GreenJackets' pen surrenders defeat
Augusta GreenJackets reliever Adam Gardner allowed runs to the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the seventh inning, allowing the Rome Braves to break a tie game and go on to a 4-2 victory Thursday night in Rome, Ga.
The GreenJackets had a chance to avoid their third consecutive loss in the eighth inning, but Dayton Buller and Lisandro Disla both struck out with the bases loaded.
The GreenJackets will try to avoid the four-game sweep in the series finale at 7 tonight.
Congress wants law for 4 major leagues
In Washington, the NBA's steroids policy was branded "pathetic" and "a joke" by lawmakers Thursday, and the head of a congressional panel said he will propose a law creating drug-testing standards for the four major professional sports leagues.
House Government Reform Committee chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., opened a hearing focusing on the NBA by saying he'll produce a uniform testing bill next week. Davis promised the legislation he's drafting with ranking Democrat Henry Waxman, of California, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., "will have more teeth than other bills introduced."
Testifying before that panel Thursday, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue said Stearns' bill "is not appropriate to be enacted in its present form. ... At least as it applies to the NFL, we feel that it is unnecessary."
At the same time, in a nearby hearing room, Davis' committee was directing the sort of criticism at NBA commissioner David Stern and union leader Billy Hunter that it heaped on Major League Baseball officials.
He said the bill he'll propose would cover baseball, the NBA, the NFL and the NHL.
Top USOC executive to speak at gala
Jim Scherr, the United States Olympic Committee Chief Executive, will be the keynote speaker at the Greater Augusta Sports Award Gala on June 13 at the Radisson Riverfront Hotel.
The Greater Augusta Sports Council will also honor 2004-05 Ray Guy Award winner Daniel Sepulveda, of Baylor. The council will also present awards in eight categories for area athletes.
Tickets for the gala are $55 for sports council members and $70 for non-members. For more information call (706) 722-8326.
Track and Field
Champion sprinter accepts suspension
In Denver, former world champion sprinter Michelle Collins accepted a four-year suspension for a doping violation, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said.
Collins, who forfeits her titles in the 200 meters from the 2003 indoor world and U.S. championships, originally was suspended for eight years but appealed. USADA reduced the sanction to four years, and Collins agreed to drop her appeal.
An arbitration panel found that Collins, 34, used banned substances provided by BALCO, the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. She never tested positive, but the panel concluded she used the drugs for several years.
Venus Williams into Istanbul semifinals
In Istanbul, Turkey, top-seeded Venus Williams tuned up for the French Open with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over seventh-seeded Anna Chakvetadze to reach the Istanbul Cup semifinals.
- In St. Poelten, Austria, top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko dictated play from the outset and beat Spain's Felix Mantilla 6-3, 7-5 to reach the semifinals of the BTM Power Grand Prix.
Davydenko, a Russian ranked No. 13, also reached the semifinals at the Hamburg Masters. He will next play Argentina's Jose Acasuso or Germany's Michael Kohlmann.
- In Strasbourg, France , top-seeded Nathalie Dechy reached her second semifinal of the season, beating French countrywoman Stephanie Cohen-Aloro 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 at the Strasbourg International.