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National Sports Briefs

Associated Press
DURHAM ó Former Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel has taken a job on the Duke staff.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski said Sunday that the former Blue Devils guard will be one of his assistant coaches. Capel spent the past nine seasons as a head coach at Virginia Commonwealth and then Oklahoma. The Sooners fired him in March following their second consecutive losing season.
Krzyzewski calls Capel “a great fit in our program.” He scored 1,601 points as a four-year starter in the 1990s.
To make room, Krzyzewski shifted Nate James to special assistant. James’ role will not include on-court coaching.
Capel becomes the fourth Duke team captain on Krzyzewski’s staff, along with James and associate head coaches Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski.
TENNIS
MADRID ó Tennis will be without a top-10 American man or woman next week for the first time in the 38-year history of the sport’s rankings.
Serena Williams is now ranked 10th but is projected to drop out. She hasn’t played since winning Wimbledon last July and could drop as low as No. 19 in the next WTA rankings.
This will mark the first time since the men’s list was created in 1973 and the women’s list in 1975 that no American is represented.
American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, ranked 41st, says the U.S. needs to change the way it develops players and cites things such as pressure, burnout and work ethic for the rankings.
BASEBALL
NEW YORK ó Major League Baseball and its players’ association are considering a formal plan for dealing with alcohol-related incidents in the next collective bargaining agreement.
Alcohol use has become a hot-button issue in baseball, following a spate of six drunken-driving incidents involving high-profile players already this season.
The current CBA, which expires Dec. 11, has provisions for dealing with “drugs of abuse” such as cocaine and marijuana, but does not provide Commissioner Bud Selig with the authority to discipline players for alcohol-related offenses.
Instead, players arrested for DUI are offered treatment on a case-by-case basis.
HOCKEY
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia ó Alex Ovechkin is set to join Russia’s team at the ice hockey world championship in Slovakia after his Washington Capitals were eliminated from the NHL playoffs.
The forward had 32 goals and 53 assists in 79 games and 10 points in nine postseason games.
The Capitals made the announcement two days after the Tampa Bay Lightning swept the series against Washington 4-0. It will be Ovechkin’s seventh world championship appearance for Russia.
Russia has six points in the second round of the tournament and is in good position to advance to the quarterfinals with two more games to play.
NASCAR
DARLINGTON, S.C. ó James Hylton, at age 76, became the oldest driver to make the field in NASCAR’s top three series by qualifying for the Nationwide event at Darlington Raceway.
Hylton surpassed his own mark for racing longevity set three years ago when the then-73-year-old started the Nationwide event at Daytona.
Hylton is racing for JD Motorsports and started 43rd in Friday night’s Royal Purple 200 after qualifying was washed out by afternoon rain.
Hylton first raced in NASCAR in 1964 and has won twice in the Sprint Cup series, the last at Talladega in 1972. He remains active in the ARCA series, finishing 19th in points in 2010.
OLYMPICS
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. ó Gold medal gymnast Peter Vidmar stepped down as chief of mission for the 2012 U.S. Olympic team after a controversy over his opposition to gay marriage.
Vidmar said in a release that he’s dedicated his life to the Olympic movement and its ideals, and he did not want distractions caused by his religious beliefs to take away from the U.S. team at the London Games.
Vidmar, 49, won two gold medals at the 1984 Olympics.

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