MANCHESTER, England - Manchester United criticized fans who disrupted a game between reserve teams to protest a potential takeover of the famed English soccer club by Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner Malcolm Glazer.
"Encroaching on the field of play is against the law," the club said in a statement Friday. "The club does not condone what happened. It would be unacceptable at a first-team game and it is unacceptable for the reserves."
About 30 protesters went on the field Thursday night during a game between Manchester United and Birmingham City reserves. Play was held up for three minutes while the protesters unfurled a "Not for Sale" banner and tried unsuccessfully to set fire to a U.S. flag.
The protest came three days after Manchester United's board announced it received a "preliminary approach" to buy out the club. It was reported the bidder was Glazer, whose company owns 19 percent of the club.DOPING: Two BALCO defendants want charges dropped
Four defendants charged with distributing illegal steroids to some of the nation's best-known athletes through the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative were subjected to illegal searches and coerced by federal investigators, defense lawyers said. Attorneys for two of the defendants - personal trainer Greg Anderson and BALCO founder Victor Conte - said they will seek to dismiss the federal indictments against their clients based on alleged leaks by government officials and misconduct by the lead investigator.OLYMPICS: U.S. may get gold
The Americans who finished second in team jumping at the Athens Games could receive gold because a horse ridden by a member of the winning German team failed a drug test. The International Equestrian Federation said four horses tested positive for banned substances. The horse that would affect the team jumping result was Goldfever, ridden by Ludger Beerbaum.TENNIS: No.1 battle continues
Amelie Mauresmo and Lindsay Davenport won in straight sets to reach the Porsche Grand Prix semifinals in another step in their battle for the No.1 ranking. Top-ranked Mauresmo overpowered American Lisa Raymond 6-4, 6-1. Second-ranked Davenport struggled with her first serve but defeated qualifier Jelena Jankovic 6-4, 6-3. Davenport will reclaim the No.1 ranking if she wins her season-high seventh title and Mauresmo loses today's semifinal against No.5 Svetlana Kuznetsova, the U.S. Open champion. Davenport plays No.4 Anastasia Myskina, the French Open winner.
JAPAN OPEN: Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova beat Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-2, 6-3 and plays for the Tokyo title against American Mashona Washington. Among the men, top-seeded Lleyton Hewitt stopped ninth-seeded Cyril Saulnier 7-5, 6-1 to reach the semifinals. He faces fifth-seeded Jiri Novak. Taylor Dent of the United States eliminated Gilles Muller 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 and meets Bohdan Ulihrach.COLLEGES: Coach arrested in sting
Edward Waters basketball coach Arthur " Buster" Harvey was among 22 men arrested in a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office prostitution sting, officials said. He responded to an ad in the Florida Times-Union and set up a meeting with an undercover officer posing as a prostitute Thursday, a police report said. Harvey showed up, and after buying a bag of sex toys, he offered to pay two officers $150 for sex. All 22 men were charged with soliciting for prostitution, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 60 days in jail or a $500 fine. SOCCER: The USF women snapped their three-game losing streak with a 3-0 win against host Southern Mississippi. ... Florida used three second-half goals to down host Kentucky 3-0. ... Julia Schnugg scored the winner as Florida State beat Wake Forest 1-0. ... Host Eckerd defeated Florida Tech 3-2. ... Tony Rosso had two goals and an assist as the host Saint Leo men beat Southeastern 7-0.
SWIMMING: The Gators beat host Florida Atlantic. The women finished first in the nine swimming and two diving events to down the Owls 177-112. The men also won every event and defeated FAU 182-100.
TENNIS: UF's Nestor Briceno lost to Harvard's Jonathan Chu 6-4, 6-4 in the round of 16 at the Icy Hot/Men's All-American Championship in Chattanooga, Tenn.
VOLLEYBALL: Florida State won 26-30, 30-19, 30-25, 30-28 and handed Maryland its first home loss of the season. ... Host Rollins defeated Saint Leo 30-28, 26-30, 30-22, 22-30, 15-10. ... Florida Southern beat Eckerd 30-20, 24-30, 30-19, 30-17.ET CETERA
GREYHOUNDS: Sol Taylor became the third female to win the St. Pete Puppy Preview at Derby Lanes. The Inaugural Stakes will be run tonight.
HORSES: Balto Star took the lead on the final turn and held off a late charge by favored Dynever for a half-length victory in the $500,000 Meadowlands Cup in East Rutherford, N.J.
SWIMMING: The United States outtouched Australia to win the men's 800-meter freestyle relay at the World Short Course Championships after Michael Phelps withdrew because of a back injury. Florida's Ryan Lochte swam the first leg as the Americans finished in 7 minutes, 3.78 seconds. Aaron Peirsol, who swept the backstroke events at Athens, won the 100 backstroke and Brendan Hansen the 100 breaststroke.