Falcons sign Japanese star
The Atlanta Falcons on Thursday signed Noriaki Kinoshita, a native of Osaka, Japan, who played the last three years with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europa. Kinoshita ranked fourth in NFL Europa in kickoff returns with 532 yards and added 21 catches for 308 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, Kinoshita led the league in kickoff returns with 19 for 530 yards, an average of 27.9 yards per return. Kinoshita is the second player from Japan to sign with the Falcons. The first, tight end Nachi Abe, lasted 10 days in the 2000 preseason.
Materazzi to sue UK papers
Italy defender Marco Materazzi is taking legal action against three British newspapers over their reporting of the incident in last July's World Cup final when he clashed with Zinedine Zidane, the BBC reported on Thursday. Zidane responded to verbal provocation by Materazzi by headbutting him to the ground, earning a red card in his last game before retiring from soccer. Materazzi has decided to seek damages against the Sun, the Daily Mail and the Daily Star over claims about what he said to the Frenchman, said the Italian's lawyer Steven Heffer. "He is taking legal action to clear his name," Heffer was quoted as saying on the BBC's Web site. Materazzi received a two-match ban from FIFA over the incident. Zidane has never revealed exactly what he said to him, only that the insult related to his mother and sister.
`Uncivilized' face the boot
Beijing plans to start clearing beggars and other "uncivilized" elements from major city subway stations next week as it continues sprucing up for next year's Olympics, state media reported yesterday. Enforcement teams will begin patrolling four key lines on Monday to chase out the beggars, peddlers and performers who flock to subway stations during the summer to escape the city heat, the Beijing News said. "This behavior is disturbing normal order and impacting the passenger situation and subway environment," the paper quoted an unnammed official with the Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corporation as saying. Any found to have broken any laws or regulations will be turned over to authorities, it said. Other press reports said in March that Beijing planned to round up undesirables and ship them out of the city as part of Olympic clean-up efforts. It would expand holding centers for beggars, hawkers, operators of illegal taxis and other lawless elements, who would then be shipped back to their home provinces, in an operation set to begin sometime this year, the reports said.
England's Anderson fined
England fast bowler James Anderson has been fined 50 percent of his match fee for breaching the International Cricket Council's (ICC) code of conduct during Wednesday's one day international defeat by the West Indies. Anderson was found to have breached a clause relating to "inappropriate and deliberate physical contact between players in the course of play," the ICC said in a news release on Thursday. The England player twice nudged against batsman Runako Morton during his brief stay at the crease and, after the West Indian was dismissed, ran towards him to start a verbal confrontation. Match referee Mike Procter found Morton not guilty of a clause relating to offensive language or gestures.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
‘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