Sports in Brief | Judge rejects plea deal for Balco-case lawyer

Posted: June 15, 2007

A federal judge in San Francisco took the unusual step yesterday of rejecting a plea deal for the lawyer who admitted leaking the grand jury testimony of elite athletes to two newspaper reporters.

Troy Ellerman's attorney argued in court papers for a 15-month prison sentence after Ellerman pleaded guilty to allowing two San Francisco Chronicle reporters to view transcripts of grand jury testimony by Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield and other athletes embroiled in the government's steroids investigation. Probation officers recommended 18 months.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey S. White said that both recommendations were too low and that, as a lawyer, Ellerman "should be held to a higher standard of conduct."

Ellerman must decide whether to withdraw his guilty plea and take the case to trial. He and his attorney, Scott Tedmon, declined to comment.

Ellerman was the attorney for Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative founder Victor Conte and later served as the attorney for Balco vice president James Valente. It was while he was representing Valente that he allowed reporter Mark Fainaru-Wada to view the players' grand jury testimony, according to the plea agreement.


Australia's David Bransdon and Ireland's David Higgins each shot 6-under-par 65 and shared the first-round lead in the Saint-Omer Open at the Saint-Omer Country Club in France.


Eddie Pope will retire at the end of the season, the Real Salt Lake defender and U.S. national player's 12th in Major League Soccer. The 33-year-old announced before Salt Lake's home game against Dallas that he will end his career when the season is over.

He played in nine World Cup matches for the U.S. team in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups and made 31 appearances in World Cup qualifiers.

All 13 members of a Haitian youth soccer team who went missing Wednesday in New York were accounted for yesterday.

After arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport on their way to South Korea, 18 players and their coaches went to a McDonald's near the airport. There, 13 of them vanished, according to Felix Augustin, the Haitian consul general in New York.

They scattered around New York's five boroughs, and Boston.

But by yesterday morning, all of the missing players were accounted for, with two on their way back from Boston, Augustin said.

The details of their desertion were murky. But Augustin said the players were whisked away in a scheme engineered by U.S. friends and relatives.


American Meghann Shaughnessy reached her first semifinal of the year by beating Hungarian qualifier Agnes Szavay, 7-6 (3), 6-4, in the Barcelona KIA Open in Spain.

The sixth-seeded Shaughnessy was joined by No. 7 Virginie Razzano of France and No. 8 Flavia Pennetta of Italy, who ousted No. 3 Emilie Loit of France, 6-3, 6-3.

Andy Roddick benefited from the replay system at the Queen's Club in London, then held on to beat Alex Bogdanovic of Britain, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4, in the third round of the Wimbledon warm-up tournament.

Roddick, who had 22 aces, was tied, 5-5, in the tiebreaker when he asked for Hawk-Eye to challenge a call. The decision was overturned, giving the American a set point and taking away a match point for his 117th-ranked opponent.

Nikolay Davydenko struggled again on grass, losing to Florian Mayer, 6-4, 6-4, in the second round of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany.

The second-seeded Russian, who reached the semifinals of the French Open last week, is 2-12 on grass.


St. Peter's College dropped its non-scholarship Division I-AA football program, citing concern for its athletes and difficulty remaining competitive.

The Peacocks, who previously competed on the Division III level in football, became Division I-AA in 1993 when the NCAA passed legislation prohibiting Division I programs from having sports below Division I. The Peacocks have gone 38-103 since then.

Elsewhere: Chestnut Hill College said it will begin a varsity baseball program next spring.


Cycling's governing body recommended a two-year doping ban for Ivan Basso, the star Italian rider who won the 2006 Giro d'Italia.

The Italian Olympic Committee's prosecutors asked last month that Basso be banned for 21 months. Basso has a hearing scheduled in front of the Italian cycling federation in Rome today, after which his ban will be decided.

Basso has admitted he "attempted doping," but said he never went through with it.

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