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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Facing two-year suspension, sprinter Montgomery retires

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Disgraced sprinter Tim Montgomery says he’s done.

The former 100-meter world record holder has retired, rather than waiting out a two-year suspension and returning under a cloud of suspicion.

“I don’t want to be looked upon as a cheat,” he said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press on Thursday.

Although he did not test positive for drugs, Montgomery was banned for doping based on evidence gathered in the criminal investigation of BALCO, a San Francisco-area lab that served many high-profile athletes.

“It’s like getting a whipping for something you know you didn’t do,” Montgomery said.

The 30-year-old runner maintains he never knowingly took steroids or any other banned substances, and he worries about his legacy.

“That’s the main concern, because I don’t know what to tell my kids,” Montgomery said. “I don’t know what to tell my mother and father, even though they say they love me and don’t worry about it.”


Armstrong faces defamation trial

Lance Armstrong’s next challenge from a cycling rival will come in court.

The retired seven-time Tour de France champion has been ordered to stand trial in Italy on charges of defaming Filippo Simeoni. The case is to be heard starting March 7, to settle a feud from the 2004 race.

If convicted, Armstrong faces a fine rather than jail time, his lawyer in Italy, Enrico Nan, said. Nan said Armstrong was indicted Wednesday.

Armstrong’s representatives in the United States did not respond to requests for comment.

Auto racing

Toyota leaving IRL a year early

Toyota power will be gone from the Indy Racing League a year earlier than planned, leaving Honda as the only engine supplier next season.

IRL president Brian Barnhart said having a single engine program would save teams money.

He said there will be minimal changes to the technical specifications of the Honda Racing Indy V8 in 2006.

“Talladega Superspeedway will be repaved next year, the first time since 1979, and several NASCAR drivers say they’re looking forward to a smoother ride.

Drivers have complained about the track, saying the uneven surface takes a toll on springs and other chassis parts and makes the bumper-to-bumper racing even more harrowing.

The track surface had settled in several spots, and asphalt patches have raised the surface in other areas.

“Felipe Giaffone will join A.J. Foyt’s race team as a full-time driver in the IRL.

Giaffone will take over the No. 14 Dallara driven last season by Foyt’s grandson, A.J. Foyt IV, who was released so he could switch to NASCAR.

College football

Hawkins seeks to finalize CU deal

Boise State coach Dan Hawkins said he’ll be going to Colorado to finalize negotiations to become the new coach there.

“If certain things happen,” Hawkins said, he will become the new coach of the Buffaloes.

“Former Nebraska quarterback Turner Gill was hired as Buffalo’s head football coach, taking over a program that has never had a winning season at the Division I-A level.

“Defensive coordinator Victor Santa Cruz was promoted Wednesday to head coach at Azusa Pacific.

“Prolific Linfield quarterback Brett Elliott has been named the recipient of the Gagliardi Trophy for the nation’s top NCAA Division III player.

“The University of Central Florida is set to build a $51 million stadium for its vastly improved football team after the school’s board of trustees on Wednesday approved a financial plan for the 45,000-seat stadium.

“University of San Diego coach Jim Harbaugh pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence.


NCAA reduces Morris’ suspension

Kentucky center Randolph Morris’ seasonlong suspension for his attempt to enter the NBA draft was reduced to 14 games by the NCAA.

The NCAA cited new information for softening its punishment after Morris tried to go into the draft.

Additional information provided by the school showed that Morris clearly intended to retain his collegiate eligibility while declaring for the draft, the NCAA said in a statement.

“Shanni Davis, trying to become the first American to make both speedskating teams for the same Olympics, failed to reach the final of the 1,000 meters at the U.S. short track championships in Marquette, Mich. – another blow to his hopes of pulling off the historic double.

Apolo Anton Ohno has positioned himself to make more history, clinching a spot in his second straight Olympics with wins in the 1,000 and 1,500.