Thursday's Sports in Brief

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PRO FOOTBALL

FRISCO, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court cleared the way for the NFL to impose a six-game suspension on Dallas Cowboys star Ezekiel Elliott over domestic violence allegations, siding with the league in the latest high-profile fight over its ability to punish players for off-field behavior.

In a 2-1 decision, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel in New Orleans granted the league's emergency request to set aside an injunction and ordered a district court in Texas to dismiss Elliott's case.

The NFL announced that the suspension was effective immediately, though further appeals were possible and the Cowboys are not playing this weekend.

The Cowboys don't play again until next Sunday, Oct. 22, at San Francisco. If Elliott's legal team can't put the suspension on hold again, he won't be eligible to play until Nov. 30 at home against Washington, a Thursday night game the week after Thanksgiving. Elliott played the first five games as Dallas went 2-3 in a disappointing start.

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — The NFL is keeping an eye on the wildfires in Northern California and has been exploring options to move Sunday's game between the Oakland Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers if it becomes necessary.

Michael Signora, the NFL's vice president of football communications, said Thursday that the league is getting updates on the situation from both teams and from city officials in Oakland.

"We continue to monitor air quality conditions in the Bay Area and are in close communication with both the Raiders and Chargers, as well as local authorities," Signora said. "At this point, the game remains scheduled for Sunday in Oakland."

At least 26 people have died and some 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed by the blazes, which began in California wine country Sunday. An estimated 25,000 people have been driven from their homes.

Oakland, which is some 45 miles south of the fires, has been blanketed by smoke.

SOCCER

GENEVA (AP) — The Qatari president of one of Europe's most glamorous soccer clubs, Paris Saint-Germain, is under investigation by Swiss prosecutors for suspected bribery of a top FIFA executive to get World Cup broadcasting rights.

Criminal proceedings against Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG president and CEO of Qatar-owned BeIN Media Group, former FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, and an unnamed "businessman in the sports rights sector" was announced by the office of Switzerland's attorney general on Thursday.

The case involves the award of broadcast rights for the next four World Cups from 2018 through 2030.

The proceeding against Al-Khelaifi is one of the first direct links to Qatar in sweeping investigations by federal law enforcement authorities in Switzerland, the United States, and France of FIFA, international soccer, and the 2018-2022 World Cup bidding contests.

OLYMPICS

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — The leader of the U.S. Olympic Committee called on his international counterparts to act immediately on allegations of Russian doping, with now less than four months until the start of the Winter Games.

"The time for action is now," Scott Blackmun, the CEO of the USOC said in an address Thursday to the USOC Assembly.

In his speech to more than 200 members of the U.S. Olympic community, Blackmun said "it is beyond frustrating" that no action has been taken on the now-15-month-old McLaren Report, which documented a Russian doping system that tainted the Sochi Games in 2014.

International Olympic Committee leaders launched two investigations after the McLaren Report was released and expect results before the end of the year.

But Blackmun noted that U.S. athletes are getting frustrated, with so far not a single Sochi medal forfeited nor a single Winter Olympics-bound athlete sanctioned as a result of the McLaren Report. The Olympics start Feb. 8.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

The San Antonio Stars say they are in negotiations to be sold and relocated, and a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that the buyer is based in Las Vegas.

It is unclear who the buyer is or if the WNBA franchise would move to Las Vegas. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because neither the team or league have disclosed information about the buyer.

The Stars are one of five pro teams owned and operated by Spurs Sports & Entertainment, including San Antonio's NBA team.

The Stars released a statement on Twitter announcing the negotiations and offering their "deepest gratitude" to team employees and fans.

WNBA spokesperson Dina Skokos confirmed in a statement that there are ongoing talks to sell the franchise but provided no details about the negotiations.

Any sale needs to be approved by the WNBA Board of Governors.

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