Gary Payton suspended
Miami Heat guard Gary Payton was suspended for one game without pay on Monday for talking back to the NBA official who ejected him during a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Payton will serve the suspension on Monday when Miami hosts the Charlotte Bobcats. On Saturday, Payton was ejected by official Mark Davis for arguing a call. Before leaving the floor, Payton leaned in close and said something to Davis. The Heat won the game 117-98. The 16-year veteran is averaging 5.6 points and 2.9 assists this season, both career lows.
Costa to captain Brazil
Former player Francisco Costa was named as captain of Brazil's Davis Cup team on Monday. Costa, whose highest ATP rank was No. 140 in 2000, replaced Fernando Meligeni, the Brazilian Tennis Confederation said. Meligeni resigned in December after complaining that the confederation gave low priority to the Davis Cup. The 33-year-old Costa, who quit playing professionally in 2005, had one Davis Cup appearance. "We'll always work to have Brazil in the Davis Cup's World Group, but we also need to think about revamping the team," Costa said.
Dominican Republic wins
Julian Tavarez pitched three-hit ball into the sixth inning and the unbeaten Dominican Republic eliminated defending champion Venezuela from title contention in the Caribbean Series with a 7-1 win Monday. It was the second time in four days that the Dominican Republic's Cibao Eagles (4-0) defeated Venezuela's Aragua Tigers (1-3), including a 4-3 victory in 18 innings on Friday. In the late game on Monday, Armando Rios hit a two-out, two-run single in the 10th inning to send Puerto Rico to a 4-2 victory over winless Mexico. With two days of competition remaining, Puerto Rico's Carolina Giants (3-1) are the only team still capable of beating out the Dominican Republic for the crown.
Dead kicker was drunk
University of Southern California kicker Mario Danelo was drunk when he plunged over a cliff to his death, but the coroner's office on Monday was unable to say why he fell. A toxicological report accompanying Danelo's autopsy report said he had a 0.23 blood-alcohol level, nearly three times the legal limit in California. The autopsy report said the cause of death was multiple traumatic injuries, but "because of the unanswered questions, we are stating the manner of death as undetermined," Deputy Medical Examiner Jeffrey Gutstadt of the Los Angeles County Coroner's office wrote in the report.
Millions watch Super Bowl
The NFL Super Bowl game between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears was watched by 93.2 million people in the US on Sunday, the third-largest television audience in US history. It was the second-most watched Super Bowl, trailing the 1996 championship game, which had 94.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research on Monday. The only other program that drew a bigger TV audience was the 1983 series finale of the Korean War-based situation comedy MASH, which was watched by nearly 106 million people -- 77 percent of the people who watched TV that night. Indianapolis won the game 29-17, which was broadcast on the CBS television network.
Coach cagey on future
With a third Asean championship title in the bag, Singapore's soccer chiefs are sure of one thing -- their heart belongs to Raddy. Inspirational coach Raddy Avramovich led his charges to a dramatic two-legged victory over Thailand at the weekend for Singapore's third regional title and the city state's soccer officials are desperate to hang on to their man. Avramovich, though, has been cagey about his plans ever since Sunday's second-leg clincher in Bangkok. "Two years is a long time and you never know," was the 57-year-old's enigmatic reply to reporters' questions on whether he would be at the helm in 2009 when Singapore defend their crown.
Hamburg goals too small
Hamburg SV have scored fewer goals than any Bundesliga club this season and the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper has discovered one possible cause -- the goals in their home stadium could be too small. The newspaper reported that the goals in the Hamburg Arena stand 2.39m high, with the crossbar 5cm lower than the prescribed 2.44m. "Obviously we're going to measure that again," HSV spokesman Joern Wolf told Germany's SID sports news agency. "If those numbers reported are correct, we will make sure we have a new goal in place that conforms with the rules by the next match against Borussia Dortmund. It's a good thing no one hit the crossbar last week in the Energie Cottbus match."
Olympians lose to Chelsea
China's 2008 Olympic team lost their first match against a Chelsea XI 1-0 on Monday while officials moved to quell complaints about the pitch at the English champions' training center. Chinese media reported complaints from the under-21 side about the state of the facilities at the London club's Cobham centre, where they are training for two weeks. "The pitch isn't as good as we imagined," Zhou Haibin, a midfielder with Chinese champions Shandong Luneng, told Titan sports newspaper.
Aggressive ball boy banned
A ball boy was banned on Monday for hitting a goalkeeper with an iron bar during a regional match at the weekend. The Paulista (Sao Paulo state) soccer federation said on its Web site that Carlos Marcio dos Reis had been suspended for 30 days over the incident during the second division match between Comercial and Botafogo-Riberao Preto. Comercial's Palma Travassos stadium was also closed until further notice and the federation will in future select the ball boys for the team's home matches. TV pictures showed the boy hiding the ball behind an advertising board instead of handing it to Botafogo goalkeeper Marcao. When Marcao tried to fetch the ball, the two argued and the boy hit the goalkeeper several times with an iron bar.
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
’SO CONSISTENT’: The victory gave the world No. 1 and world No. 2 a 21-1 win-loss record and their fourth title of the season after successes in Brisbane, Dubai and Doha Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Sunday cruised to their fourth women’s doubles title of the season at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome in their first tournament back since the suspension of the WTA Tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The top seeds took just 63 minutes to complete a comprehensive 6-2, 6-2 victory over unseeded German-Romanian duo Anna-Lena Friedsam and Raluca Olaru at the Foro Italico. It was the Taiwanese-Czech pairing’s first outing since they won the Qatar Open in February. “After five months, you don’t know what to expect,” Strycova told the WTA Web site.
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first