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March 5, 1996

MARLBOROUGH, England (AP) _ Master Oats will not defend the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival next week because of a recurrence of leg trouble.

Trainer Kim Bailey said Tuesday he feared 10-year-old gelding might severely injure his front legs if he ran in the 3 1/4 mile race March 14.

``He has had leg problems before and there is always the chance that it could happen again,″ said Bailey, who reported signs of inflammation in one of the legs. ``But I’m just glad it happened now and not during the race when it could have been a lot worse.″

Bailey said he had no plans to retire the horse. Although Master Oats will not race again this season, Bailey said there was a good chance he will be back next year.

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Stadium’s New Name: 3Com at Candlestick Point

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ The stadium shared by the San Francisco Giants and 49ers will be known as ``3Com Park at Candlestick Point,″ at least through January 2000.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors and 49ers approved a stadium naming rights agreement Monday.

The 49ers will pay San Francisco $3.9 million to control the stadium’s naming rights, a $400,000 increase from their earlier offer. The team will then resell the name to 3Com Corp., a computer networking firm in Santa Clara.

Under a one-season deal last year, the name was simply 3Com Park.

``We got what we wanted: We got more money and we got to keep `Candlestick,‴ said Board of Supervisors President Kevin Shelley. ``We got a good deal.″

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Japan’s Hirasawa Wins Rossignol Cup

NOZAWA, Japan (AP) _ Gaku Hirasawa of Japan won the men’s slalom Tuesday in the Rossignol Cup, first leg of the five-meet FIS Far East Cup Japan series.

The victory qualified Hirasawa for the slalom in the season’s World Cup finale in Lillehammer, Norway, this weekend.

Heavy snow delayed the men’s race and led to cancellation of the women’s race.

Hirasawa had runs of 44.42 and 48.03 seconds on the 1,913-foot Kandahar course, which has a vertical drop of 656 feet.

His time of 1:32.45 was 0.77 seconds faster than Hideaki Ito of Japan, who was second in 1:33.22.

Thomas Pool of Switzerland was third in 1:34.18. He had runs of 46.14 and 48.04. Markus Ganahl of Liechtenstein was fourth in 1:34.39.

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EU Investigates FIFA Match Ball Restrictions, Raids Offices

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ European Union antitrust investigators raided English Football Association headquarters Tuesday as part of an inquiry into the multimillion dollar market for soccer balls.

The EU is investigating a system imposed two years ago by FIFA, the world soccer body, under which manufacturers have to pay to get to balls approved for official matches.

The fee is $1.70 for match balls and 85 cents for training balls.

The EU’s executive commission is investigating whether the charges comply with laws guaranteeing free competition among companies within the 15-nation bloc. The English FA offices were targeted because the idea to impose the levy reportedly came from the British.

Commission spokesman Willy Helin said the EU wanted to ensure there were no ``illicit understandings″ between soccer authorities and ball manufacturers.

He said some 40 million soccer balls were produced every year, including 8 million for match play.

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WBO Super-lightweight Champion Predicts Knockout

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ WBO super-lightweight champion Sammy Fuentes of Puerto Rico on Tuesday predicted he will knockout Italian challenger Giovanni Parisi within six rounds of their title fight this weekend.

``My record speaks for itself. I’m more aggressive and more powerful. I respect Parisi, but he has no chance.″

In the Saturday night bout, Fuentes will be making the second defense of the WBO title he took from Mexico’s Fidel Avendano in Los Angeles last year.

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PBA Introduces New Logo

AKRON, Ohio (AP) _ The Professional Bowlers Association unveiled a new logo Tuesday, and it does not have the traditional three rings.

The new design features a bright blue triangular background with a bowling ball swooshing around the triangle, leaving a scarlet and gray comet tail in its path.

The new logo is aimed at attracting a younger audience.

The PBA launches its 35th year on ABC-Sports with the ACDelco Classic at Cal Bowl in Lakewood, Calif. on Saturday.

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