The 34th America's Cup starts Saturday afternoon on San Francisco Bay, and defending champion Oracle Team USA still doesn't know how severely it will be punished for illegally modifying prototype catamarans in warmup regattas last year and earlier this year.
Organizers said late Monday afternoon that an expected decision by the international jury had been pushed back until this afternoon.
The penalties could be the harshest in the 162-year history of sailing's marquee event, adding another stain to a regatta marred by the death of British sailor Andrew "Bart" Simpson when challenger Artemis Racing capsized during a training run May 9.
While the jury has worked in confidentiality, there has been speculation that Oracle Team USA could be docked a point or two in the best-of-17 America's Cup match against Emirates Team New Zealand. Some sailors could be barred from competing.
If the jury docks Oracle Team USA points, it's believed the powerhouse sailing team will be forced to start the regatta in a negative position. That would require it to win more than nine races to retain the oldest trophy in international sports.
Team New Zealand still would need to win nine races to take the Auld Mug back to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in Auckland.
The case has been before the jury since Aug. 4.
IOC inspectors warn Rio
organizers about delays
International Olympic Committee inspectors said they have seen "strong, solid progress" but think organizers need a sharper focus in the countdown to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The IOC coordination commission, headed by former Olympic hurdles champion Nawal El Moutawakel, finished a two-day inspection visit and seemed to take a stronger tone than on its previous four visits.
El Moutawakel warned about delays in starting construction on one of the four main venue areas the Deodoro area in a rundown part of northern Rio de Janeiro.
"A lot of work has been done, but a large amount still remains across the entire project, and some timelines remain very, very tight," she said.
NHRA Top Fuel points leader Shawn Langdon made it a memorable double-win weekend, racing to a U.S. Nationals victory in Clermont, Ind. A day after winning a special $100,000 eight-car Top Fuel shootout, Langdon beat Steve Torrence in the championship round for the second straight day. Robert Hight (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and John Hall (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won their categories.
U.S. cyclist Christopher Horner won the 10th stage of the Spanish Vuelta to take the overall lead for a second time. He broke away on the steep, zigzagging ascent to the Alto Hazallanas peak at the end of a mountainous 116-mile ride from southern Andalucia.
Goalie Corey Crawford, who last season helped the Chicago Blackhawks to their second Stanley Cup in four years, agreed to a six-year contract extension reportedly worth $36 million through the 2019-20 season.
The Associated Press