Baiul Is Fined for Speeding; Drunk-Driving Charge Dodged

From Staff and Wire Reports

Oksana Baiul, the Olympic champion figure skater who was driving in a 97-mph car wreck on Jan. 12, escaped prosecution on a drunken-driving charge Tuesday and was fined $90 for speeding.

Baiul, a 19-year-old Ukrainian who lives in Simsbury, Conn., was admitted to an alcohol-education program and ordered to perform 25 hours of community service by Superior Court Judge Terence Sullivan in Hartford.

If she completes both, the drunken-driving charge will be dropped.

Baiul, who had also been charged with reckless driving in the single-car accident, pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of traveling unreasonably fast.


Baiul, who won her gold medal at Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994 at age 16, did not speak during a hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes. She had previously apologized and promised never again to drink and drive.

The judge said he couldn’t suspend Baiul’s driver’s license because a blood-alcohol test that showed her level at .16 was administered at the hospital where she was treated, rather than by police.


Ryan Kalich, a freshman who started all 13 games at guard for Florida’s national championship football team, faces misdemeanor charges for driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident after an early Sunday accident in which his car collided with one driven by an off-duty police officer in Gainesville, Fla.


Bernard Tapie, former government official, tycoon and deputy in the European Parliament, went to a Paris prison after losing his final appeal in a bribery conviction. He was found guilty of offering soccer players money to throw games to Olympique Marseille, the club he owned.


A trial date of March 31 was set for Cleveland Indian reliever Jose Mesa. Mesa is charged with with rape, assault and other charges related to a complaint by two women he met at a nightclub in Cleveland Dec. 22.



Hideki Irabu, the Japanese pitcher attempting to become a free agent rather than sign with the San Diego Padres, promised his Japanese League team before they sent him to the Padres that he would accept any trade, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. . . . Umpires, players and owners didn’t achieve any breakthroughs during their six-hour meeting in Palm Beach, Fla., instead setting up a task force to examine their differences. The meetings were held to address the umpires’ disappointment with the suspension Roberto Alomar received for spitting at an umpire last season. . . . Outfielder Kevin Bass and the Angels have agreed to terms on a minor league contract. . . . Bob Hamelin homered twice to power Puerto Rico to a 7-4 victory over the Dominican Republic in the opener of the Caribbean Series at Hermosillo, Mexico. Mexico defeated Venezuela, 3-1, in the second game of the double round-robin format.


With Coach Dan Reeves in place and in charge of personnel decisions, Ken Herock has resigned as the Atlanta Falcons’ vice president of player personnel. . . . Brigham Young University linebacker Derik Stevenson, from Diamond Bar and awaiting sentencing on two misdemeanors involving a gun in Utah, withdrew from school.


Steffi Graf, who pulled out of the Pan Pacific Open final against 16-year-old Martina Hingis in Tokyo last weekend because of an injured knee, will not need surgery and may be able to play again in two weeks. . . . World-record holder Le Jingyi of China finished .05 of a second behind winner Leah Martindale of Barbados in the women’s 50-meter freestyle at a World Cup short-course swimming meet in Imperia, Italy. Martindale clocked 25.26 seconds. . . . Venus Lacy, a member of the 1996 USA women’s Olympic basketball team, was in serious but stable condition after a two-car collision that knocked her car through a plate-glass window in Ruston, La. . . . Manchester United, a finalist in The Football Association Cup three consecutive years, was eliminated from the competition this year with a 1-0 loss to Wimbledon in a fourth-round replay at London.

Names in the News

Olympic track gold medalist Michael Johnson became the first athlete to receive the Jesse Owens International Trophy Award for the second time. . . . Ipswich soccer midfielder Adam Tanner was suspended for three months by the English Football Assn. after testing positive for cocaine.