Milan want Ronaldo
AC Milan representatives on Wednesday offered Real Madrid 22 million euros(US$28.1 million) for Brazilian striker Ronaldo, sports daily Marca said. The bid is said to be 3 million euros less than Madrid's asking price for the three-time FIFA Player of the Year. However, Madrid president Ramon Calderon told TV channel Cuatro he wanted to speak to Ronaldo before making a decision. "This won't be resolved tonight," Calderon said. "The first thing is find out what the player thinks. In principle, he would like to stay." Calderon indicated on Tuesday he would be interested in trading Ronaldo for Milan's attacking midfielder Kaka, whose arrival he promised in campaigning for Madrid's presidency in July.
Larsson escapes charges
Henrik Larsson will not face any criminal charges for hitting an opponent in the stomach in a Swedish cup quarterfinal last weekend. Prosecutor Tom Svensson said on Wednesday that he will not launch a preliminary investigation. But Larsson, who returned to Helsingborgs from Barcelona in the offseason, could be suspended when the Swedish Football Federation meets in Stockholm tomorrow. Larsson jabbed defender Jon Jonsson in the stomach in the first half against Elfsborg. Jonsson fell to the ground and did not return to the game. Larsson said he tried to shake off Jonsson and insisted he never clenched his fist. The referee did not see the incident.
Pakistan mourns Raja
Pakistan's cricket fraternity is mourning the loss of former allrounder Wasim Raja, who died at the age of 54 while playing in a seniors match in England. "This news has left me deeply shocked ... The game has lost a great servant, a true entertainer and someone who played with a flair that only a player with real talent can display," International Cricket Council (ICC) president Percy Sonn said in a statement Thursday. Raja, who played 57 tests and 54 one-day matches for Pakistan, reportedly suffered a heart attack during a match at High Wycombe in England, the ICC said in a separate statement released after Raja's death Wednesday. Raja, a left-handed batsman, scored 517 runs on the 1977 tour to the West Indies, including 117-run knock at Barbados. He also took eight wickets with his right-arm leg-break bowling. After making his test debut in 1973, Raja appeared in the first three World Cups in 1975, 1979 and 1983. He scored 2,821 test runs and took 51 wickets, along with 782 runs and 21 wickets in one-day internationals.
■ Rugby League
Sargent sacked over cocaine
Australian rugby league player Mitchell Sargent was sacked by the North Queensland Cowboys last night after testing positive to cocaine, the club said. The Cowboys said Sargent, a 27-year-old prop forward, tested positive for the drug earlier this month. "Mitchell Sargent had a promising career with the Cowboys until today," club chief executive Peter Parr told reporters.
Baxter sentenced for gun fun
Former NBA player Lonny Baxter was sentenced on Wednesday to two months in jail after pleading guilty to charges of carrying a gun a few blocks from the White House. Baxter had been scheduled to play this fall with Montepaschi Siena, a pro team in Italy. But that could be in jeopardy. Baxter, who played with the Charlotte Bobcats last season, has been in jail since his arrest last Wednesday, when uniformed Secret Service officers responded to reports of shots being fired from a white SUV. Officers found a gun and spent shell casings in the SUV that Baxter was driving. The 27-year-old player and his passenger, Francis Martin, 35, were charged with carrying a handgun without a license and other firearms charges. Prosecutors dropped the case against Martin on Wednesday.