Klitschko takes legal action
World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko has submitted a complaint to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the WBC in an attempt to stop him having to box Russia’s Oleg Maskaev. Klitschko is unhappy about being handed a mandatory defense of his belt against Maskaev that the WBC, one of the sport’s governing bodies, announced in December. The Ukrainian will defend the WBC belt, which he won against Nigeria’s Samuel Peter last October, against Juan Carlos Gomez in Stuttgart on March 21, and the WBC has said he must then face Maskaev within four months of the Gomez fight. “Normally you have a year between mandatory defenses,” Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente told German agency SID. “But why should we carry the can for Maskaev’s issue with the WBC?” Ex-world champion Maskaev lost his title last March to Peter, who was in turn beaten by Klitschko. Maskaev had come to an agreement with the WBC over differences in fees from the Peter fight, which gave him the right to be the next challenger to Klitschko after Gomez. A Klitschko-Maskaev fight would not entice broadcasters in the US to screen the fight and the Ukrainian champion wants to take on British fighter David Haye or Chris “The Nightmare” Arreola of the US.
Ukhov wins men’s high jump
Ivan Ukhov of Russia jumped a year-best 2.40m to win the men’s high jump at the Athens 2009 indoor athletics meet in Greece on Wednesday. Ukhov’s jump was the fourth-best of all time indoors. He tried but failed to break Javier Sotomayor’s record of 2.43m, making only one effort at 2.44m. Haron Keitany of Kenya won the men’s 1,500m in 3 minutes, 34.83 seconds. In the men’s 60m, Mark Jelks of the US narrowly edged Simeon Williamson of Brazil for the victory, even though both timed 6.57 seconds. In the women’s race, Angela Williams of the US won in a personal best 7.15.
NFL boss takes pay cut
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is taking a pay cut and the league staff has been trimmed by 15 percent because of the reeling economy, the NFL said on Wednesday. The league said its staff cut, announced more than two months ago, has resulted in a reduction of 169 jobs through buyouts, layoffs and other staff reductions. That amounts to just more than 15 percent of the league’s work force. Goodell voluntarily took a cut of between 20 percent and 25 percent from the US$11 million salary and bonuses he was to receive in the 2008 fiscal year, which ends on March 31. He and other league executives are freezing their salaries for this year. The NFL announced on Dec. 9 it would reduce its staff by 10 to 15 percent. Seventy-six people took buyouts, while 45 jobs were eliminated and 48 openings went unfilled. The moves affect NFL headquarters in New York, NFL Films in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, and the NFL Network in Los Angeles.
UEFA clears Mourinho
Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has been cleared of any wrongdoing following his controversial comments that Manchester United were favored by the referee during Tuesday’s Champions League 0-0 draw. Mourinho had told reporters at the San Siro: “If we go there [to Old Trafford for the second leg] with a referee who protects the visiting team, then we will qualify for the quarter-finals.” UEFA officials said they had viewed the TV pictures of the press conference and had seen “nothing bad” and would be taking no further action.