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For the Record
August 23, 2010
Died
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August 23, 2010

For The Record

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Died

At age 42, sprinter Antonio Pettigrew, who confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs at the 2000 Olympic Games. A four-time NCAA Division II champion in the 400 meters at St. Augustine College in Raleigh, Pettigrew won two world championships in the 4 × 400 relay (including a world record run in '98), and in 2000 he joined Michael Johnson, Angelo Taylor and Jerome Young for the gold medal relay run at the Sydney Games (above). But at the '08 trial of coach Trevor Graham (who was convicted of lying during a steroids investigation), Pettigrew admitted to using HGH and EPO from 1997 to 2001. The '00 team was later stripped of its medals, and Pettigrew's results were erased. He last was employed by the University of North Carolina, where he coached track. Pettigrew's body was discovered on Aug. 10 in his parked car. Police, who found evidence Pettigrew had taken sleeping pills, have not ruled out suicide as a cause of death.

Considered

By FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the elimination of ties at future World Cups. Speaking on German television, Blatter admitted that teams playing conservatively to earn a single point for a draw "makes for a boring game" and said that he was weighing the measure after the most recent tournament witnessed 14 first-round ties. If a change is made, FIFA would likely switch to either a shootout or sudden-death overtime period. Responding to further criticism of this year's games, Blatter added that FIFA would institute computerized goal line technology "as soon as we have a safe, fast and uncomplicated goal indicator."

Arrested

And charged with third-degree assault and second-degree harassment, punishable by up to a year in prison, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez, who allegedly beat up the father of his girlfriend on Aug. 11 following New York's 6--2 loss to Colorado. The 28-year-old Rodriguez was witnessed physically removing 53-year-old Carlos Peña from the team's family lounge and dragging him into a hallway where, police say, he "repeatedly hit [Peña] in the face and hit his head against a wall." (On Monday the team said Rodriguez tore a ligament in his right thumb in the attack.) Rodriguez, who fathered one-year-old twins with Peña's daughter, Daian, but is not married to her, was taken into custody and released last Thursday. Two days later, after serving a two-game suspension, he apologized to the team and its fans and agreed to undergo anger-management counseling.

Shuttered

For the rest of the 2010 season while it addresses financial hardships, the Association of Volleyball Professionals. Created in 1983, the AVP has produced at least one gold-medal-winning athlete in every Olympic year since beach volleyball was added in '96. But recent years have seen sponsorship money dry up—while payouts have remained in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and admissions have mostly remained free—and last Friday the AVP laid off nearly all of its employees. The shutdown comes less than a week before the 50th anniversary of AVP's biggest event, the Manhattan Beach Open. That tournament will go on, organizers say, but with "no bells or whistles," such as stadium seating.

Died

After a truck competing in a Mojave Desert off-road race rolled sideways into a spectator area, eight people. Witnesses at last Saturday's California 200 said that a 2000 Ford Ranger went over a jump in a section called "the rockpile" (which is considered attractive to viewers for its proximity to the action), braked on its landing and careened into a crowd. Rescue vehicles took more than 30 minutes to reach the wreckage (above), at which point six people had already died. Two others died en route to the hospital. Afterward bystanders blamed not the driver, 28-year-old Brett M. Sloppy (whose Facebook page was updated to include the note, "Soo incredibly lost and [sic] devistated"), but the unlimited access, which allowed some people to get within 10 feet of the track. "You could touch [the track] if you wanted to," said one fan. "It's part of the excitement. There's always that risk factor, but you just don't expect that it will happen to you."

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