Thailand has terminated the contract of their national team coach Winfried Schaefer, ending the colorful German’s near two-year tenure, the kingdom’s soccer association said on Tuesday. Schaefer, renowned for his exuberant touchline presence and white bouffant hairstyle, enjoyed a checkered time in Thailand’s top job, overseeing a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign, but progressing to the final of the regional Suzuki Cup in December only to narrowly lose on home soil. “The association has finished its contract with Winfried,” Football Association of Thailand (FAT) secretary-general Ongart Kosinka said, adding that both sides agreed to annul the agreement. Schaefer, who replaced former Manchester United and England captain Bryan Robson in July 2011, has been widely linked in local reports with a role at Muangthong United, holders of the Thai Premier League crown.
MLB players face suspension
Major League Baseball (MLB) is to seek doping suspensions on about 20 players, including New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, in the wake of a probe at a Miami clinic, ESPN reported on Tuesday. If so many bans are imposed for performance-enhancing drugs, it would be the largest drug scandal in North American sports history, according to the report, which said the suspensions could be handed down in the next few weeks. ESPN, citing unnamed sources, said Tony Bosch, founder of the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, reached a deal this week to help an MLB investigation into reports that the clinic provided players with banned substances. ESPN said in the Web site report that MLB commissioner Bud Selig might seek 100-game suspensions for Rodriguez, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and other players. That would be the penalty for a second doping violation, with having any connection to Bosch being considered a first offense and statements denying any such link or doping as a repeat violation. Others who could face suspension, according to the report, include Toronto’s Melky Cabrera, Oakland’s Bartolo Colon, Nelson Cruz of Texas, San Diego’s Yasmani Grandal, the Yankees’ Francisco Cervelli and Washington pitcher Gio Gonzalez.
DeFeet severs ties
US cycling apparel firm DeFeet says it has severed ties with Italian team Vini Fantini after two Giro d’Italia riders tested positive for doping. DeFeet CEO Shane Cooper wrote: “DeFeet will not support teams that do not provide a clear clean path 4 this new generation. I challenge other CEOs to stand up.” The firm announced its decision after the International Cycling Union said on Monday that Giro stage winner Mauro Santambrogio tested positive for EPO on May 3, the opening day of the three-week race. Vini Fantini said it has fired Santambrogio and teammate Danilo Di Luca, whose positive test was announced during the Giro.
Kewell back in Australia
Former Liverpool star Harry Kewell yesterday signed for Australian club Melbourne Heart as he looks to force his way back into the Socceroos side for the 2014 World Cup. The 34-year-old, one of Australia’s best-known soccer players, left rival club Melbourne Victory after the 2011-2012 season and went to England for family reasons. “It’s always been my intention to come back and play in the A-League,” said Kewell, who also had stints at Leeds United and Turkish side Galatasaray.