Donald Sterling hands over control of Clippers to wife: reports

LOS ANGELES Fri May 23, 2014 11:48am EDT

May 3, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Shelly Sterling (Rochelle Sterling) attends game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles CLippers at Staples Center. Sterling is the wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (not in attendance). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3NOX0

May 3, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Shelly Sterling (Rochelle Sterling) attends game seven of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles CLippers at Staples Center. Sterling is the wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (not in attendance). Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3NOX0

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Donald Sterling, banned for life from the NBA for taped racist comments, has handed over control of the Los Angeles Clippers to his wife, according to media reports on Friday.

Celebrity website TMZ, citing unnamed sources, reported that Sterling transferred control of the team to his estranged wife, Shelly, and she is negotiating with the NBA to sell the Clippers on her terms. ABC News also reported the change of control, citing a source close to the team.

Reuters could not confirm the reports. An attorney for Shelly Sterling and representatives from the Clippers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Sterling was banned for life by league commissioner Adam Silver and threatened with the forced sale of the Clippers after an audio recording surfaced last month of a conversation in which he berated a female friend for publicly associating with black people.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis and Eric Kelsey; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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