Knicks sign Jeffries
The New York Knicks made it official on Tuesday, announcing the signing of Jared Jeffries a day after the Washington Wizards declined to match the Knicks' offer to the versatile forward. New York used their mid-level exception on Jeffries, making the first year of the deal worth US$5.2 million and the total package worth about US$30 million. Wizards president of basketball operations Ernie Grunfeld had seven days to match the offer for the restricted free agent. "Jared's representative made it crystal clear that he preferred being in New York," Grunfeld said Monday. Knicks president and coach Isiah Thomas long has coveted Jeffries. Like Thomas, Jeffries starred at Indiana University.
Toni staying at Fiorentina
Luca Toni is staying at Serie A club Fiorentina, the Italy striker said on Tuesday. Toni, who scored 31 goals for the club last season making him Europe's top scorer, had been a target for Inter Milan after Fiorentina were punished for their part in a match-fixing scandal. The club were originally relegated to Serie B before an appeal handed them back their place in the top flight, albeit with a 19-point penalty and stripped of their place in the Champions League. "I want to play and score some goals," said Toni. "Any player would have been tempted by the prospect of the Champions League and a big contract," said Toni. "But my colleagues convinced me they wanted me to stay with them."
Graham to reverse ban
Justin Gatlin's coach will pursue "all legal avenues" to reverse a US Olympic Committee (USOC) ban barring him from its training centers and training sites, his lawyer said on Tuesday. Joe Zeszotarski called on the USOC to lift the ban on Trevor Graham. In a six-page statement, Zeszotarski said Graham has passed a lie-detector test in which he denied ever providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. Gatlin, who trains with Graham, faces a lifetime ban after failing a drug test in April following a track meet in Lawrence, Kansas. "Trevor has stepped forward and provided affirmative evidence -- this polygraph result -- that he is telling the truth," Zeszotarski wrote in the statement.
Synchro men banned
A men's synchronized swim team was barred from a meet at Stanford University, reinforcing an International Olympics Committee decision designating the sport as women-only. The San Francisco Tsunami Swim Club's team was set to perform an exhibition at the world masters championships but FINA scuttled the plans. The synchro team, in its fourth season, has competed at national competitions, the Gay Games and the International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics Championships. San Francisco Tsunami describes itself on its Web site as a gay and lesbian aquatics team that is open to all. More than 7,000 swimmers and divers from 70 countries are scheduled to compete in the meet at Stanford this week.