Mon, Jan 19, 2009 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

AGENCIES

■ATHLETICS

Tsoumeleka test found EPO

Greek athlete Athanasia Tsoumeleka, who won the Olympic 20km walk title on home ground in 2004, tested positive for EPO ahead of the Beijing Games, Net television reported on Saturday. Net reported that the 27-year-old Tsoumeleka tested positive for the banned blood booster following an Aug. 6 test just ahead of the Beijing Games. The broadcaster said that she had denied blood doping while indicating she was going to retire. Born in Preveza, northwestern Greece, Tsoumeleka, an asthma sufferer, was a surprise gold winner in 2004 and placed ninth in Beijing. Ahead of Beijing, she had expressed fears that air pollution in the Chinese capital might affect her showing.

■OLYMPICS

Melbourne wants Games

Melbourne wants to bring the Olympics back to the city that hosted the Games in 1956 and may bid for either the 2024 or 2028 event, a report said yesterday. The Melbourne Age newspaper said Rod Eddington, chairman of the Victorian Major Events Company, the body that would lead the bid, had informed the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) of the city’s interest. AOC chief John Coates confirmed that he had spoken with Eddington and said Melbourne, which hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2006, was well placed because it already had so many world-class sporting facilities. “The Melbourne Cricket Ground would have to be at the center of the bid, it would have to be,” Coates said. The timing of any bid would depend on Australia’s attempt to land the soccer World Cup in either 2018 or 2022, with a decision on those events set for December next year, the paper said.

■SOCCER

Ibisevic has knee surgery

Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic has undergone a successful operation on his injured right knee, the German league leaders said on Saturday. The Bundesliga’s top scorer with 18 goals tore his cruciate ligament in a friendly game against SV Hamburg during a training camp in Spain on Wednesday. The Bosnia striker had surgery at St Elisabeth hospital in Heidelberg and will be out for the rest of the season. Swiss forward Eren Derdiyok has meanwhile turned down an approach from Hoffenheim, who are now in the market for a replacement striker. The Basel striker has been reported as saying he would be joining fellow Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen at the end of the season. Hoffenheim’s billionaire investor Dietmar Hopp told Bild newspaper on Saturday he backed a new signing but was “pessimistic of finding a replacement in such short time.” Hopp said he would give a chance to Brazilian striker Wellington, who was signed for 5 million euros (US$6.65 million) last summer but has yet to establish himself in the side.

■MARATHON

Mugara wins in Mumbai

Kenneth Mugara led a Kenyan sweep in the men’s event of the Mumbai marathon yesterday in the city’s first international sports event since the militant attacks in November. Almost 35,000 people participated in five separate events in the annual run through the streets of south and central Mumbai, taking them past two of the three landmarks where Islamic gunmen laid siege, killing 179 people. Mugara clocked a course record time of 2:11.51 ahead of David Tarus in second and John Kelai, winner of the previous two editions, third. Ethiopia’s Haile Kebebush won the women’s race in a time of 2:34.08 with compatriot Marta Marcos second and Kenya’s Irene Mogaka third.

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