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Woman assaulted at home owner by Bills’ LeSean McCoy

NFL

Police say woman assaulted at McCoy’s home

Police acknowledged Tuesday that a woman was assaulted during a home invasion at a suburban Atlanta house owned by NFL star LeSean McCoy, hours after graphic posts on social media accused the Buffalo Bills running back of bloodying his former girlfriend.

One female was treated and released from the hospital, while another sustained a minor injury during a targeted invasion early Tuesday, Milton police said in a release responding to requests by The Associated Press.

McCoy denied allegations posted on social media earlier in the day accusing him of hurting his former girlfriend. “For the record, the totally baseless and offensive claims made against me today on social media are completely false,” McCoy said in a statement released on two of his social media accounts. “Further more, I have not had any direct contact with any of the people involved in months.”

McCoy was responding to an Instagram post from a person who said she is friends with the injured woman. The post showed a graphic photo of the former girlfriend and accused McCoy of physically abusing her, his son and his dog, as well as injecting steroids.

The Bills issued a statement saying they have been in contact with McCoy and the NFL and will continue gathering information. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the league is reviewing the matter.

New Panthers owner looks forward

While new Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper would like the focus to be on his plans for the team’s future, he cannot completely put the franchise’s sullied past behind him.

Tepper has to keep the prominent statue of Panthers’ founder Jerry Richardson outside of the stadium as part of the NFL-record $2.2 billion deal he agreed to in June after Richardson decided to sell the team in December amid reports of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace.

Tepper said Tuesday when he was introduced as the team’s new owner that he’s “contractually obligated” to keep the 13-foot high statue of Richardson standing alongside two growling panthers where it is.

The league substantiated the allegations against Richardson following a six-month investigation and fined him $2.75 million.

Fans have expressed their desire on social media and sports talk shows to remove the statue, which was built in 2016.

And while Tepper said contractually he can’t do that, he spoke repeatedly about changing the environment of the Panthers workplace.

Tepper said there will be “no impediment” in employees feeling comfortable coming forward if they if they have any problems on the business side of the organization.

He wants to create an environment where “everybody feels safe like a family.”

Sports Illustrated reported in December, citing unnamed sources, that Richardson made sexually suggestive comments to women and on at least one occasion directed a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout. The report states that he reached settlements that included non-disclosure requirements forbidding the parties from discussing the details.

CYCLING

Gaviria takes Stage 4 of Tour

Fernando Gaviria and Peter Sagan have turned the first four days of the Tour de France into an enthralling duel of rising star versus world champion.

And Tour newcomer Gaviria is winning so far.

Gaviria edged Sagan at the finish line to claim Stage 4 and take his second stage win in his first participation at cycling’s greatest race in Sarzeau, France.

The 23-year-old Colombian had already bettered Sagan in a sprint to take the opening stage, amid rising expectations since his four stage victories at last year’s Giro d’Italia.

Sagan hit back by winning Stage 2 in an uphill sprint after Gaviria had fallen in a group pileup on the final corner.

Tuesday’s flat leg with its four-kilometer finish — the longest straightaway to conclude a leg on this Tour— was perfect terrain for the budding rivals to break the tie.

After Quick-Step hunted down the breakaway to set up Gaviria, he powered ahead of the pack with handlebars swinging and crossed just inches ahead of Sagan and Andre Greipel in a close third.

Gaviria finished the 195-kilometer (121-mile) leg from La Baule to Sarzeau that started and finished on the Atlantic coast in 4 hours, 25 minutes, 1 second.

Defending champion Chris Froome of Sky, who remained 55 seconds back because of his fall in Stage 1, finished safely in the pack with leader Greg Van Avermaet.

Van Avermaet, the 2016 Olympic road race champion who is support rider for BMC leader Richie Porte, took the yellow jersey when his team won Monday’s team time trial.

NHL

Kucherov signs extension

The Tampa Bay Lightning have signed forward Nikita Kucherov to an eight-year contract extension worth an average of $9.5 million in salary and annual bonuses.

The 25-year-old would have been a restricted free agent next summer with one year left on a deal that will pay him nearly $4.8 million for the 2018-19 season. Now he is set to stay with the Lightning through the 2026-27 as the team’s highest-paid player once the extension kicks in after next year.

“I’m truly grateful to sign this contract extension to keep me in Tampa for another eight seasons,” Kucherov said in a statement. “I’d like to thank the Lightning organization and all of the fans for the support since making the Bay Area my home.”

The two-time All-Star had 39 goals and 100 points with a plus-15 rating last season. He was third in the NHL in points, sixth in assists and tied for ninth in goals. He averaged 19:49 in ice time to lead all forwards for the Lightning, who lost in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals to Washington.

Tampa Bay now has Kucherov, captain Steven Stamkos, defenseman Victor Hedman, left wing Alex Killorn, left wing Ondrej Palat, center J.T. Miller, center Tyler Johnson and defenseman Ryan McDonagh all signed through at least the 2021-22 season.

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