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THE INSIDE TRACK | Newswire

It May Be News to Sampras, but He's in ATP Semifinals

November 26, 1998|From Staff and Wire Reports

Pete Sampras is playing too well to have to worry about the details of a tournament that could give him a place in tennis history.

After beating Spain's Carlos Moya, 6-3, 6-3, Wednesday in Hanover, Germany, Sampras said he was unaware that he had clinched a place in the semifinals of the ATP World Championship.

"That's nice to hear," Sampras said after being told he had reached the final four. "It's certainly a good feeling to be here over the weekend."

Andre Agassi withdrew from the tournament because of a back injury. Agassi quit in the third set against Spain's Alex Corretja on Wednesday. He will be replaced in the round-robin draw by Britain's Greg Rusedski.

Sampras is seeking to become the first man to finish No. 1 in the world six years in a row. He shares the record with Jimmy Connors.

Chile's Marcelo Rios trails by 33 points in the computer rankings and has to do better than Sampras in the season-ending championship.

But Rios, who was not scheduled to play Wednesday, lost his first match to Britain's Tim Henman and is battling a back injury. He now has to win his next two round-robin matches to reach the semifinals and stay in the chase.

Sampras beat Moya, the French Open champion, in only 62 minutes. Rusedski will play Rios today. Corretja plays Henman and Sampras meets Karol Kucera.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who lost to Sampras on Tuesday, beat Kucera, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-2.

Olympics

Beijing intends to bid for the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Beijing Mayor Jia Qinglin submitted the application to Wu Shaozu, president of the Chinese Olympic Committee, during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People, the state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.

Beijing lost to Sydney, Australia, by two votes in the 1993 selection for the host of the 2000 Games. China chose not to pursue the 2004 Olympics, which was awarded to Athens.

Criticism of China's human rights record was a factor in the 1993 vote. China's reputation has also been marred by a string of drug scandals.

The International Olympic Committee will open the bidding next year and the deadline is February 2000. The IOC will select the 2008 host city in Moscow in 2001.

Athletes caught using steroids could face life bans and fines of up to $1 million under IOC proposals.

A package of proposed drug sanctions, including a precise definition of doping, has been drawn up by a special IOC panel and will be presented to leaders of 35 international sports federations in Switzerland on Friday.

But some top Olympic officials say the proposals are too complicated and confusing.

The IOC wants all federations to endorse a single medical code, embracing uniform drug rules and sanctions, before a worldwide doping summit Feb. 2-4.

Jurisprudence

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson plans to plead no contest next week to charges he attacked two men in August after they rear-ended his Mercedes-Benz at a traffic stop in Gaithersburg, Md.

The plea to the two assault charges means Tyson would not have to admit or deny guilt.

But if a judge accepts the plea, Tyson would be sentenced as if he pleaded guilty. Each second-degree misdemeanor charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

A cocktail waitress who sued Dennis Rodman for assault and battery this month has filed a criminal complaint against the NBA player.

The complaint was filed Tuesday by Susan Patterson at the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department's West Hollywood station, Deputy Terry Holden and the woman's lawyer, Gloria Allred, said Wednesday.

Patterson claimed Rodman jammed a $100 bill down her blouse and grabbed her breast Oct. 3 while she was working at the Fenix in the Argyle Hotel in West Hollywood.

Richard Howell, Rodman's lawyer, said the accusations are without merit and he questioned why the woman waited until now to file this claim.

Miscellany

Reigning champions Yulia Obertas, 14, and Dmitry Palamarchuk, 18, of Ukraine defended their title in the pairs competition at the world junior figure skating championships at Zagreb, Croatia. Laura Handy, 18, and Paul Binnebose, 21, of Newark, Del., finished second. Tiffany Steigler, 14, and her brother Johnnie, 16, of Manhattan Beach, who are coached by 12-time world and three-time Olympic pairs champion Irina Rodnina, finished fourth.

Azusa Pacific's women's soccer team defeated Houghton (N.Y.) College, 5-0, to remain unbeaten in pool play in the NAIA championships at Mobile, Ala. Azusa Pacific (23-0-0) advanced to the semifinals and will play either defending champion Mobile or Transylvania (Ky.) on Friday.

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