Fignon, Tour de France champ in '83 and '84, dies at age 50
Laurent Fignon, the Frenchman who won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984 and lost to Greg LeMond in 1989 in the race's closest finish, died Tuesday of cancer. He was 50.
Mr. Fignon said in June 2009 he had advanced cancer of the digestive system and was undergoing chemotherapy. He had been a television commentator in France since 2006. He worked through this year's Tour, which ended barely a month ago, his voice gravelly from his illness and treatment.
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"He was a great champion who used a combination of talent and will to win the Tour de France twice," French Cycling Federation president David Lappartient told The Associated Press. "He had an iron will, and was also a very intelligent man."
Seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong, a cancer survivor, called Mr. Fignon a "dear friend" and a "legendary cyclist."
In 1989, Mr. Fignon lost to LeMond by eight seconds. LeMond rode with new triathlon handlebars that Mr. Fignon maintained were illegal. Mr. Fignon wrote in his autobiography, We Were Young and Carefree, published last year:
"The cyclist who doesn't know how to lose cannot become a champion. ... But to lose like that, on the last day, with such a small gap, and principally because of handlebars that were banned under the rules, no, that was too much for one man," Mr. Fignon wrote.
■ Milton "Sharm" Scheuerman, a member of Iowa's "Fabulous Five" basketball team in 1956 that finished as NCAA runners-up and a former Hawkeyes coach, has died of prostate cancer. He was 76.
Iowa won 17 straight games in 1956, the second-longest streak in school history. After playing for the Hawkeyes, Mr. Scheuerman became Iowa's head basketball coach at age 24 — the youngest coach in the program's history. He coached Iowa for six seasons, compiling a record of 72-69.
Sports in the Courts
Spartans' Lucious charged with DUI
Michigan State guard Korie Lucious has been charged with drunken driving. The 20-year-old was pulled over early Monday near the East Lansing campus and his blood-alcohol level was 0.09 percent, according to a police report. The legal limit in Michigan is 0.08 percent.
Lucious' three-pointer lifted the Spartans into the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament last season and helped them advance to the Final Four. The junior is expected to be a key player this season.
■ Two West Virginia basketball players have been issued citations on a disorderly conduct charge. Guards Joe Mazzulla and Dalton Pepper allegedly urinated in public Sunday. WVU Coach Bob Huggins suspended Mazzulla in April 2009 after the player's second arrest in nine months. Mazzulla pleaded no contest last August to a disorderly conduct charge and was reinstated that month.
■ Court filings show a plea bargain is in the works for ex-Michigan State basketball star and retired NBA player Jay Vincent, who's charged in a $2 million Internet scam. Vincent entered a not-guilty plea Tuesday to fraud and tax charges in a federal court in Grand Rapids. But a judge also set a Sept. 28 hearing for him to change that plea. Vincent and an associate are accused of defrauding people by charging them to become certified as home inspectors. Vincent played on the 1979 Michigan State national title team.
Spain loses big lead; Turkey goes to 3-0
Lithuania rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to beat defending champ Spain 76-73 on Tuesday in a game between the two Group D favorites at the basketball world championship in Izmir, Turkey. Lithuania used a 23-5 run to tie the score at 66 with 5:25 left.
■ Ersan Ilyasova scored 26 points to help Turkey clinch a 76-65 win over Greece, essentially securing a place in the second round. Turkey improved to 3-0 and can secure a top spot in the six-team Group C when it plays Puerto Rico on Wednesday.
■ Connecticut's Tina Charles has won the WNBA's Rookie of the Year award, months after she was honored as the women's college player of the year. The 6-foot-4 center averaged more than 15 points and almost 12 rebounds for the Sun. She set a WNBA record for most rebounds in a season. Her 22 games with double figures in points and rebounds also was a league record.
Chelios call end to 26-year career
Chris Chelios, the longest-tenured defenseman in NHL history, is hanging up his skates. After 26 NHL seasons and three Stanley Cups, Chelios announced his retirement Tuesday at the age of 48.
"I guess I've been dreading this day for a long time," he said in Detroit. But Chelios said he has "nothing left in the tank."
Chelios, who won three Norris Trophies during a career that included stops in Montreal, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta, will become an adviser with the Red Wings. In NHL history, only Hall of Famer Gordie Howe was older than Chelios when he skated at 52 for the Hartford Whalers during the 1979-80 season.
UK volleyball to host Louisville
The 16th-ranked Kentucky volleyball team will host Louisville Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The rivals meet for the second straight year after a three-year hiatus in the series. Kentucky freshman Whitney Billings has emerged as UK's top option offensively. The outside hitter paced the team with 24 kills in two matches last weekend and led the squad in the kills column. Senior Blaire Hiler was named to the all-tournament team last weekend after posting 2.29 kills per set against No. 2 Nebraska and No. 9 Iowa State.
Louisville enters the match with a 2-0 record after home victories over North Dakota State and Ohio University last weekend.
■ The Oak Tree Thoroughbred race meeting will move to Del Mar as a permanent home, possibly starting in 2011. Sherwood Chillingworth, Oak Tree's executive vice president, said Tuesday he would meet Wednesday with Del Mar Chief Executive Joe Harper to finalize those plans. "Joe is all for this," Chillingworth said.
Oak Tree, a nonprofit organization, had operated its meeting out of Santa Anita since 1969. But Santa Anita owner Frank Stronach canceled Oak Tree's lease for the current meeting, which will begin Sept. 29. Hollywood Park will host this fall's Oak Tree meeting.
The last word
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced he was suspending the rule that led to Jim Furyk being disqualified for The Barclays, the opener of the FedEx Cup. Furyk overslept and missed the start of the pro-am tournament. For the rest of the year, any player missing his pro-am starting time will be subject to punishment under "conduct unbecoming a professional." Retief Goosen, who was ineligible for the 2005 Nissan Open after showing up late, said "conduct unbecoming" suggests a fine, leaving him skeptical.
"Certain players with so much money, they'll pay $5,000 10 times a year not to play in the pro-am. At the end of the day, you should get one relief a year for accidentally missing a tee time."