Turkoglu on steroids? — Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu was suspended 20 games by the NBA on Wednesday after testing positive for steroids. The NBA said Turkoglu tested positive for methenolone, an anabolic steroid. He began serving the suspension Wednesday night as the Magic hosted the Atlanta Hawks. Turkoglu took full responsibility for the positive test and apologized to the Magic organization, his fans and fellow teammates. He said he took medication from a trainer in Turkey this past summer to help him recover from a shoulder injury and mistakenly neglected to check it against the NBA’s banned list.
Kentucky’s Noel out — Kentucky received the news it dreaded Wednesday when freshman forward Nerlens Noel was declared out for the season with a torn ligament in his left knee. Noel tore his ACL on Tuesday night when No. 25 Kentucky lost at Florida. An MRI revealed the injury, and the 6-foot-10 forward will have surgery in the next two or three weeks. The projected recovery period is six to eight months. Noel’s injury deals a serious postseason blow for the defending national champions, who are 17-7 overall and 8-3 in the Southeastern Conference.
Sticking with 68 teams — The chairman of the NCAA Division I Basketball Committee is content with a March Madness field of 68 teams, now and moving forward. The tournament expanded to 68 teams in 2011, opening with four first-round games that have been played in Dayton, Ohio. Chairman Mike Bobinski said he’s perfectly fine with that number of teams and that he personally hasn’t thought about expanding the tournament. “This is just me speaking at this point in time," Bobinski said Wednesday on a teleconference. “I would tell you that I feel no compunction at all to think about expanding the tournament." Bobinski is in Indianapolis this week with the rest of the committee for its orientation meeting in preparation for selecting this year’s tournament field.
U.S. wins — Abby Wambach scored on a diving header in the 51st minute, and the U.S. women’s soccer team beat Scotland 3-1 on Wednesday night in Nashville, Tenn., to give Wambach a victory in her 200th international match. Wambach became the eighth American to play at least 200 games for the national team, and she served as captain for the game in honor of the milestone. Her teammates kept trying to set up the 2012 FIFA player of the year, and Wambach finally converted when Sydney Leroux passed to Wambach just in front for her 153rd career goal and 63rd on a header. Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press also scored to help the Americans.
Timbers add player — The Portland Timbers acquired midfielder Ben Zemanski from Chivas USA on Wednesday for allocation money and the right of first refusal to defender Jonathan Bornstein. The 24-year-old Zemanski has two goals and seven assists in 72 games in three MLS seasons. Before he was selected in the third round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft, Zemanski was a standout at the University of Akron under then-coach Caleb Porter, who is now head coach of the Timbers.
Sagan wins again— Peter Sagan of Slovakia consolidated his overall lead at the Tour of Oman on Wednesday by finishing with a late burst to win a second straight stage. The Cannondale rider finished the 118-mile trek from Nakhal Fort to Wadi Dayqah Dam in 5 hours, 6 minutes, 28 seconds. Two-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador was second. It was another difficult day for Tour winner Bradley Wiggins, who finished 89th and 97 seconds behind Sagan.
Hernandez signs — Fighting back tears while his hands trembled, Felix Hernandez signed a seven-year contract with the Seattle Mariners that makes him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball. During a news conference on Wednesday, Hernandez officially signed his new deal that will be worth $175 million. The contract covers the final two years of his current deal that was scheduled to run through the 2014 season and adds five additional years through the 2019 season. “To the people in Seattle, to all the people in Seattle that trust me, that believe in me I will not disappoint anybody," Hernandez said, his voice cracking.
Ejections for high hits? — A college football player who delivers a hit to the head of a defenseless opponent could be kicked out of the game next season under an NCAA proposal that took a step forward Wednesday. The NCAA Football Rules Committee said it had unanimously approved strengthening of the penalty for intentional above-the-shoulder hits. The 15-yard penalty will now have an ejection tacked on, assuming the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approves the plan next month. Player safety was the theme of the committee’s three-day meeting in Indianapolis, with the ejection for targeting the most noticeable change fans will notice in 2013 across all NCAA divisions. 1. Perhaps one of the stranger rule changes, and one Boise State fans surely will notice, would require teams to have either their jerseys or pants contrast in color to the playing field.
— From wire reports