Tue, Dec 30, 2003 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

PHOTO: AP

■ Soccer

Top ref to accept doctorate

Just call him Dr. Collina. Pierluigi Collina, widely considered the world's No. 1 soccer referee, will be awarded an honorary doctorate by England's University of Hull. The Italian will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Science degree at Hull city hall in July 2004, recognizing his contributions to the game. Collina, who officiated the 2002 World Cup final in Yokohama, Japan, is easily recognizable for his shaved head and piercing stare.

■ Rugby Union

Wilkinson injured

England star Jonny Wilkinson is expected to overcome a shoulder injury and be ready for the Six Nations rugby championship. The fly-half was helped off the field on Sunday after attempting a tackle for his club team Newcastle, his first match since kicking the winning drop goal in England's victory over Australia in the World Cup final five weeks ago. Wilkinson kicked three penalties before leaving the match Sunday, which Newcastle won 23-19 over Northampton. An X-ray afterward showed no broken bones. "It's a bit early to say at this stage how long he will be out, probably the next 48 hours will tell," Newcastle director of rugby Rob Andrew said. "I don't expect him to miss the Six Nations. He may well not play next week, but we're talking a few weeks probably rather than anything serious."

■ Baseball

Steinbrenner doing fine

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was released from the hospital on Sunday, one day after he fainted at a memorial service, and his doctor described his health as excellent. The 73-year-old Steinbrenner was picked up by family members, hospital spokeswoman Lyn Cassan said. "He wanted to go home," Cassan said. "He wasn't very happy sitting in a hospital bed." Dr. Andrew Boyer, Steinbrenner's personal physician, said in a statement that Steinbrenner recovered in a few minutes after collapsing during the church service for football great Otto Graham. "He's doing well ever since," the doctor said. "To be sure that it was nothing more than a fainting spell he has had a very extensive cardiac and neurological work-up. All the diagnostic studies were normal," he added. "He's feeling well and his general health is excellent."

■ Olympics

S Korean official quizzed

Prosecutors questioned International Olympic Committee Vice President Kim Un-yong yesterday over allegations that he collected illicit money from former South Korean Olympic officials and embezzled funds from taekwondo organizations. "I will explain everything to prosecutors," Kim told reporters before entering the Seoul District Prosecutors' Office. Kim, the world's taekwondo chief, has been plagued by scandals involving him and his family. He has denied any wrongdoing. Earlier this month, South Korean prosecutors raided Kim's house and offices, seizing a private safe and documents. The move was highly unusual because Kim was a national legislator.

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