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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published January 31, 2001

U.S. skiier makes history at Worlds

Daron Rahlves, a 27-year-old Californian who trained with the Austrians during the summer, won the super-giant slalom Tuesday at St. Anton, Austria, stunning the home fams to become the first American to win the event.

"I know I surprised a lot of people, but those who were surprised were those who didn't know me," Rahlves said. "But I knew I was able to do this."

Stefan Eberharter, who won the event 10 years ago, got the silver medal, and defending champion Hermann Maier got bronze.

SOCCER: Jamaican national team defender Stephen Malcolm, 30, was killed Sunday in a car crash while driving to his native Montego Bay, hours after playing in an exhibition against Bulgaria. ... Alan Stubbs of Glasgow Celtic was cleared to play after recovering from his second bout of cancer. The defender, 29, had a relapse in November, six months after the cancer was found, after a testicle was removed. ... Police will charge officials of Brazil's Vasco da Gama with criminal negligence in connection with a Dec. 30 stadium accident that injured 168 fans. "There was negligence. ... The team took a risk overcrowding the stadium," Rio de Janeiro state policeman Jose Renato Torres said. The second leg of the final, won by Vasco 3-1 over Sao Caetano, was replayed Jan. 18. Also, Vasco defender Junior Baiano tested positive for cocaine after the final. National sports tribunal president Luiz Zveiter said Baiano will be suspended at least 30 days; if he is found guilty, he could be suspended for a year. ... Chilean defender Pablo Contreras, alleged to have used a fake Italian passport, was suspended for two months, and his former team, Monaco, was penalized two points.

OLYMPICS: Salt Lake City officials are working on security preparations for President Bush to attend the opening of the 2002 Winter Games, though the White House has not confirmed Bush will make the trip. ... Germany's Olympic committee plans to fight the overturned suspension of Alexander Leipold, the freestyle wrestler stripped of his Sydney gold medal for a positive drug test. Leipold was cleared Friday by a legal panel of the German wrestling federation. ... Contaminated food supplements could be responsible for the rash of positive tests for the banned steroid nandrolone, said Wilhelm Schaencer, head of the IOC laboratory in Cologne, Germany, who carried out tests on about 100 different supplements.

FOOTBALL: Billy Sims, the 1978 Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma, was ordered to appear in court March21 in Tulsa to face accusations he owes more than $14,000 from a 1997 child-support conviction.

COLLEGES: Florida State's Emma Breland, who had 12 goals and seven assists last season, was named to the Soccer America all-freshman team.

AUTOS: Paul Stoddart, chairman and CEO of European Aviation Group, said he bought control of the Minardi Formula One team for an undisclosed sum.

BOXING: Paul Ingle, who needed brain surgery after losing a Dec. 16 title bout, was moved to a rehabilitation unit. Doctors said the 28-year-old, injured in an International Boxing Federation featherweight title bout against Mbulelo Botile, is making good progress and is able to speak.

TENNIS: U.S. Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroe named Todd Martin, Justin Gimelstob, Jan-Michael Gambill and Andy Roddick to the team for the first-round match Feb. 9-11 in Basel, Switzerland. ... No. 2 seed Yevgeny Kafelnikov beat Jeff Tarango in three sets and Fabrice Santoro beat No. 3 seed Dominik Hrbaty in the first round of the Milan Indoors tournament. ... Sandrine Testud beat Kristina Brandi in the first round of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.

ARENAS: New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman and YankeeNets LLC agreed in principle on plans to build a $325-million arena in Newark for the NBA's Nets and NHL's Devils.

GEORGIA FLAG: The Georgia Senate voted to adopt a new flag that reduces the Confederate fighting symbol to a tiny spot at the bottom of the banner. Wally Renfro, a spokesman for the NCAA, which had been urged to move three Final Fours out of the state over the issue, called the vote "very encouraging."

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