Sat, Nov 29, 2008 - Page 19 News List

Sport Briefs

AGENCIES

■ RUGBY LEAGUE

Aussie coach Stuart sorry

Australian coach Ricky Stuart has apologized for what he has described as his “offensive” behavior toward Rugby League World Cup officials after the Kangaroos’ shock defeat in last weekend’s final. Stuart’s management issued a statement yesterday in which he expressed deep regret to referee Ashley Klein and British referees official Stuart Cummings for his outbursts after the loss to New Zealand in Brisbane. “It’s a hard thing for me to admit, but I was certainly not in control of my emotions at the time and acted irresponsibly and irrationally ... but that’s not an excuse for my behavior,” Stuart said in the statement. Stuart is the subject of a Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) investigation after he accused English referee Klein of costing Australia the World Cup.

■ ICE HOCKEY

Leafs to hire Burke as GM

The Toronto Maple Leafs are set to hire former Anaheim Ducks general manager Brian Burke as their new GM, sports network TSN reported on Thursday. Burke, who stepped down as the Ducks’ general manager earlier this month, will be named president and GM of the Maple Leafs as early as this weekend. Burke told TSN that negotiations have been ongoing. Burke, who resigned from his position with the Ducks on Nov. 12, had said he wants to return to the eastern North America. Since turning down the Ducks’ extension offer, Burke has been linked to the GM post with the Maple Leafs, who fired John Ferguson last January.

■ CYCLING

Schumacher plans libel suit

German cyclist Stefan Schumacher, who failed a drugs test at the Tour de France, said on Thursday he would sue the French anti-doping authorities (AFLD) for defamation. “I have been judged and pilloried. My conscience is clear,” Schumacher, who has always denied doping, told his Web site. “I don’t want to stop here and I will not stop here. The people who have always believed in me and continue to do so don’t deserve this,” he said. The German rider caused a minor sensation when he won both time trials, leaving Switzerland’s two-time world champion Fabian Cancellara in his wake.

■ MOTOGP

Rossi signs off on top

World champion Valentino Rossi on Thursday signed off testing duties with Yamaha for this year by clocking the fastest time of the session at Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. Rossi set his best time of the day on his 52nd of 54 laps, dipping nearly seven-tenths of a second under the lap record with a time of 1 minute, 39.429 seconds. Rossi will spend the first part of his winter break in Wales next weekend watching the season-ending Rally of Great Britain.

■ BASKETBALL

Officials fight ‘age shaving’

Beijing is ordering its basketball players to stop faking their birth dates, media reported yesterday. Sports authorities have sometimes been accused of altering players’ ages to show them as being younger, mainly to qualify them for youth tournaments. Those false ages stay with athletes and can result in embarrassment and regulatory sanctions when athletes move on to greater success. Starting this season, the national basketball federation has begun to check ages given on players’ identification cards against a national police computer database, prompting a spate of confessions, the Oriental Sports Daily newspaper.

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