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Tuesday, July 8, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sports Briefing

Notebook: NHL player's death in Turkish hotel is a suicide

Roman Lyashenko, a center for the New York Rangers, was found dead in a hotel room in Antalya, Turkey, where he had been on vacation with his mother and sister.

The NHL team said the cause of death wasn't immediately known. But Turkey's Anatolia news agency reported it was a suicide and said Lyashenko, 24, apparently hanged himself with his belt in his room.

Lyashenko, a Russian, played a total of 139 NHL games with Dallas and the Rangers. He scored 14 goals.

• Right wing Trent Klatt signed a two-year contract with the Los Angeles Kings.

The 32-year-old had 16 goals and 13 assists last season for the Vancouver Canucks. He had been with the Canucks since October 1998.

• Phoenix re-signed right wing Landon Wilson, 28, to a one-year contract.

Soccer

Cameroon's Marc-Vivien Foe died during the Confederations Cup last month because of a heart attack caused by an enlarged left ventricle, state prosecutor Xavier Richaud said in Lyon, France.

Richaud presented the results of Foe's autopsy and said the 28-year-old striker's heart problems might have been congenital.

Foe collapsed June 26 during a semifinal match against Colombia and was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.

• U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, 29, said he will stay with the national team through the 2006 World Cup.

• Saadi Gadhafi, a son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, is getting ready to play in one of the world's top leagues. The 30-year-old will compete for Perugia in Italy's Serie A.

NFL

The Green Bay Packers signed Jörg Heckenbach, a 28-year-old NFL Europe receiver.

College football

Auburn linebacker Lemarcus Rowell was suspended indefinitely after being charged with marijuana possession, driving under the influence and carrying a pistol without a permit. All three charges are misdemeanors.

Rowell, 20, was pulled over for speeding early Sunday. He was released from the Opelika, Ala., jail later that day.

Tennis

Roger Federer's victory over Mark Philippoussis drew the lowest overnight television rating on record for a Wimbledon men's final.

NBC's coverage of Sunday's match received a 2.7 preliminary rating with an 8 share, 13 percent lower than the 2002 final between winner Lleyton Hewitt and David Nalbandian.

Overnight ratings go back to 1987.

Serena Williams' win over injured sister Venus in the women's final Saturday produced a 4.0 overnight rating with an 11 share. That is 13 percent lower than the 4.6 — with a 14 share — for their meeting in last year's final, also won by Serena.

Overnight ratings measure the 55 largest TV markets in the United States. Each overnight rating point represents about 735,000 TV homes. The share is the percentage of televisions in use tuned to a program.

• Seventh-seeded Justin Gimelstob beat Jeff Morrison 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (15-13) in the opening round of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships in Newport, R.I.

Auto racing

Clarence Cagle, who was track superintendent of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for about 30 years and helped restore the track after World War II, died Saturday in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was 88.

Track and field

Jamaican-born Merlene Ottey, an Olympic and world-championships medalist, won the women's 100 meters over a weak field at an IAAF Grand Prix meet in Zagreb, Croatia.

Ottey, 43, was timed in 11.42 seconds. "It's good to win, but I'm not happy with the time," she said. "I should have run a much faster race."

Olympics

The International Olympic Committee might retain all nine cities bidding for the 2012 Games rather than cut the field to a short list of finalists.

The marquee lineup includes cities such as New York, Paris, London, Moscow and Madrid, Spain. The IOC will vote for the summer host in 2005. "The cut will be very minimal," IOC president Jacques Rogge said.

• Six months after failing to win the U.S. candidacy for the 2012 Games, the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee has alleged that the U.S. Olympic Committee conducted a biased election and failed to follow or enforce its code of ethics.

San Francisco lost to New York in an attempt to be the U.S. candidate.

• Rio de Janeiro was chosen as Brazil's candidate to host the 2012 Games.

• Increased terrorist threats could force the IOC to help fund the high security costs at future Olympics.

"In the future, I think somehow we should participate in the expenses of the safety and security of the Games," Pal Schmitt, head of the group's commission on sport and environment, said.

Currently, the host city pays for security. Athens, Greece, has budgeted more than $600 million for security at the 2004 Games.

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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