Choi Ji-man suspended
Seattle Mariners prospect Choi Ji-man has been suspended for 50 games after the first baseman tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, Major League Baseball said on Thursday. South Korean Choi was on the Mariners’ 40-man roster and was hitting .394 with one home run and five RBIs in 10 games for the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate Tacoma this season. The 22-year-old tested positive for methandienone and his suspension was effective immediately, MLB said. “I do not know what I could have taken that caused me to test positive,” Choi said in a statement. “I have not and never would knowingly use anything illegal to enhance my performance.”
Kaneria match probed
Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the US with banned spinner Danish Kaneria. Kaneria was given a lifetime ban for spot-fixing in an English county game, which under International Cricket Council (ICC) rules effectively bars him from playing anywhere in the world. However, he represented the Houston Eagles in a series of Twenty20 games last weekend in Houston, Texas, with Test players Wahab Riaz and Nasir Jamshed taking part for rivals the Boom Boom Blasters. Other Pakistani players involved in the games were Fawad Alam, Abdul Razzaq and Shahzaib Hasan. “We are looking into how these players featured in these matches — authorized or unauthorized — without our permission,” Pakistan Cricket Board chief operating officer Subhan Ahmed said on Thursday. The USA Cricket Association could also have questions to answer as banned players such as Kaneria are not allowed to play in any match under the auspices of an ICC member country’s association.
Trott set for more time off
England batsman Jonathan Trott is set to take another break from cricket due to the same stress issues that forced him to quit the recent Ashes series, according to a report on Thursday. Trott decided to pull out of England’s tour to Australia after the first Test in Brisbane with what the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) described as a “stress-related illness.” The 32-year-old spent four months away from the game working with a psychologist and the ECB’s medical team in a bid to rebuild his career. Trott later described his Ashes exit as a case of “burn-out” and said he hoped to return to England duty this season. However, according to a Daily Mail report on Thursday, he has had to step away from the firing line again after just one Championship match for his England county Warwickshire, in which he scored 37 and 26 against Sussex. According to the Mail, “his anxiety levels have been so high that he felt he had no choice for his own wellbeing.”
Ferguson to sell wine
Legendary former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is to auction off part of his wine collection worth an estimated ￡3 million (US$5 million), Christie’s announced on Wednesday. The collection of about 5,000 bottles contains many fine and rare wines, including Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Burgundies and Finest First Growth Bordeaux ranging from the 1986 to 2011 vintages. The collection of Britain’s most successful soccer manager of all time is to be sold in three auctions: Hong Kong on May 24, London on June 5 and an online sale running from June 9 to 23.
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
Growing concern over health standards in e-sports has prompted a new federation to pledge to address the problem, as players fall victim to conditions ranging from wrist injuries to obesity, stress and diabetes. The retirement of top Chinese player Jian Zihao, better known by his gaming handle “Uzi,” sent tremors through the booming sport, whose revenues are predicted to reach US$1.1 billion this year, according to industry analyst Newzoo. The 23-year-old, hailed as an “icon” of the League of Legends game, stepped away from e-sports in June, saying that “chronic stress, obesity, irregular diet, staying up late and other reasons” had given
‘COMPLICATED’: The 34-year-old from Spain called sitting out the tournament ‘a decision I never wanted to take,’ but added that he would ‘rather not travel’ Defending champion Rafael Nadal has said that he would skip the US Open because of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting on hold his bid to equal Roger Federer’s men’s record for Grand Slam titles. On Tuesday, Nadal explained his decision in a series of tweets sent in Spanish and English. “The situation is very complicated worldwide. Coronavirus cases are increasing. It looks like we still don’t have control of it,” Nadal wrote. The 34-year-old from Spain called sitting out the tournament scheduled to begin on Aug. 31 in New York “a decision I never wanted to take,” but added that he would “rather not
The Braves were dealt a double blow as the Mets’ Jacob deGrom struck out 10 in six innings to help New York snap a five-game skid with a 7-2 victory on Monday, and as Atlanta top pitcher Mike Soroka went down with a torn Achilles tendon in the third inning. “There’s no sugarcoating this night,” Atlanta slugger Freddie Freeman said. “It stinks. It really does.” Soroka crumpled to the ground on a seemingly routine play, breaking toward first to cover the bag on a grounder to Freeman’s right. “When you lose, in my mind, one of the top pitching arms in this entire