Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2002

Schutzenhofer, Griffin named All-ABL

Andy Schutzenhofer and Preston Griffin were named to the All-Alaska Baseball League team Wednesday.

Schutzenhofer made the team at first base, while Griffin was named at shortstop.

All-Alaska Baseball League team

Player of the Year -- Eric Rodland, Athletes in Action; Coach of the Year -- Ed Cheff, Fairbanks Goldpanners; First base -- Andy Schutzenhofer, Peninsula Oilers; Second base -- Eric Rodland, AIA; Third base -- Tim Petru, AIA; Shortstop -- Preston Griffin, Oilers; Outfield -- Scott Robinson, Goldpanners; Terry Trofholz, Anchorage Bucs; Tony Perez, Goldpanners; Designated hitter -- Dennis Bigley, Anchorage Glacier Pilots; Utility -- Joe Diefenderfer, Bucs; Pitcher -- Jered Weaver, Bucs; Derek Roper, AIA; Sean Timmons, Goldpanners; David Purcey, Glacier Pilots; Sean Warlop, Glacier Pilots; Relief pitcher -- Zak Basch, Goldpanners.

Rumsas doesn't meet with French investigators

LYON, France -- Tour de France third-place finisher Raimondas Rumsas, whose wife was jailed after allegedly being caught with a stash of performance-enhancing drugs, decided Wednesday not to meet with French investigators.

''He is very concerned about the fate of his wife, but he's not sure that throwing himself in the mouth of wolves will resolve the situation,'' said Rumsas' lawyer, Pierre-Louis Piloix.

The lawyer said Rumsas ''could come tomorrow, or in two days, we don't know yet.''

Piloix said Rumsas is in Italy.

Rumsas' wife, Edita, was stopped Sunday on her way to Italy by French customs officials. In her car was a cooler containing the endurance-booster EPO, growth hormones, testosterone and anabolic agents, police said.

She was placed under formal investigation for supplying doping products after a hearing before an investigative magistrate. She was jailed.

An Italian newspaper quoted Rumsas as saying the products found in his wife's car were destined for his mother-in-law.

Tour de France have worked to rebuild the race's reputation after the 1998 edition was nearly derailed by a drugs scandal.

Venus begins bid for third Acura title

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Top-seeded Venus Williams began her quest for a record third consecutive Acura Classic title Wednesday night, defeating unseeded Janette Husarova of Slovokia 6-4, 6-1 in 66 minutes at La Costa Resort and Spa.

Williams struggled early in the first set, trailing 2-1 to the pesky Husarova, who broke the defending champion's serve four times in the match.

''She was just swinging, she had nothing to lose,'' Williams said. ''I was just missing too many shots in the first set and that gave her the lead.''

In the end, however, Williams was too physical for Husarova, who tried unsuccessfully more than a dozen times to score on drop shots.

When asked if she had ever had an opponent attempt that many drop shots on her, Williams said, ''No, never.''

In the top day match, Lindsay Davenport, in her second WTA tournament since undergoing knee surgery, needed a little more than an hour to defeat Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian of Switzerland 6-3, 6-0.

''I'm really happy where I am at. It really is above what I expected,'' said Davenport, who injured her right knee last November and underwent surgery in January. ''I still think that I have some good years left in me.''

Earlier in the day, a second-round match between No. 7 Daniela Hantuchova of Slovokia and Ai Sugiyama of Japan ended with two controversial calls by chair umpire Denis Overberg with Sugiyama winning 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.

After receiving a warning for taking excessive time between points, Hantuchova was assessed a rare point penalty for taking too much time setting up to receive a serve. The point gave Sugiyama the advantage in a game that she eventually won to take a 6-5 lead in the third and deciding set.

In the next game, Hantuchova was penalized again for taking too much time to serve. That penalty gave Sugiyama match point.

Hantuchova stared at Overberg in disbelief before approaching the net, conceding the loss.

''I've never heard of this. I felt that I could have won, but somebody came and took the match away from me,'' she said. ''It was a great match and to have it end like that is really disappointing. But there is nothing that I can do now.''

Sugiyama said she also felt sorry about the way the match finished.

''It's tough to lose a match like that, but she was taking a little bit more time than normal,'' Sugiyama said.

In other second-round matches, fifth-seeded Kim Clijsters of Belgium beat Eleni Danilidou of Greece 6-3, 6-1; No. 10 Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria defeated Nathalie Dechy of France 7-5, 7-5; Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia upset No. 11 Daja Bedanova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 3-6, 6-2; No. 13 Meghann Shaughnessy eliminated Meilen Tu 6-1, 6-2; No. 15 Anne Kremer of Luxembourg topped Greta Arn of Germany 5-7, 6-3, 6-0; and Conchita Martinez of Spain upset 16th-seeded Tatiana Panova of Russia 5-7, 6-2, 7-6 (4), and Anna Kournikova of Russia topped Jennifer Hopkins 6-2, 6-4.

In the only third-round matches, No. 12 Anna Smashnova upset No. 8 Elena Dementieva 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (2), and No. 6 Jelena Dokic of Yugoslavia beat No. 9 Anastasia Myskina 6-4, 6-3.

The Acura Classic, one of the top non-major stops on the WTA, is in its 19th year and has a purse of $775,000. The tournament features a 48-player singles draw. The tournament features five of the top ten players in the world including Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Dokic, Clijsters and Davenport.

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