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KLITSCHKO RETIRES: Facing a six-month recovery after tearing a ligament in his right knee, WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko came to a tough realization: It was time to retire. "Unfortunately, I've been fighting injuries recently more than facing rivals in the ring," Klitschko said Wednesday in a statement. "The decision to end was hard to make. But I would like to end my career on top and with my retirement make the way free for my successor."

The 34-year-old Klitschko pulled out of Saturday's title defense against Hasim Rahman in Las Vegas because he hurt his knee last week in training. The WBC said earlier this week that Rahman would be given Klitschko's title should the Ukrainian fail to defend it within three months.

On Wednesday, WBC president Jose Sulaiman said the organization's Board of Governors will now vote on awarding the title to Rahman, who was more than ready to accept it. "I am thrilled that WBC president Jose Sulaiman is keeping his promise to me by convening his Board of Governors to automatically upgrade me from interim champion to again become the undisputed WBC heavyweight champion," Rahman said.

College athletics

SCHOOLS DROP NAMES: Carthage College in Wisconsin will return to its original nickname of Red Men, and Midwestern State University in Texas will change its nickname after this season to comply with the NCAA's new policy regarding American Indian mascots. The decision was announced Wednesday by the NCAA.Carthage College originally used the nickname Red Men, a term it adopted from a nearby high school that was nicknamed the Blue Boys. Over the years, however, Carthage became known as the Redmen and used Indian mascots and logos.

Midwestern State, nicknamed the Indians, was given an extension to remove its nickname and imagery from its basketball court until after the season ends because of cost. But the university is expected to discontinue the use of its nickname and logos after this year.


URBINA CHARGED: Free agent relief pitcher Ugueth Urbina was formally charged Wednesday with attempted murder and will remain in prison while he is tried, his lawyer said. Urbina, who most recently pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies before becoming a free agent, was taken to a detention center in Los Teques, just west of Caracas. The 31-year-old right-hander is accused of joining a group of men in attacking and injuring five workers with machetes and pouring gasoline on them last month. He is the fifth person charged in the BALCO affair.