Basketball: Police probe assault on Chester's physio

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The Independent Online
TEMPERS ARE still inflamed after Sunday's abandonment of the Budweiser League game between Chester Jets and Derby Storm, which was halted after 28 seconds following a players' brawl.

Chester police confirmed that they are investigating an alleged assault on the Jets' physiotherapist, Alison Troughtman, while the club's chairman demanded a lifetime ban on Derby's England international Yorick Williams.

A police spokesman said: "The physio was apparently assaulted and taken to hospital with a suspected broken jaw, but later released." An allegation of assault against her will be investigated, but no interviews have yet taken place.

The Basketball League and English Basketball Association are holding an inquiry to consider the worst outbreak of violence in the history of senior National League basketball in England, which began in 1972. The League have asked Derby for their video of the incident.

The Chester chairman, Joe Lofthouse, said: "A player gets a lifetime ban if he hits a referee. Is it any less serious if a player runs hits a physio?"

The incident began with a fight on court between Williams and Chester's Shawn Hartley. It restarted when Williams was told that he and team-mate Rico Alderson and Chester's Hartley and Prentice McGruder were being ejected from the game.

The ensuing brawl resulted in all the players being disqualified and the game was abandoned by the officials, Richard Stokes and John Mumford.

Stokes is again the official when Derby visit Thames Valley Tigers tomorrow night. The Derby coach, Bob Donewald, is suspended unless he appeals today. The association's disciplinary officer is also ruling on a charge against Donewald, after alleged incidents against Birmingham Bullets 10 days ago.