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UPI NewsTrack Sports

Sept. 23, 2011 at 5:15 PM   |   Comments

NBA delays start of training camps

NEW YORK, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- The NBA formally postponed the start of training camps and canceled 43 pre-season games Friday because of its labor disagreement.

NBA owners locked players out when the collective bargaining agreement expired following last season. The two sides have met occasionally since, including a 5 1/2-hour session Thursday. Neither side reported positive developments from that meeting.

Camps were to open Oct. 3 with the first pre-season games set for Oct. 9. The decision announced Friday by the NBA canceled games scheduled Oct. 9-15. The Nov. 1 date to open the regular season hasn't yet been affected.

"My demeanor is flat because I don't have anything to say," NBA Commissioner David Stern said following Thursday's meeting.

"We're getting on fine as a personal matter. We're each saying and believe we're doing the best for our clients and we're trying to make a fair deal. But both sides have work to do."

NBA owners are seeking a CBA that includes changes in the league's salary cap and the dividing of revenue. They contend 22 of the 30 NBA teams are unprofitable and total league losses amount to $300 million a year.


Europe up by one match at Solheim Cup

DUNSANY, Ireland, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A victory by Anna Nordqvist and Suzann Pettersen gave the European team a 4 1/2-3 1/2 lead over the United States at the Solheim Cup competition in Ireland.

The Nordqvist-Pettersen win came in the eighth of the event's 28 matches, breaking a deadlock that existed after the first seven.

Nordqvist and Pettersen built a 3-up lead in a four-ball match against Americans Cristie Kerr and Michelle Wie after nine holes.

Kerr and Wie teamed for birdies on Nos. 10, 12 and 13 to square the match but a birdie at 15 returned the lead to the Europeans and a pair of pars ended the match at 2-and-1.

Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel teamed for a 1-up victory for the United States and Caroline Hedwall and Sophie Gustafson were 5-and-4 winners in their four-ball match. The U.S. team of Christina Kim and Ryann O'Toole halved a match with Sandra Gal and Catriona Matthew.

Each team won two of the Friday morning foursomes matches, with Kerr and Wie teaming for one U.S. win and Creamer and Brittany Lincicome the other. The European wins were by the teams of Mathew and Azahara Munoz, and Gustafson and Pettersen.

The tournament continues with four foursome and four four-ball matches Saturday. There are 12 singles matches Sunday. The United States, as defending champion, needs 14 points to retain the Solheim Cup; Europe has to have 14 1/2 to win.

The United States holds an 8-3 advantage over the life of the competition.


Olympic boxing fix alleged

LONDON, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Whistle-blowers with World Series Boxing said the organization received $9 million from Azerbaijan in exchange for London Olympic gold medal guarantees.

The whistle-blowers told BBC Newsnight the organization received the money in exchange for guarantees that two Azerbaijani fighters would win gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics, the BBC reported.

The sources said Ivan Khodabakhsh, chief operating officer of World Series Boxing, had bragged about the deal on multiple occasions.

However, officials with International Amateur Boxing Association, which organizes Olympic boxing and runs World Series Boxing, admitted to receiving a donation from an Azeri national but denied any medal fixing scheme.

Ching-Kuo Wu, president of the AIBA, called the allegations "totally untrue and ludicrous."

"WSB is conducted in a totally transparent way," he said.


Flyers' Simmonds target of apparent racial attack

LONDON, Ontario, Sept. 23 (UPI) -- NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman condemned an apparent racial incident in which a fan threw a banana onto the ice at the pre-season game in London, Ontario.

Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds, who is black, was about to make an attempt during a shootout Thursday when the banana was thrown from the stands.

"I don't know if it had anything to do with the fact I'm black," Simmonds said following the game. "I certainly hope not. When you're black, you kind of expect [racist] things. You learn to deal with it."

Bettman issued a statement Friday decrying the incident.

"We have millions of great fans who show tremendous respect for our players and for the game," Bettman said. "The obviously stupid and ignorant action by one individual is in no way representative of our fans or the people of London, Ontario."

Simmonds is in his first season with Philadelphia, joining the team after a June trade with Los Angeles. He's in his fourth NHL season. Simmonds has scored 39 goals and assisted on 54 others in 240 regular-season games.

He had a goal in Thursday's game, which Detroit won 4-3 in the shootout. Simmonds' goal with 53 seconds left led to the shootout

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