Fans demand state aid
Greek soccer fans clashed with police on Friday near a conference center where Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was to give a speech. Supporters of PAOK Thessaloniki hurled flares and rocks at police outside the conference center in the northern Greek city as Karamanlis arrived. About 5,000 protesters chanting "Free PAOK" gathered to demand government intervention to rescue the near-bankrupt club from financial ruin. There were no immediate reports of arrests or injuries. Some 3,000 police have been deployed in Thessaloniki for weekend protests, which were due to include several large rallies yesterday, including marches organized by Greece's largest unions and anti-globalization groups.
Drug czar suit nearly over
A lawsuit filed against the US Olympic Committee by the organization's former drug czar is close to a resolution, according to documents filed in federal court on Friday. Wade Exum, who served as the Colorado Springs-based agency's director of drug control administration for nine years until he resigned in 2000, sued the organization in El Paso County District Court last year. The case was moved to federal court in May last year. Exum's attorney, John Pineau, filed to suspend the case because the two sides had reached an agreement and needed time to finalize paperwork. Exum, a psychiatrist, accused the USOC of undermining his push to eliminate doping and failing to discipline athletes who used drugs.
Henderson, McFarlin sign
Alan Henderson, an 11-year NBA veteran, and rookie Ivan McFarlin, who played last season in France, signed with the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. The forwards should help add depth up front for a club that went 38-44 last season and failed to make the playoffs despite the skills of playmaker Allen Iverson. "Both of these guys will add depth to our frontcourt," 76ers president Billy King said. "Alan will provide us with additional experience and leadership. Ivan earned a spot on this team with his hard work and rebounding." Henderson averaged 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 51 games with Cleveland last season.
UEFA mulls Israel ban
European soccer governing body UEFA will meet on Thursday next week to decide if the suspension on international matches being played in Israel should be lifted. On Aug. 7, UEFA put a stop to all matches involving Israel or Israeli teams being played in the Jewish state due to the state of war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. But a ceasefire to end the month-long conflict was agreed on Aug. 14 and there has been almost no resumption of hostilities since then. Israeli side Maccabi Haifa were victims of UEFA's ban when their `home' Champions League final qualifier tie against Liverpool was switched to Kiev.