Of doping, by a French sports newspaper, Mariano Puerta, who reached the finals of the 2005 French Open two years after serving a nine-month suspension for failing a drug test. If the Argentinean (above) has in fact tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs a second time, he faces a lifetime ban. L'Equipe, the paper that in August accused Lance Armstrong of doping during the 1999 Tour de France, reported last week that Puerta tested positive for the stimulant etilefrine following his loss to Rafael Nadal in Paris in June. "I have not taken any illegal substances as reported," said Puerta, the world's No. 10 player. "I was suspended two years ago and would never do anything like that again."
His position as Rams head coach indefinitely to receive treatment for a heart condition, Mike Martz. The 54-year-old missed two practices last week while being treated for endocarditis--an infection of the heart's lining or a valve--but appeared in good spirits when he returned Friday. He joked that when he got back to his office, the nameplate on his door read JOE VITT, the assistant head coach who ran practice in his absence. "Everything's fine," Martz said. But after Sunday's 37-31 loss to the Seahawks, he said he wished he had stayed at home. He will be admitted to the hospital for treatment, and Vitt will run the team in his absence.
October 16, 2005
From prison 11 years into a 43-year sentence for killing Colombian soccer player Andres Escobar, Humberto Munoz. Escobar accidentally deflected the ball into his own net in a 2-1 loss to the United States in the 1994 World Cup, knocking Colombia out of the competition. Ten days later he was shot six times in the parking lot of a Medellín nightclub by Munoz, who was working as a bodyguard for two men who had been jeering Escobar with taunts of "Own goal! Own goal!" Last week Munoz was freed by a judge who cited his good behavior and prison study habits. "Frankly, there is no justice in Colombia," Escobar's father, Dario, told a radio station.
By a television cameraman who was hospitalized after a pregame altercation, Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers. On June 29 Rogers shoved two cameramen; Larry Rodriguez, who works for KDFW in Dallas-Fort Worth, was removed from the field in an ambulance with a neck injury. His suit, which asks for undisclosed damages, also names the Rangers as a defendant. Rodriguez, 45, alleges the team was negligent because it ignored Rogers's history of anger toward the media. "This was not the first outburst on his part or action on his part," Rodriguez's lawyer, Stephen Pipkin, told KDFW. Neither the team nor Rogers commented.
Deena Kastor (above), the Chicago Marathon, which was last won by an American woman in 1994. Kastor, a 32-year-old from Mammoth Lakes, Calif., held off defending champ Constantina Tomescu-Dita of Romania, winning by five seconds. Kastor endured pain in her feet, hamstrings, glutes and lower back as she approached the finish line. "These marathons are unkind," said Kastor, the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist. "When they're unkind, they're extraordinarily harsh. And this was a harsh one. The fact that I won makes it a little sweeter." The men's race was won by Felix Limo, who led a brigade of Kenyans that took the top 10 spots.
New Orleans to Atlanta, the 2006 Sugar Bowl. The game was to be played at the Superdome, but Hurricane Katrina made that impossible. Atlanta officials offered to host the game, which has been played in New Orleans since its inception 72 years ago, on Jan. 2. Georgia governor Sonny Perdue made it clear that the move was temporary. "We will make you feel good about this," he pledged to a Sugar Bowl delegation at a press conference last Friday. "Then it can return to its rightful place--New Orleans."
From the Breeders' Cup, Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Afleet Alex. In July, Afleet Alex underwent surgery to repair a left leg fracture, but solid recent workouts encouraged trainer Tim Ritchey that the horse could race this season. On Monday, Ritchey announced that the injury wasn't healed enough for Alfeet Alex to compete in the Breeders' Cup on Oct. 29. "Although a disappointment for racing, it is only a temporary one," Ritchey said.
By Shaun Dean, two of the biggest home runs in Astros history. The 25-year-old comptroller for a construction company, who was sitting in the firm's seats and wearing a glove, snared Lance Berkman's grand slam in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the NLDS. About three hours later, in the 18th inning, Dean caught Chris Burke's walk-off shot. (Dean said he will probably give Burke his home run ball.) "Everyone was congratulating me, patting me on the back," Dean (left) told the Houston Chronicle. "I had several people say I should buy a lottery ticket or go to Vegas."
Of brain cancer at age 66, radio broadcaster Tom Cheek, who had called every game in Blue Jays history until last year. Cheek missed his first game on June 3, 2004, after his father's death--ending his streak at 4,347 games over 27 1/2 years. Not long afterward he was told he had a brain tumor and underwent surgery to remove it. He returned to the booth but suffered a relapse in spring training. Cheek is best remembered for his call of Joe Carter's World Series--clinching homer in 1992: "Touch 'em all, Joe, you'll never hit a bigger home run in your life."
2 NHL games in the 2003-04 season in which both teams scored at least six goals.
2 NHL games last Saturday in which both teams scored at least six goals.
21 Penalties committed by Baltimore against Detroit on Sunday, one short of the NFL record (by three teams, most recently the 1998 49ers).
1 Big 12 road wins for Baylor; a 23-13 victory over Iowa State last Saturday improved the Bears to 1-37 as a visitor since the conference formed in 1996.
3 Division I teams in the last 55 years that have won three straight games one season after going winless: Boston College (1979), South Carolina (2000) and Central Florida (2005), which improved to 3-2 with a win over Memphis last Saturday.
LAST WEEK SI referred to Alabama QB Brodie Croyle (top) as a "Ringo Starr look-alike with [a] mop-top 'do." Croyle's response: "Who's Ringo Starr?" He'd be the bloke on the bottom--who is as fab on the drums as Croyle was for the Tide against Florida.