■ SoccerPlayer gets 30-year ban
An amateur soccer player has received a 30-year ban for headbutting a referee. The suspension was imposed by the County Antrim Football Association on Friday in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 32-year-old Victor Sproule, who attacked referee Jim Edwards after he suspended a game in south Belfast. Edwards called off the match after fighting broke out between two teams in the Boys' Brigade veterans' league. He was later confronted by Sproule, who headbutted him in the changing room. Northern Ireland Referees' Association secretary Basil Marshall praised the tough punishment. "It's setting an excellent example that senior football should now follow," he said. "When [players] overstep the mark, they should be punished hard. There's young kids at these games who see referees being pushed and the player gets away with a six-game ban. It isn't setting an example."
NFL plans Tokyo game
The National Football League will return to play an exhibition game in Tokyo for the 12th time in August, when the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts face off to begin the American gridiron preseason. The Aug. 6 game will be the first in Tokyo since 2003, when Tampa Bay beat the New York Jets 30-14. The 12th American Bowl in the Japanese capital is the most any city outside the US has staged an NFL game. NFL began staging games outside the US in 1986 to widen its audience. Since then, 39 games have been played in 12 cities outside the US.
Law looks for Mayweather
Police sought two-time world boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr., who failed to appear at a trial in which he is accused of kicking a bouncer at a bar. An arrest warrant was issued for the 27-year-old boxer, who was to go on trial in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday on a misdemeanor assault and battery charge. If convicted, Mayweather could be sentenced to up to 93 days in jail. Mayweather (31-0, 21 knockouts) is scheduled to fight Jan. 22 in Miami against Henry Bruseles (21-2-1, 14 knockouts) of Puerto Rico in a superlightweight elimination bout. William Morris, a part-time bouncer at The Radio Tavern, told police he was knocked to the floor of the bar on Dec. 18, 2003, when a man other than Mayweather broke a bottle over his head. While he was down, Mayweather kicked him, Morris said.
Knauss faces doping charge
Veteran Austrian skier Hans Knauss said he tested positive for the steroid nandrolone after a World Cup race last month. The Austrian Ski Federation said it was informed of the positive case on Wednesday, stemming from Knauss' fourth-place finish in a downhill in Lake Louise, Canada on Nov. 27. "You know me and I would never have done anything like that on purpose," Knauss said on Friday. After being informed of the positive test by the International Ski Federation (FIS) on Wednesday, the Austrian team immediately flew Knauss to Vienna for a test of their own that came up negative, said Austrian team media director Robert Brunner. Brunner said the team had requested a B test by FIS that would likely be completed within 10 days. Knauss finished sixth in a super-G race at Val Gardena on Friday, an event which marked the first time that FIS tested skiers with blood tests in addition to the usual urine exam.