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Gatlin plans to appeal doping ban

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Suspended sprinter Justin Gatlin will appeal a possible eight-year doping ban today, an attempt by the Olympic gold medalist to become eligible for the 2008 Beijing Games.

The sprinter’s attorneys will make the case in Atlanta, almost a year after he and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency reached an unusual compromise.

Gatlin shares the 100-meter world record of 9.77 seconds, though that would be erased if his doping penalty becomes official. At the 2004 Olympics, Gatlin won the gold medal in the 100, then won the 100 and 200 at the world championships a year later.

Gatlin tested positive for testosterone and other steroids at the Kansas Relays in April 2006. That test was his second positive doping test, which usually triggers a lifetime ban.

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But in an agreement with USADA, Gatlin accepted positive test results for testosterone and other steroids but was given the right to seek a further reduction in the ban. He cannot argue, however, that the test was faulty.

PRO FOOTBALL

Couch gets another shot with Jaguars

Former No. 1 draft pick Tim Couch signed a two-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, getting a chance to revive his career as a backup to quarterback Byron Leftwich.

Couch, the top pick by Cleveland in 1999, hasn’t played a down in the NFL since the 2004 preseason. The contract, which did not include a signing bonus, will pay Couch the veteran minimum of $595,000 this season if he makes the team.

The Chicago Bears acquired defensive tackle Darwin Walker, trading a draft pick to the Buffalo Bills. The deal gives the Bears a veteran to replace Tank Johnson. Bills General Manager Marv Levy said the round of the draft pick will depend on Walker’s playing time.

Running back Adrian Peterson agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings on a five-year, $40.5-million contract, ending the seventh overall draft pick’s three-day holdout. The deal includes a $17-million signing bonus.

The San Francisco 49ers signed top pick Patrick Willis to a five-year, $16.7-million deal, which includes a $12-million bonus for the linebacker.

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With Michael Strahan, 35, holding out and considering retirement, the New York Giants plan to give recently released defensive end Simeon Rice, 33, a physical on Wednesday.

The Denver Broncos re-signed defensive lineman Kenny Peterson a day after releasing him. Peterson is facing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

TENNIS

Tursunov ends a surprising title bid

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Dmitry Tursunov beat Frank Dancevic, 6-4, 7-5, in the final of the Indianapolis Tennis Championships. Tursunov, ranked 27th in the world and seeded third, won his second career title while not facing a seeded player.

Anna Chakvetadze won her second consecutive tournament, beating surprise finalist Sania Mirza, 6-3, 6-2, in the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford.

Carlos Moya won his fifth Croatia Open title, defeating Andrei Pavel, 6-4, 6-2, in Umag. It was Moya’s 20th career title.

Juan Monaco won his third career ATP tour title by beating Potito Starace, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, in the Austrian Open final in Kitzbuehel.

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Francesca Schiavone won her first WTA Tour title by beating Yvonne Meusburger, 6-1, 6-4, in the final of the Gastein Ladies in Bad Gastein, Austria.

MISCELLANY

San Jose takes third Arena League title

Mark Grieb completed 24 of 29 passes and threw for four touchdowns to lead the San Jose SaberCats (16-3) to a 55-33 victory over the Columbus Destroyers (10-10) in the ArenaBowl for their third Arena League title in six years.

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Emily Cressy scored in the 15th and 45th minutes to lead Camarillo-based Eagles SC to a 3-2 victory over Dallas Texans Red in the under-17 girls final at the U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships in Frisco, Texas.

In the U-15 division, So Cal Blues of San Juan Capistrano beat PDA Fire of New Jersey, 5-3, in a shootout to win its first national championship.

PASSINGS

Jim David, 79, former NFL standout

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Jim David, a six-time Pro Bowl defensive back who won three NFL championships with the Detroit Lions, died at his home in Allen Park, Mich., after a long illness, the team said. He was 79.


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