AVP signs deal with players, Walsh Jennings still out

BOSTON (AP) -- The AVP said it has reached an agreement with "practically all the players" on a contract that will carry it through the 2020 Summer Games, even as a holdout by five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh threatens to deprive the domestic beach volleyball tour of its biggest name. "I respect her decisions, and I wish her well," AVP owner Donald Sun told The Associated Press. "But in the meantime, we're just geared up.

Keni Harrison wins 100-meter hurdles at Drake Relays in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Hurdler Keni Harrison responded to the disappointment of not making the 2016 U.S. Olympic team by breaking a world record a few weeks later. Now she wants to prove that was no fluke, and she's off to some start. Harrison cruised to victory in the women's 100-meter hurdles Saturday at the Drake Relays. She won in a world-leading 12.

British heavyweight boxing star Joshua knocks out Klitschko

LONDON (AP) -- Anthony Joshua wasn't wrong when he raised his hands in victory after knocking Wladimir Klitschko down in the fifth round of what looked like a one-sided heavyweight title fight. He was just celebrating too early. The rookie mistake allowed Klitschko to rally, nearly taking the lead as the two 6-foot-6 men went to the 11th round -- four rounds longer than any Joshua fight had ever gone.

Book focuses on local movement that ended 2024 Olympics bid

BOSTON (AP) -- The local movement that torpedoed Boston's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics is the subject of a new book. "No Boston Olympics: How and Why Smart Cities Are Passing on the Torch" is co-written by Chris Dempsey, a Boston resident who helped lead the opposition, and Smith College economist Andrew Zimbalist.

Is Anthony Joshua boxing's next great heavyweight?

LONDON (AP) -- Anthony Joshua has the weight of a country on his shoulders, and a fighter with true heavyweight pedigree in the ring across from him. Add to that 90,000 screaming fans watching outdoors Saturday night at Wembley Stadium, and there's plenty of potential trouble for a fighter born the same year that Wladimir Klitschko began boxing.

Paris to host 2020 European track and field championships

PARIS (AP) -- Paris has been confirmed as the host for the 2020 European track and field championships. European Athletics announced Friday that competition will take place at Charlety Stadium from Aug. 26-30, just weeks after the 2020 Olympics finish in Tokyo on Aug. 9. European Athletics president Svein Arne Hansen said "it's an ambitious yet realistic project, which will enable us to return our sport to center stage again, shortly after the Olympic Games.

Olympians descend on Des Moines for Drake Relays

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Dozens of Rio Olympics standouts will return to the track this weekend for the Drake Relays. The conditions won't feel anything like sunny Brazil. Stars like LaShawn Merritt, Omar McLeod, Jenny Simpson, Kristi Castlin and others will be greeted with temperatures in the upper 40s, steady wind and good chances for rain during Friday and Saturday's sessions.

Lawmaker in Russia fights Olympic doping case at CAS

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- A lawmaker representing Vladimir Putin's United Russia party in parliament has appealed to sport's highest court against losing his 2008 Olympic title for doping with steroids. Artur Taymazov filed an appeal that "seeks the annulment of the IOC decision" disqualifying him from the freestyle wrestling 120-kilogram event, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said on Thursday.

BOJ keeps monetary policy unchanged, says 2020 Games to help

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank kept its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged Thursday, forecasting that growth in the world's third-largest economy would remain slow but steady through the fiscal year ending in March 2018. Most analysts were expecting the Bank of Japan to stand pat. In a statement, the BOJ said demand spurred by preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will help support growth in the coming year or two.

BOJ keeps lax monetary policy, forecasts steady growth

TOKYO (AP) -- Japan's central bank kept its ultra-lax monetary policy unchanged Thursday, forecasting that growth in the world's third-largest economy would remain steady through the fiscal year ending in March 2018. The Bank of Japan said demand spurred by preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will help support growth in the coming year or two. But the central bank's statement warned of risks to that scenario from global trends, including U.S.

Olympics, Rugby World Cup organizers to collaborate in Japan

TOKYO (AP) -- Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics signed a collaborative agreement with the organizers of the 2019 Rugby World Cup on Wednesday, aiming to maximize the benefits and impact of the global events. The Rugby World Cup will be staged in Japan as Tokyo is finalizing preparations to host the Summer Games for the first time since 1964.

Australian Olympic staffer steps down pending investigation

SYDNEY (AP) -- The Australian Olympic Committee's media director has stood down pending an investigation into allegations of bullying that have surfaced during an acrimonious contest for the organization's presidency. Longtime media and communications director Mike Tancred has denied the allegations made by former AOC chief executive Fiona de Jong but said Wednesday he would step aside until the matter has been resolved.

Australian Olympic chief says campaign is malicious

SYDNEY (AP) -- An increasingly bitter Olympic election in Australia has intensified with IOC Vice President John Coates describing the campaign as malicious and designed to damage him personally. Coates is facing his first challenge as president of the Australian Olympic Committee in 27 years, with 1996 Olympic field hockey gold medalist Danni Roche running against him in a May 6 ballot.

Russia's Chernova stripped of 2008 Olympic bronze for doping

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) -- Russian heptathlete Tatyana Chernova has been stripped of her 2008 Beijing Olympics bronze medal for doping with an anabolic steroid. Chernova's urine sample revealed traces of turinabol in a retesting program of Beijing and 2012 London Olympics athletes, the International Olympic Committee said on Monday.

Russian marathon runner Mayorova banned for doping

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's track and field federation says veteran marathon runner Albina Mayorova has been banned for four years for doping. The All-Russia Athletics Federation said Monday that the suspension was handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the two-time Olympian tested positive for excess testosterone in a test taken last year. The ban is likely to spell the end of the 39-year-old Mayorova's competitive career.

Wielgus, head of USA Swimming for 2 decades, dies at 67

USA Swimming executive director Chuck Wielgus, who led a federation that brought home 156 Olympic medals during his 20 years at the helm, died Sunday. He was 67. USA Swimming said Wielgus died in Colorado Springs, Colorado, of complications from colon cancer. The cancer was first diagnosed in 2006 and Wielgus underwent regular chemotherapy while leading USA Swimming to record growth. He was due to retire in August.

Uzbek gold medalist wins pro debut after 1st-round knockdown

CARSON, Calif. (AP) -- Olympic gold medalist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov bounced back from a first-round knockdown to win his professional debut in a second-round stoppage Saturday. Gaibnazarov finished Puerto Rico's Viktor Vazquez 1:28 into the second round at StubHub Center in the famed outdoor ring south of downtown Los Angeles. Gaibnazarov won gold for Uzbekistan as a light welterweight at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

To Mars? The Eatons have elaborate plans in retirement

Items on the to-do list for two-time Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton now that he's retired: Play with the puppy. Sharpen his snowboarding skills. Take a space shuttle to Mars. That's right, warp speed to the Red Planet. Not tomorrow or anything, but it remains on the agenda. He's also trying to get his wife, Canadian heptathlon bronze medalist Brianne Theisen-Eaton, on board with the futuristic excursion. "Not as interested," she laughed.

NOCs impressed by what they see of Tokyo's 2020 plans

TOKYO (AP) -- With just over three years to go, sports administrators from around the world are already visiting Tokyo to check on the city's Olympic preparations for the 2020 Games. While Tokyo has had to overcome some initial setbacks, such as the delay of the new national stadium and a plagiarism scandal involving the official 2020 logo, local organizers are confident their plans reinforce the Japanese capital's reputation for being highly organized and efficient.

Shakur Stevenson poised for pro boxing debut

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Although Shakur Stevenson doesn't usually watch film of his opponents, he never tires of studying the greats of boxing. During the long idle hours in his hotel room this week while he waits for his professional debut Saturday night, he might check out Sugar Ray Leonard, Pernell Whitaker, Sugar Ray Robinson, Floyd Mayweather or Andre Ward. "I'm a student of the game," Stevenson said. "That's a big part of my preparation.