Fri, Mar 27, 2015 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

RUGBY UNION

SANZAR challenges ruling

Super rugby’s governing body has taken the unusual step of challenging a ruling by its own judicial committee after Coastal Sharks star Francois Steyn was cleared of a dangerous play charge. The South Africa center was red-carded in the first half of last weekend’s bitter match with the Waikato Chiefs in Durban when the Chiefs’ flyhalf Aaron Cruden was upended. A judicial committee representing the organizers of the southern hemisphere’s inter-provincial championship cleared Steyn and ordered the cancellation of his red card. However, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia Rugby (SANZAR) has appealed the ruling with a rehearing set for today.

BASEBALL

Foul ball damages ordered

Japanese team the Nippon Ham Fighters have been ordered to pay a woman US$350,000 in damages after she was hit in the face by a foul ball at Sapporo Dome. The incident occurred in August 2010 and the woman, who is in her 30s, lost sight in her right eye after being hit by the ball. Sapporo district court judge Yasuhiro Hasegawa yesterday ruled in favor of the woman, Kyodo news agency reported. The Fighters say they are considering an appeal of the ruling. The Fighters argued there are sufficient safeguards in place at Sapporo Dome, including announcements to be careful of foul balls and notices posted on the giant screen. Baseball stadiums in Japan have protective netting around the field of play, but balls often fly into stands.

BASEBALL

Yankees valued at US$3.2bn

The New York Yankees are Major League Baseball’s most valuable team for an 18th consecutive year, coming in at nearly triple the league’s average value, according to a survey released by Forbes on Wednesday. The 27-time World Series champion Yankees were valued at US$3.2 billion, a 28 percent jump from last year and comfortably above the second-ranked Los Angeles Dodgers, whose value rose 20 percent to US$2.4 billion. The average MLB team is now worth US$1.2 billion, a 48 percent spike from last year, which Forbes attributed to richer national broadcasting deals and higher overall profitability. The Yankees, who last year missed the playoffs for only the third time since 1994, yet saw their revenue rise 10 percent to an MLB-high US$508 million, have topped the list since Forbes began tracking MLB team valuations in 1998. The Boston Red Sox (US$2.1 billion), World Series champions San Francisco Giants (US$2 billion) and Chicago Cubs (US$1.8 billion) rounded out the top five.

CYCLING

Wallays in upset win

Belgium’s Jelle Wallays stole a march on world champion Michal Kwiatkowski to win the semi-classic Dwars door Vlaanderen one-day race on Wednesday. The Dwars is one of the main build-up races ahead of the Spring Classics, which begin today with E3 Harelbeke. Wallays was part of a four-man breakaway, but he distanced his companions just before the finish to cross the line alone. His compatriot and Topsport Vlaanderen teammate Edward Theuns won a sprint for second ahead of another Belgian, Dylan van Baarle, with Poland’s Kwiatkowski fourth. The Pole is one of the favorites for the three Ardennes Classics in the second half of next month. Before then, the main attention will be on the Tour des Flandres on April 5 and Paris-Roubaix a week later. The Dwars is one of the six cooperating races known as the Flanders Classics, of which the Tour des Flandres is the most important.

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