U.S. drops final charges Barry Bonds faced

Federal prosecutors dropped all remaining charges against Barry Bonds on Wednesday, days after a judge upheld the former major leaguer’s conviction on an obstruction of justice charge.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco filed papers informing U.S. District Judge Susan Illston that it was dismissing the three charges of making false statements still pending against Bonds, baseball’s all-time leader in home runs. A jury deadlocked on the three counts at Bonds’ trial in April.

The deadline for prosecutors to start the process for a retrial on those charges was about 30 days away. Now, Bonds won’t face a new trial on accusations that he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he testified that he never knowingly received steroids or human growth hormone from trainer Greg Anderson, and that no one other than his doctors ever injected him with anything.



Pistorius, relay team advance

Double-amputee runner Oscar Pistorius led off South Africa’s 4x400-meter relay Thursday and helped the team qualify for the final at the world championships in Daegu, South Korea. Pistorius ran a strong opening leg in the tough inside lane and handed off to Oftentse Mogawane, who briefly gave the team the lead before it settled for third place in 2 minutes 59.21 seconds, a South African record.

The United States and Jamaica led qualifying.

Another South African, defending 800 champion Caster Semenya, advanced to the semifinals.


In the 200 heats, U.S. teammates Carmelita Jeter and Allyson Felix advanced, and Veronica Campbell-Brown of Jamaica had the best time, running in the outside lane in 22.46.


Yao says he’s not ready for Hall

Yao Ming’s agent asked the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame to set aside the former NBA All-Star center’s nomination for another year.

Yao, who retired in July, was nominated by a member of the Chinese media as a contributor to the game and would have been eligible for induction as early as 2012. But John Doleva, the Hall of Fame’s president and chief executive, said Yao’s agent, John Huizinga, called Wednesday to request that Yao’s nomination be tabled for now.

Doleva said Huizinga told him that Yao thinks it is too soon for him to be put on the ballot. Yao would be eligible to enter the Hall as a player in 2017.

NBA stars made the difference on the opening day of the European Championship in Lithuania, leading their nations to wins in what is also a qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics.

The Lakers’ Pau Gasol had 29 points as defending champion Spain defeated Poland 83-78; Tony Parker had 31 points, leading France past Latvia, 89-78; and Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and the Clippers’ Chris Kaman had 18 points and 10 rebounds in Germany’s 91-64 defeat of Israel.


Former enforcer Wade Belak, whose NHL career spanned 549 games, was found dead Wednesday in Toronto. He was 35.

The hockey world has been mourning the recent deaths of the New York Rangers’ Derek Boogaard and the Winnipeg Jets’ Rick Rypien. Reports indicate that Rypien committed suicide, and the Toronto Sun, citing sources, said Belak took his own life. Boogard died in May from a drug overdose.

Belak finished his NHL career last season in Nashville, retiring in March after 15 seasons.

-- Lisa Dillman

Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli told the Boston Globe that forward Marc Savard will sit out the 2011-12 season because he is still feeling the effects of post-concussion syndrome. Chiarelli also said “it’s very unlikely Marc will play again.” Savard’s was hit by Colorado’s Matt Hunwick on Jan. 22 and sat out the rest of the season. It was Savard’s second concussion in 10 months.

Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon has clinched at least a wild-card berth in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. NASCAR determined that even if Gordon is knocked out of the top 10 in standings over the next two races, he would get into the Chase via the wild card.

Cristie Kerr and Hunter Mahan shot an 11-under-par 61 and won the Notah Begay Challenge at Verona, N.Y., by one shot over Annika Sorenstam and Rickie Fowler. Tiger Woods and Suzann Pettersen were another shot behind, and Natalie Gulbis and Begay were fourth in the charity event.

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