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European Police Raids Target World Cup Terrorist Threat

May 27, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Police rounded up 88 Islamic militants in raids across Europe on Tuesday, saying they had evidence of a terrorist campaign timed to this summer's World Cup soccer championship.

Coordinated sweeps were carried out in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Switzerland, the French Interior Ministry said.

Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement told French television that investigators had evidence of plots to attack during the June 10-July 12 World Cup, which will bring hundreds of thousands of fans to France.

Police arrested dozens of militants, confiscated about $150,000, a computer, documents and videocassettes--including a video showing a training session for Algerian militants.

But authorities seized neither weapons nor explosives, French police sources said.

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Goalkeeper Andy Goram walked out of Scotland's training camp at Short Hills, N.J., saying he was retiring from international soccer.

The walkout came only two weeks before Scotland opens the 1998 World Cup against Brazil.

Jurisprudence

Hundreds of students with learning disabilities stand a greater chance of playing college sports and getting athletic scholarships under new policies negotiated by the Justice Department with the NCAA.

An agreement between the NCAA and the Justice Department resolved complaints that student-athletes lodged that contended NCAA course and grade-point requirements for athletic scholarships violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Irish swimmer Michelle Smith should not have to face charges of manipulating her drug test because no banned substances were found in her backup urine sample, her lawyer said.

Peter Lennon said Smith should be cleared on "reasonable doubt." He said the 1996 Olympic triple gold medalist will seek arbitration or go to court unless FINA, swimming's ruling body, withdraws its accusations.

Tennis

Geoff Abrams won both his singles and doubles matches and Stanford completed an unbeaten season at Athens, Ga., with its fourth consecutive NCAA men's championship.

Top-seeded Mirela Vladulescu of Alabama-Birmingham survived a match point and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCAA women's championships at South Bend, Ind. Third-seeded Amanda Augustus of California and fourth-seeded Vanessa Webb of Duke also won.

Boris Becker has entered a grass-court exhibition in London next week, fueling speculation he might play at Wimbledon.

Miscellany

Citing the loss of traditional rivalries, rising travel costs and insufficient revenue growth, eight of the 16 Western Athletic Conference schools announced plans to form their own conference.

Air Force, Brigham Young, Colorado State, Nevada Las Vegas, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah and Wyoming said they will file their intentions to leave the WAC before Sept. 1. They also will ask the NCAA to recognize the new unnamed conference immediately.

Remaining schools are Fresno State, Hawaii, Rice, San Jose State, Southern Methodist, Texas Christian, Texas El Paso and Tulsa.

The U.S. basketball team opened play in Group B of the Women's World Championships with a 95-89 victory over Japan at Karlsruhe, Germany. . . . The 5.6 overnight rating for this year's Indianapolis 500 was down 18% from 1996, the last time the race was run on Sunday, and 33% from 1995, the last year before the CART-IRL split.

Names in the News

The San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms with defensive end Chris Doleman. . . . Keenan McCardell, the AFC's second-leading receiver last season, signed a contract extension with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Terms were not disclosed. . . . Eddie Fogler has been given an extension of his contract as basketball coach at South Carolina, at least through the 2002-03 season. . . . Former PGA Tour player Tommy Moore, 35, died at his New Orleans home Sunday after battling a rare blood disease. . . . USC point guard Erica Mashia, once an all-Pacific 10 freshman player but who sat out the last two seasons with a hip injury, has been cleared to play next season.

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