Thu, Aug 21, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs


■ BasketballLakers expect Kobe Bryant

Embattled NBA star Kobe Bryant is expected to be in attendance when the Los Angeles Lakers' veterans report to training camp in Hawaii in early October, a team spokesman said Tuesday. "It is our understanding that he will be there and he will participate," spokesman John Black said by telephone from Los Angeles. Black said the team has not heard otherwise from Bryant or his agent and is preparing for camp accordingly. The 24-year-old guard is charged with sexual assaulting a 19-year-old woman at a Colorado, hotel on June 30. Bryant has said the two had consensual sex. The NBA star is due to return to Colorado for a preliminary hearing Oct. 9. The Lakers, who last held training camp in Hawaii in 2001, open camp on Sept. 30. Veterans including Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal and newcomers Karl Malone and Gary Payton are scheduled to report Oct. 2. The Lakers play Golden State in exhibition games on Oct. 7 and 8 before returning to Los Angeles on Oct. 9.

■ Panam games

Cuban athletes defect

Three Cuban athletes have defected to the Dominican Republic, where they were competing in the Pan American Games, an official said Tuesday. The defections occurred during the international competition, which started Aug. 1 and ended Sunday, said General Fernando Cruz, director of the Dominican intelligence agency. Cruz refused to give further details on the defections. To diminish the potential for further defections, Dominican officials doubled security during the baseball final Aug. 12 between the US and Cuba. Soldiers in camouflage stood around the Cuban dugout during batting practice and guarded much of the section where Cuba's delegation was seated. Some gates that had previously been open during the tournament were locked and guarded. Defections by Cuban athletes are not rare. Two Cuban gymnasts participating in the World Championships defected Tuesday in California.

■ Athletics

Carl Lewis enters plea

Nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis pleaded innocent Tuesday to a charge of drunken driving. Attorney Mark Rafferty appeared at the Metropolitan Branch Courthouse to enter the plea on behalf of his client to one count of driving under the influence. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 16. The charge stemmed from an early morning crash on April 21 involving Lewis' 2004 Maserati. Lewis allegedly lost control of the car and struck a sound wall on the side of the Harbor Freeway in South Los Angles, said city attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan. Lewis was arrested by the California Highway Patrol after allegedly failing field sobriety tests. A breath test administered at a police station allegedly showed a blood-alcohol reading of .08 percent, the level at which a driver is considered intoxicated in California.

■ Tennis

Paes undergoes treatment

Leander Paes, one of the world's best doubles tennis players, is being treated for a brain lesion and will miss the upcoming US Open. Paes, 30, suffered severe headaches late last week. He checked himself into an emergency room near his Orlando home Sunday, and a scan showed a lesion in the left occipital region of the brain. He was transferred to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando on Tuesday, hospital spokeswoman Michelle Lynch said. Tests are being conducted to determine the lesion's cause, with the results expected within a few days.

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