Local veteran dies aged 96
Henry Hsu (徐亨), a former member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), passed away at the Taipei Veterans General Hospital on Tuesday at the age of 96. A spokesman for the hospital said Hsu died from heart failure on Tuesday afternoon, six months after he was admitted to the hospital suffering from uremia and pneumonia. Hsu made a name for himself as an athlete by winning a gold medal in volleyball at the Ninth Far East Games in Tokyo in 1930 and in soccer at the 10th Far East Games in 1934. He later became a successful hotel tycoon. Hsu headed the Republic of China Olympic Committee between 1973 and 1974. He was elected to the IOC in 1970 and retired from it in 1988, according to the IOC’s Web site.
Sailor presumed dead
A 72-year-old Slovenian aiming to become the oldest man to sail non-stop around the world is presumed dead after his yacht was found abandoned off Australia’s west coast, authorities said yesterday. Jure Sterk set off from New Zealand in his 9m yacht in October 2007, hoping to make history both as the oldest man to circumnavigate the globe non-stop and in the smallest boat without an engine. He kept contact with amateur radio enthusiasts, and last reported in early last month when he was believed to be 1,900km from the west Australian coast, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said. Sterk encountered some bad weather around Dec. 26, but told ham radio contacts he was not in danger, an AMSA spokeswoman said. A month later a merchant vessel spotted the badly damaged yacht abandoned and without its lifeboat 1,200km from the coast. Medical experts advised AMSA that there was no chance of him surviving the period since his last radio contact in open seas, and Jiggins said he was now presumed dead. Sterk never activated his emergency distress beacon, and his fate would remain a mystery, she added.
Bonds sample positive
Barry Bonds’ urine sample that he provided as part of the anonymous testing that baseball conducted in 2003 has tested positive for performance-enhancing substances, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. Bonds had provided samples that did not test positive under Major League Baseball’s drug-testing program, but those samples were retested after they were seized in a 2004 raid, the newspaper reported. The new information could be a key factor in Bonds’ perjury trial, which is slated to begin on March 2. Citing sources, the newspaper reported last week that authorities detected anabolic steroids in urine samples linked to Bonds that they gathered in their investigation.
Mitsubishi drops rally
Mitsubishi Motors will no longer compete in the Dakar Rally for financial reasons, the company said yesterday. The announcement came as Japan’s fourth-largest automaker said its group net loss will amount to ¥60 billion (US$670 million) in the fiscal year through March. “The sudden deterioration of the global economy made it necessary for the company to focus its resources more tightly,” Mitsubishi said in a statement. In its 26 entries in the Dakar Rally, Mitsubishi Pajeros won the rally a total of 12 times, including seven consecutive victories from 2001 to 2007. The Japanese manufacturer finished seventh in the car section of this year’s race.