Sports Briefs

Posted: Thursday, September 18, 2003

Steelers' Porter returns to practice

PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Joey Porter returned to practice Wednesday, only 2 1/2 weeks after being injured in a drive-by shooting in Denver.

When Porter was shot by an unknown assailant in a nightclub parking lot Aug. 31 following the Colorado State-Colorado game, the Steelers estimated he could miss as much as half the season. Instead, he is expected to play Sunday in Cincinnati after sitting out only two games.

''I'm just happy to go out there and have a chance to do what I love doing, and that's play football,'' Porter said Wednesday. ''To be able to do it 20 days after what happened is actually amazing.''

The bullet grazed Porter's buttocks and lodged in his right thigh before being surgically removed. Doctors said the threat of infection and the possibility that scar tissue might form around the wound made it difficult to predict how long Porter would be out.

However, doctors told Porter the wound began healing immediately and without complications. That has allowed him to return almost as quickly as was possible with such an injury.

Porter said it is important for him to practice well this week so that he can get ready to play at game speed again.

''As far as running straight and cutting, anybody can go out there and do that that's not playing football,'' said Porter, who practiced with the starting defense. ''I've got to find out what I can do taking on a double team block or having to cover somebody or wrapping up and making a tackle.''

Caffeine, Sudafed taken off banned list

LONDON Drinking too much coffee or taking a common cold tablet would no longer get athletes disqualified from the Olympics under a new proposed list of banned substances, The Associated Press has learned.

A positive test for marijuana, though, would still result in a drug penalty. So would the medication at the center of American sprinter Kelli White's doping scandal.

The proposed new global list of banned substances was drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency, following more than two years of research, analysis and debate. Experts now have drawn up an all-encompassing list of prohibited steroids, stimulants, blood-boosters, narcotics and other drugs.

Among the key recommendations: Caffeine and pseudoephedrine, an ingredient of the cold remedy Sudafed, are removed from the banned category. Cannabis, or marijuana, remains on the list.

Modafinil, which could cost White her two world championship gold medals, is specifically named for the first time among the banned stimulants.

The decisions were disclosed to the AP by professor Arne Ljungqvist, the Swedish anti-doping official who heads WADA's medical research committee.

''We must adjust our list to modern thinking and to changes of attitude and changes of knowledge,'' he said.

The list must still be approved by the doping agency's executive committee, which meets in Montreal next Monday and Tuesday.

If ratified, it will go into effect Jan. 1 and apply to all sports and all countries covered by WADA's global anti-doping code. The list will be in force for next year's Summer Olympics in Athens.

Owners approve 2007 Super Bowl for Miami

WASHINGTON The 2007 Super Bowl was awarded to Miami on Wednesday by NFL owners. The owners ratified a decision made last spring to hold the game at Pro Player Stadium.

''Miami sells itself,'' Dolphins president Eddie Jones said. ''We've got everything a city would want to put in a proposal.''

Miami has hosted the Super Bowl eight times (1968, '69, '71, '76, '79, '89, '95, and '99), fewer than only New Orleans (nine times).

Houston will host this season's Super Bowl on Feb. 1 and next season's game will be in Jacksonville. Detroit will host the game in 2006.

The site of the 2008 Super Bowl will be decided at owners' meetings in Chicago on Oct. 29-30. The contenders are Arizona, Tampa, Washington and New York-New Jersey.

The owners also were expected to approve the continuation of NFL Europe at Wednesday's meeting.

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