Oscar Pistorius could compete at this year’s world championships after a South African judge eased his bail restrictions and ruled Thursday that the athlete, who faces a murder trial for the death of his girlfriend, can travel overseas to run. The international athletics body said that if Pistorius qualifies it has no objections to him running — which could eclipse the stir last year when he became the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics. Pistorius’s agent said after the ruling that the world championships in Moscow in August could be a possibility. The 26-year-old could face a life sentence if found guilty of murder for the Valentine’s Day shooting of Reeva Steenkamp.
Fine files for defamation suit vs. ESPN
Fired Syracuse assistant men’s basketball coach Bernie Fine filed the initial paperwork in a defamation lawsuit against ESPN for reporting two former ball boys’ claims that the coach sexually abused them. A yearlong federal investigation of Fine ended with no charges. Fine was Jim Boeheim’s assistant for 35 seasons. ESPN reported the allegations on Nov. 17, 2011. Fine was fired 10 days later when a third man made similar claims. The ‘‘summons with notice’’ was filed Nov. 15, 2012, in state Supreme Court in Onondaga County (N.Y.) and sat unreported until Thursday, when the AP asked for a copy . . . North Carolina State junior guard Lorenzo Brown said he will enter the NBA draft. He averaged 12.4 points and 7.2 assists per game . . . Arkansas coach Mike Anderson said team scoring leader BJ Young is entering the draft . . . Iowa State men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg agreed to a new 10-year, $20 million deal . . . Bucknell men’s basketball coach Dave Paulsen was rewarded for taking the team to its second NCAA Tournament in three years with a five-year extension . . . Drake hired Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti as its men’s basketball coach . . . Southeastern Louisiana officials said an internal investigation revealed that 137 athletes who were academically ineligible competed for the Lions from 2005 to 2010. The university said it will self-impose penalties.
Pacers’ Granger to miss rest of season
The Pacers said Danny Granger will have left knee surgery and miss the rest of the season. Granger’s injury-plagued season will be cut short after just five games . . . Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire said his recovery from right knee surgery is going ‘‘a little bit ahead of schedule,’’ though he isn’t sure if he can return in time for the playoffs . . . Three championship rings belonging to former Lakers forward A.C. Green were stolen from his home in Southern California.
Sharapova gets into Key Biscayne final
Four-time runner-up Maria Sharapova advanced to another Key Biscayne final by beating Jelena Jankovic, 6-2, 6-1, at the Sony Open. With a victory Saturday, the No. 3-seeded Sharapova would plug one of the few holes in her résumé. Sharapova’s opponent will be five-time champion Serena Williams, who beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-0, 6-3. Andy Murray, the 2009 champion and runner-up last year, advanced to the semifinals by beating Marin Cilic, 6-4, 6-3. He will face Richard Gasquet, who beat Tomas Berdych, 6-3, 6-3. The other semifinal will match David Ferrer against Tommy Haas.
Martin will step in for ailing Hamlin
Mark Martin will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing while Denny Hamlin recovers from a fractured vertebra in his lower back. Martin’s first start in the No. 11 Toyota will be next week at Martinsville Speedway, where he wasn’t scheduled to race. Brian Vickers had already been assigned Martin’s car for Michael Waltrip Racing. Hamlin is expected to miss at least five races . . . Boxer Robert Guerrero was arrested at New York’s Kennedy Airport after police say he tried to bring a gun on a plane. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Guerrero was arrested when he presented a locked gun box to a ticket agent during check-in. The gun was not legal to carry in New York. The 30-year-old former featherweight champion is the current WBC welterweight champion and is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 4 in Las Vegas . . . Back with the Los Angeles Galaxy after a sabbatical of nearly four months, Landon Donovan, the American career scoring leader, said he hopes to regain his place on the national team . . . The New York Red Bulls acquired former Harvard forward Andre Akpan from the Colorado Rapids on for a conditional pick in the 2015 draft . . . Soraya Jimenez, the weightlifter who won gold in 2000 to become Mexico’s first female Olympic champion, died of a heart attack at 35.