Six years after he was banned for life after a second positive drug test, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson lost his bid for reinstatement in Seville, Spain.

The International Amateur Athletic Federation, track and field's world governing body, rejected a petition to allow Johnson, 37, to return to competition.

The IAAF's decision-making council accepted the recommendation of a special three-person panel that studied Johnson's case.

The IAAF said the ruling is final, with no appeal possible.

In April, a Canadian arbitrator ruled that Johnson should be allowed to seek reinstatement on grounds that he did not have all his appeals explained to him by the Canadian federation when he was banned for life in 1993.

IAAF spokesman Giorgio Reineri said the special panel reviewed all the documents on the case and listened to Johnson at a hearing in Monaco on Aug. 3.

Reineri said the panel ruled that the Canadian arbitrator, Graeme Mew, had "no right" to interfere in a decision of a sport's world governing body.

"In any case, even if the arbitrator had this right, he made a mistake because the Canadian federation was correct when they decided to ban Johnson for life," Reineri said. "On this basis, the IAAF decided not to give reinstatement."

"The IAAF appears ready to allow Mr. Johnson to serve once again as the whipping boy for all of athletics," the sprinter's lawyer, Morris Chrobotek, countered in a statement.

The IAAF also rejected appeals by Cuban officials and ruled that world high jump champion Javier Sotomayor must face doping charges.

Sotomayor, the world record holder in the high jump, tested positive for cocaine earlier this month at the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and was stripped of his gold medal. He has denied knowingly taking any banned drug; Cuban officials have supported him and suggested his test was manipulated as part of a conspiracy.

Boxing

Lewis-Holyfield in Doubt

The heavyweight unification rematch between Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis may not be held after all.

The Nov. 13 bout has a "50-50" chance of being held, Lewis's promoter said yesterday in London.

Panos Eliades and Holyfield's promoter, Don King, have until Friday to complete financial terms for the bout, a deadline imposed by HBO. Eliades said he has had no recent contact with King.

Golf

U.S. Amateur Opens

Gary Mankulish Jr. of Laurel is tied for third after the opening day of the U.S. Amateur in Pebble Beach, Calif., after firing a 1-over-par 72. He is two shots behind leader Justin Bolli of Roswell, Ga.

Kenny Doerrer of Mitchellville and Mike Mitchell of Chevy Chase each shot 7-over 78 in the first round at Pebble Beach. John Mueller of Arlington shot a 9-over 80, and Olney's Danny Riskam finished at 10-over 81. Tom McKnight of Galax, Va., last year's runner-up, shot a 5-over 76.

Matt Kuchar, the 1997 champion, finished at 2-over 73.

The top 64 golfers from the field of 312 will qualify for match play beginning on Wednesday. . . .

Tiger Woods can boost television ratings all by himself, but he got help from Sergio Garcia in the PGA Championship's final round.

CBS's coverage Sunday posted a 7.7 overnight rating and an 18 share, the tournament's highest overnight mark since 1986.

The coverage Sunday, when Woods beat Garcia by one stroke, also jumped 26 percent from last year's tournament. The third round on Saturday had a 4.7/13.

Tennis

Capriati Wins

Jennifer Capriati beat Angeles Montolio of Spain, 6-1, 6-3, in the opening round of the du Maurier Canadian Open in Toronto. No. 9 Barbara Schett of Austria beat Alexandra Stevenson, 6-2, 7-5; No. 10 Sandrine Testud of France advanced when Mariaan de Swardt of South Africa retired in the second set because of a herniated disk; and No. 16 Chanda Rubin beat Sarah Pitkowski of France, 6-2, 6-3.

Locally

District 7 Advances

Maryland District 7, the two-time Big League World Series defending champion, defeated Canada, 6-1, yesterday in the softball tournament's first round in Kalamazoo, Mich. It will face Kalamazoo today. January Balenger (Westlake High) struck out six and yielded one run for the Southern Maryland-based team. . . .

Paris Davis, a first-team all-DCIAA West offensive tackle last season for Wilson, broke his left foot in practice Thursday. He expects to miss four to six weeks.

Davis, a three-year starter and two-way player, said he suffered the injury when his foot landed awkwardly on uneven ground while he was running.

Baseball

DeShields to Sign

Orioles second baseman Delino DeShields will sign autographs at the Babe Ruth Museum on Emory Street in Baltimore on Wednesday from 1 to 2 p.m.