World Cup champion Bode Miller said yesterday in Soelden, Austria, that he will race in the Turin Olympics this winter, and also took another opportunity to campaign publicly for legalized doping in sports.
The first U.S. man in 22 years to win the overall title, Miller said last season that he was considering retiring and skipping the Olympics because of time-consuming sponsorship obligations, annoying media duties and overwhelming fan attention. But a contract with footwear and apparel giant Nike changed his attitude.
Miller also reiterated his belief that doping should be allowed in sports -- or that the tolerated levels for banned substances should be raised -- saying current anti-doping policies do nothing to protect the health of athletes and does not level the playing field.
"I feel it's super hypocritical for a drug to be legal for you to buy, but not for an athlete to buy," said Miller, a favorite for Sunday's World Cup opening giant slalom races on the Rettenbach glacier.
"Used in a way directed by a doctor or directed by the research that's out there, even some drugs like EPO could potentially balance the risk of long-term health problems against the potential gains for not injuring yourself."
* BASEBALL: The Milwaukee Brewers exercised their club option on all-star slugger Carlos Lee for next season. Lee, who will make $8.5 million, hit .265 last season with career highs of 32 home runs and 114 RBI. . . . St. Louis Cardinals reliever Al Reyes had reconstructive surgery Tuesday to repair a torn elbow ligament that had pulled off the bone. The right-hander (4-2, 2.15 ERA in 65 appearances) could resume pitching in nine to 12 months. . . . Philadelphia Phillies catcher Mike Lieberthal had surgery on his right knee, but is expected to be ready when spring training starts in February.
* GOLF: Ernie Els will return to competitive golf in December, ending a four-month injury layoff by playing in the Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. The two-time U.S. Open champion and 2002 British Open winner injured his left knee while sailing in the Mediterranean in July.
* SOCCER: Sigi Schmid, who led the Los Angeles Galaxy to three MLS Cup appearances and a championship, was hired as coach of the Columbus Crew. He replaces Greg Andrulis, who was fired in July.
-- From News Services