ELWAY WILL RETURN: John Elway, famous for his late-game comebacks, is making a comeback of his own. Elway will return for a 16th season with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos.

KOA sports talk show hosts Dave Logan and Scott Hastings said Sunday they confirmed the celebrated quarterback will play for one more year. They said Elway will announce the decision at a Tuesday news conference.

Broncos spokesman Jim Saccomano said Sunday night he could not confirm the station's report and that he had not been asked to schedule a news conference.

But Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said there was a press conference scheduled and told The Denver Post, "It's really John's press conference. I want to let him say how he made the decision and why."

Elway would not confirm the report but told the Rocky Mountain News he would elaborate further at Tuesday's news conference.

Hastings said Elway told the broadcasters of his plans at a party Saturday night following a celebrity golf tournament in Denver. The pair decided to go public with the revelation Sunday morning, Hastings said.

BENDER AUTOPSY REVEALS LITTLE: An autopsy of defensive tackle Leon Bender failed to explain why the Oakland Raiders' second-round draft choice died suddenly in Marietta, Ga.

Bender, 22, of Washington State, was found dead Saturday in the bathroom of his agent's home.

The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Bender, chosen 31st overall in the NFL draft, was in Atlanta for two weeks, working out with his agent, Terry Bolar, and a few other players.


LEMIEUX WON'T RETURN: Mario Lemieux says there is no chance he'll return to the rink.

Lemieux is threatening to sue Pittsburgh Penguins co-owner Roger Marino for deferred salary still owed him. He said he has no hard feelings, but he won't play for any other team.

At least two Canadian newspapers suggested last week that any lawsuit would be a ruse to free him from his ties to the Penguins, allowing him to sign a rich contract elsewhere.

Lemieux laughed off the published reports that he might end his one-year retirement.

"Nope, no chance," Lemieux said while attending the Pittsburgh Senior Classic. "I played for one team my entire career. That's what I wanted.

"Things are good now (in retirement). It's great. I love it. It's a different life, but I like it."

The Penguins still owe Lemieux about $24 million in deferred compensation under the $42 million contract he signed in 1992. The team reportedly paid him about $3 million this season but is believed to be overdue on a $5 million installment.

"I just want what's owed to me," Lemieux said.


WOMEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: At Bremen, Germany, Lisa Leslie had 21 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks Sunday as the United States remained undefeated in the Women's World Championships with a 79-68 victory over Spain.

The victory sets up a Group E championship game against Russia (5-0), which routed Japan (2-3) 103-76 as Elena Baranova of WNBA Utah had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Lithuania (2-3) defeated China (1-4) 72-70.

In Group F action, Australia (5-0) defeated Slovakia (2-3) 82-57, Brazil (5-0) beat Cuba (3-2) 88-79, and Germany (2-3) topped Hungary (1-4) 79-69.


NCAA TITLE: Stanford's Bob Bryan wrapped up the triple crown of NCAA men's tennis Sunday in Athens, Ga., capturing the singles championship with a straight-set victory over teammate Paul Goldstein before joining twin-brother Mike to win the doubles title.

Bryan was part of Stanford's fourth straight team national championship, only the second player to win all three titles in the same year since the current format was instituted in 1977.

Auto racing

MBNA PLATINUM 400: Dale Jarrett, who won when Jeff Gordon was forced to stop for gas Sunday in Dover, Del., ended his career-long drought at Dover Downs by taking the MBNA Platinum 400.

Jarrett led only the final eight of 400 laps. Gordon, who protected his points lead, led for 375 laps.

MILLER LITE 200: Jimmy Vasser outlasted Brazil's Helio Castro-Neves in a fuel economy run Sunday in West Allis, Wis., winning the Miller Lite 200.

Alex Zanardi extended his lead over Greg Moore in the season points to eight. Vasser is third, 20 points behind after seven of 19 events.


MILLER TOYOTA 3RD: Miller Toyota (23-4) finished third Sunday in the Travelers Invitational by dumping Lincoln's Quall-Graphics 7-0 in five innings and coming back in their second game to edge the Sioux Falls, S.D., Chiefs, 1-0.

Ranked No. 3 in the world by the International Softball Congress, the Utah team will face much tougher competition in next weekend's tournament in Kimberly, Wis., which will feature six of the top eight rated teams in the world.