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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being