Tennis 46-year-old man convicted in Miami of stalking...

SPORTS DIGEST

April 04, 2001

Tennis

46-year-old man convicted in Miami of stalking Hingis

A man who said he fell in love with tennis star Martina Hingis and followed her to tournaments around the world despite her pleas to stay away was convicted of stalking yesterday.

Dubravko Rajcevic, a 46-year-old Croatian-born naval architect from Australia, was found guilty of stalking and three counts of trespassing at the 2000 Ericsson Open near Miami. He faces up to four years in prison.

Rajcevic initially showed no reaction when the verdict was read, then gave a half smile. After the jury left the courtroom, Rajcevic blurted questions at Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Kevin Emas.

"Why no black people on my jury? All the black people were eliminated from my jury," Rajcevic said. The judge told him to discuss that with his lawyer, Frank Abrams.

Emas granted Abrams' request for a psychologist to visit Rajcevic in jail before sentencing on April 12. But Rajcevic said he would not cooperate. "I don't need that type of help," Rajcevic said. "I need legal help, not psychological help."

Earlier yesterday, Rajcevic told jurors that he was convinced the 20-year-old Swiss player once loved him, but had probably found someone else while he was detained for the trial.

"Yes, I believe she was in love with me, but I've been in jail for one year," Rajcevic said. "She's young, beautiful, famous. In one year she's probably found someone else."

Auto racing

Lawyer: NASCAR may have influenced photos decision

NASCAR might have persuaded Dale Earnhardt's widow to have the racing star's autopsy photos sealed to protect itself against a wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney for a newspaper seeking access to the images suggested.

Attorney Tom Julin, in a memorandum filed in Volusia County (Fla.) Circuit Court, also argued that legislation passed last week restricting public access to all autopsy photos is unconstitutional and can't be applied retroactively to the Earnhardt case.

Julin is representing the Gainesville-based student newspaper, the Independent Florida Alligator, in its efforts to view the photos. A hearing on the motions is scheduled for tomorrow.

"These circumstances strongly suggest that NASCAR, motivated by its own fear of a lawsuit for wrongful death ... urged Teresa Earnhardt to file this suit to seal the photographs at issue because of what they might reveal," Julin said in the memorandum.

NASCAR spokesman John Griffin said he wasn't aware if his company played a role in Teresa Earnhardt's decision. Her attorney, Thom Rumberger, strongly denied NASCAR influenced her decision.

INDY RACING LEAGUE: The IRL said Toyota Motorsports will manufacture engines for its series, starting in 2003, joining General Motors and Infiniti.

Pro football

Patriots reporter hurt at stadium topping-off

A reporter was injured when he was hit by a 2-by-4 wooden board that fell from a crane during a ceremony at the New England Patriots' new stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

Bryan Morry, the editor of the team-owned Patriots Football Weekly, was knocked to the ground when he was hit in the right leg by the 8-foot board after it fell from a height of about 75 feet. He stayed for the conclusion of the ceremony, then limped to a golf cart and was taken to get medical treatment.

The topping-off ceremony marked the completion of the steel structure for the $325 million stadium scheduled to open in 2002.

LIONS: Detroit hopes to keep star receiver Herman Moore but contends it cannot afford him and wants to rework his contract.

Moore, the Lions' career leading receiver, is signed through 2005. He is to receive a base salary of $3.295 million this year, with prorated signing bonuses that push the salary cap number to $5.013 million.

"I don't think the last two years were up to his standards," team president Matt Millen said. "Hopefully, we can work something out."

SAINTS: Club owner Tom Benson, 73, had bypass surgery in New Orleans to clear blocked coronary arteries.

BRONCOS: Former Raven Quentin Neujahr, a free-agent center who spent the past three seasons with the Jaguars, signed with Denver.

Et cetera

Kim enters IOC race; Terps' Easter hits for cycle

The race to succeed Juan Antonio Samaranch as president of the International Olympic Committee took final shape when South Korea's Kim Un-yong completed the five-person field.

Portraying himself as a guardian of Olympic tradition and warning of the dangers of over-commercialization and professionalism, Kim announced his bid for the most powerful job in international sports.

His entry comes two years after he received a "most severe warning" after an internal IOC inquiry into the Salt Lake City bid scandal. Kim insisted that should not harm his chances.

The other candidates are Dick Pound of Canada, Jacques Rogge of Belgium, Anita DeFrantz of the United States and Pal Schmitt of Hungary. Rogge, Kim and Pound are considered the main contenders.

The election will be held in Moscow on July 16.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Senior first baseman Chuck Easter (Calvert Hall) hit for the cycle by going 4-for-5 with four RBIs as Maryland cruised to a 14-6 victory at UMBC.

It was the first time in 108 years of baseball at Maryland that a Terps player has hit for the cycle.

BOXING: Former heavyweight champion Greg Page, hospitalized since being knocked out in a March 9 fight, was transferred from University Hospital in Cincinnati to Frazier Rehabilitation Center in Louisville, Ky.

Page, 42, of Louisville is listed in fair condition.

His family asked that details of his injuries not be released, and that physicians not comment on his treatment.

The quiz

All in the family The Cincinnati Reds' Bob Boone and Aaron Boone are the sixth father-son, manager-player combination in the majors. Name the first five. (Answer, 7d)

Quiz answer

Connie and Earle Mack, Yogi and Dale Berra, Cal Ripken Sr. and sons Billy and Cal Jr., Hal and Brian McRae, and Felipe and Moises Alou.

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