Griffin cleared to play
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has been cleared to play in the team’s NFL season-opener on Sept. 9 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan announced after Thursday’s 30-12 preseason victory over Tampa Bay that Griffin, who had reconstructive knee surgery in January, had been cleared to play by doctor James Andrews. “RG3” was named the NFL’s top offensive rookie last season. He completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions in 15 games, and also rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns.
Monkeys derail Aussie
Australian mountain bike rider Daniel McConnell’s dreams of winning a world title today were almost shattered in extraordinary fashion last week when he collided with a troop of monkeys while training in South Africa. McConnell, who finished 21st in the men’s cross-country at last year’s London Olympics, was surprised by the local fauna while training near the Pietermaritzburg course where the world championships take place this weekend. The tumble left the 28-year-old Trek Factory Racing rider with a bruised shoulder and skin wounds on both hands. “For a while I didn’t think I would start, but now I am, I am going to give it everything,” McConnell said in a Cycling Australia media release.
Kaka wants to leave Real
Real Madrid’s Brazilian playmaker Kaka has told the Spanish club he wants to leave after deciding he will not get sufficient playing time under new coach Carlo Ancelotti. The 31-year-old has failed to reproduce the form that won him a World Player of the Year award in 2007 since he joined Real from AC Milan for a fee of 65 million euros (US$86 million) in 2009. Real have several players ahead of him in the pecking order, including Germany’s Mesut Ozil and Spain’s Isco, and Kaka said he hoped to move on before the transfer window closes on Monday. “The club knows I want to leave and I would like them to help me find a solution for my exit,” he said on Thursday. “I cannot go to Brazil because the market is closed, the exit would be within Europe,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about clubs because I have none at this stage.”
Bastia signs Nigeria’s Mba
Sunday Mba, who scored the goal that won the Africa Cup of Nations for Nigeria earlier this year, left Warri Wolves for French team CA Bastia on Thursday. The 24-year-old has signed a one-year deal, the Ligue 2 club told reporters in Corsica. Mba, who was on target in the 40th minute of the 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso in the Nations Cup final in Johannesburg in February, cost CA Bastia a fee of 1 million euros (US$1.32 million). The promoted French club are 15th in the 20-team table, with two points from four games.
Besiktas out of Europe
Turkish club Besiktas have been excluded from the Europa League this season after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld a UEFA-imposed one-year ban from European competition for match-fixing, the court said yesterday. Playing under appeal against the original ban, Besiktas beat Norway’s Tromso 2-0 on Thursday in the second leg of their Europa League playoff, winning the tie 3-2 on aggregate, but the CAS ruling ends their campaign before the group stages.