralympic Committee announced the about-face less than 24 hours after the IPC said it would allow Russian and Belarusian athletes to compete when the Games open on Friday. They were to compete as neutral athletes with colors, flags and other national symbols removed. The IPC received immediate criticism for its initial decision, many terming it a betrayal that sent the wrong message to Russia’s leadership. It also became evident that many athletes might refuse to compete against Russians or Belarusians, creating chaos for the Paralympics and damaging its reputation.

In other developments related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich has confirmed he is trying to sell the Premier League club he turned into an elite trophy-winning machine. The speed of Abramovich’s looming exit from Chelsea is striking as he was trying to instigate a plan this past weekend to relinquish some control in order to keep the club under his ownership.

Video game publisher EA Sports announced it would remove Russian clubs and the national team from its hugely popular FIFA series, and would remove the Russia and Belarus hockey teams from its NHL series.


James Harden lived up to the hype in his first home game since being acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers.

Harden just missed a triple-double as the 76ers whipped the Knicks, 123-108. He delivered 26 points, nine assists and nine rebounds as the Sixers improved to 3-0 with him on the court.

Joel Embiid finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Tyrese Maxey had 25 points. Maxey had 11 points while the 76ers grabbed the lead for good in the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks, 38-19.

RJ Barrett had 30 points and Julius Randle had 24 in New York’s 13th loss in 15 games.

The Suns became the first team to 50 wins this season by clobbering the Trail Blazers, 120-90. Cam Johnson scored 20 points, Deandre Ayton added 18 to help Phoenix win without its usual starting guards. Johnson was 6 of 8 from the field, and Ayton 9 of 12 as the Suns halted a two-game skid.

Jrue (jroo) Holiday banked in a driving layup with 1.9 seconds left to complete the Bucks’ comeback from a 14-point deficit over the final six minutes of a 120-119 downing of the Heat. The Bucks outscored Miami 21-6 down the stretch to snap the Heat’s four-game winning streak. Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) had 28 points, 17 rebounds and five assists for the Bucks, Khris Middleton scored 26 and Holiday had 25.

Donovan Mitchell poured in 37 points and Mike Conley scored nine in overtime to send the Jazz to a 132-127 win over the Rockets. Rudy Gobert (goh-BEHR’) had 27 points and 17 rebounds as Utah won its third straight and ninth in the last 10 games. Houston’s Christian Wood had 24 points, including a desperation 28-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to send it to OT.

The Thunder earned a 119-107 win at Denver as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 29 points and Isaiah Roby added a career-high 26. Oklahoma City was 16 of 29 from beyond the arc after entering the game ranked last in the league in 3-point shooting percentage. Nikola Jokic (YOH’-kihch) provided 22 points and 16 rebounds on a night when no other Denver starter scored in double figures.

Terry Rozier had 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Hornets hammered the Cavaliers, 119-98. Isaiah Thomas scored 10 points in his debut for Charlotte. The Hornets made 17 3-pointers and improved to just 3-11 since Jan. 28. Cleveland guard Darius Garland returned from a three-game injury absence and finished with 33 points in as many minutes.

Brandon Ingram scored 33 points on 15 of 19 shooting in leading the Pelicans to their third straight win, 125-95 over the Kings. Ingram scored 28 of his points before being briefly forced out of the game by an elbow to the face from Damian Jones. Jonas Valanciunas (val-an-CHOO’-nuhs) had 17 points and 14 rebounds, and CJ McCollum had 17 points and a season-high nine assists for New Orleans.

The Pacers overcame a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Magic, 122-114, in overtime. Malcolm Brogdon had 31 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for Indiana, while Tyrese Haliburton finished with 21 points and six assists. Haliburton scored five of the Pacers’ 12 overtime points.

Also in the NBA:

Phoenix Suns are without their starting backcourt for the time being.

Devin Booker has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol and missed Wednesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The three-time All-Star is averaging 25.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists this season. The Suns already are spending time without Chris Paul because of a broken thumb.

The Nets have indicated that forward Kevin Durant will be back in the lineup on Thursday against Miami. Durant is expected to return from a left knee injury that has sidelined him since mid-January. The Nets have plummeted from title contenders to eighth place in the Eastern Conference during his absence.

Pacers forward Jalen Smith has been fined $20,000 for directing profane language toward a game official on Monday. Spurs guard Dejounte Murray has been docked $20,000 for throwing the ball off the legs of a referee. Both incidents occurred Monday night.


K.D. Johnson scored 12 of his 14 points in overtime as the Tigers downed Mississippi St., 81-68. Johnson scored the first 10 points of overtime to help Auburn clinch at least a tie for the SEC regular-season title.

Jabari Smith had 27 points, including a tying 3-pointer in the final minute of regulation.

Auburn is 26-4 overall, 14-3 in the SEC.

Also in top-25 men’s basketball:

No. 14 Arkansas pulled out a 77-76 win over LSU as JD Notae made two free throws with 8.6 points left. Stanley Umude had 23 points to guide the Razorbacks to the 14th win in their last 15 games and ninth straight at home. Pinson had 12 points on 5-of-21 shooting for the Tigers, missing an attempt at the buzzer.

Ryan Kalkbrenner scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half and Creighton held off No. 18 UConn 64-62. The Bluejays won for the seventh time in eight games despite squandering a 16-point lead. R.J. Cole led the Huskies with 20 points.

Quenton Jackson scored 28 points as Texas A&M beat 25th-rated Alabama, 87-71. Tyrece Radford added 22 points and eight rebounds for the Aggies, while Henry Coleman III had 18 points and 11 boards. Jaden Shackelford had 16 points for the Tide, who fell to 19-11 overall and 9-8 in the SEC.

In other college basketball news:

Umass beat Fordham 81-72

Creighton squeaks by Uconn 64-62

UMass has fired men’s basketball coach Matt McCall. The move is effective at the end of the season. McCall is 58-81 over five seasons in Amherst.

Georgetown men’s basketball coach Patrick Ewing has received a public show of support from athletic director Lee Reed.

The statement from Reed was issued hours before the team was going to try to end its school-record 18-game losing streak in a game at Seton Hall. The Hoyas are 6-22 and 0-17 in Big East play.

Milwaukee has fired coach Pat Baldwin one day after a first-round loss in the Horizon League Tournament concluded his fifth straight losing season. The Panthers went 57-92 overall and 34-59 in league play under Baldwin.


Coach Pete Carroll says the Seattle Seahawks aren’t open for business when teams may inquire about the availability of quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason.

Carroll says the Seahawks are not interested in making a move with Wilson, explaining that general manager John Schneider has started telling teams that call that Seattle is “not shopping the quarterback.”

Wilson has spent his first 10 seasons with the Seahawks. He has two seasons remaining on his current contract with Seattle.

In other NFL news:

The Cardinals have signed coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim to extensions that keep them under contract with the team through 2027. Arizona’s support for the coach and general manager come during an offseason that’s developed into a surprise cold war between star young quarterback Kyler Murray and the franchise.

The Giants have added a second woman to their coaching staff, naming Laura Young as the team’s director of coaching operations. New York also cleared $7.1 million in cap space by releasing tight end Kyle Rudolph and running back Davontae Booker.


The New York Rangers wasted a two-goal lead on Wednesday before their top sniper came to the rescue.

Chris Kreider scored a tiebreaking, power-play goal while the Rangers netted three goals in the third period of a 5-3 win over the Blues. It was Kreider’s team-high 35th goal of the season and league-leading 18th with the man advantage.

Artemi Panarin (ahr-TEH’-mee pah-NAH’-rihn) had a goal and two assists for the Blueshirts, who also received scores from Alexis Lafrenière (ah-LEHK’-see lah-frehn-YEHR’), Ryan Strome (strohm) and Patrik Nemeth. Adam Fox had three assists for New York.

The Blues ended a four-game winning streak despite Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron (peh-RAHN’), who had a goal and an assist apiece.

Elsewhere on NHL ice:

Dallas knocked off the Kings, 4-3 as Ryan Suter and Alexander Radulov (RAD’-yoo-lahv) scored in the final minute of the Stars’ four-goal second period. Luke Glendening and Jason Robertson added goals to help Dallas improve to 5-1-1 in its last seven games. Jake Oettinger (AH’-tihn-jur) made 28 saves to improve to 15-3-0 at home this season.

Buffalo’s six-game losing streak is over after Craig Anderson made 29 saves in the Sabres’ 5-1 win over the Maple Leafs. Jeff Skinner had a goal and an assist to help the Sabres salvage the finale of their five-game road trip. Jacob Bryson, Kyle Okposo (ah-POH’-soh), Victor Olofsson and Tage (TAYJ’) Thompson also tallied for Buffalo.

Seattle had dropped seven straight before Colin Blackwell scored the go-ahead, short-handed goal in the third period to send the Kraken past the Predators, 4-3. Blackwell also had an assist during a second-period scoring binge for the Kraken as Alex Wennberg, Calle Jarnkrok (KAL'-ee YAHRN'-krahk) and Yanni Gourde (YAH'-nee gohrd) had goals in a 2:39 span. Chris Driedger (DREE'-gur) had 19 saves for his fifth win for Seattle, which trailed 2-0 before its big second period.

Also around the NHL:

Washington Capitals winger Carl Hagelin is expected to miss an extended period of time with what the team is calling a serious eye injury.

Hagelin was struck in the left eye with an errant stick during practice Tuesday. General manager Brian MacLellan said the 33-year-old Swede had surgery Tuesday night and is meeting with doctors about what’s next.

The Canadiens will be allowed to have full capacity at the Bell Centre beginning March 12 against the Kraken. It will be the first time Montreal has had a capacity crowd in three months.


The PGA Tour has informed players that Woods is the winner of the new $40 million “Player Impact Program” that rewards those who generate the most positive interest in golf measured by five metrics. Woods won the $8 million prize over Phil Mickelson, who claimed on Twitter in December that he was the winner.

Woods captivated golf in December when he returned from a shattered right leg in a February car accident to play the PNC Championship with his son, Charlie.

Mickelson finished second in the Player Impact Program and earned $6 million.