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Names In The Game

June 26, 1991

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, with time on his hands since he is barred from running the team, is hosting a dinner party Friday night. About 120 men will watch the closed-circuit telecast of the Mike Tyson-Razor Ruddock fight. Women are not allowed.

Several local officials are among those invited by Steinbrenner and businessman Phil Alessi. Their female colleagues were not.

″Boys will be boys,″ Tampa mayor Sandy Freedman said, rolling her eyes over the whole affair. Her husband, Michael, a lawyer, got an invitation.

″I’m appalled,″ said Hillsborough County commissioner Jan Platt. ″It’s mind-boggling they would do it, especially when it comes to public officials. I think the correct thing to do would be to invite us all.″

Platt and other female officials agreed the men could invite anyone they wanted to a private party, but say that to exclude them when their colleagues were invited raises questions of access to power and political correctness.

County commissioner Jim Selvey doesn’t see any problem.

″I wouldn’t go to a hen party,″ Selvey said. ″If it’s a stag event, that’s fine. Women hold showers, you know.″

Alessi, a businessman and boxing promoter, said the women have it all wrong.

″It’s a fun atmosphere. Everybody’s predicting who’ll win, acting really like a bunch of kids,″ Alessi said. ″We didn’t mean to slight anyone. Jan Platt can come if she really wants. Or I’ll have lunch with them.″

Steinbrenner did not return a phone call from The Associated Press Wednesday.

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NAPLES, Italy (AP) - The start of Diego Maradona’s trial on cocaine charges was postponed until July 2 on Wednesday after the Argentine soccer star sent a medical certificate saying he was under stress.

Maradona, who plays for Naples’ major league soccer team, was suspended by the league after being indicted on charges of possessing and distributing cocaine.

The certificate sent to the court said Maradona was undergoing therapy because of psychological problems and would be available to attend the trial by mid-October.

In Italy, a defendant doesn’t have to attend his trial and can be tried while absent. The trial was to have started Wednesday.

Maradona also is in trouble in Argentina where he was arrested in April and charged with possessing and distributing drugs following a raid on a Buenos Aires apartment.

The Italian charges stem from a police investigation which included wiretapping of telephone conversations between suspects in a suspected Naples drug and prostitution operation.

Maradona reportedly has been undergoing drug rehabilitation in Argentina.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Meadow Star, winner of the Mother Goose Stakes and the Acorn, worked six furlongs Wednesday in preparation for her attempted sweep of New York’s Triple Crown for fillies in the Coaching Club American Oaks on July 6.

″She went fine,″ trainer Leroy Jolley said. ″She worked three-quarters in 1:12:1.″

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ST. QUENTIN, France (AP) - Ronan Rafferty said Wednesday that his surprise walk-out in the second round of the U.S. Open was caused by worries over the health of his pregnant wife.

″My wife had to go to hospital with a viral complaint the day I left to play,″ the 27-year old golfer from Northern Ireland said. ″On that Friday morning she was ill again, which put me in a major predicament. I wanted to be with her.″

Rafferty said he also wanted to stay at Haseltine because he shot a 79 in the first round and he felt he still had a shot at making the job. ″After nine holes, however, I elected to terminate the round and leave for home.″

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