Originally created 08/06/99

Pan Am notebook: Teammates consider suing disqualified goalie



WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Teammates of Canadian roller hockey goalie Steve Vezina are thinking of suing the man who cost them a Pan American Games gold medal when he tested positive for stimulants and a steroid.

"We'll probably be talking to a lawyer or lawyers by the weekend. There's no doubt about it. We're serious," team manager Dave Bowen said.

Bowen said the loss of up to $3,000 each player might have expected before they were stripped of their gold medals prompted the proposed lawsuit.

"That money would have come from the Federation Internationale Roller Sports," he said. Bowen said such bonuses are part of the international body's moves to boost roller sports.

Canadian team members each got $3,000 when they placed fourth in last year's world championships.

"For the Pan Am gold, it could have been as high as $3,000 or as low as $500," he said.

According to Bowen, six of Vezina's nine teammates have agreed to pursue legal action, with the other three still not contacted.

-- -- --

ISIAH'S LEAGUE: Having Isiah Thomas associated with the CBA can only help the league, veteran Kermit Holmes said.

Thomas announced earlier this week he was buying the league for $10 million and will run the nine teams from the league office. Eventually, he'd like to see the teams become direct affiliates of NBA clubs.

"I think that would be beneficial to everybody," said Holmes, who is playing for the United States in the Pan Am Games. "I think Isiah will do a good job. And that will be a good situation if he can get NBA teams affiliated with the CBA teams.

"That would show more support to more guys who want to come and play in the league."

Holmes, who has spent seven seasons in the CBA, said Thomas' name alone will benefit the league.

"He's a Hall of Famer," Holmes said. "He knows the CBA is a good league. There's a lot of guys still playing in the NBA that benefitted from the CBA. Isiah has a great basketball mind. It will be interesting to see what particulars take place in the next two or three months."

U.S. coach Mo McHone, who coaches the CBA's Sioux Falls Skyforce, also likes what Thomas is planning.

"Something the people in our front office and the owners have for a long time desired is to have a better working relationship with the NBA and the Players Association," McHone said. "I think Isiah Thomas can get that done."

-- -- --

MUSICAL TWINS: The doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan do more than just play a mean game of tennis together. The identical twins also are accomplished musicians.

With Bob on piano and Mike on drums, they accompany their father in the Bryan Brothers Band, often performing at players' parties on the tournament circuit.

"My dad does all the singing," Bob said. "We try to bring it on the road and try to play a lot. It's our hobby."

Ranked No. 13 in the world, the brothers were seeded No. 1 at the Pan Ams, but settled for a bronze medal after losing in the semifinals. That will go into a collection that includes a 1996 U.S. Open junior doubles title and the NCAA doubles championship for Stanford in 1998.

The brothers were popular figures in Winnipeg. Youngsters mobbed them seeking autographs on hats and T-shirts. Young women begged them to pose for pictures, even if they weren't sure which twin they got.

Mike said he's neater than Bob. Bob said he's a little taller.

"I think our girlfriends can tell us apart," Bob said. "But he has to get one first."

-- -- --

JUDO SPAT: Judo athletes from Canada didn't think much of the officiating at the Pan Ams matches.

"They demand so much from the athletes and don't do the same for the refereeing," bronze medalist Brigitte Lastrade said. "It's sad. We work hard."

Lastrade spoke after teammate Marie-Helene Chisholm received a minor penalty for non-aggressive behavior in her bronze medal bout with Sandra Bacher of the United States. It was the deciding point in an otherwise scoreless match.

Canadian athlete Keith Morgan, who overcome a minor penalty to win a bronze medal, said the sport needs steadier officiating.

"They have been very inconsistent in penalties," Morgan said. "It's a problem in judo right now."