Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

Fri, Aug 17, 2007 - Page 22

■ FOOTBALL

Prosecutors offer Vick a deal

Federal prosecutors in Norfolk, Virginia, have offered American football star Michael Vick a plea deal that would recommend he serve at least one year in prison, the Virginian-Pilot reported on Wednesday. The newspaper, citing unnamed sources familiar with talks in the dogfighting conspiracy case, said Vick has until this morning to accept the deal or face additional racketeering charges from a federal grand jury in US District Court. One of the conditions of Vick's deal would be that he has to make a full admission to his every act and role in the dogfight ring. Vick's attorneys have spent the week negotiating with prosecutors, who struck a deal with one co-defendant and reportedly will reveal deals with two others in court Friday at Richmond.

■ FORMULA ONE

Speed might race in US

Scott Speed, the only US driver in Formula One until he was fired several weeks ago by the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, may be heading back to the US to race next season. "It has been a great ride, but I'm coming home," Speed wrote in a letter to his fans on his Web site. "Formula One racing has been a great experience for me, and I really appreciate the support from all of my fans. It has made me stronger, smarter and a better racer. Unfortunately, Toro Rosso's decision to remove me from my racing seat prematurely has left me to consider many other new opportunities in my racing career," he wrote. There are reports that Speed could wind up replacing Sebastien Bourdais of France on the elite Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing team in the Champ Car World Series. Speed spent a season-and-a-half seasons in F1, but failed to score any championship points before being replaced by 19-year-old Sebastian Vettel of Germany.

■ BASEBALL

Player benched over attack

Former major league All-Star Jose Offerman was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday, a day after he went wild in the minors and hit the opposing pitcher and catcher with his bat in Connecticut. Offerman was charged with two counts of second-degree assault -- the catcher sustained a concussion and the pitcher had a broken finger. Offerman posted US$10,000 bond and was due in Bridgeport Superior Court on Aug. 23. The independent Atlantic League said it will announce a decision on the 38-year-old Offerman by the end of the week. Playing for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League, Offerman homered in the first inning. The next inning, he was hit by a pitch from Bridgeport Bluefish starter Matt Beech and charged the mound with his bat. Catcher John Nathans was struck in the head. He tried to keep playing, but left the game with nausea and collapsed in the dugout, team spokesman Nick Razzette said. Beech, a left-hander, sustained a broken middle finger on his right hand. Both players were treated at a hospital and released.

■ CRICKET

Inzamam joins Yorkshire

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq said yesterday he would fly to England next week to spend a short stint with Yorkshire, replacing his countryman Younis Khan. "I was approached by Yorkshire county for a short stint and I have accepted it, as I see it as a great opportunity to keep my fitness for a hectic international season," Inzamam said. The 37-year-old will play three four-day matches and as many one-day matches, after Younis -- the county side's regular overseas player -- is released for Pakistan national duty in next month's Twenty20 World Cup. This will be the first time Inzamam has represented an English county in an illustrious career that took off with Pakistan's World Cup triumph in Australia in 1992.

■ SWIMMINGg

Thorpe submits evidence

Olympic champion swimmer Ian Thorpe has submitted his final evidence to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) evidence in an attempt to clear his name. ASADA said yesterday that Thorpe had offered evidence and records which he hoped will explain why he returned abnormal levels to two banned substances in a urine sample he gave in May last year. Thorpe, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, has claimed his innocence since news of his case emerged in March. "ASADA can confirm on Wednesday, Aug. 16 it received the full and final submissions from Ian Thorpe into the matter of his unusual testosterone, epitestosterone and luteinizing hormone levels," the agency said in a statement. "This material will now be examined by ASADA and a determination made as to the way forward."

■ HORSE RACING

Vets check horses for flu

Vets checked thousands of racehorses across Japan for flu yesterday after animals at two training centers were suspected of having contracted the virus, a Japan Racing Association (JRA) official confirmed. About 200 veterinarians were dispatched to check some 5,000 racehorses at JRA facilities, the official told reporters. To prevent any spread of the virus, the association put a blanket ban on movement of horses between JRA facilities around the country, he said. In 1971, about 1,800 racehorses were infected with influenza and racing was cancelled, he said. "The situation today is far different from what we had 36 years ago. In those days, there was no vaccine available," he said. The association was likely to decide soon whether to suspend horse races scheduled for the weekend, he said.

■ TENNIS

Mauresmo to miss US Open

Two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo pulled out of the US Open on Wednesday, citing a groin injury and the need to recover fully from the appendectomy she had in March. Mauresmo hasn't played in a tournament since losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon on July 3, although she did participate in France's Fed Cup semi-final last month. She put at least part of the blame for her third-round loss at the French Open in June on the groin problem. "My doctor has recommended that I allow myself additional time to rest and recover from this injury so that it is completely healed," Mauresmo said in a statement released by the WTA Tour. "Obviously, this is one of the worst times of the year for me to have an injury."