Yoshida eyes new class
Japanese freestyle wrestler Saori Yoshida says she will compete in a new weight class at the 2016 Olympics. Yoshida, who has dominated the sport with 14 consecutive gold medals in Olympic and world championship competitions, is to wrestle in the 53kg category following a decision by wrestling’s international governing body to eliminate the 55kg class. Wrestling was dropped from the list of Olympic core sports in February, but was reinstated in September after changes intended to modernize wrestling. Women’s freestyle was introduced for the 2004 Olympics and competed at 48kg, 55kg, 63kg and 72kg in London last summer. Women will wrestle at 48kg, 53kg, 58kg, 63kg, 69kg and 75kg kilograms in the 2016 Games. The changes are intended to open up competition in a sport dominated by Japan.
Samoa’s Lima faces charges
Samoa rugby legend Brian Lima faces criminal charges after allegedly assaulting his ex-wife in public last week, leaving her with serious facial injuries, reports said yesterday. Lima, 41, who was inducted into the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame in 2011, is accused of attacking his former wife, Sina Retzlaff, late last week, the Samoa Observer reported. In a widely cited report accompanied by a photograph of Retzlaff with two black eyes and a stitched cut on her nose, the newspaper said Lima had been charged with causing actual bodily harm and being armed with a dangerous weapon. Lima, who earned 65 Test caps for Samoa and is the only player to have appeared at five Rugby World Cups, had his travel documents seized and was ordered not to contact Retzlaff, the Observer reported.
Seattle’s Browner suspended
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner has been suspended indefinitely for violating the National Football League’s (NFL) substance abuse policy, the NFL said on Wednesday. The 29-year-old’s suspension begins immediately, the league said. According to a league source, Browner turned down a deal that would have “significantly reduced” his initial one-year suspension, NFL.com reported. A Pro Bowl selection in 2011, Browner had argued that he missed drug tests while not competing in the NFL, though that appeal was denied because the league had notified him of those tests in writing.
Japan’s PGA board to resign
The leadership of Japan’s Professional Golfers Association (PGA) are to resign en masse after two of its executives were found to have played golf and socialized with an underworld boss, a report said on Wednesday. The PGA’s policy board decided on Wednesday on the mass resignation, to be followed by the election of new representatives next month, the Jiji Press news agency said. All the 91 PGA representatives, including PGA chairman Shizuo Mori, four vice chairmen and about 20 board directors, will voluntarily step down to help restore public trust in the body, the report said. Between March and June this year, a then-PGA vice chairman Shinsaku Maeda, 61, and then-PGA board director Tadayoshi Bando, 67, were found to have played golf and dined with the head of a yakuza organized crime group on the southern island of Kyushu, the report said. The PGA bars its representatives from socializing with organized crime syndicates. Maeda and Bando were expelled from the association in October.