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Sports briefs

By BRIAN LANDMAN, Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published August 15, 2001


NCAA: Stimulant use increasing

Almost 60 percent of student-athletes surveyed by the NCAA have used nutritional supplements, according to a report. The NCAA also found use of ephedrine, a stimulant with potentially dangerous side effects, is increasing.

Ephedrine, an ingredient in several supplements popular with high school and college athletes, was allegedly used by three football players who died recently -- Rashidi Wheeler of Northwestern, Devaughn Darling of Florida State and Curtis Jones, a defensive lineman for a Utah-based indoor team. The stimulant has not been tied to their deaths.

The report, the largest and most comprehensive NCAA survey of student-athletes' substance-abuse habits, was based on responses from 21,000 men and women at NCAA member schools.

MORE COLLEGES: A federal judge ordered Brown to pay more than $1-million in legal fees in a case that accused the school of discriminating against female athletes by discontinuing women's gymnastics and volleyball. The lawsuit went to the U.S. Supreme Court and shook up intercollegiate athletics nationwide. ... Florida State's men's soccer team, which returns eight starters from a team that reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16, is ranked No. 13 in SoccerBuzz magazine's poll. "It's an honor to have this ranking in the preseason," coach Patrick Baker said. Florida is No. 16. ... Florida volleyball is the favorite to win the SEC title, according to the coaches poll. ... Al Miller and Evandro Moretti had each 16 points to lead Central Florida to a 97-76 win over Blakenberge in Belgium as part of the Knights' European tour.

TENNIS: Top-seeded Jennifer Capriati of Wesley Chapel got a big scare before advancing in the Rogers AT&T Cup in Toronto. Daniela Hantuchova, ranked 54th in the world, had the No. 3 player in trouble for most of their second-round match at the $1.2-million event before Capriati prevailed 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. ... Jonas Bjorkman, Thomas Johansson and Thomas Enqvist advanced to the second round of the RCA Championships in Indianapolis. ... Greg Rusedski overpowered Marcus Hipfl 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) to advance to the second round of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington, D.C.

AUTO RACING: John Melvin, a safety expert who studied the fatal crash of Dale Earnhardt, said improvements to stock cars should focus on the cockpit and include head and neck restraints plus safety nets. A published report claims the results of the investigation into the death of the seven-time Winston Cup champion will stress exterior improvements to cars. ... CBS Sports has signed a three-year deal with CART Inc. to televise seven races per year for the next three years. CART, in the final year of deals with ABC Sports and ESPN, is expected to place the rest of its 22-race schedule for 2002 and beyond with Fox, which would spread the races over Speedvision, FX and Fox Sports Net.

GOLF: The Vantage championship will have a new name next year. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. will end its 15-year sponsorship of the Senior PGA Tour event.

TRACK: Czech shot putter Miloslav Menc received a lifetime ban after failing a drug test for the second time in three years. Menc tested positive for steroids, but he plans an appeal.

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