Steve Ovett, Britain's Olympic gold medalist and the 1,500-meter world record holder, underwent surgery yesterday for a leg injury.

Ovett ran into a fence while training 10 days ago and tore a muscle above the knee. A hospital spokesman said Ovett will have his leg in a cast for two weeks. He is expected to need another six weeks to build the affected muscle before resuming training.

The injury raised doubts over Ovett's projected race with Sebastian Coe, his British rival, over 3,000 meters at London's Crystal Palace July 17. It would be the fourth meeting between the two, and the first in Britain.

Nine major league clubowners wrote a letter last week aimed at pressuring Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn to resign or not run for a third term, the New York Times said in today's editions.

The paper said the letter was never delivered, but knowledge of the existence of the letter, written during baseball's annual winter meetings in Hollywood, Fla., served notice to Kuhn that the National League has enough votes to prevent him from continuing as commissioner in August 1983.

It would take four of the 12 NL owners or five of the 14 American League owners to block Kuhn's reelection. The Times said the NL signees were August Busch Jr. of St. Louis, William Williams of Cincinnati, John McMullen of Houston, Ballard Smith of San Diego and Nelson Doubleday of the New York Mets.

AL signees were George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees, Edward Bennett Williams of Baltimore, Eddie Chiles of Texas and George Argyros of Seattle, according to the Times.

In Saalbach, Austria, Doris De Agostini of Switzerland won a women's World Cup downhill ski race, beating Marie Cecile Gros-Gaudenier of France, who had won Friday's downhill.

De Agostini covered the shortened track, measuring 1,710 meters, with a drop of 610 meters and 24 control gates, in 1 minute 13.71 seconds. Gros-Gaudenier was timed in 1:13.96.

Three University of Colorado football players, including star wingback and kick returner Walter Stanley, were arrested by university police in Boulder, Colo., for allegedly stealing textbooks and attempting to resell them.

Stanley and freshman split end Loy Alexander have been charged with second-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into an academic office and stealing textbooks, police said.

The president of the Evansville (Ind.) Rugby Club will go on trial in February on charges he masterminded the Sept. 25 fire that destroyed the team's clubhouse.

A tentative trial date of Feb. 15 was set for Bernard C. Bartholome Jr., 37, of Evansville. He was charged with planning the fire to collect a $125,000 insurance policy. Prosecutors said he planned it to coincide with the tour of a South African rugby team, the Springboks.

Fernando Valenzuela, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher who won the Cy Young Award this season and was named the National League's Rookie of the Year, will be married Dec. 28.

Dodger scout Mike Brito, who will serve as best man, confirmed that Valenzuela, 21, will marry Linda Buijos, a 20-year-old elementary school teacher in her hometown, the Carribean port city of Merida on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Phoenix Suns center Alvan Adams, his nose broken in two places, said in Phoenix yesterday he will ask NBA authorities to take action against San Antonio forward George Gervin for an allegedly flagrant foul during Friday night's game.