Dismissed by prosecutors in Denver, a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge against Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony. On Oct. 15 a bag containing less than an ounce of the drug was found in Anthony's backpack as he waited to board a plane for a preseason game. Anthony said the pot belonged to a friend, James Cunningham, and after Cunningham signed an affidavit saying the drugs were, in fact, his, prosecutors cleared Anthony--who had passed four random drug tests last season as well as his tests during the Summer Olympics. The charge didn't carry jail time, but Anthony's image could have taken a substantial hit. "The case has upset Carmelo a great deal because he does not want his fans, especially the kids, to get the wrong impression of him," said his lawyer, Daniel Recht.
Distributed with little fanfare in a basement conference room of the St. Pete Times Forum, the Tampa Bay Lightning's Stanley Cup rings. During the NHL lockout teams are prohibited from having contact with players, but the Lightning received permission from the league to have players pick up their baubles (each contains 138 diamonds, one for each of Tampa Bay's 106 points during the regular season and two for each of its 16 postseason victories) at the Forum. Only 15 players showed up--league MVP Martin St. Louis and star center Vincent Lecavalier, who are playing in Europe, were among the missing--and afterward the group had a low-key lunch at a hotel across the street. "This should have been at the Forum, in front of 22,000 people," center Tim Taylor said. "I personally feel the NHL has taken some of that away from us."
Charged with obstruction of justice for faking a motorcycle accident to avoid drug tests on the eve of the Athens Olympics, Greek sprinters Konstantinos Kenteris and Katerina Thanou. On Aug. 12 Kenteris, the Olympic 200-meter gold medalist in 2000, and Thanou, who won silver in the 100 meters in Sydney, missed a doping test because, they said, their motorcycle skidded off a slippery road on the way to the Olympic Village. Athenian prosecutors now say the accident never happened. The runners were slapped with misdemeanor obstruction charges; meanwhile, their coach, Christos Tzekos, was charged with importing and supplying banned substances. Seven doctors and five witnesses were also charged with perjury and falsifying medical reports. Kenteris, 31, and Thanou, 29, are unlikely to face jail time if convicted, but this week the International Association of Athletic Federations will begin looking into charges that they also dodged drug tests in Chicago and Tel Aviv this past summer.
Dropped as an endorser by Titleist, British golfer Paul Casey, 27, who was quoted in The Sunday Times of London as saying he "hates" Americans. Casey--who attended Arizona State, has an American girlfriend and will play full time in the U.S. next year--later said he was trying to convey how intense international competitions can be. "Americans do have a tendency to wind people up," he said. "When they are chanting, 'U-S-A,' and there are lots of them, it just makes you want to beat them even more. That's the point I wanted to get across. But I don't hate Americans." Nonetheless, Titleist, which supplies him with clubs and balls, won't renew his contract when it expires at the end of the year.
Banned in Great Britain, the ancient sport of fox hunting. After years of debate between animal-rights activists and devotees of the blood sport, the House of Commons forced the ban into law over the objection of Prime Minister Tony Blair. Hunting supporters say the ban will cripple Britain's hound-breeding industry and leave the country overrun with foxes.
STEPHEN HIRD/REUTERS (FOX HUNTING)
INTERGOLD/TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (RING)
GARRETT W. ELLWOOD/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (ANTHONY)