Originally created 02/23/03

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Skiing

Myllyla victorious in return from ban

Champion skier Mika Myllyla returned from a two-year ban for a failed drug test and won the Finlandia 60-kilometer race in Lahti, Finland.

Myllyla, the 1998 Olympic gold medalist and triple world champion, won at the Lahti Ski Stadium, where in 2001 he tested positive for banned substances at the world championships.

He won the 60K in 2 hours, 52 minutes, 15 seconds. Myllyla finished more than five minutes ahead of Russia's Igor Tyrnov and received a standing ovation.

"This was an important and a solemn moment for me," Myllyla said. "I was tense as a small boy waiting for his first race."

Wrestling

Lakeside senior wins state title

Lakeside senior Justin Otis defeated Barrett Blankenship of Ringgold to win the Georgia Class AAAA wrestling championships at 160 pounds.

Otis, who won the Class AAA 145-pound state wrestling title in Lugoff, S.C. two years ago, beat Jeremiah Clapp of Woodland 21-6 in a technical fall in the semifinals before he won an 11-3 decision in the finals. Otis had a perfect 44-0 for the year.

The win gives coach Randy Hill and the Lakeside program its first state champion.

Jonna Lee of Butler, who finished fourth, was the only other wrestler from the area to place.

Horse racing

Ifyouprefersilver Chou Croute winner

Ifyouprefersilver bolted to the lead from the gate and romped to a victory of more than nine lengths in the $150,000 Chou Croute Handicap at Fair Grounds in New Orleans.

Ridden by Frank Lovato Jr., the 4-year-old filly won for the fifth time in six starts. Ifyouprefersilver covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.67.

Salty Farma finished second in the eight-horse field. Took Out was another two lengths behind in third.

Ifyouprefersilver earned $90,000 to more than double her career winnings. She paid $13.20, $5.40 and $4.40.

  • Xtra Heat won the $200,000 Barbara Fritchie Stakes in Laurel, Md., establishing herself as the leading female winner of stakes races in North America.
  • Under jockey Rick Wilson, the 5-year-old Xtra Heat and Carson Hollow were first away from the starting gate.

    Pro basketball

    Hawks' Robinson appears in court

    Atlanta Hawks leading scorer Glenn Robinson made an appearance in an Illinois courthouse Friday for misdemeanor assault charges.

    In July, Robinson was charged with domestic battery, assault and unlawful possession of a firearm. Prosecutors said Robinson went to the Chicago Heights home of Jonta French, his ex-fiancee and mother of his daughter and pushed and threatened her, demanding to find a gun he left in the house. Robinson later publicly apologized.

    Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Turner on Thursday issued a warrant for Robinson's arrest for missing a status hearing. Robinson previously told the Hawks he was suffering from flu-like symptoms but his Chicago-based attorney, George Murtaugh did appear in court Thursday.

    Robinson appeared at the courthouse on Friday. The arrest warrant was quashed but his bond was raised from $5,000 to $100,000 and he had to surrender his passport. Turner ordered him to attend all future hearings.

    The next hearing date is March 24, said Tom Stanton, a Cook County state's attorney's office spokesman.

    Cycling

    Armstrong, wife decide to separate

    Four-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong and his wife, Kristin, have separated after four years of marriage.

    In a statement e-mailed Friday to the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman, the Armstrongs, both 31, said they were having unspecified difficulties.

    "We are working through these sensitive issues in the same way we have met other challenges in our life together with determination and dedication," the statement said. "We may experience a period of time apart from each other as we reflect on our relationship and work to preserve and protect the interests of our family and children."

    Armstrong leaves for Spain on Monday to prepare for the European cycling season. Kristin Armstrong and the couple's three children will stay in Austin.