SAO PAULO (AP) — Part of the stadium that will host the 2014 World Cup opener collapsed Wednesday, killing two workers and aggravating already urgent concerns Brazil won't be ready for soccer's signature tournament.
The accident at the Arena Corinthians, known locally as the Itaquerao, could hardly have come at a worse time — just a week ahead of the draw that will determine the tournament's schedule and with the top names in soccer all descending on Brazil.
Preparations have been plagued by setbacks including cost overruns, stadium delays, accidents, labor strife and huge street protests in the run-up to the June tournament, once envisioned as a coming out party for South America's largest nation, which is also scheduled to host the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Already, public prosecutors and a workers union in Sao Paulo were demanding an investigation into conditions at the venue, saying work shouldn't resume until authorities deem the stadium safe.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A police chief is defending the handling of sexual assault allegations against Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, saying a timeline shows the investigation into the Heisman candidate was handled professionally.
Interim Tallahassee Police Chief Tom Coe issued a news release laying out the timeline, saying the investigation began when officers took the alleged victim to the hospital Dec. 7, 2012. She was then interviewed, and DNA and other evidence was collected.
Winston was not identified by the victim as a suspect until more than a month later, Jan. 10, according to the police timeline.
Police did not hand over information about the alleged sexual assault to prosecutors until earlier this month. Coe has said the case was placed on inactive status after police were told the alleged victim no longer wanted to prosecute the case. An attorney representing the accuser has said her client never wanted to drop the charges.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ryan Braun spoke to the media for the first time since accepting a season-ending, 65-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's anti-drug agreement.
Braun was taking part in a holiday food drive at Miller Park and said he was "deeply remorseful" for his actions but declined to offer specific answers to most questions.
"The goal for me is just being able to move forward," Braun said. "I wish that I could go back and change things but I don't have that opportunity to do that, so I'm just going to do everything in my power to move forward."
Braun was the first star to be suspended as part of the doping scandal surrounding the now-closed Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic in Florida.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Right-hander Ricky Nolasco and the Twins agreed to terms on a free-agent contract a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because the team does not plan to announce a deal until Nolasco passes a physical.
Terms of the deal were not immediately available, but Yahoo! Sports reported that it was for four years and $49 million. That's a hefty price for the Twins, who historically have been reluctant to hand out big-money deals to free agents. Prior to Nolasco's contract, the most the Twins had spent on a free agent who did not come through their system was the three-year, $21 million deal they gave Josh Willingham in 2011.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Quarterback Aaron Rodgers will miss his third consecutive game and Matt Flynn will become the Green Bay Packers' fourth starting quarterback of the season Thursday when the Packers play the Lions in Detroit.
Rodgers, who suffered a fractured left collarbone Nov. 4 against Chicago, practiced on Tuesday but was ruled out by coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday. The Packers have gone 0-3-1 without him.
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders running back Darren McFadden went through a light practice Wednesday and will play against Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings are struggling on and off the field.
Middle linebacker Erin Henderson became the latest to find trouble, when news of his drunken-driving arrest surfaced Wednesday. Wide receiver Jerome Simpson was jailed Nov. 9 and later charged with two counts of DWI. Cornerback A.J. Jefferson was released Monday mere hours after he was arrested following a fight with his girlfriend. Jefferson was charged Wednesday with one count of felony domestic assault by strangulation.
That's three police-blotter appearances in three weeks for a team with a 2-8-1 record.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A college basketball player who won $20,000 for hitting a half-court shot at an Oklahoma City Thunder game may have to either forfeit the money or his eligibility to play college sports.
Cameron Rodriguez, a 23-year-old sophomore forward for Winfield, Kan.-based Southwestern College, sank the promotional shot on Nov. 8 during the Thunder's home game against the Denver Nuggets.
Southwestern athletic director Dave Denly says the college's governing body for athletics, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, informed Rodriguez that if he kept the money he would lose his amateur status. The school has appealed, asking if the money can be accepted in the form of a scholarship.
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — UFC fighter Shane del Rosario suffered a heart attack and is in critical condition at a Southern California hospital.
Manager Jason House released a statement Wednesday saying Del Rosario had a catastrophic cardiovascular collapse at his home in Newport on Tuesday morning and was taken to the local Hoag Hospital in full cardiac arrest.
House says Del Rosario was resuscitated in the emergency room and his heart rate and blood pressure was stabilized, but his condition remained critical Wednesday afternoon.
Del Rosario, a 30-year-old heavyweight, has lost his first two fights since coming to UFC from Strikeforce, and pulled out of a scheduled Dec. 28 match with Guto Inocente because of a rib injury.
SYDNEY (AP) — Adam Scott birdied his first six holes en route to a course-record 10-under 62 at Royal Sydney Thursday to take a three-stroke lead after the first round of the Australian Open.
Scott is attempting to join Robert Allenby as the only golfers to win all three Australian majors in the same year. Allenby won the Australian PGA, Australian Masters and Australian Open in 2005.
Scott broke the previous Royal Sydney mark of 65 set by five players at the 2008 Australian Open. After Scott's opening birdie run, he made par on the next eight holes before birdieing his final four.
Canadian Ryan Yip was in second with a 65.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Two months after helping run the most successful America's Cup ever, Iain Murray was hired to head Team Australia's challenge for the 35th edition of sailing's marquee regatta.
Murray was regatta director of the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco in September, which ended with Oracle Team USA rallying to beat Emirates Team New Zealand in one of the greatest comebacks in sports.