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Wednesday's Sports In Brief

Friday - 2/15/2013, 4:40am  ET

The Associated Press

OLYMPICS

PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) -- Oscar Pistorius, the double-amputee sprinter dubbed the Blade Runner, was charged in the Valentine's Day slaying of his girlfriend at his upscale home in South Africa, a shocking twist to one of the feel-good stories of last summer's Olympics.

Pistorius buried his face in the hood of his workout jacket as officers escorted him from a police station after his arrest in the shooting death of 30-year-old model Reeva Steenkamp.

Police said she was shot four times in the pre-dawn hours at Pistorius' villa in a gated community in the capital. Officers found a 9 mm pistol inside the home and arrested Pistorius on murder charges.

Police also said they had received calls in the past about domestic altercations at the home of the 26-year-old athlete, who has spoken publicly about his love of firearms.

NFL

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Redskins general manager Bruce Allen said the team isn't considering a new nickname, adding that it's "ludicrous" to suggest the franchise is trying to upset Native Americans.

"There's nothing that we feel is offensive," Allen said. "And we're proud of our history."

Opposition to "Redskins" has gained momentum following last week's symposium at the Smithsonian that was heavily critical of the use of the word, citing its history as an offensive term. Local columnists and commentators have called for the team to change its name in recent days.

The Redskins have responded with website postings featuring interviews with officials from the 70 high schools they say still called themselves "Redskins."

Allen also told reporters that Robert Griffin III was "progressing well" in his rehab from knee reconstruction surgery.

NASCAR

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- NASCAR will likely require baseline concussion tests for all drivers in 2014. Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's senior vice president of racing operations, said officials have also urged drivers to get an ImPACT test before this season.

The test is used by many professional sports leagues, including the NFL, to assess concussions and determine when an injured athlete can safely return to play.

The ImPACT test has transformed the way concussions are managed by giving a tangible measure of what's going on in the brain. It's a computer-based series of fast-paced quizzes involving words, pictures and colors. Scores reflect how quickly and correctly the questions are answered.

Four-time Cup champion Jeff Gordon voluntarily took the test and says all drivers should complete one even if it's not mandatory.

NHL

NEW YORK (AP) -- A decision on whether NHL players will head to the 2014 Sochi Olympics isn't likely this week, but a first day of discussions went well.

Talks between the NHL, the NHL players' association, and officials from the International Ice Hockey Federation and the International Olympic Committee stretched into the night as the parties worked toward getting NHL players back to the Olympics for a fifth straight time.

There are obstacles in the process, but the sides will get back together Friday to talk more.

While the NHL and the players might want to participate in the Olympics again, they have to figure out if it makes sense for them to interrupt another season to make it possible.

NBA

HOUSTON (AP) -- Yao Ming fed a giraffe, petted a rhino and walked in an elephant cage during a visit to the Houston Zoo.

The former Houston Rockets center talked about his increasing role as an animal-rights activist on the eve of the NBA's All-Star weekend. He's been an outspoken critic of shark-fin soup and the practice of finning -- carving off the shark's valuable fins and discarding their bodies, sometimes while the shark is still alive.

Yao taped a public service announcement supporting his shark-fin cause with fellow former Rockets center Dikembe Mutumbo and current Houston guard Jeremy Lin. Yao has also campaigned against rhino and elephant poaching, the subject of a documentary largely based on his visit to Africa last summer.

RACING

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Rachel Alexandra remains in serious but stable condition following surgery related to complications from the birth of her filly.

Doctors at Rood and Riddle Equine Clinic said it's too early to determine the prognosis for the 2009 Horse of the Year, adding that they're monitoring her response to treatment.

Attending surgeon Brett Woodie says Rachel Alexandra is "doing about as well as can be expected" at this stage of recovery.

After delivering a 140-pound filly by Bernardini Tuesday morning, she developed problems resulting in surgery Wednesday to repair an area in her small colon that was injured during foaling. A blood loss in the affected section resulted in an infection.

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