Sports Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2004

KPHA Squirt B drops a game

The Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association Squirt B team lost 6-3 to the Anchorage Mighty Moose PeeWee C team this weekend in Kenai.

Goalie William Granger made 15 saves in the loss. Sean Endsley had a pair of goals, on assisted by Matt Boulette and the other assisted by Josh Kerkvliet. The other goal came from Morgan Cunningham, assisted by Hali Carter.

Whalers begin practice

The Soldotna Whalers Freestyle Wrestling team has begun practice at Soldotna High School's upper gym. Practice is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Registration and more information is available at the practices.

Chambers banned for two years for THG

LONDON British sprinter Dwain Chambers was suspended Tuesday for two years and banned for life from the Olympics, the first athlete punished for testing positive for the designer steroid THG.

THG, which was undetectable until last year, is at the center of the scandal surrounding a San Francisco-area lab accused of supplying dozens of professional athletes with banned substances. Chambers' coach, Barry Bonds' personal trainer and two others were indicted this month.

Chambers, the European 100-meter champion, tested positive in an out-of-competition drug test in August. UK Athletics suspended him, and under British Olympic Association rules, he is barred from ever competing in the Olympics.

''It's an exceptionally sad day for Dwain and an exceptionally painful day for the sport,'' UK Athletics chief executive David Moorcroft said. ''But it is absolutely a price worth paying.''

Chambers, who finished fourth in the 100 at the 2000 Sydney Games, had been considered a potential gold medal contender at the Athens Olympics in August. His suspension will end Nov. 7, 2005.

''I think two years is pretty emphatic. It's basically the end of a career,'' said Nick Davies, spokesman for the International Association of Athletics Federations.

The 25-year-old sprinter has maintained he never knowingly took a banned substance and blamed his positive THG test on nutritional supplements.

The four other track and field competitors who tested positive for THG, or tetrahydrogestrinone, were Americans: shot putter Kevin Toth, 1,500-meter runner Regina Jacobs and hammer throwers Melissa Price and John McEwen. Their hearings haven't been held yet.

Nolan Ryan rejoins Astros as adviser

HOUSTON Fifteen years after he left, Nolan Ryan returned to the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

The Hall of Famer, who holds the record for no-hitters (seven) and strikeouts (5,714), signed a five-year personal services contract.

He pitched for Houston from 1980-88, then spent his last five seasons with the Texas Rangers. His 10-year personal services contract with the Rangers ended earlier this month.

''In my mind, I hoped to be involved with the organization after my playing days were over,'' he said. ''It's kind of special to be standing here today. I just had kind of a 15-year detour there that I hadn't anticipated.''

Astros owner Drayton McLane said Ryan will work in all phases of the organization, including on-field instruction.

''He pitched 27 years, and we might make it 28,'' McLane joked. ''but really, we do have a rotation.''

Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, both Houston-area residents, signed as free agents with the Astros during the offseason.

''Obviously, growing up I was a huge fan of his, and he was kind of an idol of mine,'' Pettitte said from spring training in Kissimmee, Fla.

Clemens remembered seeking advice from Ryan years ago.

''I think it's awesome,'' Clemens said. ''I can only tell you the neat experience I had with him when I was younger, and it will only add to this organization.''

Ryan, the career strikeouts leader, will work with Astros manager Jimy Williams and Pam Gardner, the president of business operations. Ryan will go to spring training some time next month to meet with Williams and get acquainted with the team.

Ryan began negotiating with the Astros after his deal with the Rangers expired. He already is owner of the Astros' Double-A farm team in Round Rock.

He first joined the Astros after the 1979 season and helped them to division titles in 1980 and 1986. He departed unhappily after the 1988 season and signed with the Rangers at 41. Ryan went on to pitch two more no-hitters before retiring in 1993 at 46.

Tal Smith, the Astros' president of baseball operations, recalled that Dusty Baker was the final out when Ryan pitched his fifth no-hitter, against Los Angeles in 1981. Baker now manages the Chicago Cubs, an NL West rival.

''Nolan, we've got to get Dusty again this year,'' Smith said.

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