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Tapia out of hospital after medicine mixup

FRANK PASTOR, Times wires
Published December 21, 2003

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Boxer Johnny Tapia brushed off suggestions that he overdosed on drugs, saying cough medicine and Tylenol led to his one-night stay in a hospital.

"If I'm going to overdose, I'm going to go for it. I'm not hesitating, you know," the five-time champion said Saturday after being released from the hospital.

The latest hospital stay comes after Tapia collapsed at his Nevada home earlier this year and was hospitalized for what his wife, at the time, said was a drug overdose.

The latest trip to the hospital was because of a "silly mistake," Teresa Tapia said.

She said the trouble started when her husband took cough medicine prescribed for her. He didn't know it contained codeine, which he is allergic to. "It was kind of silly because he shouldn't have taken my medication," she said.

KLITSCHKO WINS: Former WBO champion Wladimir Klitschko stopped Danell Nicholson in the fourth round of a nontitle heavyweight fight in Kiel, Germany.

ARENA FOOTBALL: No field time for Gruden

Orlando released coach and former quarterback Jay Gruden from his player's contract, giving the Predators more room under the salary cap. League rules do not forbid a player from coaching, but any compensation paid to the player counts against the cap, league spokesman Chris McCloskey said. By releasing Gruden instead of having him retire, it leaves open the option of Gruden returning to play in 2005 without having to sit a year, Predators spokesman Dan Pearson said.

Gruden, recuperating from an ankle injury, was named coach in July, one month after Fran Papasedero was killed in a car accident. Elsewhere, Carolina signed former Storm offensive specialist James Bowden, who was traded to New Jersey after earning All-Arena second team honors with Tampa Bay in 2001.

COLLEGES: Vols, Harvard win titles

Tennessee and Harvard won overall women's and men's honors, respectively, at the inaugural Orange Bowl Swimming Classic in Key Largo. The Vols won nine of the 12 women's events; Harvard took five of the 12 men's races. The Florida International women were second overall.

HORSES: Lion Heart stays perfect

Lion Heart earned his third victory in as many starts, winning the $382,000 Hollywood Futurity at Hollywood Park. Lion Heart, ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith beat St. Averil by 31/2 lengths and paid $3, $2.20 and $2.10. Trainer Patrick Biancone immediately claimed a right to the year's 2-year-old championship for the undefeated colt.

CALDER: Magic Mecke made up more than seven lengths in the final 3 furlongs to win the Pete Axthelm Stakes for 3-year-olds.

SOCCER: A first doping offense?

A Chinese player twice tested positive for a banned drug in what could be the country's first doping case in the sport. Defender Zhang Shuai of the Beijing Guo'an team tested positive for ephedrine in a random check last week. The second screening for confirmation also was positive. Zhang told state media he took flu medication; ephedrine is a stimulant used in some cold remedies.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Bolton tied Arsenal at 1 on an 83rd-minute goal by Henrick Pedersen, preventing Arsenal from taking sole possession of first in the Premier League.

WINTER SPORTS: Moguls victory for Roberts

American Nathan Roberts won a World Cup moguls in Madonna Di Campiglio, Italy, sending Olympic champion Janne Lahtela of Finland to his first loss this season. Norway's Kari Traa, who leads the overall standings, beat American Shannon Bahrke in the women's event 25.03 points to 24.5.

BOBSLED: Olympic champion Andre Lange broke the course record in winning his first doubles event of the World Cup season in Altenberg, Germany. The German pilot and pusher Kevin Kuske finished in a combined 1 minute, 51.21 seconds.

CROSS COUNTRY: Katerina Neumannova of the Czech Republic won in her return to World Cup skiing six months after giving birth. Neumannova finished the 10K freestyle in Ramsau, Austria, in 27 minutes, 7.9 seconds for the eighth World Cup victory of her career. Sweden's Mathias Frederiksson won the men's 30-kilometer double pursuit in 1:21:52.4, the second victory this season for the defending overall World Cup winner.

OBITUARY: Historic Indiana coach dies

Ray Crowe, coach of the 1955 Indianapolis Crispus Attucks team featuring Oscar Robertson that became the first all-black school to win the Indiana state high school basketball championship, died. He was 88. Mr. Crowe coached Crispus Attucks to the Indiana High School Athletic Association championship with a 94-74 victory over another all-black school, Gary Roosevelt.

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