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Saturday, July 12, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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A.M. Briefing

Dq's, Drugs, Violence, Crash, Detour: Not A Typical Day For Tour De France

Seattle Times News Services

It was not a typical day for the Tour de France.

The winner of the stage was placed last; a top rider was thrown out of the race; a strong sprinter tested positive for drugs and was ousted; another mass pileup claimed another collarbone; a protest forced the cyclists into a detour on the 134.2-mile stage from Le Blanc to Marennes.

Jeroen Blijlevens was declared the winner of yesterday's sixth stage after organizers took away Erik Zabel's apparent victory and placed him last for the stage, citing interference.

Zabel also was fined 200 Swiss francs ($137), said Jean-Francois Pesheux, sports director of the race.

Djamolidin Abdoujaparov of Uzbekistan tested positive for drugs after the second stage and was ousted. He had finished third in yesterday's stage behind Zabel, then was moved to second after the disqualification.

Another rider, Tom Steels of Belgium, was thrown out, the first time a rider has been ousted for a "violent gesture." He was caught hurling a water bottle at another rider during the sprint finish.

There was a group fall with about 15.5 miles left that broke the peloton into three groups. Evgeny Berzin suffered a broken collarbone and abandoned. He was 24th overall.

Cedric Vasseur held the leader's yellow jersey.

The riders detoured because a road was blocked by a group of people protesting the transport of nuclear waste through the area.

Football

Bruce Smith stayed home in Virginia as the Buffalo Bills opened training camp in Fredonia, N.Y. The Bills gave Smith, the defensive player of the year, a final offer worth $22 million over five years, including a $5 million signing bonus. Smith wants a bigger signing bonus.

-- Veteran wide receiver Ray Crittenden has agreed to terms of a one-year contract with the San Diego Chargers. Details were not released.

-- Former NFL lineman John Little died of a heart attack in Hot Coffee, Miss., earlier this week. The two-time All-Big Eight selection at Oklahoma State spent seven years in the NFL, with the New York Jets, Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills.

Boxing

In the wake of the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight, Nevada passed a law that allows the state to seize the entire purse of unsportsmanlike boxers.

Soccer

Gustavo Napoles scored twice and Alberto Coyote had a goal and an assist as Chivas de Guadalajara beat the Dallas Burn 5-0 in an international exhibition at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The game between Chivas, Mexico's First Division power, and the Burn of Major League Soccer drew a franchise-record 30,194.

Auto racing

Italian Alessandro Zanardi took the provisional pole for tomorrow's Cleveland Grand Prix CART race. He turned a lap of 57.423 seconds.

-- Jimmy Hensley set a qualifying record to take the pole for the Link-Belt Construction Equipment 200, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series stop in Louisville, Ky. Hensley drove the 7/16-mile triangular track at 103.160 mph.

-- In Loudon, N.H., Ken Schrader won his first pole in two years, leading qualifiers for tomorrow's Jiffy Lube 300 with a record 129.423 mph lap at New Hampshire International Speedway.

Basketball

Linda Burgess and Heidi Burge combined for 34 points and 18 rebounds, in their first starts, as the Los Angeles Sparks held off the Utah Starzz 75-68 in a WNBA game in Inglewood, Calif. Burgess scored 20 points and Burge 14.

Horse racing

Dream Away took the lead on the backstretch and held off two colts late in the stretch to win the $1 million Meadowlands Pace in East Rutherford, N.J.

Dream Away paced the mile in 1:50 2/5 in edging long shot At Point Blank and Western Dream, giving driver Ron Pierce his first Meadowlands Pace victory.

Hockey

The NHL has approved a request from Russian-born members of the champion Detroit Red Wings to take the Stanley Cup to their homeland, its first trip to Russia.

The Stanley Cup is scheduled to be in Russia on Aug. 16-18 accompanied by four of the team's Russian Five: center Igor Larionov, left wing Vyacheslav Kozlov, center Sergei Fedorov and defenseman Viacheslav Fetisov, a league spokesman said.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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