Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the U.S. are favorites for a… (Sam Yeh / AFP / Getty Images )
Accepting that Tokyo could not host the World Figure Skating Championships next week, the sport's governing body stepped up efforts Monday to find a new venue and dates for its marquee event.
The International Skating Union is expected to announce a backup plan this week after giving up hopes — initially shared with Japanese organizers — to proceed as planned after Tokyo's Yoyogi stadium escaped damage in Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami.
Instead, the ISU made the inevitable ruling — backed by federations including those of the United States, Canada and France — to postpone the March 21-27 worlds and the World Team Trophy scheduled to be held in Yokohama on April 14-17.
ISU President Ottavio Cinquanta said it took into account "critical developments" in Japan, including emergencies at the Fukushima nuclear plant.
"The ISU's primary concern (is) for the safety of all participants, spectators and members of concerned entities as well as the travel advisories from many governments to avoid travel to Japan until the situation is settled," Cinquanta said in a statement, one day after expressing skating's sympathy at Japan's "monstrous natural disaster."
Though Cinquanta said rescheduling in Tokyo was still an option, officials at ISU headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, spent the day in calls with potential replacements.
Roeser testifies in lawsuit
Clippers President Andy Roeser testified Monday that former general manager Elgin Baylor was in agreement on the team's key decisions in the months before being fired.
Roeser, named in a wrongful termination lawsuit by Baylor, who claims age discrimination by the team and owner Donald Sterling, said on the stand in a Los Angeles civil court trial that Baylor also was supportive of the team's failed effort to extend star player Elton Brand's contract and to sign free-agent point guard Baron Davis in 2008.
Baylor's attorney has claimed the team wrongfully trumped Baylor's duties by allowing then-coach Mike Dunleavy to handle major personnel decisions such as the acquisitions of Marcus Camby and Ricky Davis.
The attorney, Alvin Pittman, said in questioning that Baylor was "completely undermined" and "excluded from important meetings."
Roeser rejected those characterizations on the stand.
Baylor rejected team offers to serve as a "retired" consultant who could draw a pension, and also declined an offer to work as general manager for one more season, Roeser testified.
Dunleavy and Sterling could appear Tuesday as the trial continues.
World champion Sebastian Vettel has extended his contract with Red Bull Racing for two more years until 2014, the Formula One team said.
The 23-year-old German had a contract until the end of the 2011 season with an option for 2012.
He last year became the youngest driver to win the championship, and with teammate Mark Webber helped Red Bull also win the constructors' title.
Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek won the 2010 Sullivan Award as the top amateur athlete in the United States.
Lysacek also won the USOC Sportsman of the Year award this year.