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Softball starts pitch for Olympic return

By TIMES WIRES
Published September 1, 2006


BEIJING - Softball, removed from the Olympic roster starting in 2012, is hoping a high-level task force will get the sport back in the Games by 2016.

The sport's governing body announced Thursday that it was setting up the task force, drawing its members from business, media, the International Olympic Committee and the international and national softball federations.

The aim is to generate support for softball's reinstatement at an IOC meeting in 2009, the next time the issue is allowed to be put before the Olympic committee.

"We need to ensure the future of our sport for the millions of young athletes around the world who are playing our sport with the dream of competing in the Olympics," International Softball Federation president Don Porter said.

MORE SOFTBALL: Monica Abbott pitched a complete game and Stacey Nuveman hit two home runs as the defending champion U.S. team crushed New Zealand 15-0 at the world championships in Beijing.

BOXING

Perfect records on line

Canadian Steve Molitor and South African Gabula Vabaza take unbeaten records into their IBF junior featherweight title fight today.

The unbeaten southpaws - Molitor is 22-0 and Vabaza is 23-1-0 - fight in Johannesburg, South Africa.

MORE BOXING: Ricky Hatton is giving up his WBA welterweight title to challenge for the IBF world light-welterweight belt he relinquished after defeating Kostya Tszyu. He'll fight Colombian IBF champion Juan Urango on Dec. 9 in Atlanta, his promoter said.

SOCCER

Juventis stops civil appeal

Juventus withdrew its appeal to a civil court in the Italian match-fixing scandal. Juventus may seek arbitration before the Italian Olympic Committee, with the aim of having its point-penalty reduced.

A sports tribunal stripped Juventus of its last two Serie A titles and relegated the club to the second division. A court reduced Juventus' points penalty from 30 to 17.

MORE SOCCER: The Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer were sold to an investment group. . . . American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley was loaned to Manchester City of England's Premier League by PSV Eindhoven. . . . Arsenal loaned Jose Antonio Reyes to Real Madrid for one season in return for Julio Baptista. It also sent defender Ashley Cole to Chelsea for $9.5-million and defender William Gallas. . . . Dutch national team's record goal-scorer Patrick Kluivert will join PSV Eindhoven. . . . The United States lost to China 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 0-0 tie in the semifinals of the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Championship in Moscow.

CYCLING

Ullrich, T-Mobile cut ties

Jan Ullrich reached an agreement with T-Mobile to end his contract after having been fired by the team amid doping allegations.

The 1997 Tour de France winner was let go July 21 as a result of being linked to a widespread doping scandal in Spain centered around Madrid doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.

Ullrich has not been charged in any investigations.

SPANISH VUELTA: Norway's Thor Hushovd won the sixth stage, covering the 110-mile route from Zamora to Leon in 4 hours, 9 minutes, 10 seconds.

ET CETERA

NHL: Dallas re-signed defenseman Trevor Daley to a two-year contract. Terms weren't disclosed. . . . Carolina signed right wing Stephen Peat to a one-year, two-way contract that pays him $450,000 if he makes the club or $75,000 if he plays for Albany of the American Hockey League.

COLLEGES: Joe Ilett, Rodney Laveau, Greg Cavallini and Wade Fisher each had a goal and Jim Lebonitte made four saves as Eckerd men's soccer beat Clearwater Christian 4-0 in St. Petersburg. . . . Susan Holt, the women's golf coach at USF the past 13 years, resigned to become the women's golf coach at Notre Dame. . . . Former USF volleyball coach Nancy Mueller returns as Illinois-Chicago plays the Bulls at 7 tonight in the Best Western Invitational. . . . Miami's Kristen Chapman, a senior defender, was named to the Soccer Buzz National Elite Team of the Week. . . . USF rescheduled its women's soccer game with Stetson, postponed Wednesday, for 7 p.m. Tuesday in DeLand.

DOPING: Rumyana Petkova, a Bulgarian woman weightlifter tested positive for steroids and is awaiting the results of her backup "B" sample.