Lance Armstrong has cut all French races from his 2001 schedule other than the Tour de France, the cycling showcase he has won the last two years.
Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service team is the subject of a French judicial investigation into whether the team used banned substances during last year's Tour de France.
Armstrong, who listed his 2001 schedule on his Web site, competed in four French cycling competitions last year in addition to the Tour de France.
Andre Agassi survived three match points en route to a 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory over France's Nicolas Escude on Thursday in the Colonial Classic at Melbourne, Australia. Pete Sampras lost his second consecutive match in the warmup tournament for the Australian Open, falling, 6-4, 7-6 (5), to Australia's Patrick Rafter, who caused a stir by saying he probably would retire at the end of this year.
Top-seeded Martina Hingis defeated Kim Clijsters, 6-4, 6-4, setting up a quarterfinal with Serena Williams in the Adidas International at Sydney, Australia. In the men's draw, top-seeded Magnus Norman defeated Todd Woodbridge, 6-3, 6-1, to advance to the quarterfinals. . . . Justine Henin upset fifth-seeded Magdalena Maleeva, 6-2, 6-3, in the Canberra International at Canberra, Australia.
Hingis and Brazil's Gustavo Kuerten were given top seedings for the Australian Open.
Tickets will cost $150 for next year's bowl championship series national championship game at the Rose Bowl--an increase of $25 over this year's Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl's price will go back to $125 for the 2003 game. Tickets for last week's Orange Bowl national title game between Oklahoma and Florida State were priced at $100, $125 and $175.
Although Ramon Martinez passed a physical that would pave the way for an incentive-laden, $5-million, one-year contract with the Dodgers, no contract was signed.
"The results appear to be fine," Dodger vice-president Derrick Hall said. "However, there are still some contractual issues that will take some time to be resolved."
He said negotiations could last into the middle of next week.
Ron Coomer, who hit .270 with 16 homers and 82 runs batted in for the Minnesota Twins last season, agreed to a $1.2-million, one-year contract with the Chicago Cubs.
Evander Holyfield will put his World Boxing Assn. heavyweight championship on the line against John Ruiz on March 3 at Las Vegas.
A man convicted in Sacramento of using Tiger Woods' identity to rack up $17,000 in expenses could be sentenced to life in prison if sentenced under the state's three-strikes law. . . . The U.S. Olympic Committee and its former drug czar failed to reach a settlement in Denver on a job discrimination suit that alleges athletes were not screened or disciplined for drug use. Lawyers for Dr. Wade Exum and the USOC met for two hours in U.S. Magistrate Patricia Coan's courtroom. Neither side would comment on negotiations.
Spectators threw stadium chairs, coins and other objects at officials and players at a Greek Cup soccer match in Athens that was suspended. . . . Ronaldo testified in Brazil that he was fit to play in the 1998 World Cup final despite having mysterious convulsions only hours earlier. A Senate commission investigating corruption in Brazilian soccer is to clarify if the soccer confederation's sponsorship deal with Nike, reportedly worth $400 million, gives the company the right to decide who plays on Brazil's national team. . . . FIFA dropped the final game of Bruce Arena's three-match suspension, making the U.S. coach available for the team's Feb. 28 World Cup qualifier against Mexico at Columbus, Ohio.
Sasha Cohen, a 16-year-old figure skater from Laguna Niguel and the defending U.S. national silver medalist, wants to ignore the advice of her coach, her parents and one doctor, and compete at the 2001 national championships next week in Boston with a stress fracture in her back.
Two-time Olympic high jumper Amy Acuff, who won three NCAA indoor titles and two NCAA outdoor titles while at UCLA, agreed to compete in the Los Angeles Invitational Track Meet on Jan. 20 at the Sports Arena.
Breon Thomas, 23, a lineman with the Jacksonville Tomcats of the Arena2 football league, has died from complications from diabetes.
The favorite to win the motorcycle division of the Dakar Rally pulled out of the race after his engine broke during the difficult 10th stage.
Richard Sainct, who has won the event the last two years, encountered trouble during the 273-mile trek between El Ghallaouiya and Atar, Mauritania.
Walter Feichter of Italy and Olympic champion Karine Ruby of France won World Cup titles in snowboarding's giant slalom.
Former UCLA swimmer Keiko Price has been chosen as one of six recipients of the Woody Hayes National Scholar Athlete Award.
The San Diego Gulls scored three times in the third period to defeat the Long Beach Ice Dogs, 5-2, in a West Coast Hockey League game before 2,811 at the Long Beach Arena.