Arturo Gatti’s death is ruled a suicide

Staff and Wire Reports

Boxer Arturo Gatti’s death was ruled a suicide by police in Brazil on Thursday and his wife, once suspected of killing the former champion, was released from jail.

Lead investigator Paulo Alberes told the Associated Press that authorities decided Gatti killed himself on July 11 while at a seaside resort in northeastern Brazil.

When asked if police had determined the case was a suicide, Alberes said “yes.” He offered no other details, though a judge -- in ordering the release of Gatti’s wife -- cited the police investigation and wrote that “the victim took his own life, committing suicide by hanging.”


The boxer’s widow, 23-year-old Amanda Rodrigues, said in a phone interview as she walked out of jail she thinks Gatti may have killed himself because he was afraid she was going to leave him after the pair had a violent disagreement in public the night before his death.

A day after the 37-year-old Gatti was found dead, police said that Rodrigues had strangled him with her purse strap as he drunkenly slept.


Vikings’ Udeze retires

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze, a former USC standout, has retired, ending a remarkable comeback from leukemia.

He says his leukemia is still in remission. But he’s still dealing with side effects from treatment of the disease and is unable to play.


New York Jets running back Leon Washington, in a contract dispute, was a no-show as players reported for the start of training camp. . . . The Green Bay Packers signed first-round draft pick Clay Matthews III, an outside linebacker from USC. . . . The St. Louis Rams signed offensive tackle Jason Smith, the second overall pick of the draft. . . . Rookie receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey signed a five-year contract with the Oakland Raiders that will guarantee him at least $23.5 million. . . . The Cleveland Browns agreed to terms on a four-year contract with rookie wide receiver Brian Robiskie.


NCAA says probe is proper

The NCAA said that its eligibility review of former Fairfax High basketball star Renardo Sidney was proper and not racially motivated. The organization reacted after Sidney’s attorney complained.

“In every case, the NCAA determines which records are necessary to reach an accurate and well-informed decision,” NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said. “There is extensive case precedent for requests of specific information, including bank records, if that information is relevant to the case.”

-- Lance Pugmire


Arkansas running back Broderick Green will not have to sit out a season after transferring from USC. When Green said in November he was leaving USC, he said it was to be with his ailing grandmother in Little Rock. . . . Hawaii football Coach Greg McMackin apologized for making a derogatory remark while describing Notre Dame’s chant during a dinner banquet leading up to last year’s Hawaii Bowl. . . . A prosecutor has dropped a felony charge against Florida State wide receiver Richard Goodman, who was accused of hurling a chair at a woman during a brawl in the school’s student union.


Williams sisters advance

Wimbledon champion and No. 1-seeded Serena Williams advanced to the quarterfinals of the $700,000 WTA Premier Bank of the West Classic, beating Melinda Czink 6-3, 7-6 (7) at Palo Alto.

Venus Williams, seeded second, joined her younger sister in the quarterfinals, needing just over an hour to get by qualifier Alla Kudryavseva, 6-3, 7-5, and setting up a match tonight against former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova.


The Toronto Raptors have added guard Marco Belinelli and center Rasho Nesterovic to the roster. The team acquired Belinelli from Golden State in exchange for forward Devean George and cash considerations. Free-agent Nesterovic signed a one-year, $2-million deal. . . . The Dallas Mavericks signed Drew Gooden. . . . . . . . Guillermo Molina scored three goals, including the go-ahead score with 3:38 left, and Spain advanced to the gold-medal game of the men’s water polo world championships with a 7-6 victory over the United States at Rome. Spain will play Serbia for the title.