The world may have to wait another 50 years before people compete against human-sized robots on the soccer pitch, but in Stockholm yesterday, fans got a taste of robots playing against each other.

At the third Robot World Cup Soccer tournament, Iranian robots beat Italian ones, 3-1, in a medium-size league that has five robots about the size of a microwave oven on each team.

"Our goal is to have robots competing against humans on a World Cup level by the year 2050," Hiroaki Kitano, president of the RoboCup Federation, told Reuters. "We're in the early stages, but these are the first steps toward that goal."


Alleged Drug Conspiracy

A former Cleveland Browns player, the son of a former Cleveland Indians pitcher and a teacher have been charged with being part of a drug trafficking conspiracy, the FBI said.

Federal agents on Tuesday arrested Michael St. Clair, 45, a former defensive end for the Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals, and Michael Ward, 41, who teaches at Clark Middle School in East Cleveland. An arrest warrant also was issued for James T. Grant, 36, son of former Indians pitcher Jim "Mudcat" Grant. Grant was still at large yesterday, FBI spokesman Robert Hawk said.

Track and Field

Christie Suspended

Sprinter Linford Christie, a former Olympic champion who at 39 rarely competes, was suspended for suspicion of steroid use. The International Amateur Athletic Federation said his drug test suggested the presence of the steroid nandrolone. The test was taken during a February meet in Dortmund, Germany. Christie, the 100-meter gold medalist at the 1992 Barcelona Games, insists he is "completely innocent" and intends to defend himself against charges.


Oilers Sign Ranford

Edmonton signed free agent Bill Ranford to a one-year contract, returning the goaltender to the team he led to the Stanley Cup in 1990. A former Capital, Ranford, 32, spent most of last season with Tampa Bay before being traded to Detroit for the playoffs. . . .

The Nashville Arena, home of the NHL's Predators, is now the Gaylord Entertainment Center.


Bail Posted

The man charged in a collision that killed Purdue basketball player Tiffany Young has been released from jail and will make his initial court appearance Aug. 18. Arnold Eaton, 33, a Navy petty officer second class, made bail at the Lake County Jail late Monday. . . .

Rich Parson, one of two running backs Maryland recruited for this season, has failed to meet the NCAA's freshman eligibility requirements and will not enroll in school this fall, a Maryland athletic department spokesman said.


Touch of Home in Israel

They live in Israel, they work in Israel, they speak Hebrew and they serve in the Israeli army--but they crave American football.

About 200 American expatriates turned out to cheer Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, at the groundbreaking for Israel's first touch football field. He is donating money to build the field. Football brings a bit of the old country to homesick Americans.