Vitas Gerulaitis' attorney, erstwhile Abscam prosecutor Thomas Puccio, told U.S. District Court in Manhattan yesterday that the Justice Department has agreed to review the case that federal prosecutors in New York have been preparing for possible indictment of the tennis star on charges of drug trafficking.
And Judge Kevin Duffy granted Puccio's request to unseal the minutes of the sentencing last month of Tony Goble, a backgammon specialist who implicated Gerulaitis. The athlete said last week he expected to be indicted although he denied Goble's story that he had planned to invest $20,000 toward purchase of synthetic cocaine last winter in a deal that never came off.
Comment from Justice's criminal division here: "We just have nothing to say" . . .
Gerulaitis' next athletic stop is Toronto for the $250,000, eight-man Molson Tennis Challenge, built up as Bjorn Borg's final multiplayer competition--but Borg couldn't keep his first-round date tonight, when Gerulaitis plays Jimmy Connors. Borg was in a Providence hospital yesterday, taking antibiotics for infected irritations of both hands; admitted Sunday night after losing an exhibition to Connors. . . . Sweating out Borg for a rescheduled-to-Wednesday match with Tim Mayotte, Molson promoters got more bad news: Ivan Lendl out, sore right shoulder . . .
Noteworthy openers last night in the $300,000 Richmond Tennis Classic: Mike Bauer over No. 3 seed Wojtek Fibak, 7-5, 6-4; Jimmy Arias over John Sadri, 1-6, 6-4, 7-6 . . .
Another racket ace in court: Mohibullah Khan, 1980 world masters champion at squash, on trial in Reading, England, accused of trying to smuggle heroin worth $900,000 into Britain. Prosecutors said Khan, 26, of Pakistan needed money after a leg injury set back his career, and alleged 6.7 pounds of the drug were found in false bottoms of his luggage when he arrived in London from Rawalpindi last July. Khan contended he was an innocent dupe of a real smuggler.