U.S. says it won’t boycott Games
The U.S. Olympic Committee reiterated Monday that an American boycott of the Beijing Olympics is out of the question.
“Other than unnecessarily and unfairly punishing athletes, Olympic boycotts accomplish absolutely nothing,” USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel said.
Calls for a boycott date to 2006, and although none has been heeded, the recent violence in Tibet has brought a new wave of protests over China’s handling of the situation.
The U.S. boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980 in protest of the Soviet Union’s occupation of Afghanistan. The Soviets then led a group of Communist nations to boycott the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, but China refused to join.
USOC Chairman Peter Ueberroth has long credited China for helping lead the resurgence of the Olympics.
Patrick McEnroe told the U.S. Tennis Assn. he did not want to return as Olympic tennis coach, a job he held at the 2004 Athens Games.
Javier Molina of Commerce, the U.S. light-welterweight boxing champion, lost to Cuba’s Roniel Iglesias, 10-4, in a semifinal bout at the Americas Qualifier tournament in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, but can still clinch an Olympic berth with a win over Canada’s Kevin Bizier in a box-off today.
Molina’s twin, Oscar, fighting for Mexico, dropped a welterweight semifinal to Cuba’s Carlos Banteaux, 19-4. Oscar Molina’s final chance to win a berth in the Games comes next month during the final regional qualifying tournament in Guatemala.
He’ll likely be joined there by middleweight Shawn Estrada of East Los Angeles, who lost, 13-3, to Carlos Mercado of Ecuador.
-- Kevin Baxter
Pacers’ Tinsley, Daniels avoid trial
Jamaal Tinsley and Marquis Daniels of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers avoided a trial on charges stemming from a 2007 bar fight when prosecutors agreed to drop all charges if the players stay out of trouble for two years.
Missouri sophomore linebacker Marquis Booker was suspended after his arrest Sunday for allegedly threatening to “light the place up” and grabbing a handgun from his car during an argument in the parking lot of an apartment complex. He was released from jail after posting a $4,800 bond.
Sutherland rides to another upset win
Chantal Sutherland, becoming known as “queen of the long shots” at Santa Anita, earned her 12th win of the meet aboard 8-1 shot Lightmyfirebaby in the 11th running of the $139,250 Irish O’Brien Stakes for California-bred horses.
There will be a pick six carry-over of $699,574 when racing resumes Thursday at Santa Anita.
-- Larry Stewart
Boston’s Matsuzaka to pitch opener in Japan
Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka will start the Boston Red Sox’s regular-season opener against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 25. . . . Outfielder Juan Gonzalez, 38, sat out his seventh consecutive spring-training game with the St. Louis Cardinals because of an abdominal injury. He is trying a comeback after getting only one at-bat the previous three seasons.
The Carolina Panthers came to terms with free-agent receiver D.J. Hackett on a two-year, $3.5-million deal. He was plagued by injuries in his four-year career with the Seattle Seahawks. . . . The Minnesota Vikings agreed to terms with linebacker Dallas Sartz, a former fifth-round pick from USC cut by the Washington Redskins in training camp last year.