Boycott if Magic plays, Australian doctor saysAn...

Sports briefly

January 23, 1992

Boycott if Magic plays, Australian doctor says

An Australian Olympic Federation medical official, Dr. Brian Sando, has recommended a boycott against the U.S. basketball team if Magic Johnson plays in the Summer Games. Sando said yesterday that Johnson, who has tested HIV-positive, represents realistic threat of passing on AIDS. "That risk -- even though it's small -- you cannot absolutely say it's never going to occur," Sando said.

Johnson, who has retired as a player with the Los Angeles Lakers, has said he would like to play for the U.S. Olympic team in Barcelona, Spain, and in the NBA's All-Star Game next month.

Baseball

Jim Leyland, saying he'd like to manage only one team during his major-league career, agreed to a five-year contract through 1996 with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The deal ends speculation that Leyland, the 1990 National League Manager of the Year, might leave after next season to manage the Florida Marlins.

The Pirates tore up the remaining two years on Leyland's old contract and gave him a new deal expected to make him one of the NL's highest paid-managers. He made $300,000 last season. Leyland signed the contract just three months after indicating he wouldn't negotiate a long-term deal until he was certain the Pirates were committed to fielding a competitive team.

* A lawyer said New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner agreed to drop one of two lawsuits against commissioner Fay Vincent, but the commissioner's office said it hadn't received notice that the litigation was discontinued. Vincent has said this lawsuit and another involving Yankees executive Leonard Kleinman must be dropped before he will talk with Steinbrenner. The owner, who is barred from the team's day-to-day operations, agreed on July 30, 1990, to what amounts to a lifetime ban from baseball.

Steinbrenner has been unhappy with the agreement since the night it was signed and has attempted without success to negotiate his return to power.

* Right-hander Bert Blyleven, a winner of 279 games who hasn't pitched since 1990, agreed to a minor-league contract with the California Angels. Blyleven, 40, underwent surgery April 16 that began as an arthroscopic procedure before it was determined Blyleven had incurred further tearing in his rotator cuff since surgery on Oct. 1, 1990.

Tennis

Bjorn Borg, whose return to professional tennis after a seven-year break ended in a debacle in Monte Carlo last April, may try another comeback in Nice, France, this year. The sports daily l'Equipe, quoting unspecified sources, said yesterday Borg, was planning to enter the Nice Open starting April 13.

Organizers of the event said he would receive a wild card if he asked for one. Borg, who won the Wimbledon men's singles title five times and the French Open crown six times, suffered a 6-2, 6-3 defeat to Spain's Jordi Arrese on his first comeback last year. L'Equipe said Borg had switched the old wooden racket he used in Monte Carlo for more modern equipment and had trained for several months at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.

High school basketball

Mike Gemmill scored 23, as host Patapsco (5-3, 4-3) upset No. 11 Milford Mill (8-3, 5-2), 73-72, in a Baltimore County 2A-1A Division game. David Cundiff scored the game-winning basket with 27 seconds left.

Olympics

Tickets are available for virtually every event at next month's Winter Olympics in the French Alps. The organizing committee for the Games, which open Feb. 8 in Albertville, announced that 700,000 of the 800,000 available tickets had been sold and its goal of $26 million in ticket revenue had been met. The only events sold out are the ice dancing final on Feb. 17, a figure-skating session on Feb. 22, and 10 hockey games, including the final, semifinals and several early-round games involving France.

Boxing

Heavyweight contender Riddick Bowe has been forced to withdraw from a scheduled Feb. 1 fight card after being poked in the eye during a sparring session. Bowe was scheduled to fight Jose Ribalta as part of a card at Caesars Palace that also featured heavyweight contenders Lennox Lewis and Michael Moorer in separate fights.

College football

A rule change approved by the NCAA Football Rules Committee will allow defensive players to advance fumbles no matter where they recover the ball. The old rule allowed a defensive player to advance a fumble only if it occurred beyond the line of scrimmage. It does not apply to missed laterals and pitchouts, which are considered backward passes under collegiate rules. It also does not apply to muffed kicks.

Jurisprudence

A former West Virginia basketball player was convicted Tuesday of selling cocaine, officials said. Wayne Yearwood, 27, was convicted of conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine, distributing it within 1,000 feet of a school and distribution of cocaine. Several witnesses said they bought the drug from him, including former Kansas City Chiefs lineman Brian Jozwiak, a Catonsville High graduate who played at West Virginia.

Track and field

The administrator of the track-and-field world's ruling body, the International Amateur Athletic Federation, said an Olympic ban on South African track athletes could be lifted even at the last minute if that country meets international conditions. The International Olympic Committee has given South Africa general permission to participate in the Summer Olympics in Barcelona, following years of banishment because of racial discrimination in that country. But South Africa still must win approval from international governing bodies in individual sports.

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