A U.S. Olympic Committee officer has proposed an election at this week's USOC board of directors meeting with the purpose of making acting president Bill Martin the next USOC president.

The move may be stymied by procedure, but USOC vice president and Boston attorney Paul George, who twice ran for the president's seat and lost, made the informal proposal to USOC executive committee members on Thursday.

The USOC board of directors will meet Friday through Sunday in Fort Worth. If the election takes place, it would be the USOC's third presidential election in three years.

If Martin is voted in, he would fill the original term of Sandy Baldwin, which runs through 2004. Martin was not available to comment.

The USOC constitution allows the executive committee to nominate candidates and the entire 123-member board to elect a president by majority vote.

What is unclear is if the process can be completed in Fort Worth. Normal procedure for replacing an officer calls for the board to vote by mail-in ballot.

Martin would be the third USOC president since 2000, when Baldwin was elected. She resigned in May 2002 after admitting to discrepancies in her educational resume. Marty Mankamyer was elected in August 2002 to replace Baldwin.

Martin, also the University of Michigan athletic director, became acting president when Mankamyer resigned under pressure in February in the wake of ethics accusations and friction with Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Ward. Ward resigned in March.


Harkes Retires

Former D.C. United and World Cup midfielder John Harkes has announced his retirement. Harkes, 36, is expected to become a television commentator.

Harkes, who played at the University of Virginia, competed in two World Cups for the U.S. and was a three-year captain for United, winning two MLS titles.

He will make his professional farewell for United in a May 14 exhibition against Tottenham Hotspur at RFK Stadium.


Argentine Surprise

Argentina upset defending champion Russia in the Davis Cup quarterfinals, while Australia and Spain also advanced. Switzerland led France 2-1 in their best-of-five series.

In the Sept. 19-21 semifinals, Spain will host Argentina, and Australia will meet Switzerland or France.

In Buenos Aires, Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian paired with Lucas Arnold to lead Argentina. They beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Mikhail Youzhny, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3, to give the hosts an insurmountable 3-0 lead against the Russians.


National Showing

Jenny Thompson won her 26th national title with a victory in the 50-meter freestyle at the U.S. Spring National Swimming Championships in Indianapolis.

Thompson, 30, set a personal record of 25.02 seconds in winning her only event of the meet.

Tom Wilkens, 27, won his 17th men's national crown by taking the 200-yard individual medley in 2 minutes 1.43 seconds.

Motor Sports

NHRA Driver Killed

Drag racer Phil Burghard was killed in a crash at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill. after losing control of his car in an NHRA competition.

The 33-year-old driver crashed his Corvette during his second qualifying run for the Spring Sportsman Challenge XI. His car reached a top speed of 155.76 mph.

Argentina's David Nalbandian, with captain Gustavo Luza watching from behind, celebrates after scoring a point during his doubles match.