Wed, Oct 06, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

SOCCER

FIFA suspends Nigeria

FIFA suspended Nigeria from international soccer on Monday because of “government interference” in the running of Nigerian soccer. World soccer’s governing body said the decision followed a bid by the Minister of Sports to restart the league without relegations, pressure to oust the Nigerian Football Federation’s acting general secretary and court action barring elected members of the federation’s executive committee. “During the period of suspension, the NFF will not be able to be represented in any regional, continental or international competitions, including at club level, and also not in friendly matches,” FIFA said in a statement.

SOCCER

Coca-Cola demotes Rooney

Coca-Cola will no longer use Wayne Rooney’s image on cans and bottles following allegations over the England striker’s private life. Following newspaper allegations that he cheated on his then-pregnant wife with a prostitute, Coca-Cola announced on Monday that it had stopped using his image to promote its Coke Zero drink. “Last month we amended our marketing plans on Coke Zero,” Coca-Cola said in a statement. “Given the situation at that time we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion featuring Wayne Rooney.” Coca-Cola said it had not decided whether the move was permanent. The world’s largest soft drink maker added that it will continue to use the Manchester United player for other forms of promotion. Rooney’s contract with Coca-Cola is widely reported to be worth more than £500,000 (US$792,000) a year.

CYCLING

Doping details emerge

The New York Times is reporting that Alberto Contador had eight times the allowable amount of a chemical which indicates doping in his system during this year’s Tour de France, which he won for the third time. A urine sample taken on July 20 showed a plasticizer -— found in intravenous bags like the ones used for endurance-boosting blood transfusions. Contador tested positive for clenbuterol one day later, and was subsequently provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union. Reports out of France and Germany last week also said traces of a plasticizer were found in Contador’s urine. Contador has repeatedly denied doping or having a transfusion, instead blaming the clenbuterol on contaminated meat.

TENNIS

Australia sweetens purse

Next year’s Australian Open will offer a record US$24.2 million in total prize money, organizers said yesterday, outstripping the most recent purses at its rival grand slams. The A$25 million (US$24.2 million) includes A$2.2 million for both the men’s and women’s singles winners, with A$1.1 million to each runner-up at the event, which runs from Jan. 17 to Jan. 30. It compares with US$21.7 million at this year’s Wimbledon and US$22.1 million at the French Open, at current exchange rates, and US$22.6 million at the US Open.

BASKETBALL

Timberwolves top Lakers

Michael Beasley scored 21 points in his Timberwolves debut and Minnesota beat the Los Angeles Lakers 111-92 on Monday in their preseason opener in London. Kobe Bryant put in a brief appearance for defending champion Los Angeles as he continues recovery from offseason knee surgery. Bryant started, but went scoreless in little more than 6 minutes, missing all three shots.

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