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MLS gets victory in court

A federal appeals court upheld a jury's decision to reject claims by professional soccer players that Major League Soccer is an illegal monopoly designed to depress salaries.

The players filed a class-action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in 1997, accusing MLS of keeping salaries low to increase profits and conspiring with the U.S. Soccer Federation to eliminate competition for top players.

In December 2000, a jury agreed with owners that the market was not limited to Division I soccer in the United States and there was competition in Europe and Latin America and minor and indoor U.S. leagues.

MORE SOCCER: Claudio Reyna, with several injuries, was dropped from the U.S. roster for next week's exhibition at Germany. France, Argentina and Brazil are 1-2-3 in FIFA's monthly rankings. The United States is 13th.

GOLF: Seve Ballesteros criticized Sergio Garcia, saying he asked for appearance money to play in next month's Seve Trophy. Ballesteros is captaining Europe against Britain and Ireland.

COLLEGES: Mario Garza had two homers and six RBIs as host Florida beat Dartmouth 9-1. Jerrod Brown had four RBIs as host FSU beat Citadel 11-3. USF's softball team scored two in the fifth to defeat No. 14 Iowa 5-4. USF's men's tennis team defeated Murray State 7-0 at home. USF's women's tennis team lost 7-0 at home to Kansas.

FOOTBALL: The CFL fired commissioner Michael Lysko a year after hiring him following several high-profile disagreements with owners. David Braley, chairman of the board of governors, will be the interim commissioner.

SWIMMING: Aaron Peirsol, 18, set a world record by .72 seconds in the 200-meter backstroke in Minneapolis. He finished in 1:55.15.

AUTOS: Formula One teams will be limited to one engine for each car over a three-day Grand Prix weekend starting in 2004. Violators will start 10 places below where they qualified.

SNOWBOARDING: Daniel Biveson and Maria Kirchgasser-Pichler won the season's last World Cup parallel giant slaloms in Tandadalen, Sweden. Dejan Kosir and Isabelle Blanc won the overall titles.

RUNNING: Marathoner Zhanna Malkova was suspended for two years by the French Athletics Federation after failing a drug test. The ban is not recognized by the IAAF because a urine test was not preceded by a blood test. An appeal hearing is today.

HORSES: Two horses broke down in the first race at Aqueduct, and the rest of the nine-race program was canceled. In the 7-furlong race on a muddy track, Emily's Pleasure broke her left ankle and was euthanized. A few seconds earlier, East Coast Country injured her right front tendon. Disturbingthepeace beat Painted Avenue by a half-length in the feature race at Santa Anita.

GREYHOUNDS: Forbes Retainer and Cannoneer were among 16 that advanced to Saturday's third round of the Distance Classic.

MISCELLANEOUS: Venezuela will not attend the Olympic-style South American Games in Colombia in May because of safety concerns.

_ Compiled from Times wires.

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