Undated (AP) _ TINTON FALLS, N.J. (AP) - The start of the International Race of Champions, a series featuring 12 of auto racing's leading drivers, has been delayed from February at Daytona International Speedway to the middle of next year, at a site still be to determined.

Jay Signore, IROC president, made the announcement Tuesday, saying more time was needed to prepare the fleet of Dodge Daytonas to be used in this year's series.

''With the task of building, testing and preparing an entire fleet of new IROC cars, we felt it would be best to delay the start of the series past our usual beginning at Daytona,'' he said.

Signore said the IROC schedule would be announced early in January.

IROC races match drivers from different types of motorsports driving identically prepared cars.

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NEW YORK (AP) - John Henry edged Spectacular Bid as best horse of the 1980s and Personal Ensign figured in two categories in a poll released Tuesday by Thoroughbred Racing Communications.

John Henry, Horse of the Year in 1981 and 1984 at ages 6 and 9 and winner of seven Eclipse Awards, received 27 votes to 21 for Spectacular Bid, Horse of the Year in 1980 when he won all nine of his starts.

Alysheba received four votes, Personal Ensign two and Slew o'Gold one.

Personal Ensign was the winner of the best equine performance for the stretch rally which carried her to victory over Winning Colors when she was seemingly beaten in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Distaff. That was voted the best race of the decade.

Other winners were: jockey, Chris McCarron; trainer, D. Wayne Lukas; owner, Eugene V. Klein; human performance, trainer Woody Stephens, who won five straight Belmont Stakes, and innovation, the Breeders' Cup series.

Fifty-five members of the thoroughbred racing and general sports media cast ballots.

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TOKYO (AP) - Yoshiaki Tajima of Japan will challenge champion Baek In-chul of South Korea for the World Boxing Association super middleweight title in Ulsan, South Korea on Jan. 13, promoter Mack Kanehira said Tuesday.

Tajima, 31, is the WBA's ninth-ranked contender in the division and the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation middleweight champion.

Baek is making his second defense of the title he won from Venezuelan Fulgencio Obelmejias on May 28.

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LONDON (AP) - A British lawmaker said Tuesday he wants to put anabolic steroids in the same category as heroin and cocaine to try to eliminate doping from sports.

Menzies Campbell, a member of the minority Liberal Democrats, said he would introduce a bill Wednesday making it illegal to possess or supply anabolic steroids without a valid medical reason.

If it passes Parliament, the measure would label steroids as ''controlled drugs'' under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Anabolic steroids are the drugs for which sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive last year in the biggest doping scandal in Olympic history. Athletes take them to speed up muscle repair and increase training time, but studies have found the drugs also can do physical and mental harm.

''The taking of anabolic steroids is cheating - but it is cheating which carries with it the danger of serious damage to health, including in some cases, fatal consequences,'' Campbell said.

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LONDON (AP) - A special anti-hooligan squad of English police will accompany the national team to next summer's World Cup, soccer officials said Tuesday.

Graham Kelly, the Football Association's chief executive, said the officers would stay with the team and try to minimize crowd trouble during first-round matches on Sardinia, where England plays its first three games.

Italian organizers and FIFA, soccer's world body, have been concerned at potential trouble by England's fans, among the most violence-prone in the world.

The operation will cost about $160,000 and be paid by the FA, Kelly said.

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NEW YORK (AP) - Sports is the 22nd largest industry in the United States - ranking ahead of such giants as auto, petroleum, primary metals, lumber and air transportation, the Sporting News says in its edition to be published Wednesday.

Sports generated $63.1 billion in output and services in 1988, according to the third annual study done for the newspaper by Wharton Econometrics Forecasting Associates Group.

The figure takes into account all the money-making elements in sports, from manufacturing golf balls to umpiring softball games, including lucrative television rights.