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Roddick withdraws from the French Open

May 20, 2008|Ben Bolch; Dan Arritt | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Andy Roddick withdrew from the French Open on Monday because of a right shoulder injury and hopes to be ready for Wimbledon.

The sixth-ranked Roddick, who lost in the first round at the French Open the last two years, retired from the semifinals of the Rome Masters on May 10. He did not play in the Hamburg Masters last week but had been expected to play this week at the World Team Cup in Duesseldorf, Germany.

"Andy is pulling out with an upper-back shoulder injury, the same thing that he had in Rome," said John Roddick, Andy's brother and the U.S. captain at the World Team Cup. "He's pulling out of here and he's also going to miss the French Open."

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The United States defeated the Czech Republic, 2-1, at the World Team Cup at Duesseldorf despite having to use a replacement doubles team because of an undisclosed injury to top-ranked Bob and Mike Bryan. The Bryan brothers were replaced by James Blake and Wayne Odesnik, who rallied past Tomas Berdych and Pavel Vizner, 0-6, 7-5, 10-8.

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Saying tennis is "potentially at a crossroads," an independent review panel found 45 matches that merit further investigation because of irregular betting patterns and offered a host of recommendations to the sport's leaders for combating corruption.

The panel's 66-page report, prompted in part by suspicions surrounding a match last year involving fourth-ranked Nikolay Davydenko, was released by the International Tennis Federation, the ATP, the WTA Tour and the four Grand Slam tournaments.

The 45 unidentified matches, played in the last five years, were among 73 examined by the panel, which warned of "inside information."

The UCLA women's team advanced to the NCAA finals for the second year in a row by defeating Florida, 4-2, at Tulsa, Okla. The Bruins will play California for the title today. . . . The UCLA men's team lost to Texas, 4-2, in the NCAA semifinals at Tulsa, Okla.

PRO FOOTBALL

Bengals release linebacker Thurman

Linebacker Odell Thurman was released by the Cincinnati Bengals, one month after he was reinstated by the NFL from a two-year suspension.

Thurman failed to attend the team's three voluntary workouts last week, when he was in Georgia after the death of his grandmother.

The Bengals are installing a new defense and wanted him to participate.

"I was just told by Coach [Marvin] Lewis that he hadn't been in the building enough since his reinstatement, and they decided to go in a different direction," agent Safarrah Lawson said.

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Offensive lineman Steve McKinney, coming back from a knee injury that forced him to sit out most of the 2007 season, signed a contract to join the Miami Dolphins.

McKinney, 32, sat out all but three games last season with Houston.

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Linebacker Dan Morgan retired, only two months after the frequently injured former first-round draft pick signed with the New Orleans Saints.

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Russ Michna threw six touchdown passes to lead the Chicago Rush (9-2) to its second consecutive Central Division championship with a 72-28 victory over the Avengers (4-8) in an Arena League game at Rosemont, Ill.

JURISPRUDENCE

Trevor Graham trial gets underway

The trial of track coach Trevor Graham, who has pleaded not guilty to three charges he lied to federal investigators about his relationship with the steroids dealer Angel "Memo" Heredia, started with opening statements.

The two-week trial will give Barry Bonds' legal team another preview of how the government's top doping detective, former IRS agent Jeff Novitzky, fares on the witness stand.

Novitzky led the raid of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, or BALCO, that has ensnared dozens of athletes, including Bonds.

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Canadian wheelchair racer Jeff Adams, a six-time world champion, was cleared by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport after testing positive for cocaine, his lawyer said.

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Florida State receiver Preston Parker will have to sit out the first two games of the 2008 season after pleading guilty to two misdemeanor charges.

Parker was arrested in April on a felony charge for allegedly having a loaded pistol in the dashboard of his car. The charge was reduced to a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon.

Parker was also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, to which he also pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County.

MISCELLANY

NBAPA gets involved in Mayo situation

The NBA Players Assn. is investigating whether any agent acting on behalf of Bill Duffy Associates Sports Management broke union rules by funneling money to former USC star O.J. Mayo, union sources told the SportsBusiness Journal.

The players' association forbids agents from providing money or other benefits to college athletes or anyone who could influence an athlete's choice of agents. Mayo is represented by BDA Vice President Calvin Andrews.

-- Ben Bolch

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Darren Witcher has been hired as UCLA's director of football operations. Witcher was a defensive back at the University of Washington from 1979 to 1982.

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Oklahoma State freshman Rickie Fowler, The Times' boys' golf player of the year in 2007, has received the Ben Hogan Award given annually to the nation's top college golfer.

The other two finalists for this year's award from the Golf Coaches Assn. of America were Alabama senior Michael Thompson and USC sophomore Jamie Lovemark.

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The Ultimate Fighting Championships announced its first card in Minnesota. UFC 87 is scheduled for Aug. 9 and will feature Minneapolis native Brock Lesnar against former Olympic wrestler Mark Coleman in a heavyweight bout.

-- Dan Arritt

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Charles Barkley says he will stop gambling, at least for now, less than a week after acknowledging he owed $400,000 to a Las Vegas casino.

"I like to go into Vegas, it's a fun place, but you know what? I've got to stop gambling. That's the bottom line," Barkley said during TNT's pregame show for Game 7 between the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Hornets.

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