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Belle Admits to Gambling

From Staff and Wire Reports

Albert Belle of the Chicago White Sox, the slugger whose career has been tainted by temper outbursts, suspensions and fines, has admitted under oath that he recently lost as much as $40,000 gambling on sports.

Belle said Tuesday he bet on pro football and college basketball.

He answered the questions during a six-hour deposition at Cleveland in a civil lawsuit related to a confrontation he had with Halloween pranksters in 1995.

Belle’s lawyer, Jose Feliciano, said Wednesday his client did not gamble on baseball games.

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“None of this stuff had to do with baseball,” Feliciano said. “Absolutely none of it.”

Kevin Hallinan, major league baseball’s security head, is investigating to determine whether Belle violated any of baseball’s rules. Baseball’s rules are clear: A player is prohibited from betting on major league games.

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Bernie Williams and the New York Yankees gave up for now on their attempt to negotiate a multiyear contract, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $5.25 million.

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The New York Mets signed their last two players eligible for salary arbitration, giving reliever Greg McMichael a two-year deal worth $3,275,000 and starter Bobby Jones a one-year contract worth $1,925,000.

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The Angels will play a split-squad exhibition against their minor league prospects March 26 at the Diamond in Lake Elsinore. The minor league team will be made up of players in the Angels’ organization. Lake Elsinore is a class-A team for the Angels. Game time is 7 p.m.

Pro Football

One day after taking over the New York Jets, Bill Parcells made his first moves by cutting Nick Lowery, the NFL career leader in field goals, and safety Lonnie Young.

Middle linebacker Rod Stephens, was released by the Washington Redskins. The Redskins also said they will not re-sign strong safety Darryl Morrison, and defensive tackle Sean Gilbert had been designated the team’s franchise player.

Anthony Johnson, who led the Carolina Panthers in rushing last season after stepping in for the injured Tshimanga Biakabutuka, has agreed to a three-year contract worth about $2.5 million.

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Winter Sports

Michael Von Gruenigen of Switzerland won the giant slalom at the world championships in Sestriere, Italy.

Alberto Tomba, the defending champion, almost fell three times before going out just over a minute into the first run when he nearly missed a gate and stopped.

Von Gruenigen, the best giant slalom racer the last two years, finished his two runs in 2 minutes, 48.23 seconds. Norway’s Lasse Kjus was second in 2:49.35, followed by Austria’s Andreas Schifferer.

Tennis

Martina Hingis extended her unbeaten streak for the year by defeating Italy’s Silvia Farina, 6-3, 6-4, at the Paris Women’s Open in France. Hingis has won three consecutive tournaments.

Marcelo Rios and Thomas Enqvist, the top-seeded players in the $540,000 Marseille Open tournament at Marseille, France, advanced with straight-set victories.

Goran Ivanisevic and Boris Becker secured second-round spots, while Austria’s Thomas Muster claimed the first quarterfinal place in the Dubai Open at Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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Miscellany

Italy and Argentina scored 1-0 soccer victories on the road in World Cup qualifying. The Italians sent England to its first home loss in World Cup qualifying, getting a 19th-minute goal from Gianfranco Zola at Wembley, and Argentina defeated Colombia at Baranquilla, Colombia. . . . Under new rules dictated by the IOC, Olympic bidders from the United States will need ironclad guarantees that their local governments will help fill any financial gaps in billion-dollar budgets, a gathering of potential bidders for 2008 was told at Philadelphia. . . . Dallas Cowboy star Erik Williams, falsely named with teammate Michael Irvin in a rape case, sued police in Dallas, accusing them of violating his civil rights. Williams also sued a TV station and one of its reporters for defaming him through its handling of the story. . . . Olympic gold medalist Brooke Bennett won the 800-meter freestyle in 8 minutes, 38.41 seconds at the U.S. National Swimming Championships in Buffalo, N.Y. Timothy Siciliano won the men’s 800-meter freestyle in 8:09.96. . . . Tonya Harding says she foiled an abduction attempt in Portland, Ore., by ramming her truck into a tree and running away from a man who tried to commandeer her vehicle. . . . Hicham el Guerrouj of Morocco broke indoor track’s oldest record, winning the mile with a clocking of 3 minutes, 48.45 seconds at the Flanders meet in Ghent, Belgium. El Guerrouj broke the record set by Ireland’s Eamonn Coghlan 14 years ago this month in New York--3:49.78.


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