Sports Briefs for July 30

Published 9:28 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NBA scandal: Corrupt ref gets 15-month sentence

NEW YORK – Disgraced ex-NBA official Tim Donaghy admitted that he’d brought shame on his profession Tuesday as a federal judge sentenced him to 15 months behind bars for a gambling scandal that still has the league on the defensive.

U.S. District Judge Carol Amon sentenced Donaghy to prison time plus three years of supervised release, saying he’d let the sport down by taking thousands of dollars from a professional gambler in exchange for inside tips on games — including ones he refereed.

“The NBA, the players and the fans relied on him to perform his job in an honest manner,” Amon said. Donaghy listened with his arms folded but showed no emotion.

Isinbayeva sets pole vault record

MONTE CARLO, Monaco – Russia’s Yelena Isinbayeva has broken her own world record in the women’s pole vault with a leap of 16 feet, 6 ? inches.

The record came at the Monaco Grand Prix on Tuesday on her third and final attempt at the height. Her previous record of 16-6 that was set in Rome on July 11.

Isinbayeva is the reigning Olympic and world champion.

Favre sends letter to NFL, seeks reinstatement

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Brett Favre’s decision to file for reinstatement will force the Green Bay Packers to do one of three things: release him, trade him, or allow him to report to camp.

If he reports, it potentially could cause a major distraction for a team that committed to moving on after he retired in March.

NFL spokesman Randall Liu confirmed that Favre sent his reinstatement paperwork to the NFL offices Tuesday. He now is awaiting approval from commissioner Roger Goodell, a step that is considered a formality, but wouldn’t be forthcoming until Wednesday at the earliest.

Grady Jackson brings big presence back to Atlanta

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – The Atlanta Falcons welcomed Grady Jackson back to their training table on Tuesday.

“He gobbles up space,” coach Mike Smith said of the massive nose tackle. “He’s going to gobble up at least two blocks on plays.”

Smith wasn’t trying to make a play on words about the 345-pound Jackson.

It’s just that size and stature are inevitable topics of conversation any time the 12th-year veteran is discussed.

Olympic panel ends ban, says Iraq can go to games

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – The International Olympic Committee agreed Tuesday to allow Iraq to participate in the Beijing games, reversing itself after Baghdad pledged to ensure the independence of its national Olympics panel.

The decision followed last-minute talks between Iraqi officials and the IOC ahead of Wednesday’s deadline to submit competitors’ names for track and field events. The Olympics begin Aug. 8.

Iraq is now expected to send two athletes to Beijing to compete in track and field. The decision came too late for five other hopefuls in archery, judo, rowing and weightlifting. The deadline to submit names for those sports expired last week.

Iraq’s National Olympic Committee was dissolved by the Baghdad government in May, prompting the IOC to suspend the Mideast country from the Olympics for political interference.