Russian officials ruled out an Olympic boycott Thursday and said there are plans to at least partially admit that the country's athletics programs have a doping problem.

Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said there will "not in any case" be a boycott of next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The acting president of the Russian track federation also said he is ready to own up to some of the charges leveled in the World Anti-Doping Agency commission's massive report on doping in the country.

"We admit some things, we argue with some things, some are already fixed, it's a variety," said the acting president, Vadim Zelichenok, declining to provide further details. "It's not for the press."

The governing body of track and field is expected to rule Friday on whether to suspend Russia from competition.


Braves trade Simmons to Angels

The Atlanta Braves traded shortstop Andrelton Simmons to the Los Angeles Angels for shortstop Erick Aybar and top pitching prospects Sean Newcomb and Chris Ellis.

The Braves also get $2.5 million, while the Angels get minor league catcher Jose Briceno.

Simmons is arguably the best defensive shortstop in baseball, winning the Gold Glove in 2013 and 2014, but the Braves, 97-game losers last season, needed more than him.

"We need more talent," General Manager John Coppolella said.

Mariners trade for reliever Benoit

•The Seattle Mariners acquired righthanded reliever Joaquin Benoit from the San Diego Padres for a pair of minor league prospects. Seattle sent minor league righthanded pitcher Enyel De Los Santos and minor league infielder Nelson Ward to the Padres.

•Veteran catcher A.J. Pierzynski agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract with the Braves.


Leonard starts hot in Mexico

Justin Leonard got off to a quick start in what he expects to be his shortest season, opening with a 6-under 65 in the PGA Tour's OHL Classic in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

He shared the lead with Aaron Baddeley, Shawn Stefani and Derek Fathauer.

Leonard has said he plans to play only 12 events this season to spend more time with his wife and four children.

Garcia leads European Tour event

Sergio Garcia shot an 8-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead in the European Tour's BMW Masters in Shanghai.

Inbee Park made a 15-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke lead in the LPGA Tour's Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico City .

College bAsketball

Escort/author, NCAA to meet

Katina Powell will meet next week with the NCAA to share "demonstrative evidence" regarding the escort's allegations that a former Louisville men's basketball assistant hired her and other dancers to strip and have sex with recruits and Cardinals players.

Attorney Larry Wilder verified she would meet with NCAA investigators, saying it was because the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office is moving toward criminal charges against Powell.