Unsafe at any speedRiders and teams decided Friday to...

Off the beat

July 21, 1991

Unsafe at any speed

Riders and teams decided Friday to boycott September's Brazilian motorcycling grand prix for safety reasons.

"The leading riders in all classes have . . . agreed, unanimously, that they do not wish to participate in this event," the International Road Racing Teams' Association said in a statement at the French Grand Prix site.

The signatories included every racing team in the paddock.

The decision to boycott the Interlagos circuit came after the IRTA sent American Suzuki rider Kevin Schwantz to Brazil to inspect the track last month. He reported that a grandstand had not been removed as required, the corner "Subido Dos Boxes" was far too dangerous, and it was too late to fix them.

IRTA president Paul Butler said his group gave the sport's governing body, the International Motorcycling Federation, a copy of Schwantz's report and suggested switching the race to a European circuit such as Spa in Belgium.

"We haven't had a reply," he said.

Nice recovery

There was a time not long ago when Andrew Oldcorn couldn't even walk to the first green -- let alone shoot his way into the lead of the British Open.

Oldcorn, who shot a 77 yesterday for a 54-hole total of 5-over 215, suffers from a debilitating illness commonly known in the United States as "yuppie flu," or chronic fatigue syndrome.

"I want this to be a signal to other people who get the disease that it is not a bottomless pit," he said. "I want to be an example that if you fight you can win against this."

Oldcorn, 31, who was born in England but lives in Scotland, missed most of the 1989 and 1990 seasons because of the disease.

"At one stage I thought I would not play competitive golf again," he said. "That was in the middle of the 1989 season when it was really at its worst.

"It starts off as a viral disease and affects your nervous system, your brain and you have a lot of muscle wastage," he said. "You can't do anything. Your whole system packs it in. The worst thing is not being able to read a newspaper or watch TV or walk more than 50 yards outside the house.

"I have been trying to get my game back in shape and get my stamina back," Oldcorn said. "It is almost like starting all over again. I am still battling to get through it. I still feel the effects of it."

The quote

St. Louis Cardinals manager Joe Torre on a seven-game road trip that started with four losses and ended with three wins: "It was like a wife who leaves her purse in a taxi, she's got $50 in bills and $10,000 in jewelry in it, and she gets back the jewelry."

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