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Sports briefs


DOTSON WARRANT: Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich has signed a warrant allowing former Baylor University basketball player Carlton Dotson to be sent back to Texas, where he is charged with killing teammate Patrick Dennehy. A hearing set for Oct. 14 may be moved up now that the warrant has been signed.

Auto racing

JUNIOR CLEARED TO RACE: Dale Earnhardt Jr. was cleared by NASCAR on Wednesday to race this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, where he is seeking a record fifth consecutive victory.

Earnhardt sustained a minor concussion and sprained his right foot in a wreck Sunday in Dover, Del., and NASCAR required him to undergo a thorough physical before he could be cleared to race.


ATP TOUR: At Palermo, Sicily, third-seeded David Sanchez was upset by Oscar Hernandez 6-2, 0-6, 7-6 (8) Wednesday in the first round of the ATP Tour's last clay-court tournament of the season.

In other action, No. 4-seeded Filippo Volandri beat Francesco Aldi 6-2, 7-5, Victor Hanescu defeated Igor Andreev 6-3, 6-3, and Albert Montanes eliminated Tomas Behrend 6-0, 6-4.

THAILAND OPEN: Top-ranked Juan Carlos Ferrero edged qualifier Dick Norman 7-5, 7-6 (5) Wednesday in the first round of the Thailand Open.

Norman held set points at 5-4 in each set. But he wasted one in the first set with a forehand error, and he blew one in the second set by putting a backhand into the net.

Ferrero, who won the French Open and was the runner-up to Andy Roddick at the U.S. Open, meets Alex Bogomolov Jr. next. The American defeated Giorgio Galimberti of Italy 6-3, 6-3.

Elsewhere, No. 4-seeded Paradorn Srichaphan struggled, rallying to beat Vladimir Voltchkov 0-6, 6-3, 6-2. Paradorn's second-round foe is Kenneth Carlsen, who eliminated Andy Ram 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5).


TOUR OF SPAIN: Britain's David Millar won the 17th stage of the Tour of Spain on Wednesday and Spain's Isidro Nozal remained the overall leader with four days left.

Millar covered the 117-mile stage between the southern Spanish towns of Granada and Cordoba in 3 hours, 58 minutes, 2 seconds. Spain's Alberto Martinez and Oscar Sevilla finished 36 seconds back.

Nozal holds a 3:03 lead over ONCE teammate Igor Gonzalez in the overall standings.