Wed, May 14, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Sports briefs


Piazza quits diet-drug use

New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza said he stopped taking an ephedra-based nutritional supplement following the death of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler in spring training. Piazza said he didn't use the supplement on a regular basis and quit completely after Bechler's death, believed to be related to the pitcher's use of an ephedra-based diet pill. "I just used it a couple of times," Piazza said Monday. "And this was before the guy [died]. Obviously, I wouldn't recommend it now." Piazza addressed the subject Sunday when asked about a story in the current of issue of Playboy magazine that quotes the star catcher as saying, "Ripped Fuel is kind of cool." Ripped Fuel is a nutritional supplement that contains ephedra. "Obviously, that interview happened before [Bechler died]," Piazza told the Daily News on Sunday.


Fighters may unionize

Fighters may soon have the chance to become card-carrying Teamsters. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters said Monday it has begun the process of affiliating the Joint Association of Boxers as a professional fighters' union. "Every other sport is organized, now the boxers will be organized," said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters general president. "Boxers need health insurance. Boxers need pensions. Boxers need to get a fair share of the proceeds of their labor." The new union was founded by former fighter Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, who lobbied the Teamsters to help organize the sport. An organization headed by former fighter Gerry Cooney called FIST -- the Fighters' Initiative for Support and Training -- announced last month it was also a professional union within Local 153.


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