OLYMPICS

Blackmun steps down from U.S. Olympic Committee

• Scott Blackmun, 60, resigned Wednesday as chief executive of the U.S. Olympic Committee, stepping aside so he can tackle his worsening bout with prostate cancer and to allow the federation to move forward under new leadership to address the sex-abuse scandal that has rocked gymnastics and other sports.

• Russia’s ban from the Olympic movement was lifted despite two failed doping tests by its athletes at the Pyeongchang winter games. President Vladimir Putin hailed the move during a Kremlin award ceremony for Olympic athletes, saying “we must turn this page.”

SOCCER

Sounders sign defender from South Korea

• The Seattle Sounders signed South Korean defender Kim Kee-hee. Seattle announced the signing five days before its season opener. Kim comes to the Sounders after spending the past two seasons with Shanghai Shenua of the Chinese Super League.

• Amid ongoing confusion surrounding video assistant referees, FIFA briefed coaches on how the technology should operate at the World Cup. All that’s required now is official approval for VARs to be deployed at the June 14-July 15 tournament in Russia.

• Atlanta United midfielder Ezequiel Barco will miss four to six weeks with a right quadriceps strain sustained during training. The 18-year-old was acquired last month for an MLS-record $15 million transfer fee from Argentina’s Independiente.

OTHER SPORTS

Backers of Seattle team submit application to NHL

• The group that includes Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer submitted its application for an expansion team with the NHL this month and said they hope to hear in June whether it’s accepted. In the meantime, they’re embarking on a season-ticket-deposit drive meant to demonstrate Seattle’s interest. They plan to renovate KeyArena, where the Sonics used to play.

• Second-seeded Lucas Pouille of France defeated Karen Khachanov 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the Dubai Championships. Third-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut also advanced after outlasting France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-1, while Tunisian wild-card entry Malek Jaziri continued his surprising run by beating Dutchman Robin Haase 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3).

• Cold weather continued to cause havoc for Formula One teams in Spain. Parts of the track were covered in snow when teams arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, and when conditions improved only five drivers ventured out. Two-time world champion Fernando Alonso was the only driver to post a time after running 11 laps on full-wet tires with his Renault-powered McLaren.

— ABJ/Ohio.com wires