Italians probe Rossi's tax
Seven-time motorcycling world champion Valentino Rossi is being investigated for alleged tax evasion, authorities said. Italy's tax agency said on Wednesday it was investigating the 28-year-old Rossi for possible undeclared earnings of 60 million euros (US$82.8 million) from 2000 to 2004. Rossi, who has been a British resident since 2000, allegedly did not declare revenues from sponsorship or his team to either British or Italian authorities during that period, the agency said in a statement. Rossi said he respected the tax agency's work and that his advisers were "examining the question." He stressed that he had lived in London since 2000 but traveled seven months out of the year for work and also visited Italy to see family, friends and to vacation, the Apcom news agency reported. Italy's deputy economy minister, Vincenzo Visco, said he had made inquiries to determine if such a "fictitious" residency in Britain allowed Rossi to avoid paying taxes, the ANSA news agency reported. Such a loophole would "go beyond the norms of competition between states" of the EU, he said.
Malaysian bookie jailed
A Malaysian soccer bookmaker was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 1 million ringgit (US$286,000) for accepting bets on European matches, reports said yesterday. Ong Seh Sen was accused of running an illegal gambling operation on matches played in the English, Spanish and Italian soccer leagues, and became the first Malaysian bookie convicted under an anti-money laundering law, the New Straits Times said. The 37-year-old allegedly used a security equipment company as a front for Internet and telephone betting schemes, the report said.
Jamaica squad selected
Asafa Powell, the world 100m record holder, and Veronica Campbell, the 200m Olympic champion, will lead the Jamaican team at the athletics World Championships beginning later this month in Japan. Both are Jamaica's best hopes for gold in Osaka. Powell has this season's best time of 9.90 seconds, and Campbell ran 10.89 seconds in the 100m and 22.39 seconds in the 200m to win the Jamaican National Championship titles in June.
Marquez wins in the second
Former IBF junior middleweight champion Raul Marquez won his fifth consecutive bout, stopping Jay Pina in the second round on Wednesday night in Hollywood, Florida. Marquez overwhelmed Pina with a flurry of unanswered combinations near the ropes in the second round of the super middleweight bout. Pina was defenseless and unable to counter any of Marquez's shots when referee Frank Santore stopped the bout 1 minute, 2 seconds into the round.
Nowak to coach US team
Former Polish international Peter Nowak will coach the US under-23 national team that will attempt to qualify for next year's Olympics. The 43-year-old Nowak, an assistant manager with the senior US team since December, takes over from Bob Bradley, currently the head coach of the full team. "Qualifying for the Olympic Games is one of the major goals of our national team programs, and we believe Peter is the right man to lead our efforts," US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati said.