Graf's Father Released on $3.3-Million Bail

From Staff and Wire Reports

After spending 15 months in jail on tax-evasion charges, Steffi Graf's father, Peter, was freed Friday on $3.3-million bail.

Judge Joachim Plass said he could not legally keep Peter Graf or family tax advisor Joachim Eckardt in custody any longer in Mannheim, Germany, because of the length of likely sentences should they be convicted.

Meanwhile, Steffi Graf was an impressive 6-0, 6-3 winner over Chanda Rubin at the Advanta Championship in Philadelphia. Marianne Werdel Witmeyer upset eighth-seeded Barbara Paulus, 6-2, 6-3.


No sports will be left out of the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the number of athletes will be held to a maximum of 10,200, the International Olympic Committee decided.

On doping, the IOC placed the controversial drug bromantan on the list of banned substances and said a reliable test is almost ready for detecting the prohibited hormone EPO.

With triathlon and taekwondo previously added, a record 28 sports will be on the Sydney program. Last summer's Atlanta Games featured 26 sports.

The only casualty was whitewater or canoe slalom, one of the disciplines in kayaking, because organizers said to build a course would cost millions of dollars and would have little use after the Games.

A total of 1.28 million tickets will go on sale next year for the 1998 Winter Olympics at Nagano, Japan, with prices ranging from $18 to $315 with 200,000 available to international buyers. International sales will start next March.


The Florida Marlins opened negotiations for Albert Belle, who earlier this week rejected an $8.5-million-a-season deal from the Cleveland Indians. The Marlins were expected to offer a deal worth at least $9 million a year.

Jose Mesa's 1998 option was exercised by the Indians for about $1.95 million plus whatever bonuses he earns next season.

Bobby Bonilla and Eddie Murray won't be offered salary arbitration by the Baltimore Orioles, the team said, making the two eligible for free agency. . . . Boston catcher Mike Stanley exercised a $2.1-million player option to return with the Red Sox for another year. . . . Second baseman Mark McLemore was offered salary arbitration by the Texas Rangers. . . . Oakland said it will not offer arbitration to catcher Terry Steinbach.

Harry Bardt, 97, who had been a member of the Dodgers' board of directors since 1967, died of natural causes Friday at his home in Beverly Hills.


Oscar De La Hoya will return to the ring for the first time since defeating Julio Cesar Chavez when he defends his World Boxing Council 140-pound title Jan. 18 against undefeated Miguel Angel Gonzalez in Las Vegas.

Lennox Lewis hopes his fight against Oliver McCall for the vacant WBC heavyweight title will be staged in London, where he lost the title to McCall on a second-round knockout in 1994. Jan. 24 or Feb. 1 are possible dates. . . . Former world middleweight and super-middleweight champion Nigel Benn appeared in a London court, accused of causing severe facial injuries to businessman Ray Sullivan in a nightclub brawl. Benn was charged with causing grievous harm and released on $80,000 bail.

Tonight's card at the Forum, headlined by the North American Boxing Organization junior-welterweight title fight between champion Johnny Avila (23-2-1, 12 knockouts) and challenger Hector Lopez (32-5-1, 17 knockouts), is the first of two cards in three days at the Forum and the first of 16 fight cards scheduled for the state of California through the end of the year.


European soccer federation chief Lennart Johansson said he does not remember making racist remarks while visiting South Africa, but said if he did, he is sorry.

The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet reported Johansson as saying, "When I arrived in South Africa, the whole room was full with blackies and it gets damned dark when they're sitting together. If they also are angry, then it's not so damned merry."

Johansson, asked about the comment, told Aftonbladet from Germany, "I don't remember that I used the word 'blackie' but on the other hand I can't exclude that I did. I beg everybody's forgiveness. I am not a racist."

Major League Soccer's Tampa Bay Mutiny signed U.S. national team indoor Coach John Kowalski to a multiyear contract. He replaces Thomas Rongen, who left to coach the New England Revolution.

Michelle Kwan took the lead after the short program of the Lalique Trophy figure skating competition at Paris. In the men's event, former world champion Elvis Stojko of Canada withdrew because of food poisoning. Todd Eldredge is the leader.

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