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SPORTS TODAY

Tests on Armstrong's Tour team show nothing

Tests on Lance Armstrong's team from the 2000 Tour de France have so far revealed no evidence of doping, a French judicial official said Monday.

"For now, we don't have test results that prove that doping products have been taken," Francois Franchi, the assistant to the Paris prosecutor handling a judicial inquiry against the U.S. Postal Service team, said in an interview.

U.S. Postal says it respects anti-doping rules and Armstrong, who this year won his third straight Tour title, has repeatedly denied taking banned substances. He has never failed a drug test but has been dogged by suspicions.

Franchi said the tests looked for all doping substances, including EPO, a banned performance-enhancer that was at the center of a drug scandal that nearly wrecked the 1998 Tour.

"For now, we haven't yet found any EPO. We don't have anything concrete or positive," Franchi said. Tests were to be completed by the end of the year.

Franchi also said he requested a new round of tests.

The inquiry stemmed from allegations that the team may have used doping products during the 2000 Tour de France, which Armstrong won.

Capriati to face tough competition at Sanex

Jennifer Capriati (left) has been ranked as the world's top player for just two weeks and already has to look over her shoulder at the onrushing Lindsay Davenport.

The battle between Capriati and the red-hot Davenport, now ranked second and closing in on No. 1, is likely to dominate the year-ending Sanex Championships in Berlin.

Those championships kicked off today with Capriati struggling to beat Bulgaria's Magdalena Maleeva, 2-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Capriati needed to fight off two break points when she trailed the 17th-ranked Maleeva 2-1 in the final set. She then whipped a forehand down the line for a 3-2 lead to take control.

The $3 million tournament is the WTA's final major event of the year. It features the world's top 16 healthy players.

If Capriati had lost, Lindsay Davenport could have passed her for No. 1 by reaching the final.

Davenport captured her third straight title and seventh overall this year at Linz, Austria, on Sunday, beating Jelena Dokic in straight sets.

Venus Williams withdrew this week with a lingering wrist injury, denting a field already without the injured Martina Hingis. Also missing is Monica Seles, who has refused to play in Germany since she was stabbed in Hamburg.

Officials are confident the tour has enough stars to compensate for the dropouts, which leaves 13 of the top 16 in the field.

That includes Kim Clijsters, ranked fifth and a winner again Sunday in Luxembourg; or Dokic, ranked ninth. Serena Williams, 10th, also is entered.

Nebraska, Oklahoma 1-2, Miami third in BCS ranking

Even with a loss, Oklahoma is still the choice over Miami in the Bowl Championship Series computer -- but just barely.

Nebraska (9-0) replaced Oklahoma in first place in the new Bowl Championship Series standings Monday after its 20-10 win over the Sooners. Despite Saturday's loss, Oklahoma (7-1) was second, two one-hundredths of a point ahead of Miami (6-0).

The Hurricanes, ranked No. 1 in the AP media and USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, moved from fourth to third after a 45-3 win over West Virginia last Thursday night. The Huskers and Sooners are ranked 2-3 in the AP media and coaches' polls.

The BCS standings determine which teams play in the BCS' national championship game in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 3.

"Our players deserve to be rated very high and a lot of people feel we deserve to be No 1 in the BCS poll," Nebraska coach Frank Solich said. "They earned it. We've played nine games and they have won them all."

French skier in coma after training crash

French world champion skier Regine Cavagnoud remains in a coma after suffering serious brain damage from head injuries and internal injuries in a training crash Monday, a doctor at the University Clinic of Innsbruck said.

Cavagnoud underwent four hours' surgery Monday, but won't be operated on today, said Dr. Wolfgang Koller, head of the hospital's trauma intensive care unit.

"On the basis of checks we made today it has turned out that her condition is worse" than expected, Dr. Koller said.

Cavagnoud, 31, also has a crushed ribcage and damage to her liver and lungs after colliding with Markus Anwander, the German ski team coach. Akwander is in a more stable condition after sustaining head injuries.

Anwander, 40, was marking the course and had been obscured by a dip in the piste, French newspapers reported. The German and French teams were training on the same slope but had failed to agree on a common radio frequency to communicate with each other, various media reported. The Germans thought training had been cancelled, Koller said.

Cavagnoud won the women's super-G gold medal in January at the World Ski Championships in Austria and two months later clinched her first World Cup title in the same discipline.

Schwikert helps put U.S. ahead at World Gymnastics

The U.S. women's team took a commanding early lead in the World Gymnastics Championships, with national champion Tasha Schwikert atop the individual standings.

Tabitha Yim and Mohini Bhardwaj completed a 1-2-3 American sweep of individual placings in preliminary action in Ghent, Belgium.

In the men's competition, the United States easily qualified for Wednesday's finals, with the once-powerful Russians barely avoiding elimination for the first time.

Belarus qualified first for Wednesday's final after a sparkling performance by Ivan Ivankov, who topped the individual standings and qualified for three of the apparatus finals. The United States was second, followed by South Korea and Romania.

With seven of 27 teams competing on the first day of women's competition, the United States led with 145.147 points, 2.350 points ahead of Spain and 6.827 in front of Brazil.

The top eight teams advance to Wednesday's final.

Around & About

The St. Bonaventure men's basketball team has added walk-on guards Chris Moses (Portville) and Marquee Poole (Bronx, N.Y./All Hallows) to its roster. Moses, a 5-foot-7 sophomore, led Portville to a 22-2 record in 1999-2000 and its first sectional title since 1975, averaging 9.0 points and 6.0 assists per game. Poole is a 5-foot-9 senior who played at All Hallows his senior season after his previous high school, Manhattan Christian Academy, closed. At All Hallows, Poole averaged 7.8 points and four assists. . . . A pair of former All-WNY football players, now at Hobart, were honored by the Upstate Collegiate Athletic Association. Ty Godinho (Lancaster) and Dave Szentesy (Lackawanna) each earned a spot on the league's honor roll. In a loss to Ithaca College, Godinho ran for 108 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown. He is second in the league in rushing with 711 yards on 141 carries. Szentesy had a team-high 10 tackles, giving him a team-high 44. . . . College Hockey of America has named Niagara's John Heffernan its co-offensive player of the week and Barret Ehgoetz its rookie of the week.

Janette Piesczynski of Cheektowaga is in 25th place after the first round of the $50,000 PWBA Las Cruces (N.M.) Open. Piesczynski has a total pinfall of 2,289. Cara Honeychurch of Australia is in first place at 2,576.

Alex Zanardi was released from the hospital today, six weeks after his legs were amputated and spoke of possibly racing again. "I feel I brought home the best and the most of myself," the two-time CART champion said. "I got to know the importance of the love of family and friends. Sometimes in life we forget what we have." Zanardi said his first priority is to walk using artificial legs.

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