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Sports Briefs

Posted: Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Former Falcon agrees to deal with NFL champs

FOXBORO, Mass. -- Former NFC rushing leader Jamal Anderson and the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots are about to join forces.

''We've agreed in principle'' to a contract, James Sims, Anderson's agent, said Monday. ''It's looking pretty good.''

The Patriots, who are pleased with their three running backs, wouldn't confirm an agreement with the unrestricted free agent who spent eight seasons with Atlanta.

Team spokesman Stacey James cited a team policy of not commenting on agreements or signings unless and until they are submitted to the league and approved. Sims, reached at his Oakland office, declined to discuss details of the agreement.

Frerotte becomes Bengals' fifth starter in five years

CINCINNATI -- Gus Frerotte promises not to head-butt the walls at Paul Brown Stadium if he scores a touchdown this season.

The journeyman quarterback has learned from his worst moment, an overly exuberant touchdown celebration in Washington. Now, he'll find out if the Cincinnati Bengals have learned from their biggest mistake.

They never stay with a quarterback for very long.

The Bengals chose Frerotte as their starting quarterback Monday, adding to their legacy of bringing in a new passer for the start of each new season. Frerotte will be their fifth different opening quarterback in the last five years.

Rockets sign Francis to six-year extension

HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets signed point guard Steve Francis to a six-year contract extension Monday, keeping him with the team through the 2008-09 season.

The 25-year-old Francis is entering the final season of a four-year deal worth just over $14 million. His new contract will pay him between $80-90 million over the six years.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Francis was an NBA All-Star for the first time last season, when he averaged 22 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. But he's recovering from surgery on his right shoulder and is treating an inner-ear disorder that caused debilitating headaches last season.

The injury and the headaches kept Francis out of 25 games. He said Monday his ear treatment is going well and doesn't anticipate the headaches to recur this season.

Venue shift approved for Olympic boxing event

ATHENS, Greece -- Olympic organizers and international boxing officials agreed Monday to move the boxing venue for the 2004 Games because of delays and rising costs.

Instead of building a planned seaside arena, the new site will be in a congested residential neighborhood.

The Greek government first announced the shift in July but needed the approval of the International Amateur Boxing Association. The agreement was reached in Lausanne, Switzerland, but was announced by organizers in Athens.

Organizers said the 8,400-seat arena in the western district of Peristeri will be partly funded by the state. The international competition for construction companies should be completed by October, but it is unclear how much construction would be needed.

The boxing test event is scheduled for May 2004, three months before the Olympics. The international federation agreed to the last-minute change but insisted the arena must be ready on time.

IOC overseers are worried about Athens' ability to meet deadlines for all Olympic facilities. Some sites have been scaled down to speed construction and trim inflated costs to make up for years of delays.



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