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In brief

Medalist punished for doping

By wire services
Published October 20, 2004

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Two-time Olympic gold medalist Alvin Harrison accepted a four-year suspension from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Tuesday for drug violations uncovered in the BALCO case.

The 30-year-old sprinter, who won gold medals as part of U.S. relay teams at the 1996 and 2000 Olympics, was charged with violations of anti-doping rules based in part on evidence presented in the Senate in May, then turned over to USADA before the Athens Games.

"It's a bittersweet day," said USADA chief executive officer Terry Madden. "It's good that another athlete in the BALCO drug conspiracy has been brought to justice. It's a sad day because we now know a conspiracy is out there. Athletes have admitted to it and people are using prohibited substances."

Harrison's attorney, Robert Harris, said his client was going to retire soon, so accepting the penalty made sense.

The evidence did not include a positive drug test, but did include information gathered during the federal probe of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative.

Harrison became the second athlete to accept a suspension for using illegal substances despite not testing positive. Sprinter Kelli White, who forfeited two world titles, earlier accepted a two-year suspension.

HAMM DECISION: U.S. gymnast Paul Hamm will find out Thursday whether he can keep his gold medal. Hamm won the all-around title in Athens, but South Korea's Yang Tae-young wants the Court of Arbitration for Sport to change the results because of a scoring error.

MORE DOPING: The Hungarian Olympic Committee will consider whether to ban its athletes from the Olympics for life after one doping offense. Five Hungarians - including two gold medalists and a silver medalist - were found guilty of doping during the Athens Games in August.

TENNIS: Agassi advances

Andre Agassi got past big-serving Max Mirnyi 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 to reach the third round at the Madrid Masters in Spain. The second-seeded Agassi, the tournament's 2002 champion, was given a first-round bye. He owns a record 17 Masters titles. Tampa's Mardy Fish lost to Andrei Pavel 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-2).

SWISSCOM CHALLENGE: Venus Williams reached the second round in Zurich, Switzerland with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Karolina Sprem, who upset her in the second round at Wimbledon. That match - Williams' earliest exit at the All England Club since her 1997 debut - was marred by the chair umpire's awarding of an extra point to Sprem.

COLLEGES: Comments irk UNC coach

North Carolina coach Roy Williams said he was angered when he learned of guard Rashad McCants' comments comparing life as a college basketball player to being in jail. "I was really ticked off," he said. "I told Rashad there was a big difference in playing college basketball and being in jail. Like the game Monopoly, I told him I could just give him a "Get out of jail free' card and he could leave."

SOCCER: Junior defender Kyle Franklin scored his first goal of the season with 16 seconds in regulation to push host Tampa to a 2-1 victory over Covenant College.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Maryland coach Brenda Frese signed a two-year extension that extends her contract through 2010.


AUTO RACING: Andretti Green Promotions announced the hiring of Kirk Russell as director of track operations and Anne Streeter as client relations and sales coordinator for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Tim Ramsberger was named vice president in a general manager capacity last week. Russell is a responsible for the construction of event infrastructure in what will be the Indy Racing League's first street event. The Grand Prix will be held on April 3.

GOLF: Trying to become the first woman to earn a spot on the men's tour, LPGA Tour rookie Isabelle Beisiegel shot a 12-over-par 84 in the first round of a regional PGA Tour qualifying tournament in La Quinta, Calif.

FIGURE SKATING: Sasha Cohen won't defend her title at Skate America this weekend, withdrawing because of a back problem that doctors believe might be related to her season-ending injury four years ago.

FENCING: Oldsmar's Jim Campoli was named chair of the 2005 Veterans Fencing World Championships at Tampa, according to the sport's chief administrator for Central Florida. The three-day meet will be held the first weekend in September.

[Last modified October 20, 2004, 00:18:19]

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