Beale to seek counseling
The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) says Wallaby fullback Kurtley Beale has agreed to an indefinite break from the game and will seek counseling after being sent home from South Africa over an altercation with his Melbourne Rebels teammates. Following the Rebels’ 64-7 Super 15 loss to the Coastal Sharks in Durban last weekend, Beale was reported to have punched captain Gareth Delve and winger Cooper Vuna. The ARU said Beale had been fined a “substantial” amount after admitting his guilt yesterday. ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said Beale “knows he needs to be accountable for his actions and he is determined to overcome the challenges he has faced in recent times. The unfortunate matter in South Africa was not an isolated incident for Kurtley. He understands it was unacceptable and, most critically, acknowledges he needs to make changes.” Beale is already facing assault charges arising from an incident with a bouncer at a Brisbane nightclub last year.
Wales coach lauds ‘Joniesta’
Welsh coach Chris Coleman said the national side had uncovered another gem, following the sparkling performance of midfielder Jonathan Williams in the last-gasp 2-1 defeat by Croatia in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday. Wales already boast one of world soccer’s hottest properties in Gareth Bale, who Coleman joked could be shunted from the headlines by 19-year-old Williams when their next qualifier comes around in September. “In the next couple of trips you will be asking me about Johnny as much as you do about Gareth. He will go to another level and you can see why everyone is so excited. He’s still got a lot of work to do, but he’s certainly a gifted player,” Coleman said. The diminutive midfielder, who plays in the second tier of English soccer with south London club Crystal Palace, is nicknamed “Joniesta” in reference to Barcelona and Spain’s phenomenal playmaker Andres Iniesta.
Norwegian ‘legend’ dies
Norwegian speed skating great Hjalmar Andersen, who won three gold medals at the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics, has died at the age of 90, local media reported on Wednesday. Andersen, who swept the board in Oslo over 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m to become that Games’ most successful athlete, was also a triple world champion between 1950 and 1952. “A legend” was how he was described by Norwegian Minister for Culture and Sports Hadia Tajik. He set four world records during his career, including setting the first sub-17 minute 10,000m world record in 1949.
Ullrich ‘contributed role’
Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich says he played a role in “what happened in cycling,” but did not offer a clear confession to doping like some other leading riders, including his longtime rival Lance Armstrong. Ullrich wrote in his blog on Eurosport that “everyone can make his own opinion about what happened in cycling and I also contributed my role in that,” but added that he would not make any public confessions like Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles. The German won the Tour in 1997 and finished runner-up five times, three times behind Armstrong. Ullrich was suspended in 2006 in the fallout from Operation Puerto in Spain. He retired a year later. The Court of Arbitration for Sport banned him for two years last year for involvement in the doping program of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.