Sun, Feb 18, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Sports Briefs


■ Horse racing
Crooked jockeys suspended

Four jockeys were suspended for between one and three years on Friday after being found guilty of involvement in a betting scam. Robbie Fitzpatrick and Luke Fletcher received three-year suspensions, Fran Ferris two years and Robert Winston, the most successful and best known of the four, a 12-month disqualification by Britain's Horseracing Regulatory Authority. The charges related to 37 races between June 16, 2003 and Feb. 29, 2004 and included providing inside information for financial reward, aiding and abetting a corrupt practice and misleading investigators. All four denied the allegations. The charges related to 21 horses ridden by Winston, 11 ridden by Fletcher, four by Ferris and two by Fitzpatrick.

■ Soccer

Blues sign Belgian striker

English Premiership strugglers Manchester City boosted their ailing attack with the signing of veteran Belgian international striker Emile Mpenza until the end of the season on Friday. The 28-year-old, who has finished his contract with Qatari side al-Rayyan, still awaits international clearance before joining City, who are presently fifth from bottom of the Premiership, though 10 points clear of the relegation places. Mpenza, who has scored 17 goals in 52 internationals for his country and has mostly played abroad including two spells in the Bundesliga with Schalke 04 and Hamburg, has been on trial at City. Mpenza, twice a winner of the German Cup with Schalke 04 in 2001 and 2002, will be unavailable for today's difficult FA Cup fifth-round tie at Championship highflyers Preston.

■ Tennis

Police question FFT official

The head of the French Tennis Federation (FFT) is under official investigation for alleged abuse of office, it was reported by yesterday's edition of L'Equipe. Christian Bimes, 59 years old and head of the FFT since 1993, was held by police for two days earlier this week and subsequently released but is still under investigation. Suspicions were first raised in December 2004 when five employees of the FFT brought a complaint against Bimes for abusing his position. They chiefly accused him of using official cars for personal use, not paying back personal expenses, claiming for unjustified personal expenses (such as plane tickets, using the telephone for personal use and buying groceries) and that his wife had continued to work, after they had got married, for the company that supplied the hostesses for the French Open.

■ Collegiate sports

School drops Indian mascot

The University of Illinois said on Friday it would send its "Chief Illiniwek" to the graveyard of sports mascots, bowing to pressure from those who said the war-whooping symbol it used for more than 80 years offended American Indians. The action, part of a continuing debate in the US over sensitivity and political correctness, followed an edict from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The NCAA had said schools with hostile or abusive American Indian symbols may not host lucrative post-season championship play from next year, except for football as the NCAA does not oversee its post-season play. The university was also under pressure from some American Indians do away with the mascot. American Indian and ethnic symbols are still found as nicknames for school and professional teams at all levels. A school in Pekin, Illinois, once used but eventually dropped "Chinks" as its designation, a reference to the town's namesake Peking.

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