CYCLIST TO WEAR SWIMSUIT
Japanese Olympic cyclist Tomohiro Nagatsuka plans to wear Speedo’s record-breaking LZR Racer swimwear beneath his track racing suit in his quest for a medal at the Beijing Games. Knee-length LZR shorts helped him slash his personal 250m record by about 0.2 seconds to 17.8 seconds in training, Nagatsuka told reporters, local media reported yesterday. “I presume it is Speedo’s body-squeezing effect, not a reduction in air resistance, that helps,” the 29-year-old said. “In swimming, they speak highly of LZR’s effect to constrict the body’s surface area. I myself liked the way it supported muscles with a strong embrace,” Nagatsuka said.
DON KING LOSES LIBEL SUIT
Boxing promoter Don King lost a libel lawsuit he filed against Walt Disney Co and its all-sports television unit, ESPN, in which he sought US$2.5 billion in damages. King failed to show ESPN producers acted with malice or that statements from the 2004 broadcasts the promoter deemed defamatory — including one sports writer’s comment that King had threatened to kill him — were “subjectively incorrect,” a Florida state court judge ruled on Monday. “While ESPN could have perhaps done a more searching investigation and contacted additional sources,” Judge Robert Rosenberg wrote, “it was not reasonably required to continue its investigation until it found somebody who would defend the plaintiffs.” King sued the companies in 2005, claiming the installment of ESPN’s Sports Century series in which he was featured was “highly defamatory and reckless.” “The opinion speaks for itself,” defense attorney Jim Quinn of New York-based Weil Gotshal said in a phone interview on Wednesday. Disney, based in Burbank, California, and its subsidiary stood by the remarks made in the broadcast, Quinn said.
DENG INKS RICH BULLS DEAl
Luol Deng has reached agreement on terms of a new National Basketball Association contract with the Chicago Bulls that should make him among Britain’s richest athletes. The Bulls did not release details of Deng’s deal, but ESPN reported the contract was a six-year deal worth a guaranteed US$71 million and incentives that could boost the total package as high as US$80 million. The 23-year-old forward rejected a five-year deal worth US$57.5 million last October and told the Bulls he would not negotiate with them past Friday, when he is set to join the British national team for the European Championship. Deng was looking at playing next season for US$4.5 million and testing free agency next year, but Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf took personal charge of talks earlier this month in place of general manager John Paxson.
EX-CHAMP PARLOV DIES AT 59
Mate Parlov, an Olympic and world champion boxer from the former Yugoslavia, has died, sports officials said on Wednesday. He was 59. Parlov died late on Tuesday, five months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. The Croatian died in a hospital in his hometown of Pula. Parlov was regarded as one of the best sportsmen to come from the former Yugoslavia, which Croatia was part of until 1991. He won the light heavyweight gold medal at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and was also a two-time European amateur champion and the 1974 world champion. As a professional, he won the WBC light heavyweight title.