Big Brown's

cracked left front hoof will not be patched until Friday, the day before he races in the Belmont Stakes for a shot at Triple Crown history.

Hoof specialist

Ian McKinlay

planned to apply an acrylic and fiberglass patch yesterday, but he decided to wait a few days so the crack could heal naturally.

The horse is scheduled for a final workout on the 11/2-mile oval today.

"As far as his foot goes, I don't even think it's an issue," McKinlay said.

Hockey

Luc Bourdon

was remembered as a role model for local youngsters when more than 2,000 people gathered at Centre Rheal Cormier in Shippagan, New Brunswick, to bid farewell to the 21-year-old Vancouver Canucks rookie, who died Thursday when his motorcycle slammed into a tractor-trailer near his family's home in Shippagan. He had obtained a motorcycle license two weeks ago.

Soccer

Italy captain

Fabio Cannavaro

will miss the European Championship after suffering torn ligaments in his right ankle during the Azzurri's first training session in Austria.

U.S. defender

Jonathan Spector

will have surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right hip and will be sidelined for three to six months, causing him to miss the Beijing Olympics.

U.S. forward

Landon Donovan

will miss the Americans' exhibition game against Spain tomorrow night because of a tight groin, delaying his 100th international appearance.

Elsewhere: Sven-Goran Eriksson

left Manchester City after one season as coach. He is the top candidate to take over the Mexican national team. . . . Houston Dynamo defender

Eddie Robinson

was suspended for one game and fined $500 for retaliatory actions against FC Dallas midfielder

Andre Rocha

in a Major League Soccer game last week.

Olympics

Olympic great

Michael Johnson

said he was "shocked" by former teammate

Antonio Pettigrew's

doping admission and will return the gold medal the two of them helped the United States win in the 4x400-meter relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

"As difficult as it is, I will be returning it to the International Olympic Committee because I don't want it," Johnson wrote in a column in today's Daily Telegraph of London. "I feel cheated, betrayed and let down."

Olympic gymnastics champion

Boris Shaklin

of the Soviet Union, the only athlete to win four gold medals at the Rome Olympics, has died at 76.

The United States men's basketball team will complete its training for the Beijing Olympics with exhibition games in Shanghai, China, against European champion Russia and Australia on Aug. 3 and 5.

Golf

After four difficult days at the Memorial,

Davis Love III

made it through 36 holes to qualify for his 18th consecutive trip to the U.S. Open in Upper Arlington, Ohio.

Fred Couples

failed to qualify at the sectional qualifier at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.

Mark O'Meara

, who now competes on the 50-and-older Champions Tour, qualified in Lake Forest, Ill.

Noteworthy

The United States women's team finished in last place at the World Pentathlon Championships in Budapest, Hungary. The host nation won, with Britain second and Poland third.

Texas Tech's

Larry Hays

, one of four Division I baseball coaches with more than 1,500 wins, resigned. The 63-year-old was 1,509-860 at Tech.

The U.S. men's quadruple sculls and women's eight won gold medals Sunday at the 2008 Rowing World Cup in Lucerne, Switzerland. Overall, the U.S. team won six medals, including silver in the women's pair and women's quadruple sculls and bronze in the women's pair and men's four.

The women's eight, which includes

Susan Francia

of Abington, defeated Australia by 42-hundredths of a second.

Elsewhere:

Jim Brown,

the longest-tenured coach in Ohio State history, will step down a year from now after his 36th season as men's golf coach.