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Sports Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2001

Red Cross golf tourney set for July 7

The 10th annual American Red Cross Golf Classic will take place July 7 at the Birch Ridge Golf Course in Soldotna. The entry fee is $60 and includes greens fees, breakfast, T-shirt, prize drawings and a barbecue.

The tournament will be conducted under a four-person scramble format. There will be an "Early Bird" drawing for a prize of $100. Teams must be signed up by 7:30 a.m. for an 8 a.m. shotgun start. There also will be prizes for closest to the pin and longest drive for men and women, as well as other prizes.

For more information or to find out how to make a donation to the Red Cross, call Penny Malmquist at 262-7375.

Springboard Diving Camp set for Aug. 6

This year's Springboard Diving Camp will be held from Aug. 6 to 17 at the Soldotna High School pool. The Alaska Springboard Diving Championships will be on the last day of the camp.

The cost of the camp will be $400, and it is not refundable. Only 20 athletes will be accepted, so the first ones to make deposits will be on the list of campers first. A $200 deposit will hold a place until July 1, at which time the entire balance must be paid.

The price of the camp includes room and board. All the camper needs is pocket money, sleeping bag, pillow, swimwear and personal items. If campers can get to Anchorage, Homer or Seward the camp can transport them to Soldotna.

The head coach at the camp will be Craig Brown, who is in his 15th year as the men's and women's diving coach at Penn State. Many other experienced coaches are expected to attend.

For more information, contact James and Vickie Blake of the Kenai Peninsula Dive Club by phone at 283-9460, by fax at 283-8038 or by e-mail at blake1@gci.net.

Ted Williams back in Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- After a 4 1/2-hour flight from San Diego, Ted Williams returned to Florida on Tuesday to continue rehabilitation from open-heart surgery.

Upon landing in Gainesville, the 82-year-old baseball great was wheeled off the airplane and placed in a waiting ambulance that drove him to Shands Hospital at the University of Florida.

A handful of Williams' family members were at the airport, but they refused to grant interviews, blocked photographers' shots and called security to shoo away reporters.

At the family's request, Shands officials aren't allowed to ''confirm or deny whether Mr. Williams is here,'' spokesman Garrett Hall said.

Racing board denies stay of Baffert's suspension

LOS ANGELES -- The chairman of the California Horse Racing Board on Tuesday denied a request to stay the 60-day suspension of trainer Bob Baffert for a positive drug test on one of his horses 13 months ago.

Baffert's attorney, Neil Papiano, filed an appeal Tuesday with the CHRB and also requested a stay pending that appeal.

Robert Tourtelot, chairman of the Sacramento-based CHRB, denied the stay.

Tourtelot said that although he has granted stays for jockeys in cases involving riding infractions, he never has granted one for a medication violation.

He noted that his policy for medication violations is consistent with the last two CHRB chairmen.

''We treat everyone the same, even a leading trainer,'' Tourtelot said.

Papiano said he will seek a stay in the court system.

Baffert's suspension is scheduled to run June 25 to Aug. 23. He trained Point Given to victories in this year's Preakness and Belmont stakes. On Papiano's advice, Baffert has not commented on the suspension.

The suspension stems from the positive test on Nautical Look after the filly won at Hollywood Park in May 2000. A post-race urine test was positive for morphine, a drug that can't be in a horse's system on race day.

Sale of Canadiens approved

NEW YORK -- The sale of the Montreal Canadiens to a Colorado businessman was unanimously approved Tuesday by the NHL's Board of Governors.

George Gillett Jr., bought an 80 percent controlling interest in the Canadiens and 100 percent of the Molson Centre for $178.3 million. Molson retains a 20 percent interest in the Canadiens.

A condition of the sale to Gillett was that the team would not leave Montreal. The Wisconsin native, who does not speak French, has said repeatedly that he has no plans to shift the franchise elsewhere.

The 62-year-old Gillett is a former minority owner of the Miami Dolphins and the Harlem Globetrotters. He failed in a bid last year to purchase another NHL team, the Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.

''Board approval was a notable milestone in the process, and we intend to be proud stewards of what is a national treasure,'' Gillett said.

Gillett struck the deal for the Canadiens in late January, but it wasn't until Tuesday's perfect vote that the sale became official.

''It was a complicated transaction, but we worked our way through it and everyone is comfortable,'' commissioner Gary Bettman said. ''Sometimes these transactions take awhile.''

With an American owner buying hockey's equivalent to the New York Yankees, and only six NHL teams still in Canada, there were fears that a move was not out of the question.

''It was a six-month process and we move on,'' Canadiens president Pierre Boivin said. ''There's nothing like closure in any transaction. It takes away any uncertainty or any doubt that may have remained.''

The Canadiens failed to make the playoffs for the third straight year, the first time that has happened since 1920-22.

''I look forward to working with the tremendous community of Montreal and the fans in rebuilding one of the greatest teams in hockey,'' Gillett said.

Gillett has had an up-and-down business career. He declared for personal bankruptcy, lost control of Vail Mountain, the nation's largest ski area, and defaulted on $983 million of junk bonds. But he has come back and now owns Booth Creek, the nation's fourth largest ski company.

Boivin said last year's player budget of $36 million to $37 million will remain about the same for next season.

Late season player moves, including the deal that sent Trevor Linden and Dainius Zubrus to the Washington Capitals at the trading deadline, helped the Canadiens gain more financial flexibility.

''We did very well through trades in terms of freeing up dollars,'' Boivin said. ''Our roster at the end of the season was much lower than the beginning of the season, so there is money available to do the right things if the right things come up to improve the team.''



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