Other Sports

Sports briefs: Aug. 25

Sports in the courts

Golfer's death ruled suicide; doctor charged with obstruction

The Clark County coroner's office in Las Vegas ruled Tuesday that 25-year-old professional golfer Erica Blasberg's death was a suicide. Blasberg died May 9 at her home in Henderson, about 15 miles southeast of the Las Vegas Strip. She was found with a plastic bag secured over her head. Henderson police said that while no foul play is suspected, they have issued a misdemeanor arrest warrant for Dr. Thomas Hess on obstruction charges.

Police said Hess, who discovered Blasberg's body, removed items from the scene, including a suicide note. The contents of the note haven't been disclosed. Hess turned himself in to authorities, was booked into jail and released about 35 minutes later, after posting $637 in bail Tuesday afternoon, Henderson police spokesman Keith Paul said. The coroner's office said Blasberg died of suicide due to asphyxia, coupled with the presence of toxic levels of prescription medication in her system, including prescription headache, cough, pain and anti-anxiety medications. Blasberg grew up in Southern California and was in her sixth season on the LPGA Tour. She was a former junior golf standout, an All-American in 2003 and 2004. She was the 2003 NCAA Freshman of the Year and 2003 Pacific-10 Player of the Year while at the University of Arizona.

■ Former Olympic ski jump champion Matti Nykanen was convicted Tuesday of attacking his wife with a kitchen knife in their home on Christmas Day last year. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison. The 47-year-old ski jumper was convicted of aggravated assault in district court in Pirkanmaa. Lawyer Tero Lakka told The Associated Press that Nykanen will appeal. Nykanen denied the charges, saying he was trying to defend himself in their home in southern Finland. He and his wife, Mervi Tapola, have since divorced.

Horse racing

No decision yet for First Dude, Trappe Shot

Preakness runner-up First Dude arrived Tuesday at Saratoga Race Course in advance of a possible run in the Saturday's $1 million Travers Stakes.

"He handled the plane ride very well and arrived in good condition at Saratoga," exercise rider Tammy Fox said.

First Dude, owned by Donald R. Dizney and trained by Dale Romans, is scheduled to gallop over the main track Wednesday.

"Dale will make a decision on the Travers after we see how he goes tomorrow morning and how he handles the track," Fox said.

Meanwhile, the connections of Trappe Shot, trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, remained undecided Tuesday on whether they'll enter their colt in the Travers or the Grade I, $250,000 King's Bishop.

"We had a pow-wow last night over dinner, but we're probably going to come to a conclusion tomorrow morning," said McLaughlin. "It's not so cut and dry. I'd say maybe 50-50."

Youth baseball

South Lexington falls to 1-2 in pool play

Pitcher Kyle Datres hit two triples and struck out 11 while allowing two runs over six innings, as West End, Pa., beat South Lexington 9-2 in the third game of pool play at the Babe Ruth World Series for 14-year-olds in Loudon County, Va. The Ohio Valley Regional champs from Lexington are now 1-2 with one game left, against Tallahassee, Fla., Wednesday.


Wozniacki replaces Serena as No. 1 seed

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was seeded No. 1 at a Grand Slam tournament for the first time Tuesday, getting the top spot at the U.S. Open because Serena Williams pulled out with a foot injury. Wozniacki, ranked No. 2 behind Williams by the WTA, was the runner-up at Flushing Meadows last year and is the first woman since 2003 to be seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open without already having won a major championship. Defending champion Kim Clijsters was seeded No. 2 by the U.S. Tennis Association, which stuck strictly to the rankings in determining the seedings. Venus Williams, the 2000-01 U.S. Open champion, is No. 3, followed by 2008 runner-up Jelena Jankovic and French Open runner-up Sam Stosur.


Bolt's deal makes him 'best-paid' ever

A season-ending injury hasn't stopped Usain Bolt from celebrating. The world's fastest man turned 24 over the weekend and then signed a three-year contract extension with German apparel company Puma on Tuesday that is said to be the biggest for a track and field athlete. And although contract terms for the world-record holder at 100 and 200 meters of the deal were not released, Puma chairman and CEO Jochen Zeitz said Bolt would be the "best-paid athlete in track and field history."


Weir probably out for season

PGA golfer Mike Weir has a partially torn ligament in his right elbow and is probably out for the rest of the season. Weir told The Canadian Press on Tuesday that he had an MRI exam over the weekend. He plans to rest the elbow and seek treatment to avoid surgery. The Canadian left-hander had elbow pain before the British Open in July but thought it was tendinitis. A conversation with PGA pro Scott McCarron at last week's Wyndham Championship prompted Weir to seek medical attention. McCarron told Weir that he had a similar injury but continued to play while getting treatment. That resulted in a complete tear, which required surgery and a year off the tour. Weir is coming off a season of eight missed cuts.


Veteran defenseman Ward retiring

Three-time Stanley Cup winner Aaron Ward is retiring after more than 13 NHL seasons. The 37-year-old defenseman became a free agent this summer and had knee surgery for the third time. He says he wasn't going to be ready for the upcoming season. Ward split last season with Carolina and Anaheim, recording one goal and 12 assists in 77 games. Ward won Stanley Cups with Detroit in 1997 and 1998 and Carolina in 2006. He also played for Boston and the New York Rangers. He finishes with 44 career goals and 107 assists.

College soccer

New Mexico pony-tail grabber reinstated

New Mexico's Elizabeth Lambert has been reinstated after serving a two-game suspension for her role in a widely publicized end-of-game fracas last fall. New Mexico Athletics Director Paul Krebs joined Coach Kit Vela at a news conference Tuesday, but Lambert did not attend. Lambert's actions were viewed by millions of people worldwide on YouTube and TV replays. The most striking image was Lambert grabbing Brigham Young's Kassidy Shumway by her ponytail and jerking her to the ground, but the game was physical on both sides. Lambert took an elbow to the ribs from a BYU player during a dead ball, responding with an elbow to the back. Vela told reporters Lambert wants the focus to be on the team and not on her.

■ After rallying with a pair of goals from true freshmen Tyler Riggs and Ellis Vienne in a win at Dayton Monday in the first exhibition match of the season, the UK men's soccer team travels to Memphis to play Brazil's Botofogo's under-19 squad Wednesday.

The last word

Jets Coach Rex Ryan said he wasn't surprised to hear that rival Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told a radio station he hates the Jets:

"Hell, he knows we hate the Patriots, so what's the difference? My brother's got a couple of Super Bowl rings. He loves Tom Brady, but I don't have them, so I don't like Tom Brady."