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Basketball: Owners set out to remove Sterling

NBA owners took their first concrete step Thursday towards booting Donald Sterling from their ranks after the disgraced real estate tycoon's racist remarks.

NEW YORK: NBA owners took their first concrete step Thursday towards booting Donald Sterling from their ranks after the disgraced real estate tycoon's racist remarks.

The league's advisory/finance committee held a meeting about the 80-year-old Los Angeles Clippers' owner to discuss NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's recommendation that he be forced to sell his team.

On Tuesday, Silver banned Sterling for life from all league activities and fined him $2.5 million over racially charged comments he made to his girlfriend that caused a furore within basketball and beyond after they were aired at the weekend.

"This afternoon the Advisory/Finance Committee met via conference call to discuss the process for termination of Donald T Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers," NBA executive vice president Mike Bass said in a brief statement.

"The committee unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible and will reconvene next week."

A move to force Sterling to sell would require the approval of three-quarters of the other 29 NBA owners, and Silver said Tuesday he was confident of gaining the needed votes.

A swarm of high-profile potential suitors has already surfaced, although Sterling could tie things up if he chooses to challenge any NBA action in court.

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