■ Soccer Rape claims investigated \n \nPolice said yesterday they were investigating allegations by a 17-year-old girl that she was gang raped by a group of Premiership soccer players in London over the weekend. The alleged assault was being investigated by the sex crimes unit of the Metropolitan Police Service. "We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service have received an allegation of rape from a 17-year-old female," a spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity. "At this stage it would be inappropriate to comment further." The top-selling tabloid newspaper The Sun said eight players were involved in the incident at a luxury West London hotel. The Sun said it could not identify the players for legal reasons. It said the group includes "at least one international and several other household names." \n \n■ Golf \nSorenstam wins Safeway \n \nAnnika Sorenstam had back-to-back eagles and shot a final-round 66 Sunday at the LPGA Safeway Classic to defend her title and win her fifth event of the year. Sorenstam finished at 15-under 201, edging Hall of Famer Beth Daniel by a stroke after starting the day in a three-way tie with Daniel and Cristie Kerr. "Obviously it feels wonderful," Sorenstam said. "I love coming down the stretch when it's exciting and hitting great shots when you need to. Winning never gets old." Sorenstam set the tone on her first hole of the day, landing under a tree on the left side of the fairway. She punched out low and landed within 20 feet of the pin, making the birdie. She gave back that stroke on the third hole with a three-putt bogey, then nearly made eagle on No. 5 before hitting back-to-back eagles on the par 4 No. 6 and the par 5 No. 7. \n \n■ Soccer \nBeckham injures foot \n \nA swollen instep has axed David Beckham from Real Madrid's Champions League game this week and placed him in doubt for England's Euro 2004 qualifier next month. Coach Carlos Queiroz dropped Beckham from the squad list to travel to Portugal for tomorrow's match against FC Porto because of the instep he hurt during the weekend match against Valencia. Beckham did not train with Madrid for a second day yesterday because of the injury. Madrid will decide today whether the team's ace striker Raul Gonzalez will also be dropped. Raul, who is nursing a hip injury sustained a week ago, missed the Valencia match. \n \n■ Baseball \nTigers sidestep record \n \nThe Detroit Tigers hugged each other on the field and enjoyed some beers in a raucous clubhouse. For once, a last-place team had something to celebrate. The Tigers avoided the 1962 New York Mets' modern-day record for losses, finishing their best six-game stretch of the season with a 9-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. "I'm glad it's over," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. On a team that was criticized and joked about all season, it seemed fitting that Mike Maroth was the winning pitcher. Maroth, the first pitcher since 1980 to lose at least 20 games, gave up two runs on eight hits and a walk to finish 9-21. "Believe it or not, I can look back on this year with a smile on my face because of how this season ended," said Maroth, who won three of his last four starts. Detroit (43-119) used a seven-run sixth inning to win for the fifth time in six games, allowing the expansion Mets (40-120) to keep the unwanted distinction of having the most losses since 1900.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker found himself in need of an assist to help the state fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He called on the New England Patriots. One of the team’s private airplanes on Thursday evening landed in Boston after returning from China carrying more than 1 million masks critical to healthcare providers fighting to control the spread of the coronavirus. Members of the Massachusetts National Guard met the airplane and offloaded the containers of masks onto waiting trucks for transport to warehouses for distribution. Baker secured the N95 masks from Chinese manufacturers, but had no way of getting them to the US. He
WAIT AND SEE: The estimated cost of postponement started at US$2 billion and has kept rising, but the IOC has yet to say whether it would help pay for the extra expenses Postponing the Tokyo Olympics to next year would make the event more costly for all parties, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) acknowledged on Thursday, although it offered few details on what the final bill might be. Four directors of the Olympic body held a conference call three days after Tokyo’s new dates were finalized, with the Games pushed back to July 23 to Aug. 8 next year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the new dates cleared up any uncertainty about the event’s future, there are still plenty of question marks as the committee begins to work with Tokyo organizers and the
MEDIA RUMORS? With no pay agreement secured and players’ representatives calling for more financial information ahead of talks, the sport had another week of bad press Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle could be sacked in a matter of days, media reported yesterday, as the embattled governing body struggles to deal with a financial crisis compounded by a shutdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Castle this week took a 50 percent pay cut and laid off 75 percent of Rugby Australia (RA) staff members, saying that the body would face losses of up to A$120 million (US$71.95 million) if no more rugby was played this year. With no pay agreement secured with the players and their representatives calling on RA to provide more financial information ahead of negotiations, the
Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are planning to play a charity golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday. CNBC, which cited an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said that the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The negotiations are still being finalized, but the match pitting 15-time major champion Woods and Manning against five-time major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, CNBC said. “Discussions