Sports Digest

SPORTS DIGEST

May 01, 2007

Pro basketball

Wizards' Arenas on video-game cover

EA Sports announced that Washington Wizards All-Star Gilbert Arenas will be on the cover of the NBA Live 08 video game. He'll also be a spokesman for the company. Arenas finished the 2006-07 regular season averaging 28.4 points and 6.0 assists per game. Arenas' season ended early when he injured his knee April 4 and needed surgery. NBA Live 08 is in development and will ship to stores worldwide this fall.

NBA expansion -- Commissioner David Stern sees more of a need for new pro basketball teams in China than in North America. "I think 30 teams is a nice, round number, and I would not be recommending to the NBA owners to expand," Stern said before Game 4 of the first-round playoff series between the Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers. "We will see in the next couple of years, coming out of the Beijing Olympics, the possibility of some joint venture between the NBA and someone in China about an NBA-sponsored and -branded league in China." Stern added that "an NBA of China" is closer to happening than what he called a 20-year plan for having five franchises in Europe, and that, "domestically, we have enough teams."

Doping

France asks experts to verify Landis test

France's anti-doping agency has asked outside experts to verify that its lab correctly handled tests that pointed to suspected cheating by Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, the agency's chief said. Landis' camp launched new accusations of wrongdoing against the French lab on Sunday, saying it had mishandled and erased computer files involving doping tests of Landis.

Cycling -- Italian Ivan Basso quit the Discovery Channel team after Italian authorities reopened an investigation into his role in a Spanish doping scandal.

Cricket

Report: Before death, coach incapacitated

Pakistan cricket coach Bob Woolmer was incapacitated by drugs before he was strangled, according to a British Broadcasting Corp. report. Preliminary toxicology tests, due to be given to Jamaican police next week, indicated that Woolmer had been incapacitated by a drug, the BBC's "Panorama" program reported.

Sailing

China Team upsets Oracle Racing

China Team upset Louis Vuitton Cup leader BMW Oracle Racing in Valencia, Spain, for its first win in America's Cup challengers series racing. BMW Oracle Racing was in control at the start and pinned the Chinese yacht out to the right behind its heel to build a 220-yard lead. But the Americans lost their headsail halfway on the first upwind lap. The Americans are tied for first.

Horse racing

Derby to offer first-place bonus

There will be a $1 million bonus at the Kentucky Derby if the first-place horse wins by more than 6 1/2 lengths - the margin of Barbaro's victory last year. The bonus would be divided among the winning trainer, jockey, owner and a charity. The designated charity is the Barbaro Memorial Fund. Barbaro's winning margin was the largest since 1946 when Assault won by eight lengths. Only four other horses in the race's 132-year history have won by 6 1/2 lengths or more.

Et cetera

NASCAR checking Kyle Busch restraint

NASCAR tried to figure out why Kyle Busch's HANS device cracked during a spectacular crash at Talladega Superspeedway. The driver, meanwhile, was trying to make sense of two hard wrecks that ruined his weekend. Busch wrecked in Saturday's Busch Series event, when he was hit from behind and his car ended up on its roof before rolling several times through the grass. His HANS device, a NASCAR-mandated head-and-neck restraint system, cracked in the accident. "It performed the way it was supposed to, but it had a slight stress crack in it after the accident," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. NASCAR sent the device back to manufacturer Hubbard Downing in Georgia for examination. Busch, who also wrecked hard in Sunday's Nextel Cup event, has not seen the device but was told by his crew it had cracked.

Boxing -- Baltimore welterweight Tim Coleman (9-0, two knockouts) will face an opponent to be determined in a professional boxing card at Fort Washington's Rosecroft Raceway on May 18.

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