Velarde testifies at trial
Former New York Yankee Randy Velarde testified on Wednesday that he received human growth hormone from the personal trainer of Barry Bonds, who is accused of lying under oath about his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Velarde was the fourth player to tell jurors in Bonds’ perjury trial that he got banned drugs from Bonds’ trainer, Greg Anderson. Bonds, who holds the Major League records for single-season and career home runs, told a grand jury in 2003 that he took substances from Anderson he believed were flaxseed oil and arthritis balm, but did not knowingly use steroids. Velarde said that during a series of meetings in parking lots in 2002, Anderson gave him some pills and then injections that included human growth hormone. “I explained to him that I wasn’t getting any effect with the pills,” he told the jury of eight women and four men. “He said the next step would be injections.”
Former ref attacks Wilkins
Police have charged a former NBA referee with battery after hall of fame forward Dominique Wilkins was attacked at an Atlanta Hawks game, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Wednesday. Wilkins, who is a vice president with the team, was not seriously hurt in the incident with the former match official after Atlanta’s 85-82 win over the Orlando Magic at Philips Arena. The newspaper said former NBA referee Rashan Michel was charged with simple battery. Atlanta team spokesman Arthur Triche said the man was “promptly arrested and taken into custody by the Atlanta police department.”
Lucas signs new Reds deal
Liverpool’s Brazilian central midfielder Lucas Leiva has signed a new long-term contract at the club, the Premier League side announced on Wednesday. The 24-year-old Brazil international signed from Gremio in 2007, but he has only become a first-choice player over the past two seasons and he made his 100th appearance for the club in February. Liverpool did not specify the length of the new contract. “We are delighted,” caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish said. “He is a smashing lad to have around the football club, but he hasn’t been signed for that, he has been signed because of what he does on the pitch.” Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli said: “I am very, very pleased. We have been talking for a few months now, ever since I arrived at the club ... I knew we had to do something quickly because we couldn’t afford to lose him and didn’t want to lose him.”
Ajax board resign en masse
Members of the Ajax board of directors have stepped down after a battle of wits with a working group led by former star Johan Cruyff, the Dutch outfit said on Wednesday. “With this decision, the members of the board wish to assume their responsibilities in order to help haul the club out of the mire,” the former European champions said in a statement. Club chairman Uri Coronel will step down once a successor has been found. The club tasked Cruyff with laying the groundwork to restore the club to its former glories — the Amsterdam side has not won the Dutch title in seven seasons and has had little impact in Europe. In his advisory capacity, Cruyff has spoken out against the way the club is run and wants to see some officials fired. Coronel said that such is Cruyff’s influence, it was difficult to gainsay him. “Cruyff is almost a deity in Amsterdam. It is not easy to have a different opinion from him,” Coronel said.