Rio deadlines ‘challenging’
The head of an IOC inspection committee says the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics face some “challenging deadlines” and that a meeting with top government officials next week will be “crucial” in finalizing funding and venue planning for the games. With the Rio Games just two-and-a-half years away, Nawal El Moutawakel on Friday said that inspectors witnessed “improvements on the ground,” but that many projects face tight deadlines. The Rio Games — like Brazil’s World Cup in under three months — have been plagued by delays and concerns about the lack of coordination among Brazil’s three levels of government. El Moutawakel said the meeting on Thursday in Brasilia would include “top levels of government,” which might include Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Scioscia traded for Gretzky
The Los Angeles Angels traded the son of Angels manager Mike Scioscia to the Chicago Cubs on Friday in exchange for the son of National Hockey League legend Wayne Gretzky. The unique Major League Baseball swap sends 21-year-old Trevor Gretzky, who plays as a leftfielder and first baseman for a developmental-level team, to southern California, where his all-time NHL scoring leader father was a star for years after winning four Stanley Cup crowns with Edmonton. In exchange, developmental-level first baseman Matt Scioscia was sent to the Cubs by the club for which his father has managed since 2000. Mike Scioscia is the longest-tenured manager in the major leagues and guided the Angels to the 2002 World Series title and won two World Series crowns as a player with the Dodgers.
FIFA says can’t help workers
FIFA on Friday accepted “some responsibility” over the welfare of migrant workers constructing venues for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but acknowledged it was powerless to intervene. “We have some responsibility, but we cannot interfere in the rights of workers,” FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a press conference in Zurich. The energy-rich Gulf emirate has been under mounting pressure to improve the working and living conditions of migrant workers building the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure for the 2022 tournament. Blatter was speaking after the issue was discussed at a FIFA executive committee meeting. “We are insisting that the responsibilities lie first with the state of Qatar and secondly with the companies employing the workers,” Blatter added.
Thief returns Hogan’s shoe
Police in Florida say a Michigan tourist has returned a wrestling shoe autographed by Hulk Hogan that she took from a store in Clearwater. Authorities say the woman called the professional wrestling icon’s Clearwater Beach store on Thursday, saying she wanted to return the shoe. A security camera captured images of the Sunday evening theft, but it was not until Tuesday that employees realized the shoe — valued at US$5,500 — was missing. Though she had returned to Michigan, she had left the shoe behind and arranged for three people she met while in Clearwater to return it to the store. No charges have been filed.
Jack Fleck dies at 92
Jack Fleck, who upset Ben Hogan in a playoff to win the 1955 US Open golf title, died on Friday at age 92, the US PGA Tour announced. Fleck, an American who had been the oldest living US Open champion, won only three US PGA titles, all in playoffs.
Chen Jifang hits the gym for at least two hours every day and has the physique to prove it. At nearly 70, she is being held up as a shining example as China orders its vast population to get fit and lose the bulge. The grandmother from Shanghai has become a minor celebrity in in the past few months after her newfound and unlikely love for working out made national headlines. After becoming a gym regular in December 2018, Chen lost 14kg in three months, and now sports the kind of flat stomach and toned muscles that people decades younger aspire to. She
ANOTHER SCANDAL: Searches focused on several riders, including Dayer Quintana, a source said, while the two being held were reportedly a doctor and physiotherapist French police on Monday detained two people as part of an investigation into suspected doping in the Arkea-Samsic team at this year’s Tour de France, prosecutors announced. The probe is the first significant one in several years for the repeatedly scandal-hit tour, which on Sunday wrapped up in Paris with a victory for 21-year-old Tadej Pogacar, who became the youngest winner in more than a century. Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in Marseille said in a statement that an investigation was being carried out into a “small part” of France-based Arkea-Samsic, without specifying who had been placed in custody. Laurens added that the two
Former MLB pitcher Wang Wei-chung has signed the biggest contract with a local team in Taiwan’s professional baseball history, the Wei Chuan Dragons said yesterday. The 28-year-old left-hander signed a five-year US$2.08 million contract with the Dragons, team chairman Hsu Wen-fang told a news conference. It is the biggest contract in the CPBL’s 31-year history, surpassing a three-year, US$1.36 million deal Lin Chih-sheng signed in 2016 with the CTBC Brothers. Although the overall value of Wang’s deal set a new record, his average monthly salary of NT$990,000 (US$33,886) is lower than Lin’s pay of NT$1.2 million per month in 2017
TAIWANESE TO PLAY: Jason Jung faces Frederico Coria in the men’s singles first round today, while in the women’s singles, Hsieh Su-wei is to take on Barbara Haas Novak Djokovic is to renew his love-hate relationship with Roland Garros in the knowledge that it is himself rather than seemingly unsettled 12-time champion Rafael Nadal who could pose the greatest threat to winning a second Paris title and 18th Grand Slam crown. The only man to beat Djokovic this year is Djokovic after the Serb’s hair-trigger temper prompted a sensational disqualification from the US Open. The 33-year-old arrives in the French capital with a 31-1 record this year after his New York brain-fade was followed by a record 36th Masters title in Rome. Djokovic’s 2016 triumph at Roland Garros allowed him to