Customs officials are looking into allegations of a link between Formula One racing and cocaine smuggling amid accusations that Grand Prix cars may have been used to conceal drugs as they were transported around the world, the Sunday Times of London reported.

Quoting mostly unidentified custom sources and police detectives, the newspaper said customs officials were tipped off by an informant from the motor racing world 18 months ago and recently began monitoring the movement of Formula One personnel and equipment through the British port of Dover.

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone declined to comment, the newspaper said, but an unidentified aide of Ecclestone was quoted as saying: "He did not have any knowledge or evidence that individuals within F1 were doing anything of the sort. If he had information or evidence he would have taken it to the police."

The newspaper reported that an earlier investigation by Scotland Yard into whether racing cars and their containers were used for cocaine smuggling between South America and Europe was inconclusive. . . .

Two New York Jets football players and a former Jet were arrested yesterday after an altercation in a Long Beach, N.Y., bar and a scuffle with police.

Jason Fabini, 24, and John "Jumbo" Elliott, 34, both of the Jets, and Matt O'Dwyer, 26, of the Cincinnati Bengals, were drinking at Bogart's Bar and Restaurant when they became rowdy around 12:30 a.m., Lt. Joseph Kearnes said. Police were called and, after requesting assistance from backup officers, the three were arrested, Kearnes said.

O'Dwyer kicked out a window of a police cruiser, sending glass into the faces of the arresting officers, Kearnes said. He was charged with two counts of felony assault and was released on $50,000 bail.

Elliott--who pleaded guilty last year to driving while impaired--was charged with disorderly conduct, public lewdness, harassment and assault and was released on $10,000 bail. Fabini was charged with disorderly conduct and was released on $100 bail. . . .

Jimmy Robinson, a senior wide receiver for Kentucky, was shot twice during a party near the campus.

He was hospitalized in good condition. Robinson was shot in the upper left arm and left thumb, breaking both bones, a statement from the university said.

The gunman left the scene and no arrests have been made, police said.


Koven Comes Up Short American Jamie Koven will not be around for the championship round of the single scull at the Rowing World Cup final in Lucerne, Switzerland. Koven, the 1997 world champion, finished third in his semifinal yesterday.

Reigning world champion Rob Waddell of New Zealand cruised to an impressive victory in the semifinal.


Big Bucks for Gehrig's Stripes Sixty years after Lou Gehrig retired in dramatic fashion at Yankee Stadium, the pin-striped uniform he wore that day has changed hands for nearly a half-million dollars.

An unidentified sportsman from southern Florida paid $451,541 late Friday for the item during an auction in New York.

It may be the most paid for a sports uniform, said Marty Appel, a spokesman for Lelands Auctions, which specializes in sports memorabilia.

Gehrig, known as the "Iron Horse," was famous for playing 2,130 consecutive games, a streak that ended about two months before he announced his retirement on July 4, 1939.

The record was believed to be unbreakable until Baltimore's Cal Ripken passed it in 1995.

University Games

A Golden Reason to Return

Chinese diver Fu Mingxia, competing internationally for the first time since retiring in 1996, collected her second gold medal of the University Games in the women's 3-meter springboard.

Fu retired after winning two titles at the Atlanta Olympics and showed some signs of rust from the layoff, but still was dominant against top opposition. Russia's Irina Lashko, runner-up to Fu in the springboard event in Atlanta, settled for the silver with 528.30 points.

The games are being played in Palma de Mallorca, Balearic Islands.


Chipping for Cash

The Washington, D.C., $100,000 Downtown Golf Challenge will take place Tuesday and Wednesday at Reston Town Center.

On Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and on Wednesday between 10 a.m. and 1:15 p.m., participants can attempt to sink a 10-yard chip shot on a chipping green.

Individuals who successfully hole the chip shot are entered into a drawing to be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday; one name will be drawn and that qualifier will attempt a 15-yard chip shot for a $100,000 prize.

The event is open to amateurs at all levels, excluding those who have played high school or college golf the past five years.

CAPTION: The Yankees jersey worn by Lou Gehrig for his 1939 farewell speech sold for $451,541 Friday.