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Sports Shorts

September 1, 1994 GMT

TOMAKOMAI, Japan (AP) _ American Todd Hamilton defeated Tsuyoshi Yoneyama 2-up Thursday in the opening round of the Japan PGA Match Play Championship.

Hajime Meshiai, 1993 Japan PGA leading money winner, beat Kazuhiro Takami 3 and 1 and Tetsu Nishikawa defeted defending champion Yoshitaka Yamamoto 2 and 1.

The top 32 players in last year’s money rankings are competing for a first prize of $250,000 from a total purse of $800,000.


PARIS (AP) - United Parcel Service and John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Co. have joined the International Olympic Committee’s TOP III sponsorship program, the IOC announced Thursday.

Membership in TOP, or The Olympic Program, generally means a participation of some $40 million in contributions, goods and services to the IOC to help fund Olympic programs.

The addition of the two American firms enabled TOP III to reach its goal of 10 members and a commitment of some $350 million for the 1993-96 period from the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Games to the 1996 Atlanta Games.

That is more than twice the amount raised during TOP II, from 1989-92, said Richard Pound, an IOC member and chairman of the committee’s New Sources of Financing Commission.


ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) - European soccer’s governing body Thursday banned a Belarus player for a year for flunking a drug test.

Valentin Belkevich of Dynamo Minsk tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone after an UEFA Cup match against Malta last month.

Anabolic steroids are banned by the UEFA as performance enhancing substances.