Magic shouldn't play, Dominican doctor saysThe president...

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Magic shouldn't play, Dominican doctor says

The president of the Central American and Caribbean Sports Organization said yesterday that Magic Johnson should not be allowed in the Olympics.

Jose Francisco Puello Herrera, a Dominican neurosurgeon who also heads the Dominican Republic's Olympic Committee, said the IOC's medical committee acted too quickly in supporting Johnson's decision to play on the U.S. basketball team.

Puello Herrera told a conference on AIDS and sports in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that "Johnson should not participate for the welfare of the sport and the athletes."

He said 12 athletes tested positive for HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS, at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Mexico in 1990. Puello Herrera said these athletes were allowed to participate because they competed in events where there was only a remote possibility that others would come in contact with their blood.

Johnson, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers in November after disclosing he had tested HIV-positive, has said he is looking forward to playing in the Summer Games.

Boxing

Azumah Nelson of Ghana knocked down Jeff Fenech three times, then scored an eighth-round knockout of the Australian challenger to retain his World Boxing Council super featherweight title today in Melbourne, Australia.

Nelson sent Fenech to the canvas in the first, second and eighth rounds.

The Australian beat the count on all three occasions, but referee Arthur Mercante stopped the bout at 2:20 of the eighth with Fenech taking unanswered blows to the head.

Nelson improved his record to 35-2-1 and has lost only once in the past 10 years.

He wrecked Fenech's bid to join Sugar Ray Leonard, Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran as the only boxers ever to win titles at four different weights.

* Former World Boxing Association light heavyweight champion Virgil Hill outboxed Aundrey Nelson for 10 one-sided rounds today in Melbourne to win a unanimous decision.

Fighting for the first time since losing his title last June to Thomas Hearns, Hill was too quick and elusive for his opponent.

Hill, from Bismarck, N.D., improved to 31-1. Nelson, from Detroit, dipped to 17-2. Hill now is based in Sydney, Australia, under trainer Johnny Lewis.

* Arturo Hoffman, a high school junior, became a champion in only his 25th amateur bout.

Hoffman, of Dade City, Fla., landed crunching head punches and outpointed Russell Roberts for a 40-19 victory in the 112-pound final at the U.S. Amateur Boxing championships in Colorado Springs.

In the first final, Bradley Martinez, 22, of the Army at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., boxed his way to the 106-pound championship with a 16-11 victory over Willie Senn Jr., 23, of Palmer Park.

Pro hockey

Minnesota North Stars forward Basil McRae will miss the rest of the season after a tendon in his left foot was severed in last night's loss to the Hartford Whalers.

McRae sustained the injury in the first period when he collided with teammate Shane Churla, whose skate caused the wound. McRae underwent surgery at Fairview Ridges Hospital in Burnsville.

To replace McRae on the roster, the North Stars called up forward Brad Berry from their minor-league affiliate in Kalamazoo, Mich. The team also purchased forward Steve Martinson from the San Diego Gulls, an independent minor-league club.

Track and field

France's Christian Plaziat broke his world heptathlon record, and athletes from the former Soviet Union won five gold medals at the European Indoor Track and Field Championships in Genoa, Italy.

Plaziat, 29, was first in the pole vault, high jump and 60-meter high hurdles in the seven-event competition, and finished with -- 6,418 points.

* Los Angeles Marathon records could fall today when a strong field will have favorably cool and cloudy weather conditions.

"Most are aiming for below 2:10. I will lose my mark, as is to be expected," said Martin Mondragon, the men's course record-holder (2:22:24).

The field includes John Treacy of Ireland, the 1984 Olympic silver medalist, the Tanzanian duo of John Burra and Alfredo Shahanga, and Canada's Art Boileau.

For the women, there are three sub-2:29 runners from the Commonwealth of Independent States: Valentina Egorova, Irina Bogacheva and Lyubov Klochko.

Winter sports

Ye Qiaobo, a double silver medalist at the Winter Olympics, edged double gold medalist Bonnie Blair and led the women's competition at the World Sprint Speed Skating Championships in Oslo, Norway.

Ye had 83,575 points to 84,120 for Christa Luding of Germany and 84,400 for Blair. The competition concludes today with second runs in both the 500 and 1,000 meters

Igor Jelezovski of Belarus led the men's competition with 75,920 points. Dan Jansen of West Allis, Wis., was second with 76,810.

* The pain is gone and Vreni Schneider is back in control.

Schneider, coming off a disappointing Winter Olympics, won her 40th career World Cup race in Narvik, Norway, after a superb second slalom run.

The 27-year-old Swiss star's winning time was 1 minute, 36.01 seconds, .20 of a second ahead of Pernilla Wiberg of Sweden. Petra Kronberger of Austria was third, .52 behind the winner. Kronberger, a two-time World Cup overall champion and the Olympic slalom winner, leads the overall standings with 899 points. Schneider has 851 points and Carole Merle, France's super giant slalom and giant slalom specialist, is third with 764 points. Eva Twardokens was the top American, tying for 20th.

Motorcycle jumping

Like father, like son.

Robbie Knievel, whose dad, Evel, made a living doing daredevil stunts, tried a world record motorcycle jump over a line of 25 pickup trucks yesterday, but fell short and bounced off one of the vehicles.

Knievel's motorcycle crashed into the 22nd truck and he was thrown to the ground. He was treated for abrasions to his buttocks at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center and later released, said a hospital spokesman.

Pro basketball

Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain was released from the hospital, three days after checking in with a slightly irregular heart beat, his doctor said.

Chamberlain, 55, left Centinela Hospital Medical Center in lTC Inglewood, Calif., yesterday morning. He was wearing a heart monitoring device, said Ellen Goudlock, his personal physician.

The doctor said the monitor would remain in place until Chamberlain returns to the hospital this week for additional cardiovascular tests.

Dog sled racing

A record number of mushers and dog teams set out on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a 1,159-mile journey on which they will encounter snow, howling winds and possibly an angry moose or two.

Ten-time Iditarod veteran Lavon Barve led 76 mushers and more than 1,200 dogs out of Anchorage on the way to Nome. The race usually takes the leaders between 11 and 14 days.

Defending champion Rick Swenson, the only person to win the (( race five times, was fifth out of the chute. He was competing despite the sudden death of his father earlier in the week.

Susan Butcher, four-time Iditarod winner and the holder of the race's record time, left Anchorage in seventh position. Last year she led most of the way, but turned back in a blizzard near the end as Swenson and second-place finisher Martin Buser pushed on to the finish.

Mushers draw starting numbers and leave at two-minute intervals. Each sled team has up to 20 dogs. Racers pass through 24 checkpoints before reaching the finish line at the Gold Rush town of Nome.

The 1992 purse is $375,000, with the top five finishers receiving $50,000, $40,000, $35,000, $30,000 and $25,000, respectively.

Pro football

Bruce Covernton, an offensive lineman from Weber State, was the top pick in the Canadian Football League draft, selected and signed by the Calgary Stampeders.

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound lineman agreed to a three-year deal Friday night.

Virginia Tech linebacker Mark Scott was the second pick and he went to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Purdue offensive lineman Denny Chronopoulos was selected third by Ottawa, and kicker Sean Fleming of Wyoming went to Edmonton.

College basketball

John Smith, a basketball player for Wichita State, was arrested after allegedly fighting with his girlfriend.

Smith was arrested about 1:30 a.m. on a city charge of domestic violence and was released just before 7 a.m. on his own recognizance after posting $100 bond, Police Capt. Gary Johnson said.

Smith had been suspended by coach Mike Cohen Feb. 20 after he argued with Cohen. After missing two games, Smith was allowed to resume practicing with the team.

Smith was not with the Shockers for last night's game against Drake.

Tennis

Boris Becker advanced to today's final of the ABN World tennis tournament in Rotterdam by beating John McEnroe, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1).

Becker, ranked No. 4 in the world and seeded second in the $525,000 event, will meet Alexander Volkov of Russia, who ousted Dutchman Paul Haarhuis, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2.

Haarhuis, 36th in the world rankings, saw his giant-killing run brought to a close by the determined Volkov, ranked No. 20. The Dutchman earlier had defeated third seed Ivan Lendl and Croatian Goran Prpic to reach the semifinals.

Becker, 24, produced a near-perfect display of power tennis to beat McEnroe. The German's concentration faltered only during a brief two-game period late in the second set.

* Stefano Pescosolido of Italy marched into his first career final on the men's tennis tour by upsetting a lethargic Andrei Chesnokov at the $260,000 Arizona tennis championships in Scottsdale.

Pescosolido, 20, rallied to score a 6-7, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the eighth-seeded Russian.

"It's my biggest victory and I'm very happy," said Pescosolido, ranked 47th in the world.

Basketball

When legends clash, check their measurements before picking the favorite.

In a one-on-one benefit for AIDS research dubbed "Clash of the Legends," Kareem Abdul-Jabbar used his 6-inch height advantage to outmuscle Julius Erving, 41-23, Friday night in Atlantic City.

"I'm the bigger man and I used it to my advantage. I conditioned for it and I thought I played well," said the 7-foot-1 Abdul-Jabbar, who retired from the Los Angeles Lakers in 1989 after setting the NBA's all-time scoring record with 38,387 points.

Erving, who retired from the Philadelphia 76ers in 1987 with 30,026 points as a pro, said he started off poorly and couldn't catch up.

"I had to settle for the long-range shots and they were not falling in," he said.

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