Rob Foldy/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Major League Baseball has issued its first lifetime ban over performance-enhancing drugs after New York Mets pitcher Jenrry Mejia had his third positive drug test in a year.
MLB made the decision Friday, saying the 26-year-old would also be suspended from minor league baseball, after the 26-year-old tested positive for Boldenone.
"We were deeply disappointed to hear that Jenrry has again violated Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program," said a statement from the Mets. "We fully support MLB's policy toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the sport. As per the Joint Drug Program, we will have no further comment on this suspension."
Mejia was already under suspension for testing positive for Stanozolol and Boldenone in July and had 99 games of his 162-game suspension left. He had previously been suspended in April for 80 games after a positive test for Stanozolol.
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The crumb rubber on some turf fields will now be subjected to a federal investigation after health concerns were raised surrounding the small rubber shreds used as artificial turf.
On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a federal plan to study recycled tire crumbs used on playing fields.
According to a statement on the EPA's website, the Federal Research Action Plan will include multiple research studies and the agencies hope to release a report of the findings by late 2016.
"Today’s launch of a coordinated effort among the leading federal health and safety agencies to research the safety of recycled tire crumb is a significant first step to providing parents with the answers they deserve," said a statement from CPSC on Friday. "EPA, CDC, and CPSC are working together to end the uncertainty regarding whether it is safe for our children to play on fields and playgrounds that use crumb rubber and provide guidance that is clear, practical and reliable."
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who helped lead the effort in calling for a federal investigation into the crumb rubber, said Friday he was "pleased" with the plan.
"With millions of children and young athletes playing on artificial turf and playgrounds made from crumb rubber, Americans deserve to know whether the decisions they make today pose long-term health dangers," he said.
The crumb rubber has concerned athletes with some saying the pellets can easily get into their mouths and eyes, leaving questions about the possible health effects.
The video was taped when the Golden State Warriors visited the White House on Thursday, Feb. 4.
It's not the first time the first lady has looked to go viral with a video promoting healthy food. In October of 2014 the White House posted a Vine of her dancing with a 'Turnip' to the tune of Lil Jon's 'Turn Down For What' that has generated more than 48 million loops.
Courtesy of The Office of Rep. Robert Pittenger(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC) made good on his Super Bowl wager with Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) Friday morning at the Capitol.
Pittenger, a Carolina Panthers fan, delivered Bojangles fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits – scarce in Colorado but conveniently available at Union Station in Washington – and Cheerwine, a cherry soda, to Coffman’s office.
“It doesn’t get better than this,” Coffman said. “Always happy to be on the winning side.”
“I’m glad to be here to deliver the goods,” Pittenger said, joking that he didn't see Coffman in the House gym Friday morning. “North Carolina Bojangles chicken is about as pure as you can get.”
Ahead of Super Bowl 50, Coffman offered Colorado candy and micro-brewed beer from his Denver-area congressional district for his side of the bet.
The Denver Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 in Super Bowl 50.
Allen Kee / ESPN Images(BATON ROUGE, La.) -- Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced in a statewide televised address Thursday that a looming budget crisis could affect Louisiana’s higher education, including its popular college athletics programs.
Edwards said that if state campuses run out of money, they could potentially shut down in April. This means the LSU football team’s 2016 season is on the line.
“If you are a student attending one of these universities, it means that you will receive a grade of incomplete, many students will not be able to graduate, and student-athletes across the state at those schools will be ineligible to pay next semester,” Edwards said, according to The Times-Picayune newspaper. “This means you can say farewell to college football next fall.”
The Times-Picayune indicates that even if lawmakers find a solution to keep colleges open and save the LSU Tigers’ 2016 season, there will still be a problem in the following fiscal year, when Louisiana is projected to face a $2 billion budget shortfall.
Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(HOUSTON) -- The Houston Rockets have reportedly begun contacting teams about trading veteran Dwight Howard, a league source told ESPN.
The source told ESPN that the Rockets, who enter the All-Star break with a dismal 27-28 record, are doing their “due diligence,” since Howard’s future with Houston is tentative.
According to the report, the eight-time All-Star should bypass the $23.3 million he is scheduled to earn in the 2016-2017 season in order to become an unrestricted free agent by July 2016.
However, in a statement to ESPN on Thursday, Howard’s agent, Dan Fegan, denied any reports that he and the Rockets are working together to determine potential destinations for Howard: “I’m not privy to what the Rockets are doing or not doing with respect to Dwight Howard. What I can say with 100 percent certainty is that Dwight has not and has never asked the Rockets for a trade, and neither have I.”
iStock/Thinkstock(OAKLAND, Calif.) -- The Oakland Raiders announced Thursday that they will continue to play home games at their current O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California, ESPN reports.
The team announced that their lease was extended to include the 2016 season, with options for 2017 and 2018.
"My heart is here in Oakland, and if we can get something done, that's what we're going to do," team owner Mark Davis said.
The Raiders have called the O.co Coliseum home since the 1995 season. The team had been on a year-to-year lease as they looked into a possible move to Los Angeles.
The Raiders would also have the option to relocate to Los Angeles in 2017 if the San Diego Chargers decide to remain in San Diego rather than share a stadium with the Rams in Inglewood, according to ESPN.
Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Ciara is opening up about the next step in her and Russell Wilson's relationship.
In an interview with E! News, Ciara stayed tight-lipped about her Valentine's Day plans with the Seattle Seahawks quarterback, laughing off questions about a possible engagement occurring on the romantic holiday.
"You have to ask the guy that," Ciara said when the idea of Wilson proposing to her on Valentine's Day was brought up. "Let me tell you, no pressure. One day at a time."
Ciara and Wilson started dating in April 2015 and have been head-over-heels for each other ever since.
The "Goodies" singer may have stayed quiet about her Valentine's Day plans, but Ciara did reveal a number of reasons why she enamored with the football player.
"He's one of those guys that's super ambitious and always has something to do," Ciara said. "He doesn't like to sit still, I can tell you that. He's a go-getter, he's a hard worker."