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Judge dismisses some Olympic charges

| Monday, July 16, 2001

SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal judge threw out four of 15 felony charges in the Olympic bribery case Monday, dealing a setback to prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge David Sam said federal prosecutors improperly built their felony racketeering case on a Utah misdemeanor law prohibiting bribery or kickbacks in commercial dealings.

Sam dismissed the racketeering counts and indefinitely postponed the July 30 trial of Tom Welch and Dave Johnson , who led Salt Lake City's successful effort to land the 2002 Winter Olympics. He said he would rule later on the defendants' request that he dismiss the 11 other counts.

  • U.S. Olympic bobsledder John Kasper , also an assistant coach with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings, was suspended from the sport for two years after failing a drug test. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said yesterday that Kasper tested positive for the anabolic steroid methandienone during an out-of-competition test in Lake Placid, N.Y. on March 8.

    BASKETBALL
    The Phoenix Suns will send center Chris Dudley to the New Jersey Nets for center Soumaila Samake and forward Johnny Newman to complete the Jason Kidd-Stephon Marbury deal. The June 28 swap of star point guards cannot become official until Wednesday because of base compensation and contract issues.

    CYCLING

    Russia's Serguei Ivanov won the ninth stage of the Tour de France yesterday, and Australia's Stuart O'Grady again held the yellow jersey.

    Lance Armstrong , going for a third straight title, finished in 32nd place, 24 seconds behind Ivanov. The Texan is 23rd in the overall standings, 35 minutes, 19 seconds off the lead.

    Armstrong still holds a 27-second lead over his main challenger, Germany's Jan Ullrich . Both cyclists are expected to be a force in the mountains.

    HOCKEY

    Miroslav Satan , second in scoring last season for the Buffalo Sabres, and fellow forward Chris Taylor have filed for arbitration. Allowing Sunday's deadline for filing to pass were defensemen Alexei Zhitnik and Rhett Warrener , the Sabres said yesterday.

  • Centers Tony Hrkac and Bob Corkum , both unrestricted free agents, signed contracts yesterday with the Atlanta Thrashers. The team also signed defenseman Todd Reirden .

    HORSE RACING

    Trainer John DeStefano has been suspended for 15 days by Belmont Park stewards because a banned drug was found in one of his horses after a race June 14. The drug, Clenbuterol, causes widening of blood vessels. Luther Rose had finished first, and stewards took away his purse.

    SOFTBALL

    Jen Picard , a pitcher from Bethel Park, signed a letter of intent to play at NAIA Geneva. Picard posted an 11-7 record with a 0.53 earned run average last season. She registered 160 strikeouts in 145 innings.

    TENNIS

    Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia was upset yesterday in the first round of the $110,000 WTA Sanex Trophy, losing 6-4, 6-2 to Denisa Chladkova of the Czech Republic. Dokic was seeded third in this clay-court tournament on the North Sea.

    TRACK AND FIELD

    St. Francis (Pa.) signed Sarah Ogden of Clearfield to a letter of intent. At Clearfield, Ogden won the District 9 shot put title the past three seasons.

    VOLLEYBALL

    Nichole Hyer , a middle/outside hitter from Pickering, Ohio, signed a letter of intent to attend St. Francis (Pa.). Hyer was a first-team All-Ohio Capital Conference selection last season at Pickering.

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