UPI NewsTrack Sports

Feb. 10, 2005 at 5:10 PM
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Heatley signs with Russian club

MOSCOW, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Forward Dany Heatley of the Atlanta Thrashers signed Thursday with AK Bars Kazan in the Russian Hockey League.

The signing came a week after Heatley, 24, was sentenced to three years' probation after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges in an automobile accident that killed former teammate Dan Snyder in 2003.

AK Bars Kazan has signed several players during the National Hockey League lockout, which was in its 148th day. Among the others is Heatley's Atlanta teammate Ilya Kovalchuk.

More than 375 NHL players have signed with European teams during the lockout, the International Ice Hockey Federation reported.


Zimbabwe's top female athlete is man

KWEKWE, Zimbabwe, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- The troubled southern African country of Zimbabwe has been shaken by a sports scandal: its top female athlete is really a man.

Samukaliso Sithole was one of Zimbabwe's rising stars in the tough world of international women's athletics. A multiple medal winner, the 17-year-old won junior triple jump, javelin, shot-putt and running events.

The teenage athlete won thousands of dollars in prize money from regional competitions, investing in land and cattle and stoking the envy of residents in the sleepy mining town of Kwekwe in central Zimbabwe.

But, an angry acqaintance blew the whistle on Sithole and after the athlete was arrested, a police doctor confimed the gender, the Scotsman reported.

Sithole claimed he considered himself a woman and had begun a sex change when money for the switch ran out. He said he hopes to complete the process.

He faces a possible ban from further track competition.


Pippen may move behind mike

HOUSTON, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Former NBA star Scottie Pippen, already bored in retirement, is considering a new career behind the mike.

He provided analysis alongside play-by-play man Jim Durham, the former longtime voice of the Chicago Bulls, in an ESPN broadcast that didn't air, the Chicago Tribune said.

"I'm not nervous," Pippen said. "I'm excited. I'm pretty sure Jim will carry me. He always told me when I was playing that he was going to get that voice on radio. He got it."

Told that at least he knew the Bulls well, Pippen smiled.

"That makes it tougher," he said. "I'll start cheering for them."


Maier wins giant slalom

BORMIO, Italy, Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Austrian Hermann Maier won the giant slalom Thursday in the Alpine World Championships in Italy.

Benjamin Raich, Maier's countryman, finished second and American Daron Rahlves was third.

Maier, a former Olympic giant slalom champion, beat Raich by 0.25 seconds and Rahlves by 0.68.

Bode Miller of the United States crashed on his run. Miller, who had already won two gold medals in the competition -- in the super-giant slalom and downhill races -- is expected to try for a third in the slalom run Saturday.

The giant slalom race had been delayed a day because of a strike by Italian state television employees.

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