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For the Record
Tom Verducci
February 05, 2007
Cleared To play in Super Bowl XLI, Chicago defensive tackle Tank Johnson (above). Following a December arrest on firearms charges—his third arrest in 18 months—Johnson, 25, was told he could not leave Illinois. But last week a Cook County judge allowed him to travel to Miami for the Super Bowl. (Both of the Bears' playoff games were at home.) Judge John Moran said "dire consequences will result" if Johnson breaks the law in Florida. Said Johnson's lawyer, "He is a young man who is right now having the opportunity of a lifetime." Johnson's trial is expected to begin on Feb. 8.
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February 05, 2007

For The Record

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Cleared
To play in Super Bowl XLI, Chicago defensive tackle Tank Johnson (above). Following a December arrest on firearms charges—his third arrest in 18 months—Johnson, 25, was told he could not leave Illinois. But last week a Cook County judge allowed him to travel to Miami for the Super Bowl. (Both of the Bears' playoff games were at home.) Judge John Moran said "dire consequences will result" if Johnson breaks the law in Florida. Said Johnson's lawyer, "He is a young man who is right now having the opportunity of a lifetime." Johnson's trial is expected to begin on Feb. 8.

Toughened
By the NFL, its drug-testing policy. The league will now test 10 players per team per week, up from seven, and will screen for more substances, including EPO. The NFL came under criticism this season when San Diego's Shawne Merriman made the Pro Bowl despite being suspended for four games for failing a drug test. (Merriman blamed a tainted supplement.) Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney told the AP, "I got to know [Merriman] at the Pro Bowl [in 2006], and I know he's a good guy. But what kind of message is that if you get away with cheating and you still reap the benefits?"

Met
For the first time, Lynn Watson and Trail Blazers assistant trainer Geoff Clark. In 2005 Clark, who had enrolled in a bone-marrow donor registry when he was in college, learned he was a perfect match for Watson, who was suffering from acute lymphoblast leukemia and in need of a stem cell transplant. That September, Clark, 40, donated 15 million stem cells, which were harvested in a four-hour procedure and transplanted into Watson, 32. Last Thursday, Watson—whose cancer is in remission—drove with her family from their home in Santa Fe, Texas, to have lunch with Clark. "As a trainer we have an opportunity to help people but rarely to this magnitude," says Clark. "If Lynn needs me to do it again, I would."

Asserted
By Gilbert Arenas, that if he played against Duke, he'd score "84 or 85" points. The Wizards guard was cut from Team USA last summer by Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski, and he vowed revenge on Coach K's Team USA assistants, Phoenix coach Mike D'Antoni and Portland's Nate McMillan. Arenas scored 54 against the Suns on Dec. 22, prompting D'Antoni to joke, "I can't wait to see what he does against Duke." Arenas responded last week on his blog, writing, "I'll give up one NBA season to play against Duke.... At Duke, they got soft rims. I'd probably score 84 or 85. I wouldn't pass the ball.... It would be like [an] NBA Live or an NBA 2K7 game, you just shoot with one person." Arenas plays McMillan's Trail Blazers on Feb. 11.

Announced
That he will return to the ring, former WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko, 35. He abdicated his title in 2005 when he retired, citing chronic knee problems. During his time off Klitschko, who says he feels better, mounted an unsuccessful bid to become the mayor of Kiev. He is targeting an April return against WBC champion Oleg Maskaev. Says Klitschko, whose brother, Wladimir, is the IBF heavyweight title holder, "My vision is for my brother and I to be champions together. We want to make history."

Arrested
And charged with marijuana possession, Bengals cornerback Johnathan Joseph—the ninth Cincinnati player arrested in the past nine months. Joseph was the passenger in a car driven by a woman who was pulled over for weaving and driving with a suspended license. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 5 to answer misdemeanor charges that carry up to one year in prison. Also last week, Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Henry, who has been arrested four times in the past 14 months, served two days in jail for letting minors drink in his motel room last July. The Bengals lost their final three games of the season to finish 8--8 and miss the playoffs.

Arrested
And charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident, Al Unser Jr. The two-time Indianapolis 500 winner allegedly sideswiped a car on an interstate in Las Vegas. (Neither driver was injured.) Unser, 44, was pulled over and failed several field sobriety tests.

Painted
Bright orange for the Tennessee-- Duke women's basketball game, the torso of Volunteers men's basketball coach Bruce Pearl (right). The 46-year-old coach spent the game leading cheers in the Tennessee student section. He was joined by his son Steven (a walk-on player), three other players and a manager, whose chests spelled out go vols. (The elder Pearl was the v.) Several of Pearl's contemporaries praised his spirit, if not his physique. "It was a wonderful thing to see," Kentucky coach Tubby Smith said. "Well, not his body, but the excitement he has for basketball." ( Tennessee lost to the top-ranked Blue Devils 74--70.)

Died
After being kidnapped in Baghdad, well-known Iraqi boxer Hassan Hadi, 42. Hadi, a Shiite, was abducted from his car on Jan. 22 on a street in a Sunni stronghold, and his body was found four days later. He had been hanged. His murder was the latest in a spell of attacks aimed at sports figures, which has resulted in the murder of Iraq's Olympic wrestling and cycling coaches. Several other athletes and coaches have been targeted for ransom or retaliation, and approximately 30 members of the country's Olympic committee have been missing since they were kidnapped last July.

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