International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch thinks he can push through reforms that will satisfy congressional critics threatening to impose sanctions against the Olympic body. "I am doing my best to make sure these recommendations will be approved," Samaranch told the Associated Press. "I am very confident that the most important recommendations will pass."

Samaranch spoke a day after he and the IOC came under renewed pressure in Washington to stamp out the abuses that have tainted the bidding and selection process of host cities. Several lawmakers expressed skepticism about the IOC's reform efforts during a hearing of the House Commerce subcommittee Thursday.

Samaranch declined to testify at that hearing. However, he has agreed to appear before the House panel on Dec. 15, three days after a special IOC session in which the reforms will be put to a vote.

The IOC's reform commission is meeting at the end of this month to complete its recommendations. They include term limits for IOC members, an age limit of 70 for new delegates, the appointment of 15 athletes to the IOC and new restrictions on Olympic bidding.


Hurricane Irene

Two college football games, one involving No. 24 Miami, and two major thoroughbred races were postponed because of Hurricane Irene.

The Miami Hurricanes rescheduled today's game with Temple because the Owls had trouble getting a flight to South Florida. The game will be played Dec. 4.

Bethune-Cookman College postponed its game against South Carolina State in Daytona Beach, Fla. The game, which had been scheduled for tonight, will be played Thursday night. The Festival of the Sun, Calder Race Course's annual marquee event, was postponed until Oct. 23.


Garcia May Face Action

Spanish teenager Sergio Garcia faces possible disciplinary action for his outburst during the first round of the World Match Play Championship Thursday.

Garcia threw his shoe at an advertising billboard then kicked it away when it was returned, almost striking the match referee, after his foot slipped during a wild drive into the woods. Garcia was on his way to defeat by South African Retief Goosen at the time.

Tournament referee Mike Stewart said he would investigate the behavior of the normally mild-mannered Spaniard on the 15th hole.

Garcia, who later apologized, risks a fine if Stewart decides a minor offense has been committed. Suspension could follow if the incident is regarded as serious.


Swisscom Challenge

Venus Williams and Mary Pierce shot through to the semifinals of the Swisscom Challenge in Zurich, setting up a clash between two of the top guns in women's tennis. In contrast, the other semifinal will feature finesse rather than firepower, with top-ranked Martina Hingis taking on veteran Nathalie Tauziat, seeded eighth. Williams, ranked third in the world, breezed past sixth-seeded Julie Halard-Decugis, 6-2, 6-3, while Pierce, seeded third, ousted Belgium's Dominique Van Roost, 6-2, 6-4.


Spurs Get a Scare

The San Antonio Spurs flirted with making history of the most unenviable sort last night. Trailing almost throughout their semifinal match against Italy's Varese Roosters, the NBA champions used a late run to secure a 96-86 victory at the McDonald's Championship in Milan. The Spurs, who will play South American champion Vasco da Gama in today's final, avoided becoming the league's first team to lose at the McDonald's Championship. . . .

A memorial service for basketball great Wilt Chamberlain was scheduled for this morning at The City of Angels Church of Religious Science near Marina del Rey, Calif. The service was scheduled for 10 a.m. A second memorial service will take place Thursday at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Philadelphia, just blocks from the high school where Chamberlain first achieved fame on the basketball court. Chamberlain died Tuesday of heart failure at his Bel Air, Calif., home. He was 63.

Auto Racing

Cody Unser to Go Home

The 12-year-old daughter of Indy 500 winner Al Unser Jr. is to return home today after tests this week at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Cody Unser has been battling transverse myelitis, a rare disorder that struck her in February and left her paralyzed from the chest down. The problem occurs when nerve impulse transmissions up and down the spinal cord are blocked.

CAPTION: Sergio Garcia, 19, faces possible fine or suspension after outburst at World Match Play Championship when he threw shoe at billboard, then kicked it.