Maradona faces ban for positive cocaine testDiego...

Sports briefly

March 30, 1991

Maradona faces ban for positive cocaine test

Diego Maradona, the world's most acclaimed soccer player, has been found to have used cocaine and is expected to be suspended from international play for as long as two years.

A laboratory analysis conducted yesterday in Rome confirmed the results of a previous test in which traces of the drug were found in his urine sample, taken after a game on March 17 in Bari, Italy. Maradona, a 30-year-old professional from Argentina, has played for the Naples team in the Italian league since 1984.

The announcement of the test results were made by the Italian Soccer Federation, which will set the length of suspension next week. According to the rules of the international federation for soccer, which are far more strict than those governing drug offenses in American professional sports leagues, a first offense for cocaine use would mean an automatic two-year suspension.

Bowling

Norm Duke earned the No. 1 seed by 131 pins over fellow Albuquerque, N.M., resident Mike Miller for today's finals of the Professional Bowlers Association $200,000 PBA National Championship in Toledo, Ohio.

It's the second week in a row Duke will have to bowl only one game for the title. A two-time champion, Duke won last week's Parma Heights, Ohio, event from the top-seeded position. He finished qualifying with 12,794 pins to 12,663 for Miller. Martin Letscher of Bel Air, Md., finished third at 12,656.

Tennis

The world's top two female tennis players, Monica Seles and Steffi Graf, easily eliminated their quarterfinal opponents at the U.S. Women's Hardcourt Championships in San Antonio.

No. 1-ranked Seles, the tournament's top seed, defeated unseeded Erika de Lone, 6-2, 6-0. Second-ranked Graf dispatched No. 7 seed Susan Sloane, 6-1, 6-1.

Also advancing to today's semifinal round were unseeded Julie Halard, a 6-1, 6-2 quarterfinal winner over Eva Sviglerova, and third-seed Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere, who defeated sixth-seed Lori McNeil, 6-3, 6-4.

Should Seles and Graf win, it would set up their first meeting in 1991. Seles passed Graf for the top ranking on March 11 after the latter's 186-week reign.

Swimming

The Texas Longhorns, bolstered by an American record 200-yard medley relay victory and Jason Rhodes' surprising 3-meter diving conquest, kept on course for a fourth consecutive National Collegiate Athletic Association swimming and diving championship.

The Longhorns compiled 342 points after two nights of competition to 290 for Stanford, 221 for Southern California and 220 for Florida.

Texas, with Doug Dickinson anchoring in 19.22 seconds, smashed Princeton's 1990 American and NCAA record of 1 minutes, 27.31 seconds in the 200-yard medley relay with a 1:26.34 clocking. Stanford was second in 1:26.54, Florida third in 1:27.01, and UCLA fourth in 1:27.27, all under the previous record.

Shaun Jordan's 20.90 breaststroke helped Texas gain the edge on the third leg and gave him his third gold medal of the 68th NCAA meet. He also had a bronze.

Olympian David Wharton of Southern California successfully defended his title in the 400-yard individual medley in a clocking of 3:43.28, well over his American record of 3:42.23. It was Wharton's seventh NCAA championship medal.

Mike Barrowman of Michigan, world record holder in the 200-meter breaststroke, was upset in the 100-yard breaststroke by Andrea Cecchi of UCLA who posted a time of 53.50.

Prelims and finals will be held today in the 1650 freestyle, 100 freestyle, 200 backstroke, 200 butterfly, 200 breaststroke, platform diving, and 400 freestyle relay.

* Canadian Andrea Nugent was the only double winner in a World Cup swimming meet in Sheffield, England.

Nugent won the women's 50-meter butterfly in 27.92 seconds, beating Nicola Kennedy of England by four-tenths of a second.

She also won the 100-meter freestyle in 55.60. Eugenia Ermakova of the Soviet Union was second in 55.97.

Sailing

A fleet of single-skipper sailboats, on the seas for seven months and 19,000 miles in a race fraught with gale force winds and frothing seas, begins the voyage back to Newport, R.I., today.

The last of 18 yachts remaining in the BOC Around-The-World Challenge crossed the finish line in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, yesterday to finish the third leg, a 7,200-mile trip from Sydney, Australia.

The race winner is expected to dock in Newport, where the race began Sept. 15, by the end of April.

The only American still competing in Class I, Newport sailor Mike Plant, will start the voyage home in third place. Plant is the first American ever to crack the top three in the BOC.

French sailor Alain Gautier, sailing the Generali Concorde, is in first place. Christophe Augin, also from France, is second.

The race, with a $100,000 first prize, is recognized as one of the world's toughest sailing competitions.

Since launching in Newport, seven sailors have dropped or been forced out of the competition. The third leg dealt the worst conditions yet. Sailors battled gale force winds of at least 65 knots, poor visibility and frothing seas to stay on course.

Skiing

U.S. Ski team veteran Tiger Shaw, racing in his hometown of Stowe, Vt., won a North American championship series slalom race at Mount Mansfield.

Shaw, a two-time Olympian, put together two strong runs for a combined time of 1:50.31 seconds on a hard and fast course. Frenchman John Piccard placed second and Joe Levins of White Bear Lake, Minn., was third.

Shaw, a member of the U.S. Ski Team for nine years, announced during last weekend's World Cup races at Waterville Valley, N.H., that he would retire from competition at the end of the season.

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