Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, March 07, 2002

Baseball bargaining recesses

NEW YORK -- Baseball's slow moving labor talks recessed Wednesday night as management prepared to announce a major administrative shakeup.

Bob DuPuy, the longtime lawyer for commissioner Bud Selig and a new member of the owners' negotiating team, will replace Paul Beeston as baseball's president and chief operating officer, the sport's No. 2 position.

In another move to be announced Thursday, Tampa Bay Devil Rays chief operating officer John McHale will become major league baseball's executive vice president for administration, a post held by DuPuy since September 1999.

Jonathan Mariner, a former executive vice president of the Florida Marlins, will become senior vice president and chief financial officer, replacing Jeff White, who had held the post for more than a decade.

Both the moves and the timing were confirmed Wednesday by a high-ranking baseball official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Selig, DuPuy, Beeston and McHale have declined comment, and Mariner did not return a telephone call.

U.S. gymnastics champion, two others warned

MOUTIER, Switzerland -- U.S. national gymnastics champion Sean Townsend and two teammates tested positive for cannabis and were warned they could be suspended if this happens again.

Townsend, Brett McClure and Jason Gatson failed the unannounced, out-of-competition test in January, the International Gymnastics Federation said Wednesday.

''In the event of subsequent offenses, these gymnasts could be subject to a suspension of up to two years. Gymnasts, be warned,'' the federation said.

A positive test for cannabis does not merit an automatic suspension because it is not a performance-enhancing substance.

Eberharter regains dominance over downhill

ALTENMARKT-ZAUCHENSEE, Austria -- After a momentary lapse at the Winter Olympics, Stephan Eberharter regained his stranglehold on the downhill Wednesday, winning the season's World Cup finale.

Eberharter, one of the few skiers able to make up time at the bottom half of the softening piste, charged down the Weltcupstrecke Zauchensee course in 1 minute, 41.80 seconds.

Switzerland's Ambrosi Hoffmann climbed the first World Cup podium of his career, finishing runnerup in 1:42.07.

Austria's Hannes Trinkl timed 1:42.26 while his teammate Fritz Strobl, the Olympic champion, finished just shy of the podium in 1:42.29.

The victory was particularly sweet for Eberharter, who had dominated the discipline all season but settled for bronze behind Austrian teammate Strobl and Norway's Lasse Kjus at Salt Lake City.

Eberharter finished the season with five downhill victories -- one more than his exalted teammate Hermann Maier had in 2001.

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