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Contract talks between NBA referees, league break down

NEWSWIRE

The referees are prepared to be locked out for the start of the season after commissioner removes himself from negotiations.

September 11, 2009|Lance Pugmire; Jim Peltz | Staff and Wire Reports

NBA referees are prepared to be locked out for the start of the season after negotiations with the league on a new contract broke down this week when Commissioner David Stern ended the latest bargaining session.

No further talks are scheduled -- and when they do resume, it'll be without the commissioner.

Referees spokesman Lamell McMorris accused Stern of acting childish and not negotiating in good faith, so Stern removed himself from the process.

Stern said Thursday he told McMorris that, "In fact, if it was going to get personal -- which apparently he's decided to make it by calling news media and leveling a series of inaccurate allegations -- that I would absent myself from the negotiations, which I have.

"Hopefully we'll make a deal with the referees, or we won't, but it won't be on the basis of personality, it'll be on the basis of economics," Stern added.

The league's contract with its referees expired Sept. 1.

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As expected, the Memphis Grizzlies announced they have signed 10-time All-Star guard Allen Iverson.

TRACK AND FIELD

Gender tests on Semenya in hand

The International Assn. of Athletics Federations has received the results of gender tests on Caster Semenya, winner of the women's 800-meter world title last month, and will meet with the South African runner before completing its report.

In an e-mail to the Associated Press, IAAF spokesman Nick Davies said he couldn't confirm a story in Australia's Sydney Morning Herald newspaper stating that tests show Semenya has male and female sexual organs.

The Australian newspaper reported in its Friday edition that medical reports on the 18-year-old Semenya indicate she has no ovaries, but rather has internal male testes, which are producing large amounts of testosterone.

Davies said the newspaper's report "should be treated with caution."

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

NCAA: Sidney is 'not certified'

Former L.A. Fairfax High standout Renardo Sidney failed to provide the NCAA with the financial documents it requested by a Sept. 2 deadline, so the organization has declared the Mississippi State freshman "not certified due to non-response," an NCAA spokeswoman told The Times.

"We've asked for additional information and have not received it," NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said. "When and if we get it, we'll review those documents. If we don't, he remains not certified."

Although Sidney has enrolled in classes, the NCAA designation restricts him from playing until his family and attorney give the NCAA documentation explaining its financial support.

-- Lance Pugmire

MOTOR RACING

NHRA fines Force $10,000

The NHRA levied a $10,000 fine on John Force, the 14-time funny car drag racing champion, stemming from Force's heated argument with rival Tony Pedregon at last weekend's Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

Pedregon and his drag-racing brother, Cruz Pedregon, accused Force of purposefully losing a semifinal round against Robert Hight -- who drives for Force and is Force's son-in-law -- so that Hight would qualify for the playoffs in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s Full Throttle Series and Cruz Pedregon would be knocked out of the playoffs.

Force, 60, confronted Tony Pedregon at the track as TV cameras rolled and the two had to be restrained. In doing so, Force "made physical contact with an NHRA official" in violation of the rules, prompting the fine, the NHRA said.

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Two NASCAR Sprint Cup teams, Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing, said they plan to merge next year to create a four-car team running Fords under the Petty banner. The team will include current Petty drivers Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and AJ Allmendinger -- who now drive Dodges -- along with Yates driver Paul Menard, who drives a Ford. That means Reed Sorenson, another current Petty driver, will be looking for work after this season.

-- Jim Peltz

HOCKEY

Judge could reject bids for Coyotes

A bankruptcy judge has raised the possibility of rejecting both bids to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. Judge Redfield T. Baum made the comment as the two-day auction of the team began.

Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie and the NHL are bidding.

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The sale of the Montreal Canadiens to a group led by the Molson family is going ahead. Geoff Molson said that only details need to be ironed out and the deal should be completed in the next few weeks, subject to approval by the NHL.

ETC.

German women win soccer title

Inka Grings and Birgit Prinz scored two goals apiece to lead defending champion Germany past England, 6-2, in the women's European Championship soccer final at Helsinki, Finland. . . . Sue Bird has agreed to a multiyear contract extension to stay with the Seattle Storm, keeping the All-Star guard with the only WNBA team she has played for. . . . Britain's Mark Cavendish withdrew from the Tour of Missouri cycling race because of an infection his team said had spread to his lungs.

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