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CHRB to accelerate enforcement of steroid ban

August 22, 2008|Eric Sondheimer, Dan Arritt | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

With some trainers continuing to give horses anabolic steroids despite a state ban that goes into effect on Sept. 4, the California Horse Racing Board has decided to accelerate its enforcement by prohibiting horses from running for 30 days after they've been administered anabolic steroids effective today.

The CHRB has been phasing in the prohibition of anabolic steroids in racing horses, with stiff penalties set to kick in next month, including automatic forfeiture of purse money and possible suspension and fines for trainers.

The CHRB action takes away a perceived loophole in which trainers faced little punishment this month if a horse tested positive other than the violation going on a trainer's record and public notification.

-- Eric Sondheimer

Big Brown is heading back to the grass in preparation for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner will run in the Monmouth Stakes on Sept. 13, his first start on grass since breaking his maiden at Saratoga last year.

Big Brown co-owner Michael Iavarone said the 1 1/8 -mile race will serve as the final tune-up for the 3-year-old colt before the Classic, which will be held on a synthetic surface at Santa Anita on Oct. 25.

Monmouth bumped the purse from $200,000 to $500,000 to lure Big Brown to the race against horses 3 years old and up.

Big Brown is coming off a victory in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 3 and has won six of his seven career starts. Big Brown dominated his only other start on grass, winning his first career start by 11 1/4 lengths at Saratoga last September

TENNIS

Mauresmo moves into semifinals

Former world No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo swept into the semifinals of the Pilot Pen at New Haven, Conn., beating fourth-seeded Agnes Szavay, 6-4, 7-5.

Mauresmo, unseeded and ranked No. 33 in the world after being hampered by nagging injuries this year, will play top-seeded Anna Chakvetadze, who defeated Sorana Cirstea, 6-3, 6-3.

Szavay, ranked No. 14 in the world, saved two match points in the 10th game before Mauresmo finally broke her in the 12th to win.

Second-seeded Daniela Hantuchova was upset by Alize Cornet, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, and third-seeded Marion Bartoli lost to Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-0.

It was a tough day for Hantuchova, who also lost her quarterfinal doubles match with Lindsay Davenport to Anastasia Rodionova and Galina Voskoboeva, 6-3, 1-6, 11-9.

In the men's draw, top-seeded Fernando Verdasco won his quarterfinal match, defeating Mischa Zverev, 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Verdasco, ranked No. 13 in the world, advanced to his fourth ATP Tour semifinal of the season and will play eighth-seeded Mardy Fish, who beat Jesse Levine, 6-3, 7-6 (4).

Sania Mirza pulled out of next week's U.S. Open because of a right wrist injury that flared up at the Olympic Games.

Mirza, who had surgery on her wrist in April, retired from her first-round singles match. A statement said she had tests and was advised to rest for three weeks.

ATP President Etienne de Villiers, who introduced video replay and increased prize money on the men's tour, will step down when his contract expires in December.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Mauk appeals to NCAA again

Quarterback Ben Mauk is taking his case for another year of eligibility at Cincinnati back to the NCAA.

At the request of both sides, a judge in Hardin County, Ohio, postponed a hearing scheduled for today in Mauk's lawsuit against the NCAA.

That puts the lawsuit on hold while Mauk submits new information to support his contention that a foot injury prevented him from playing his freshman year.

Mauk's attorney said the material will be reviewed by NCAA staff as early as this weekend.

MISCELLANY

Elite XC champion Silva suspended

Elite XC heavyweight champion Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva was suspended for a year and fined $2,500 for testing positive for the anabolic steroid boldenone following his July 26 victory over Justin Eilers in Stockton, the California State Athletic Commission announced.

Silva, a 28-year-old Brazilian, improved to 11-1 with the second-round technical knockout against Eilers, who was matched against Silva only four weeks before the fight.

The positive test is the latest blow for Elite XC, which became the first mixed martial arts organization to broadcast a card on a major network during prime time.

Since its show on CBS on May 31, two of its top executives, Gary Shaw and Doug DeLuca, have resigned. The TV ratings for its second show in Stockton also dropped by about 40%. The organization's next show on CBS is scheduled for Oct. 4 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

-- Dan Arritt

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