Wed, Nov 22, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Soccer
Guti, Carlos ink contracts

Midfielder Jose Maria "Guti" Gutierrez and defender Roberto Carlos have agreed to extend their contracts with Real Madrid. The 30-year-old Guti extended his contract from 2008 to 2010, while the 33-year-old Roberto Carlos added one season and will finish his contract in 2008, Madrid said on Monday. The Brazilian will have an option to sign for another season. The contracts were to be signed after yesterday's Champions League match against Lyon.

■ Soccer

Adu on trial with United

American teenager Freddy Adu began a two-week trial with English Premier League club Manchester United on Monday. The 17-year-old Adu took part in training with players from the club's youth academy. Man United's senior squad left Monday for Glasgow, Scotland, for its Champions League match against Celtic yesterday. As Adu does not have a British work permit, he is not able to play in a competitive match. Under FIFA transfer rules, Adu, who plays for MLS club D.C. United, is not allowed to transfer to a club outside the US until he turns 18 on June 2 next year. Chelsea has also expressed interest in possibly signing Adu one day.


■ Rugby Union

Pelous, Elissalde out

Captain Fabien Pelous and scrumhalf Jean-Baptiste Elissalde are out of France's rugby union international against Argentina on Saturday. Pelous has not played since breaking a rib in the 47-3 defeat against the All Blacks on Nov. 11. Raphael Ibanez, who led France in its 23-11 loss to New Zealand at the weekend, will remain captain, the French team said on Monday. Elissalde sustained a calf injury in the second game against New Zealand and will be replaced by Pierre Mignoni, the 17-cap scrumhalf with Clermont. Mignoni made his only international appearance this year in France's 62-14 romp over Romania in June.

■ Motorsport

Imola refurbishment begins

Refurbishment work at the Imola race track, venue of the San Marino Grand Prix, has started. The media box and paddock were razed with explosives on Sunday as part of a 10 million euro (US$12.8 million) overhaul of the deteriorating facilities at the 56-year-old track. Imola, which hosted its first Formula One Grand Prix in 1980, was dropped from next year's race calendar for the first time. It's hoping to get back on the calendar.

■ Olympics

Deripaska bets on Sochi

A company controlled by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska bought the Sochi airport on Monday at a government auction, hoping the city will win the right to stage the 2014 Winter Olympics. Trade and Economic Development Ministry official Igor Konkov said the investment was promising given Sochi's strong Olympic bid, according to RIA-Novosti. Deripaska's holding company, an affiliate of Basic Element, paid 5.5 billion rubles (US$206 million) for the airport.

■ College football
Game floods cell networks

Michigan wasn't the only loser in Saturday's football game against Ohio State: Cellphone users had difficulty making or receiving calls in the packed Ohio Stadium. A crowd of 105,708 inside the stadium and tens of thousands of fans surrounding it flooded cell suppliers during the game, stretching the capabilities of the networks, major providers said. Verizon, which brought in a portable call relayer or "cell on wheels," had a 60 percent increase in the traffic it typically handles in the area on non-game days, spokesman Don Carretta said on Monday. He was not aware of any customer complaints and the number of calls was not unusual for a game, concert or other large-scale public event, he said. "Any event where you have a large volume of people in a small area, you have problems," Carretta said. Cingular also anticipated the crush of calls and wheeled in a mobile cell site, said Chris Bondurant, executive director of network services.

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