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U.S. MEN UNABLE TO HOLD LEADS, TIE MEXICO

Soccer

Jozy Altidore made his first start for the U.S. national team and scored a go-ahead goal late in the first half, but Jonny Magallon's second goal of the game gave Mexico a 2-2 tie in an exhibition Wednesday night.

Oguchi Onyewu also scored for the Americans, who twice blew leads but extended their home unbeaten streak against Mexico to 10 (8-0-2).

The match drew 70,103, most of them Mexican fans clad in green.

In other World Cup qualifying, Barbados and Dominica played to a 1-1 tie in the first leg, Australia beat Qatar 3-0, Japan over Thailand 4-1 and South Korea over Turkmenistan 3-0. Reigning Asian champ Iraq tied with China 1-1.

Olympics

Bribary scandal nets life

Du Shicheng, the former Communist Party boss of Olympic host city Qingdao, was sentenced to life in prison for accepting $870,000 in bribes from 2000 to January 2006, the state media Xinhua News Agency reported. Qingdao has spent enormous funds to relocate a former shipyard in order to host sailing events, creating the opportunity for officials to collect bribes and kickbacks from developers.

GYMNASTICS

Hamm begins comeback

Paul Hamm, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, will compete in his first full meet since his Athens Games scoring controversy, starting today at the Winter Cup Challenge in Las Vegas, a preliminary event for the U.S. men's team in the buildup to the Olympics. The Olympic trials are in June.

"I'm starting to feel comfortable with the routines I'm doing. I feel like a gymnast again," said Hamm, 25, who defended his medal at the Court of Arbitration for Sports, then took a break to get his accounting degree.

ET CETERA

Greyhounds: McAllister Kennels became the first operation in Derby Lane's 83-year history to win 400 races in a meet when Grade C sprinter Kiowa Molli Boo ($7.20) won the ninth race at the St. Petersburg track.

BOXING:Shane Mosley's former strength and conditioning coach, Derryl Hudson, filed a defamation suit over statements the boxer made that the coach gave him steroids without his knowledge.

Tennis:Elena Dementieva reached the quarterfinals of the Open Gaz de France in Paris, beating Petra Kvitova.

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