Sports Briefs

Posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Flyers owners dismissed in Babych civil trial

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. -- Comcast-Spectacor was dismissed as a defendant in a civil suit filed by former Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Dave Babych, who says team doctors mistreated an injury, shortening his career.

In the midst of a trial on Tuesday, Superior Court Judge William Todd granted a motion to excuse the owners of the Flyers from the suit after lawyer William Riina said lawyers for Babych presented no credible evidence of fraud or misrepresentation by the team.

Babych, 41, who broke his foot shortly after joining the team in 1998, says he was pressured to play hurt in a playoff series against the Buffalo Sabres. He was given injections to numb the pain so he could play, and he contends the treatment led to deterioration that prematurely ended his career after 18 years in the NHL.

The trial, which is in its second week, will continue with former Flyers physician Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi remaining as the lone defendant.

Architect of East German athletic machine, dies

BERLIN -- Manfred Ewald, who guided East German athletics to Olympic glory but was later convicted over the communist country's doping programs, has died. He was 76.

Ewald died Monday in a clinic in the eastern state of Brandenburg after developing pneumonia, said Jochen Gruenwald, a former secretary of the East German sports federation.

As head of the federation from 1961 to 1988 and East Germany's National Olympic Committee from 1973 until 1990, Ewald was the dominant figure in the rise of the communist country's prowess in athletics.

But following German reunification in 1990, Ewald and other officials were soon accused of systematically pumping young athletes full off performance-boosting drugs to build medal winners for communism.

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