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Fast Break

Soccer

Beckham wants to leave Galaxy

David Beckham wants to leave the Los Angeles Galaxy and remain with AC Milan after his stay with the Italian team ends next month.

The English midfielder announced his intentions Wednesday after playing in Milan’s 2-2 tie at Glasgow Rangers. His three-month loan to AC Milan ends March 8.

Beckham said his lawyers are not talking to the Galaxy. He added that he has expressed his desire to remain with AC Milan and it’s up to the two teams to reach an agreement.

He’s about two years into a $32.5 million, five-year contract with Major League Soccer.

Olympics

USOC offers to ‘assist’ Phelps

The U.S. Olympic Committee is offering Michael Phelps a refresher course in good behavior.

CEO Jim Scherr said he’d like to have a face-to-face meeting with the star of the Beijing Olympics, and spokesman Darryl Seibel said the federation was sending Phelps a letter offering its assistance.

Phelps, winner of eight gold medals in Beijing, has apologized after a photo surfaced showing him smoking from a marijuana pipe at a party. The USOC wants to help Phelps avoid a repeat.

“Based on this occurrence, we at the USOC, as we said in an earlier statement, are exceptionally disappointed in him, as he is in himself,” Scherr said during a conference call that was set to preview the 2010 Winter Olympics, but also included several mentions of Phelps.

“We’ll follow up and have a direct conversation with him and people close to him.”

The USOC can’t do much to penalize him. Anti-doping rules don’t call for sanctions against athletes who test positive for marijuana when they’re not competing. The USOC’s code of conduct doesn’t apply to athletes once the games are over.

Badminton

U.S. team won’t shuttle to Iran

Iran invited the U.S. women’s team to compete in a tournament then denied its players visas, saying there was no time to process their visa applications.

But the chief executive of USA Badminton said in a statement the team was told visas had been approved and was invited to Dubai to secure them.

The team’s participation in the event starting Friday was to have been the first U.S.-Iranian exchange under the Obama administration.

The countries have not had diplomatic relations since the Islamic Revolution and the hostage-taking at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

State Department spokesman Robert Wood said Iran has provided no official explanation for not providing the visas, and that the U.S. team had supplied all required paperwork to the Iranians.

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