Fri, Dec 25, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■US SPORTS

Editors pick biggest story

The steroids scandal in baseball has been picked as the Story of the Year by sports editors in the US. Some of the biggest names in the game, including Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, were the latest to be linked to doping and the story received 800 points in votes from editors at US newspapers that are members of the Associated Press. Not even the Tiger Woods sex scandal was considered a bigger story. Because voting had started before the Nov. 27 car accident that touched off Woods’ travails, editors were given the unprecedented option of submitting a new ballot and about 10 did. The Woods scandal finished as the fifth-biggest story of the year (617 points), following Jimmie Johnson’s fourth straight NASCAR championship (690 points), Roger Federer’s 15th Grand Slam title (639) and quarterback Brett Favre ending his second retirement to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a division title (637).

■BASEBALL

Yankees sign Nick Johnson

Securing a new designated hitter to replace World Series Most Valuable Player Hideki Matsui, the New York Yankees signed Nick Johnson to a one-year Major League Baseball contract on Wednesday. The US$5.5 million deal, which includes hefty performance bonuses, brings Johnson back to the Bronx for a second stint after three seasons with the club starting in 2001. Japanese standout Matsui became a free agent and signed with the Los Angeles Angels earlier this month, with the Yankees filling the void with Johnson, who hit a combined .291 for Washington and Florida last season, with eight home runs and 62 runs batted in. Johnson was traded from the Yankees to Montreal in 2003 and stayed with them during their move to the US capital.

■ATHLETICS

Baala to receive medal

A special ceremony will be held next month to present French runner Medhi Baala with the 1,500m bronze medal from last year’s Beijing Olympics after Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi was stripped of the gold for doping. The French Olympic Committee said Baala is to receive the medal in Paris on Jan. 6. Baala finished fourth in the race, but has been upgraded after Ramzi was stripped last month for being among five athletes who tested positive in retroactive tests for CERA, an advanced version of the blood-boosting drug EPO.

■SOCCER

Ajax hit 14 in Dutch Cup

Dutch giants Ajax whipped amateur outfit WHC Wezep 14-1 in a mismatched Dutch Cup round of 16 tie on Wednesday. Markoi Pantelic started the rout for former Tottenham boss Martin Jol’s trigger-happy team in the 18th minute and Ajax had raced to a 6-1 lead by the break. Ajax’s seventh goal came when the second half was minutes old, with goals 12, 13 and 14 coming in the final five minutes. The night proved a triumph for Ajax’s Uruguay winger Luis Suarez, who scored no fewer than six of Ajax’s haul.

■SOCCER

FA charge Arsenal and Hull

Arsenal and Hull City were charged with failing to control their players by the Football Association on Wednesday following their Premier League match last Saturday. A fiery match at the Emirates Stadium was inflamed further shortly before halftime when Arsenal’s Samir Nasri appeared to tread on the ankle of Hull’s Richard Garcia. Stephen Hunt then clashed with Nasri and a mass confrontation ensued, with Gunners keeper Manuel Almunia running the length of the field to get involved.

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