September 20, 2005

Congress interviews players on Palmeiro

Congressional investigators looking into whether Rafael Palmeiro lied under oath are interviewing players who know him, including a Colo rado Rockies outfielder sus pended this year for steroids, the Associated Press has learned. Palmeiro testified to the House Government Reform Committee in March that he never had used ster oids. The Orioles slugger, one of four players in history with 3,000 hits and 500 homers, was suspended by Major League Baseball for 10 days in August for failing a drug test. A con gressional source familiar with the committee's work, speak ing to the AP on condition of anonymity because the investi gation is ongoing, said yester day that "several active play ers' have spoken or will speak with the committee. That source would not identify who was interviewed. But a base ball source, also speaking to the AP on condition of ano nymity because the inquiry is ongoing, said Colorado Rockies outfielder Jorge Piedra spoke on the phone with the com mittee within the past week. Piedra, who has trained with Palmeiro in the offseason, was suspended for 10 days in April for a positive steroid test, the second player to be publicly identified under the sport's new rules. The congressional source indicated that all the players asked to talk to the committee recently were cho sen because they have rela tionships with Palmeiro - such as teammates or workout partners - and could have knowledge about whether he might have used steroids be fore his testimony.

Auto racing

R. Gordon, Kahne not suspended

Robby Gordon and Kasey Kahne avoided suspensions yesterday when NASCAR penalized them for road-rage incidents in New Hampshire. Gordon was fined $35,000 and docked 50 points in the driver standings for intentionally trying to hit Michael Waltrip's car during Sunday's race at New Hampshire International Speedway, throwing his hel met at Waltrip's car, and cursing during a television interview. Kahne was fined $25,000 and penalized 25 points in the standings for intentionally hitting Kyle Busch's car in retaliation for an earlier accident.

College football

Oklahoma moves QB Thompson

Oklahoma's Paul Thompson will move from quarterback to wide receiver. "He's an excellent athlete who's worked hard and we want the opportunity to get him on the field." coach Bob Stoops said. "Rhett Bomar has got four years in front of him and he's ahead in some areas right now." Thompson, a 6-foot-4 right-hander, bided his time behind Nate Hybl and Jason White to earn the spot as Oklahoma's top quarterback before the season began, but he was replaced by Bomar after the Sooners were upset in their opener by Texas Christian.

Georgia Tech Quarterback Reggie Ball was released from Emory University Hospital in Atlanta hospital after being treated for viral meningitis. Coach Chan Gailey said it's too early to determine whether Ball will be able to play Saturday against fourth- ranked Virginia Tech.

Michigan Safety Ryan Mundy is expected to miss the rest of the season with a nerve injury.

Florida Defensive end Ray McDonald had surgery to repair ligament and cartilage tears in his right knee. The team hopes to have its best pass rusher back at practice within six weeks.


Report: Federer signs with IMG

Top-ranked Roger Federer, perhaps the most high-profile athlete in sports not to have representation, signed yesterday with IMG, the world's largest sports marketing and management agency, ESPN.com reported. Federer's girlfriend, Mirka Vavrinec, and his family had been helping him with his schedule over the years.

WTA Second-ranked Lindsay Davenport, coming off a title in Bali, pulled out of the China Open in Beijing because of a strained lower back. ... Venus Williams defeated top-ranked Maria Sharapova, 6-4, 6-4, in an exhibition in Seoul, South Korea.

Et cetera

Superdome shape better than feared

A second inspection over the weekend revealed the damage to Superdome wasn't as bad as first thought, said Doug Thornton, the regional vice president of SMG, the company that manages the 30-year-old facility. Thornton initially feared the dome might need to be gutted because of damage from Hurricane Katrina. The adjacent New Orleans Arena, which is also managed by SMG, appears to be in worse shape than originally thought, Thornton said.

College basketball Louisville sophomore starting center David Padgett will be sidelined six to eight weeks after breaking a bone in his right foot and spraining his ankle in a pickup game.

Golf Defending champion Mark Bemowski and qualifying medalist Billy Clagett won first-round matches in the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship in Rocky Face, Ga.

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