Bonds’ trainer pressured
Federal prosecutors are considering charging the wife and mother-in-law of Barry Bonds’ personal trainer in an effort to pressure Greg Anderson to testify against the slugger during his perjury trial, the New York Times reported. A lawyer representing Anderson’s wife, Nicole Gestas, and others familiar with the matter told the newspaper that prosecutors are considering charging her and her mother, Madeleine Gestas, with tax-related crimes. “There are violations that both Nicole and Madeleine are worried about,” Nicole Gestas’s attorney, Charles Smith of Redwood City, California, told the Times. “They are matters that I don’t believe would rise to the level they would prosecute under the current standards of the US Attorney’s office. But in this circumstance, perhaps they’ll ignore their own standards to prosecute Madeleine or her daughter to get what they want.” Anderson spent three months in prison after pleading guilty to steroids distribution as part of the investigation into a sports doping ring at the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, known as BALCO. Anderson also spent more than a year in prison after refusing to testify before a federal grand jury investigating Bonds for perjury.
Mugabe doles out cash
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, whose country faces runaway inflation, on Friday gave US$100,000 to champion swimmer Kirsty Coventry, who won gold and silver at the Beijing Olympics. “You have done well, daughter of Zimbabwe,” Mugabe said, presenting the cash to the US-based Coventry, who was accompanied by her mother to a ceremony in Harare where Mugabe welcomed the country’s Olympic team. Mugabe also handed out US$10,000 to the other Olympic finalists and others who were part of the team were given US$2,000. Mugabe said since Coventry was still at school, she would use some of the money for her upkeep in the US. In 2004, he gave Coventry US$50,000 and a diplomatic passport after the Athens games, where she won three medals — a gold, silver and bronze.
Latvala seizes lead in NZ
Finland’s Jari-Matti Latvala seized a nine-second lead after day two of the Rally of New Zealand yesterday as world championship rivals Sebastien Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen prepared for a final-day showdown. Latvala, a Ford teammate of Hirvonen, swept through the 32.36km final stage of the day — the 13th and longest stage of the 18-stage rally — to regain a lead he last held after stage one on Friday. Hirvonen had led the rally in Hamilton by 27.8 seconds from Loeb after day one and held that lead through four of yesterday’s six stages, but finished ninth on the final stage to drop 9.3 seconds behind Latvala. Loeb, who had gained the lead on the day’s fifth stage, finished 10th on stage 13, 26.5 seconds behind Latvala and 8.2 seconds behind Hirvonen, and will now start the final day in third place, 13.3 seconds from the leader.
Phil Hill dies aged 81
Phil Hill, who in 1961 became the first US driver to win the Formula One world title, has died in California aged 81, his former Ferrari team said on Friday. The Formula One Web site said the Miami-born driver had died in California on Thursday at the Salinas-Monterey hospital of complications from Parkinson’s disease. Hill won only three grands prix in his Formula One career, all with the Italian team, and only two in his championship season when he was driving the “shark nose” Ferrari 156.