All change for Wie
Michelle Wie has a new agent, the second significant change in the golf prodigy's camp in the last 10 weeks following the dismissal of her caddie. Ross Berlin, whom the William Morris Agency hired specifically to handle Wie, has taken a management position with the US PGA Tour. He will be replaced by Greg Nared, a manager from US athletic apparrel maker Nike who spent nearly three years recruiting Wie to the company. Nike signed her to a five-year deal when she turned pro last year at age 16, and Wie signed other multiyear deals with Sony and Omega. Her earnings -- on the course, endorsements and appearance fees -- in her first year were expected to approach US$20 million. Berlin spent his summer traveling the globe with the Hawaiian teen, and had been seen at US PGA Tour headquarters in recent weeks. Wie finished 17th in the 20-player Samsung Championship on Sunday, putting a dour end to her first year as a pro.
■ Olympic Games
Pan-Korean team unlikely
IOC president Jacques Rogge says North Korea's nuclear test last week has threatened the prospects of North and South Korea forming a unified team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "I had meetings with the national Olympic committees of North and South Korea a short while ago and we were making progress," Rogge told a news conference in Tokyo yesterday. "But the nuclear test has changed everything and we are waiting for the resolution of this situation." Although Rogge said he is still in contact with the Olympic committees of both North and South Korea and that the IOC remains committed to the two nations forming a unified team. After meetings last month mediated by Rogge, the two countries' top Olympic officials remained hopeful that all remaining issues on forming a unified team for Beijing could quickly be addressed. The two countries failed in recent talks to reach a breakthrough.
Armstrong pans book
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong assailed a new book going on sale in France yesterday as "another baseless attack." The book by Pierre Ballester and David Walsh, who wrote L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong in 2004, is based on testimony given in a legal dispute between Armstrong and Dallas-based SCA Promotions that had a bonus contract with the cyclist. The new book, LA Official evokes the "strategies put in place by the Armstrong `clan' to preserve intact `the legend,'" the French daily Le Monde reported on Wednesday. "This latest attack will be no different than the first -- a sensationalized attempt to cash in on my name and sully my reputation by people who have demonstrated a consistent failure to adhere to the most basic journalistic standards or ethics," Armstrong said.