Herschelle Gibbs banned
South Africa batsman Herschelle Gibbs was banned for two tests by the ICC on Monday after being found guilty of using a racial slur against Pakistan fans in the first Test. He was heard describing the fans as "a bunch of bloody animals" by a stump microphone on Sunday. The supporters had abused South African spinner Paul Harris while he was fielding near the boundary. Gibbs apologized and unsuccessfully asked match referee Chris Broad to downgrade the charge. "I took into account the mitigating circumstances that the players were provoked by unruly spectators," Broad said.
■ Formula One
BMW-Sauber unveil F1.07
BMW-Sauber's new Formula One car is the first step in a three-year plan that the team hopes will make it a world champion by 2009. "Victories on our own merit are not yet a realistic prospect for 2007. We are aiming for that in 2008," BMW Motorsports director Mario Theissen said. "In 2009 we want to be in contention for the world championship title." Theissen unveiled the new F1.07 yesterday, a race car he called "the first BMW-Sauber." The F1.07 will be carrying less weight and features a shorter, raised nose, a slimmed-down rear and a revised cooling system.
■ Rugby League
Brian Carney retires
Great Britain international winger Brian Carney announced yesterday he is retiring from rugby league, saying he no longer has the desire to play the game. Carney, 30, only arrived on Sunday and started training with his new club Gold Coast Titans on Monday. But the Irish winger told Titans officials that he no longer had the motivation to play and would not see out his two-year deal. Titans managing director Michael Searle said the news was a complete shock. Carney has told Searle and coach John Cartwright that he wants to spend more time with his family and return home to complete his university studies in commercial law. "I have made this decision with a heavy heart and it has been a difficult decision for me to make," Carney said.
Roma extend coach's tenure
AS Roma announced a contract extension late on Monday for coach Luciano Spalletti. "Details of the agreement between president Franco Sensi and the coach will be announced in a press conference tomorrow," Roma said in a statement. Spalletti is in his second season with Roma. Last season, the Giallorossi finished fifth and were bumped up to second when penalties were handed out in the Italian match-fixing scandal. Roma is in second place after the weekend's 19th-round matches.
PSG fire Guy Lacombe
Guy Lacombe was fired on Monday by Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and replaced by Paul Le Guen as coach. PSG lost to 10-man Valenciennes 2-1 at Parc des Princes on Saturday -- its fifth home defeat of the season -- and is 17th in the 20-team French league, two points above the relegation zone. "There is an emergency situation: we have to stay in the first division," Le Guen said at a news conference. "There is no miracle recipe or wave of a magic wand, but we'll try with something new." Le Guen signed a two-and-a-half year contract with PSG. He left Rangers on Jan. 4 because of his poor 16-8-7 record with the Scottish Premier League club after just seven months of a three-year contract.
Webber to sign with Pistons
Chris Webber will sign with the Detroit Pistons, returning to the area where he played in college and was tarnished in a supporters scandal. The five-time NBA All-Star was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers last week. He became an unrestricted free agent after clearing waivers yesterday, freeing him to sign a new deal. "Joining the Pistons will allow me the opportunity to play the game I love in my hometown of Detroit surrounded by my family," Webber said in a statement on Monday. The 76ers cut ties on Thursday with Webber by buying out the final one-and-a-half years of his contract.
Grizzlies deadline passes
The deadline passed on Monday for a potential ownership group led by two former NBA players to purchase control of the Memphis Grizzlies and Michael Heisley, the team's majority owner, said he's open to other offers. The failure of Brian Davis and Christian Laettner to meet the deadline was not a surprise. The group's offer seemed to be in trouble weeks ago. Heisley said in a press conference that he had not talked to Davis, the group's leader, but Heisley was already aware the deal would not be finalized in time. "We had conversations with them in the past week or so, and we understood they would not be able to meet the deadline," Heisley said.
Ali's image to sell snacks
Muhammad Ali left the boxing ring for the last time 26 years ago, before most of today's university students were born. These days, Ali is lending his name, image and reputation as the "Greatest Of All Time" to a snack food aimed at college students and young adults. It's the former heavyweight champion's first foray into marketing his image since selling most of the rights to his name and likeness for US$50 million last year. The snack food is produced in conjunction with Mars through a company called G.O.A.T., which stands for Greatest Of All Time. The snacks hit bookstore shelves at five university campuses on Wednesday, coinciding with Ali's 65th birthday.
`Alinghi' leads regatta
America's Cup champion owner Ernesto Bertarelli sailed Alinghi to second place and first-place finishes and took the lead in the Farr 40 class at this year's Key West Regatta on Monday. "As usual in this sport, the team that makes the fewest mistakes tends to win. Alinghi is awesome in that regard," said John Demourkas, skipper of second-place Farr 40 Groovederci. "Their tacks are crisp, their mark-roundings are sharp and that ultimately grinds you down," Demourkas said.
Willis re-signs with Marlins
Southpaw pitcher Dontrelle Willis, who helped make Florida a surprise playoff contender last year, signed a one-year Major League Baseball contract on Monday to remain with the Marlins. The deal, worth a reported US$6.45 million allows the Marlins, who spent only US$15 million on salaries last year, to avoid an arbitration fight that could cost them dearly. Willis, 25, won 22 games in 2005 but slid to 12-12 with a 3.87 earned-run average last season. He helped the youngest club in the major leagues fight for a playoff spot into the final weeks of the season before ending 78-84.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there