Brazil may reopen investigation Arturo Gatti’s death


Brazilian prosecutors said Thursday that they are looking again into the death of boxer Arturo Gatti.

Brazilian investigators had ruled Gatti’s 2009 death a suicide, but a spokesman with the Pernambuco state prosecutor’s office told the Associated Press the case is being analyzed again. That comes after private investigators in the U.S. presented evidence challenging whether the Italian-born, Canadian-raised boxer had killed himself.

Spokesman Jaques Cerqueira said prosecutor Paula Ismail may ask for the U.S. investigators’ findings, which indicated Gatti was killed. She could bring murder charges or decide to uphold the original investigation’s findings that Gatti killed himself.

Forensic experts hired by Gatti’s former manager in the U.S. used crime scene photos, interviews, autopsy reports and computer-generated simulations to challenge the initial criminal investigation in Brazil on numerous fronts.


Eduardo Trindade, a lawyer assisting Gatti’s family, said he wants the panel’s report presented to prosecutors in Brazil and would push for an indictment of Gatti’s wife, Amanda Rodrigues Gatti. She was initially arrested on suspicion of strangling him but was cleared by the first police investigation. No other suspects have been identified.

Responding to a question, Cerqueira said charges against Rodrigues Gatti were possible.

But the widow told the Canadian Press in Canada on Wednesday that she is convinced her husband took his own life.

Russia dedicates basketball team to hockey team

For the Russian basketball team, the victory meant much more than usual. This win was dedicated to the ice hockey players killed in a Russian plane crash.

Wearing black tags on their uniforms, the Russians beat Finland, 79-60, on Thursday to advance to the quarterfinals of the European basketball championship at Vilnius, Lithuania.

It was an emotional victory, coming a day after 36 players, coaches and staff of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team died when their private plane went down in western Russia.

“We dedicate the victory to the victims of the plane crash,” Russia power forward Semen Antonov said. “Yesterday we were crying with the whole world. Rest in peace.”

Andrei Kirilenko led a balanced Russian attack with 14 points.

Also advancing to the quarterfinals was Macedonia, a small former Yugoslav republic which marked its independence day by beating Georgia, 65-63. American born-guard Bo McCalebb scored the winning basket, making a driving layup with two seconds left.

Nikolaos Zisis, who finished with a game-high 19 points, sank two late three-pointers and Antonios Fotsis added another as Greece beat Slovenia, 69-60.

Macedonia and Russia are both 3-0 in the second-round stage. The two finalists will clinch spots at next year’s London Olympics, and four other teams will go to an additional qualifying tournament.

Deron Williams joins Turkish team

New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams has arrived in Istanbul to start his stint with Turkish basketball team Besiktas.

The Istanbul-based club said the All-Star guard arrived Thursday together with his family. Williams has joined Besiktas until the end of the NBA lockout. He averaged 20.1 points and 10.3 assists for the Nets and the Utah Jazz last season.

Other NBA players signed to play in the Turkish league include Nets guard Sasha Vujacic and Darius Songaila of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Sacramento moves on plan for new Arena for Kings

A task force established by Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson recommended a rough plan Thursday to raise $400 million to build a downtown arena, a key step in the city’s efforts to keep the NBA’s Kings.

The plan announced by the Think Big Sacramento committee gives a menu of financing options to build an entertainment and sports complex near downtown, with the NBA franchise as the primary tenant.

The group proposes a three-way plan combining user fees with public money and private investment to generate $400 million without broad tax increases. The proposal also includes ideas about leasing city parking spaces to a private company, which could generate millions more.

The NBA has given Sacramento until March to come up with an arena financing plan or it will consider allowing the Kings to relocate, perhaps to Anaheim.

In a statement Thursday, the Kings organization praised the report.

The plan will be presented to the City Council next week.

Simon Dyson leads KLM Open

England’s Simon Dyson shot an opening round five-under 65 to tie for the lead with Marcel Siem in the KLM Open at Hilversum, Netherlands.

Play was delayed for 45 minutes after vandals dug up parts of four greens at the Hilversum Club. Heavy rain later soaked the course, forcing players off for more than three hours.

Defending champion Martin Kaymer struggled to three over after 15 holes before the rain delay. He added another bogey after returning to play and shot a 74.

Danica Patrick hopes to start Sprint Cup career at Daytona

Danica Patrick thinks it would be nice if she got her NASCAR Sprint Cup career started at the Daytona 500.

The IndyCar star, who is moving to NASCAR full time next season, will run a limited Cup schedule in a car owned by Tony Stewart next year. She will mostly race at tracks where Stewart expects her to struggle, which makes Daytona even more attractive to her.

Stewart has said that Patrick, who also will race full time in the Nationwide series in a car owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. next year, will drive in eight to 10 Cup races with an emphasis on learning.

Scott McKibben, citing personal reasons, is resigning as executive director the Tournament of Roses, tournament President Rick Jackson announced. William B. Flinn, longtime chief operating officer, will step in as interim executive director.

McKibben could not immediately be reached for comment.

McKibben was named Rose Bowl executive director in 2009r. McKibben was previously executive vice president and chief revenue officer for the Los Angeles Times Media Group.

— Chris Dufresne

Restricted free-agent defenseman Drew Doughty is not expected to attend the Kings’ Fan Fest, to be held Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Staples Center. Because he’s not signed he’s not obligated to attend promotional or other team functions, and he’s not on the participant list the Kings sent out Thursday. General Manager Dean Lombardi said Thursday through a team spokesman that he and Doughty’s agent, Don Meehan, have agreed not to comment publicly about the negotiations. However, it doesn’t appear that an agreement is imminent. The Kings also said that strength and conditioning coach Tim Adams had left the club to “pursue other opportunities.”

— Helene Elliott

Yohan Blake, who recently won the gold medal in the 100 meters at the world championships, ran a personal-best 9.82 seconds Thursday to win the event at the Weltklasse meet in Zurich, Switzerland.

The 21-year-old Jamaican stumbled slightly out of the blocks and had no wind assistance. He beat his best time by 0.07 seconds.

Asafa Powell of Jamaica was second in (9.95) and Walter Dix of the United States was third in 10.04.

Another young world champion to shine was Kirani James in the 400. The 19-year-old from Grenada ran a personal-best 44.36 to repeat his world championships victory over LaShawn Merritt of the U.S.

Other world champions to win included Sally Pearson of Australia in the 100 hurdles, Mariya Savinova of Russia in the 800 and Vivian Cheruiyot of Kenya in the women’s 5,000.

American Jennifer Suhr won the pole vault at 15-53/4 inches.

Vitali Klitschko’s trainer, Fritz Sdunek, told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper that the WBC heavyweight champion will fight only two or three more bouts before retirement.

But Sdunek stressed that Klitschko, 40, has “never been so fit” leading to his title defense Saturday against Poland’s Tomasz Adamek in Wroclaw, Poland.

The Philadelphia Phillies kept second baseman Chase Utley on the bench before playing the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night. Utley was hit on the back of the helmet Wednesday by a pitch from Atlanta reliever Eric O’Flaherty and MLB’s new concussion protocol dictates two days of rest. Utley was to undergo have tests to determine if he had a concussion.

Also Thursday, Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins was activated from the 15-day disabled list, but Manager Charlie Manuel said he would see limited playing time.