Work starts on Russian track
British driver David Coulthard planted an oak tree on Wednesday in a ceremony to start construction of Russia’s first Formula One-standard circuit. The Moscow Raceway is being built some 80km west of Moscow in the town of Volokolamsk. Designed by the German architect Hermann Tilke, the circuit is to be completed by 2010 at an estimated cost of US$215 million, Itar-Tass news agency reported. The 3.9km circuit is being built to Formula One standards, with Russia hoping then to be considered for the Formula One race calendar.
Police arrest Travis Henry
Former National Football League running back Travis Henry has been arrested following an alleged cocaine deal in Colorado, federal authorities said on Wednesday. Henry, 29, and another man were arrested on Tuesday following a “multi-kilogram cocaine transaction” that allegedly occurred in the Denver suburb of Centennial, Colorado, the Drug Enforcement Administration said. The suspects were being held pending the filing of federal drug charges in US District Court later on Wednesday in Denver. A Pro Bowl running back in 2002, Henry played seven years in the NFL with Buffalo, Tennessee and Denver. He played in 12 games with the Broncos last season, rushing for 691 yards and four touchdowns.
Clubs call for calm
German clubs Cologne and Borussia Moenchengladbach on Wednesday called for calm between their fans ahead of the teams’ league match tomorrow as tensions threaten to boil over. Tensions are still running high after the clubs’ last meeting six months ago. Some Moenchengladbach supporters are still smarting after a group of Cologne fans drove to their neighbor’s ground and stole their rivals’ match flags from the Borussia stadium days before their last meeting on April 7 in Moenchengladbach. The stolen Borussia flags were then waved by Cologne fans after the final whistle of a 1-1 draw before being torn apart in a highly provocative move that incensed Borussia’s hardcore fans.
Dutch stars in public spat
Two Dutch stars are bickering about a free kick. Real Madrid’s Wesley Sneijder launched the opening salvo, telling Dutch newspaper Het Parool that Arsenal striker Robin van Persie had “broken agreements” and he wanted to have a talk with him. Van Persie took a free kick that Sneijder wanted during the Netherlands’ quarter-finals loss to Russia in Basel, Switzerland, that ousted the Dutch from this summer’s Euro 2008 tournament. The free kick was awarded late in the game with Russia ahead 1-0. Although the free kick was missed, Ruud van Nistelroy equalized in the 86th minute to send the match into extra time. Russia then scored twice to progress to the semi-finals. “From the first practice game, I’ve been designated as the man who takes free kicks and no one else is supposed to touch the ball,” Sneijder was quoted as saying. Van Persie responded on Wednesday, saying: “I expected more class from Wesley. Besides, it’s absolute nonsense that he’s the only one who can take free kicks,’’ he was quoted as saying in an interview with Algemeen Dagblad. “You can ask the coach.” Van Persie said he would have been willing to talk to Sneijder — but won’t now that the matter has been made public. “I’m flabbergasted by the way Wesley has acted. Must the whole country take part in a ‘meeting’ between Sneijder and Van Persie?” Van Persie said.