Ben Johnson starts his comeback tonightThe most noted drug...

Sports briefly

January 11, 1991

Ben Johnson starts his comeback tonight

The most noted drug abuser in sports will begin his long-awaited comeback at tonight's Hamilton Spectator Indoor Games.

Ben Johnson, stripped of his 1988 Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter -- after testing positive for steroids, runs his first race in more than two years when he competes in the 50-meter -- against a formidable field.

Johnson's career came to a halt 27 1/2 months ago in Seoul, South Korea, when he lost his gold medal, his world record and, for two years, his eligibility to compete in track and field.

"It's up to Ben to prove that he can still win," said Tony Campbell, who manages American runner Dennis Mitchell. "His whole season is predicated on what he does in Hamilton. If he's shaky in his first race, he will have a problem the rest of the year.

Random drug testing will be conducted during the meet. But Bob Hersh, the International Amateur Athletic Federation delegate overseeing the Games, said he would not decide until shortly before the start of competition whether Johnson would be singled out for testing.


Baltimore officials and Dallas Sidekicks general manager Gordon Jago will meet again this weekend in Dallas to discuss a possible trade involving Blast midfielder Richard Chinapoo, said Baltimore coach Kenny Cooper.

Neither Cooper nor Jago would say whom the Sidekicks are willing to trade for Chinapoo, but it is thought that Cooper is pursuing defender Troy Snyder, 24, of Reading, Pa., who played for the Maryland Bays in the summer of 1989. He is in his fourth year in the Major Soccer League and is second on the team this season in blocks (37). Snyder has six goals and six assists.

Chinapoo, 33, has nine goals and nine assists. He signed as a free agent with the Blast on Aug. 4 after scoring 36 goals and having 32 assists in two seasons for Dallas.

* Blast rookie midfielder Dominic Feltham, the team's second-round draft choice from the University of Maryland by way of Surrey, England, has received his work visa after sitting out the first 24 games. Feltham is expected to play tonight against the Wichita Wings in Wichita, Kan.


Hal Sutton saw the ball disappear into the hole at Tucson National and figured he had an eagle and the first-round lead in the Northern Telecom Tucson (Ariz.) Open.

But he didn't get all of the ball all the way into the hole and had to settle for an unusual closing birdie and a share of the top spot with Bob Tway.

"It's history-book stuff," Sutton said after he sweated out a 40- to 50-minute delay and signed for an 8-under-par 64. Sutton's 166-yard, 6-iron second shot on the ninth hole -- his 18th of the day -- hit the hole on the fly and embedded in the front lip.

"More than half the ball was in the hole," Sutton said. "Most of it was below the surface of the ground."

Twenty minutes later, officials ruled that the ball was not in the hole, and another 20 minutes went by while the ball was removed and the hole repaired. Sutton tried twice to place the ball in its original position, but it fell in the hole both times. Eventually, he moved it back a half-inch and tapped in the birdie putt.


After swimming for more than five hours along jellyfish infested waters, American Chad Hundeby emerged stung but triumphant at the World Swimming Championships in Perth, Australia.

"There's a lot of people who think we're a little insane, but there's a reason for everything," he said after winning the men's marathon title in 5 hours, 1 minute, 45.78 seconds.

The pool swimmers, off yesterday, will resume today.

Horse racing

Lynda O'Dea has resigned from her day-to-day position as marketing director at Laurel and Pimlico race courses to start a consulting business, track president Joe De Francis announced. Dea, who has worked at the tracks since 1984, will retain a working relationship with both tracks. She has been given the title of vice president and consultant.


The Harrisburg Senators of the Class AA Eastern League, unhappy with frequent changes in the Pittsburgh Pirates' minor-league department, are entertaining offers from other clubs, including the New York Yankees and New York Mets and the Montreal Expos.

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