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USOC Closes Investigation of Damage in NHL Dorm

From Staff and Wire Reports

The case is closed on who trashed NHL players’ dorm rooms at the Winter Olympics in Japan, without the culprits being identified, the head of the U.S. Olympic Committee said Wednesday at New York.

USOC Executive Director Dick Schultz said he saw no chance of finding out who did an estimated $3,000 damage to three Olympic Village rooms in Nagano last February.

“I think for all practical purposes it’s over with,” Schultz said. “We’ve done all we can do, and I don’t see the NHL or the players’ association doing more.”

The league, the union, the USOC and USA Hockey all pledged to smoke out the players who broke chairs, damaged walls and doors and set off fire extinguishers in the early morning of Feb. 18, hours after the U.S. team was eliminated from the first Olympics to feature teams of professional stars.

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In March, U.S. team captain Chris Chelios sent an apology and a $3,000 check to Japanese Olympic officials to cover the damages, which already had been paid for by the USOC and NHL.

Schultz and USOC President Bill Hybl said at the time that Chelios’ actions were not enough and they still expected to find the culprits.

Soccer

FIFA, soccer’s world ruling body, said it will discuss the possibility of switching the 2002 World Cup finals to September from June, a move that would force soccer leagues around the world to reschedule matches.

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The 2002 World Cup is being staged by Japan and South Korea, whose soccer authorities are concerned about the tournament clashing with the region’s rainy season in June.

A move would be “potentially very disruptive,” said Mike Leigh, a spokesman for the English Premier League. “We’ll have to see what comes out of the discussions. It’s too early to speculate and form a final judgment, though.”

Dino Zoff, captain of Italy’s 1982 World Cup championship team, was hired as the head coach of the national team.

Tennis

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Top-seeded Michael Chang and No. 2 Andre Agassi breezed to second-round victories in the Legg Mason Tennis Classic in Washington.

Chang defeated Michael Sell, 6-2, 6-3, and Agassi continued his success against David Wheaton with a 6-4, 6-2 victory, his fifth win in a row in their series.

Seventh-seeded Jim Courier defeated Marcus Ondruska of South Africa, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (8-6), in an afternoon match played in muggy conditions with a heat index of 100 degrees.

Sixth-seeded Vincent Spadea beat David Nainkin of South Africa, 6-4, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1, and fifth-seeded Filip DeWulf of Belgium beat Sargis Sargsian of Armenia, 7-6 (7-4), 6-1.

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Marcelo Rios of Chile, renewing his bid for the No. 1 ranking, won in straight sets at the Mercedes Cup at Stuttgart, Germany.

Rios, who will pass Pete Sampras at the top of the rankings if he reaches the final, defeated Jens Knippschild of Germany, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Miscellany

Bobby Julich of Glenwood Springs, Colo., 17th in the Tour de France last year, cut into Jan Ullrich’s overall lead in the Pyrenees Mountains.

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Julich trailed the German defending champion by 1 minute 11 seconds after Wednesday’s 11th stage, seven seconds less than Tuesday’s margin.

The Mighty Ducks signed two veteran minor leaguers, defenseman Scott Ferguson and goaltender Jamie Ram.

The U.S. Figure Skating Assn. said it has chosen Los Angeles and Portland, Ore., as finalists to host the 2002 national championship. The winning site will be announced in October. If Los Angeles is selected, the event will be held at the downtown Staples Center, which is scheduled to open in 1999.

A barmaid accused former heavyweight champion Michael Moorer of threatening her with a broken beer bottle at a popular bar at West Palm Beach, Fla. Laura Vandierendonk is seeking more than $15,000 for the alleged April 12 incident in a lawsuit filed in Palm Beach County. . . . Elmer Valo, a major league outfielder for 20 years until he retired in 1961, has died at age 77 at Philadelphia.

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Rob Cordemans pitched a four-hitter as the Netherlands beat a U.S. team of college players, 3-1, in the Baseball World Championships at Rome. . . . Lisa Fernandez of Long Beach pitched a perfect game in the U.S. team’s 3-0 victory over Italy in the ISF Women’s World Softball Championships in Fujinomiya City, Japan. . . . Doug Miller, a linebacker for the San Diego Chargers in the 1995 Super Bowl, was killed by lightning at Dotsero, Colo. He was 28. . . . Bob Meli, a popular West Coast sprint car champion, died Monday of brain cancer. He was 51.


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