Weekend National Sports Roundup 03 Sep 11

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Friday ordered a new trial for baseball star Roger Clemens, refusing to throw out charges that he lied about steroids use despite a mistrial after prosecutors used evidence that had been barred. Judge Reggie Walton agreed to start a second trial on April 17, 2012, over whether the former pitcher lied when he told Congress and investigators in 2008 that he had never taken steroids and human growth hormones.

Matteson sets TPC Boston pace, Donald one behind

NORTON, Massachusetts (Reuters) – British world number one Luke Donald signaled an ominous warning to his FedExCup playoff rivals by firing a five-under-par 66 in Friday’s opening round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. The Englishman mixed six birdies with a lone bogey to lurk just one stroke off the pace set by American Troy Matteson at the TPC Boston.

Sharapova knocked out of U.S. Open by Pennetta

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Maria Sharapova was knocked out of the U.S. Open on Friday after suffering a shock third round loss to Italy’s Flavia Pennetta. The former champion and third seed was beaten 6-3 3-6 6-4 in the biggest upset of the tournament so far.

NFL unable to start HGH testing for start of season

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The National Football League (NFL) said on Friday it will not begin human growth hormone (HGH) testing at the start of the 2011 season because of a disagreement with the player’s union over testing procedures. The NFL was set to become the first major U.S. professional sports league to use blood testing for HGH as part of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), but only if the NFL Players Association agreed to the process.

Zvonareva struggles but advances at U.S. Open

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Vera Zvonareva struggled once again at the U.S. Open but the second seed managed to defeat pesky Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-4 7-5 Friday and move into the fourth round of the year’s final grand slam. Zvonareva, a finalist 12 months ago, needed two hours to defeat Garrigues for the fourth time in five career meetings.

Del Potro slipping quietly through U.S. Open draw

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Juan Martin Del Potro might be forgiven for thinking he is the forgotten man of the U.S. Open. While the towering Argentine was hailed as the next big thing in men’s tennis after he won the title two years ago, beating Roger Federer in a classic five-set final, he has been an almost anonymous figure this time.

Vikings’ Williams banned two games for drug violation

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams has been suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season for violating the National Football League’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The 31-year-old has also been fined an additional two game checks for testing positive for the banned diuretic StarCaps, the NFL Network reported on Friday.

California lawmakers propose bill for NFL stadium

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A top California lawmaker unveiled legislation on Friday to help advance a proposal for building a new stadium in downtown Los Angeles to bring the National Football League back to the second-largest U.S. city. Supporters of the Farmers Field stadium plan had sought the assistance of the legislature to speed its regulatory review, which some environmental and community activists criticized.

Alabama man, 61, earns spot as college football kicker

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Reuters) – When the recession booted Alan Moore out of a 37-year career in civil construction, he kicked back — by becoming a kicker for an Alabama college football team at age 61. On Saturday, Moore, affectionately referred to as “Pops” by his Faulkner University teammates, will get his first chance to kick in public for the small Christian school during a squad scrimmage in Montgomery. Four of his five grandchildren will be there to watch.

Cubs pitcher Zambrano to sit out rest of season

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Volatile Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano will miss the rest of the season after his 30-day suspension ends on September 11, the Major League Baseball (MLB) team said on Friday. The Cubs, whose regular season ends September 28, will resume paying his salary at the end of his ban but said in a statement there was “insufficient preparation time for Zambrano to pitch again this season.”