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Tubbs faces cocaine charge

Former heavyweight champion Tony Tubbs, scheduled for a comeback fight this week, has been charged with buying cocaine from an undercover Jacksonville police officer last spring. Tubbs is to meet Bruce Seldon in Atlantic City, N. J., on Wednesday night, in a fight to be televised on ESPN. Tubbs flew into Jacksonville on Friday from New Jersey, where he is in training, to face a warrant charging him with purchasing less than 28 grams of cocaine in May. Tubbs, 34, was booked into Duval County Jail and released on $3,500 bail. Purchasing cocaine is a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Assistant State Attorney Howard Maltz said Monday that although the buy took place in May, Tubbs was not charged earlier because police didn't want to interrupt the undercover operation. Tubbs was WBA heavyweight champion from April 1985 until January 1986.

NBA: Los Angeles signed Elmore Spencer _ one of their two first-round draft choices _ and veteran free agent forward Kiki Vandeweghe. Spencer, a 7-foot center from UNLV, signed a multiyear contract. No other terms were announced. The Clippers also drafted guard Randy Woods of LaSalle in the first round and signed him during the summer. The 6-8 Vandeweghe, 34, became a free agent after being waived by the New York Knicks in June. Former Pistons forward Rick Mahorn, cut by his Italian league team after a locker room outburst, wants to return to Detroit, his agent said. The Pistons said they might be interested, but signing Mahorn would force a roster cut to keep the team under the salary cap. The Bullets released 7-1 center William Bedford after he missed three of four scheduled practices because of what he said was a hamstring pull. The former Memphis State star was obtained in a trade last week from the Clippers.

ET CETERA: Syracuse senior center Conrad McRae can serve two games of his three-game suspension by sitting out exhibition games against Marathon Oil and Kazakhstan. He will miss only one regular-season contest _ against Cornell. The NCAA said McRae played too many summer league games. Angelina Ramsay went 8-0 in match play and jumped from 18th to first after four rounds of the LPBT Hammer Eastern Open in Baltimore. Ramsay has 5,910 total pins, and is averaging 218 over 26 games. Carol Gianotti is 36 pins behind. Track and field athletes will receive more prize money on the Grand Prix circuit next year. First-place money in each of the season's 18 meetings would be $30,000, triple the amount awarded this year. Those finishing second would receive $20,000 while third place would earn $14,000. IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch said women's soccer could be included in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. A judge in Madrid will begin hearing testimony today on what could be a precedent-setting suit over an attempt by several Spanish soccer clubs to bar most media outlets from covering games unless they pay fees ranging from $20,000 to $350,000.

_ Compiled by Anthony Epifano