Sat, Feb 24, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Basketball
Wade considers surgery

All-Star guard Dwyane Wade is considering season-ending surgery to repair his dislocated left shoulder, which would be the biggest loss yet for the Miami Heat during their rocky reign as NBA champions. Wade was hurt in Wednesday's 112-102 loss at Houston. He flew home on Thursday in a private plane and was examined at a hospital by team physician Harlan Selesnick, who conducted a battery of tests. "Wade is presently weighing his treatment options provided to him by the Heat medical staff. [He] still needs to discuss these options with his family and Heat president and head coach Pat Riley, and will then decide what course of action to take," the team said in a statement.

Regardless of the decision, the Heat's bid to repeat was further weakened. They may be hard-pressed merely to make the playoffs.

The injury stung especially hard because it came in the first game in which Wade, Riley and Shaquille O'Neal have been together since mid-November.

■ Boxing

Tua outpoints Hawkins

New Zealand's David Tua extended his winning streak to five bouts and remained in contention for a world heavyweight title fight, outpointing Robert Hawkins in a 10-round fight at Roseland Ballroom on Thursday. Tua, who weighed in at 109kg, improved to 47-3-1. Hawkins, an American who also weighed in at 241, dropped to 21-7. "Winning the world championship is the only thing that matters and I'm going to do everything in my power to reach that goal," the 34-year-old Tua said. Tua has victories over Oleg Maskaev, the current WBC titlist, as well as three former champions in Michael Moorer, Hasim Rahman and John Ruiz. "Two or three more fights and I'll be ready," Tua said.

■ Soccer

Flachi banned over cocaine

Sampdoria captain Francesco Flachi was suspended by the Italian soccer league on Thursday, a day after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) announced that the 31-year-old striker had tested positive for cocaine. Traces of the drug were found in the player's system in a random anti-doping test after Sampdoria's 2-0 home defeat to league leader Inter Milan on Jan. 28. Flachi reportedly said on Wednesday that he was calm and that he would clarify everything at the opportune moment. Flachi can ask for his backup "B" sample to be tested in line with CONI protocol. If he fails that, too, he could face a long ban. Flachi was banned for two months by the Italian soccer league in September for illegal betting.

■ Cycling

Bettini wins California stage

Paolo Bettini, the Italian world road champion racing for the first time in the US, won the fourth stage of the Tour of California on Thursday, while Levi Leipheimer maintained the overall lead. Bettini, riding for Quick-Step/Innergetic, surged in the final 100m to complete the 213km stage in five hours, five minutes, 47 seconds. Germany's Gerald Coilek, racing for T-Mobile, was second. Leipheimer, the US star riding for the Discovery Channel, finished 22nd in the main pack and kept his three-second margin over CSC rider Jens Voight of Germany. The riders faced heavy periodic rain for much of the first half of the stage. The cyclists also rode most of the day along the Pacific coastline in tailing crosswinds that increased the riders' pace. The winner's average speed was 42kph.

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