Brezec out for two weeks
Charlotte center Primoz Brezec is expected to miss the first two weeks of the NBA season as he recovers from exhaustion and dehydration, the Bobcats said on Wednesday. Brezec, 27, spent most of his offseason helping the Slovenian national team prepare for the world championships. Due to the lack of rest, he missed a portion of training camp and sat out of three of the Bobcats' eight preseason games. Brezec appeared in 79 games with Charlotte last season, averaging 12.4 points and 5.6 rebounds. The Bobcats can slide Emeka Okafor from power forward to center or start Melvin Ely or Jake Voskuhl in the middle.
Mota gets 50-game ban
Free agent reliever Guillermo Mota, who ended the season with the New York Mets, was suspended for 50 games on Wednesday for violating MLB drug policy. In keeping with the league's policy, the nature of Mota's violation was not revealed when his punishment was announced by the MLB commissioner's office. "I have no one to blame but myself," Mota said in a statement. "I take full responsibility for my actions and accept MLB's suspension." Mota, who came to New York in August in a trade with Cleveland, was an effective set-up man for the Mets, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.00 ERA in 18 innings pitched over 18 games.
■ Beach Soccer
Brazil want crown back
Brazil is eager to reclaim the title of champion when the second FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup gets under way today. Brazil was a nine-time champion under Beach Soccer Worldwide's reign, but France won the inaugural title when FIFA took over last year. Brazil was upset by Portugal in the semifinals and failed to win the crown for only the second time since it was first contested in 1995. France and Brazil remain the teams to beat this year on Copacabana Beach, even though they won't come with some of their top players. This year's tournament will have 16 teams.
Simmons dies aged 111
Silas Simmons, a pitcher-outfielder who played in the US Negro leagues and was said to be the oldest living professional baseball player, died two weeks after his 111th birthday. He died on Sunday in a nursing home, Zion Hill Mortuary said on Wednesday. Simmons, a left-hander, played for several teams from 1912-29, including the New York Lincoln Giants of the Eastern Colored League, the Cuban Stars and the Blue Ribbons of Germantown, who later became the Homestead Grays. Simmons was born in Middleton, Delaware, in 1895, the same year as Babe Ruth, and honored by the Center for Negro League Baseball Research on his birthday on Oct. 14. A Tampa Bay Devil Rays fan, Simmons was presented with a No. 111 jersey. Researchers this year identified him as the oldest living man to have played professionally.
Huge bid for TV rights
Madrid's regional government and a local bank have bid 600 million euros (US$765.7 million) to broadcast Real Madrid's games, the ABC newspaper reported on Wednesday. The team has been offered 120 million euros for each of the five seasons from 2009 to 2013 by free-to-air network Telemadrid -- which is controlled by the regional government -- and bank Caja Madrid. Sogecable, which forms part of media giant Prisa, currently pays 55 million euros a season for Real Madrid's matches, which are shown via digital platform Digital Plus. This deal runs until 2008, although Sogecable has the option to extend it for a further year by paying 60 million euros.