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Sports briefs


BALCO PLEA: A Colorado lawyer who admitted in court papers that he leaked secret grand jury documents in a federal steroids probe to reporters made an initial court appearance Thursday on obstruction of justice charges.

Troy Ellerman pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court, but prosecutors said it was a formality and they expected he would plead guilty later in the day.

Ellerman can be sentenced to up to two years in prison and fined $250,000. Ellerman could also lose his license to practice law.


PAERSON PRIMED:Anja Paerson wants to become the first woman to win four golds at the world championships. Marlies Schild and a slight cold may get in the way. Paerson swept the first three races at these world championships with victories in the super-G, downhill and combined. Her run was interrupted when she fell in the giant slalom Tuesday and later said she felt sick. Her focus now is on today's slalom. The top American slalom skier is Resi Stiegler, who won a Europa Cup slalom before traveling to the world championships.


KNIGHT REPRIMANDED: Texas Tech coach Bob Knight was reprimanded by the Big 12 Conference for comments about officiating in a double-overtime loss at Oklahoma State. After Saturday's 93-91 defeat, Knight said a call on a charge was "horrendous" and "maybe as bad a call as I've ever seen." Knight's statement violated the Big 12's principle and standards of sportsmanship, the conference said.

FULL RECOVERY LIKELY: An Illinois basketball player injured in a traffic accident earlier this week is expected to make a full recovery. Freshman center Brian Carlwell, 19, suffered a severe concussion Monday night when a car driven by teammate Jamar Smith struck a tree in heavy snow. Carlwell remained at an Urbana hospital Thursday in fair condition, according to university officials.