The American Medical Association renewed its call for a ban on professional boxing yesterday amid evidence that severe eye injuries are far more common than the sport's leaders contend.
A study in the AMA's Journal reported boxing blows caused nine cases of detached or torn retinas treated at one Philadelphia hospital between 1983 and 1985. The World Boxing Council issued a statement in 1981 saying "retinal detachment . . . is not a common occurrence in boxing."
This finding, along with previous evidence of brain damage associated with professional boxing, supports the AMA's 1984 call for banning the sport, said Dr. George Lundberg, editor of the Journal.
"The organized brutality of boxing has become widely recognized for what it is," Lundberg wrote, arguing that a "major difference between boxing and full-contact karate and all other contact or collision sports is the intent to win by deliberately harming the opponent. When the surest way to win is by damaging the opponent's brain, and this becomes standard procedure, the sport is morally wrong."
Another article in the Journal summarized the health effects of boxing, including the finding that 60 to 87 percent of longtime fighters suffer some form of brain damage. BASEBALL
California Angels center fielder Gary Pettis has been suspended for two games (tonight and Saturday) for bumping umpire John Shulock while arguing a called third strike May 1 in Toronto, AL officials said. Pettis can appeal the suspension.
The incident occurred in the second inning. Pettis was called out on a full-count pitch, argued with Shulock, the home plate umpire, and bumped him. The contact apparently was unintentional, officials said . . .
Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was struck by a foul ball during the Reds' game with the visiting Atlanta Braves yesterday.
She was hit on the left shoulder by a sixth-inning foul ball hit by Atlanta catcher Ozzie Virgil. She went to the first-aid room, then returned to her box seat 10 minutes later . . .
Gene McHale has resigned as president of the New York Yankees, effective May 16, in order to establish a sports marketing and consultant firm, the team said. McHale has been with the Yankees for 13 1/2 years and has been president since January 1983. TENNIS
Ivan Lendl routed Aaron Krickstein, 6-2, 6-4, to advance along with Boris Becker to the quarterfinals of the Tournament of Champions in New York. Becker, troubled on his serve because of a swirling wind, had more difficulty than expected in beating Horacio de la Pena, 7-5, 7-5.
Unseeded Guillermo Vilas, making a comeback at age 33, moved into the quarterfinals with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over teen-ager Leonardo Lavalle. COLLEGES
Tennessee-Chattanooga will investigate an allegation by a former basketball player that he received cash gifts from two local sports boosters last year, officials said. Chancellor Frederick Obear appointed a five-member committee to look into the charges by Eugene Deal and submit a report to the NCAA.
"The university does not condone such activity and will not take such allegations lightly," Obear said in a statement. The possible violation of NCAA policy was reported by Athletic Director Harold Wilkes to the Southern Conference and the NCAA.
Deal, a senior from St. Louis, has refused to name the two boosters involved, and said he delivered cash to other players. "They the boosters would tell me who to give the envelopes to, and I did," said the forward, who was kicked off the team with another player in February for fighting. "And they'd say, 'Now don't get me in trouble with the coach.' " MARATHON
New Yorker Stu Mittleman set the 1,000-mile marathon record at 11 days 20 hours and 36 minutes. Mittleman, 34, a health and fitness instructor, broke the record set by Siegfried Bauer of New Zealand in 1984 at 12 days 12 hours and 36 minutes. Bauer, 44, was in second place at 927 miles around the one-mile course in Flushing Meadow Park in New York City, when Mittleman set his mark. HOCKEY
The NHL Players Association, responding to a Sports Illustrated article that alleges five Edmonton Oilers have a cocaine problem, said the story "damages other reputations of professional hockey players by rumor and innuendo."
"The end of the two-year Stanley Cup reign is one thing," NHLPA Executive Director Alan Eagleson said in a statement. "The innuendo of drug abuse is quite another thing. Sports Illustrated has a record of reporting on drug abuse in professional sport. In previous articles, they have not hesitated to name names. It is unfortunate that in the present article, they have damaged the reputation of every Edmonton player by referring to an unnamed group of players suspected of drug abuse."
The article did not identify any Oilers players suspected of drug abuse. Its source for most of the information was an unnamed former Oilers insider. $ BASKETBALL
Special Master Kingman Brewster has terminated forward Albert King's contract with the New Jersey Nets, again making him a free agent, the NBA announced. The Nets will have the right of first refusal. LOCALLY
About 35 colleges and 20 track clubs will compete Saturday at noon in the Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Virginia Track Classic at the University of Virginia's Lannigan Field. Several former Olympians, including Sam Grady, 1984 U.S. silver medalist in the 100 meters, are entered . . .
Muhammad Ali will be among several past and present boxing greats attending the World Boxing Council's tribute to Sugar Ray Leonard with a black-tie dinner at the Department of Commerce Auditorium on May 17. Also scheduled to attend are Michael Spinks, Donald Curry, Willie Pep, Carlos DeLeon, Hector (Macho) Camacho, Floyd Patterson and Jersey Joe Walcott.