Drugs mar Pan Am Games; McGwire, Molitor in baseball limelight [BY Larry Eldridge
The usual array of drug disqualifications has begun at the Pan American Games, with six athletes including US silver medal hammer thrower Bill Green already declared ineligible. Green, who finished second to teammate Jud Logan in the competition at Indianapolis, tested positive for steroids. He declined comment, but issued a statement through US officials indicating he had retained an attorney and intended to challenge the testing procedure and the results. If the disqualification is upheld, it could keep him out of the world track and field championships in Rome later this month and the 1988 Olympics.
Other medal winners testing positive for illegal substances were weight lifter Orlando V'asquez-Mendose of Nicaragua, whose three bronzes were his country's only medals so far, and Bernardo Ocando of Venezuela, who won silver and bronze medals in shooting. Also declared ineligible were non-medal-winning weight lifters Javier Jim'inez of Colombia and Pedro Torres of Venezuela, and basketball player Elnes Bollings from the US Virgin Islands. The latter's team, which was eliminated Sunday, would otherwise have been disqualified from further competition.
All of these disqualifications were based on testing during the first week of competition, so more are possible as the results of later tests become available.
Such testing has become routine in international competitions, of course, and usually results in a number of disqualifications during the course of any major event. At the last Pan Am Games in 1983 at Caracas, Venezuela, for example, 19 athletes from 10 nations were disciplined after testing positive, with 11, including two Americans, losing medals. Lewis misses again
In the competitive arena, the big news early in the current week was Carl Lewis's much-publicized attempt to break Bob Beamon's longstanding world long jump record. The quadruple Olympic gold medalist won the event easily enough, setting a Pan Am Games record of 28 ft., 8 in. in the process, but once again failed to threaten Beamon's 1968 leap of 29-2 in Mexico City - the oldest track and field record in existence.
The United States also scored a number of notable successes in team sports. Both the men's and women's handball teams won gold medals, which were necessary in each case to qualify for the 1988 Olympics in this sport historically dominated by Europeans. Meanwhile the baseball team and both the men's and women's softball squads advanced easily to the medal competition. The women were particularly dominating in preliminary-round play, winning all seven of their games without allowing a run. Seventeen-year-old pitcher Michele Granger pitched a no-hitter and two one-hitters, including a 1-0 triumph over Canada in the last preliminary contest Monday night. US rules Pan Pacific swimming In swimming, meanwhile, the spotlight shifted half a world away from Indianapolis to Brisbane, Australia, where top competitors from several nations including the United States congregated for the Pan Pacific Championships.
As expected, the Americans pretty much dominated the four-day meet which ended Sunday, making off with 24 of a possible 32 gold medals. World records were set by Tom Jager in the 50 meters (22.32 seconds) and David Wharton in the 400-meter individual medley (4:16.2). Home runs and hitting streaks
In major league baseball, individual exploits stole the spotlight from the pennant races at least temporarily during the past week.
It was only a matter of time, of course, but Mark McGwire finally became the all-time rookie home run king when he hit No. 39 last Friday. The 23-year-old Oakland A's slugger had already broken Al Rosen's American League record of 37, set in 1950 with Cleveland, and has now also eclipsed the former major league high of 38 established by Wally Berger of the old Boston Braves back in 1930 and equaled by Frank Robinson of Cincinnati in 1956.
Meanwhile, one of the most famous of all the game's cherished records - Joe DiMaggio's incredible 56-game hitting streak in 1941 - was inevitably being recalled via the feats of Paul Molitor. The Milwaukee designated hitter hadn't really reached striking distance yet, but his streak was still alive and counting at 32 going into Tuesday night's game at Cleveland - and even that was already the longest streak in the majors since Pete Rose hit in 44 straight games in 1978 and the best in the American League since Dom DiMaggio's 34-game run in 1949. Series gets a peek at daylight
When baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth responded to the heavy criticism concerning all the late-night games in last year's World Series by saying he preferred at least some day action, a lot of people thought it was just talk. But now he has indeed made a move in that direction with the announcement that this year's Game 6 will be scheduled for 4 o'clock Eastern time in the American League city.
It's not a perfect solution, and of course it will result in a day game only if the Series goes that far, but at least it's a start.
All other games, as usual in recent years, will be at night. The series begins in the AL city with Games 1 and 2 on Oct. 17 and 18, switches to the National League site for Games 3, 4, and 5 (if necessary) on Oct. 20, 21, and 22, then goes back to the AL park for Games 6 and 7 (if necessary) on Oct. 24 and 25. Graf replaces Martina as No. 1
One of the longest reigns at the top of any sport in recent times has ended - at least temporarily - with the displacement of Martina Navratilova from the No.1 ranking in women's tennis.
Navratilova had held the top spot for almost five years, but was finally overtaken and passed by Steffi Graf Sunday when the West German teen-ager won a $250,000 tournament in Los Angeles, defeating Chris Evert in the final, 6-3, 6-4.