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Palmeiro still denies steroid use

Rafael Palmeiro is sticking to his story that a tainted vitamin shot caused his failed drug test five years ago, and hopes Hall of Fame voters will overlook the mistake and honor him for his 3,020 hits and 569 homers.

A week before the Baseball Writers Association of America announces its inductees to baseball's Hall of Fame, Palmeiro told SI.com in a phone interview posted Wednesday that he never used performance-enhancing drugs in his 20-year career. As he asserted in 2005 after he was suspended for failing a test, Palmeiro again insisted the anabolic steroid was in a B-12 vial given to him by Baltimore Orioles teammate Miguel Tejada.

"I was telling the truth then, and I am telling the truth now," Palmeiro said. "I don't know what else I can say. I have never taken steroids. For people who think I took steroids intentionally, I'm never going to convince them. But I hope the voters judge my career fairly and don't look at one mistake."

One of only four players in big league history with 500 homers and 3,000 hits, Palmeiro's once certain election to the Hall is in jeopardy. Baseball voters have denied Mark McGwire, 10th on the career list with 583 homers, four times and his election seems unlikely -- McGwire received only 23.7 percent of the vote last year and 75 percent is needed.

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Baseball hurt by Metrodome collapse

The snow-damaged roof of the Metrodome won't be fixed until sometime in March, affecting hundreds of college baseball games and the annual Twins Fest.

Bill Lester of the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission said Wednesday that the baseball coaches were notified this week. Lester says the Minnesota Twins will be forced to move their event, which is scheduled for Jan. 28-30.

Lester says about 300 baseball games were scheduled to be played in the dome in February and March, including about 40 University of Minnesota games and 250 small college games. He says during the early spring, it's not unusual for the Metrodome to host baseball games from 8 a.m. to midnight.

The roof collapsed Dec. 12 during a snowstorm.

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Liddell steps out of MMA ring

Former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, one of the pioneers of modern mixed martial arts, has retired from professional fighting.

The "Iceman" said Wednesday that he will become an executive vice president for business development with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the promotion that rocketed him to stardom in the United States more than a decade ago.

The former collegiate wrestler made his UFC debut in 1998 and quickly became one of the sport's most popular fighters.

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Canisius loses big to Irish

The Canisius men's hockey team fell to No. 12 Notre Dame, 10-2, Wednesday night in South Bend, Ind. The Fighting Irish jumped out to a 6-0 advantage and never looked back, out-shooting the Griffs, 48-24.

For Canisius, Pat Kenney and Steven Shafer each scored a goal. The Griffs return to action Jan. 7 against No. 15 Wisconsin.

From News and wire service reports.

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