Sports Briefs


Sun, Sep 10, 2006 - Page 22

■ Rugby League

Former player dies in cave-in

Former New Zealand rugby league international Bernard Green died in a cave-in at a coal mine on New Zealand's South Island, mine owners said yesterday. Green, 47, was killed on Friday when a shaft of the privately-owned Roa mine, 800m below ground, collapsed. Nine other men working in the shaft escaped without injury. Green toured Britain and France with the New Zealand team in 1980, scoring two tries.

■ Basketball

Gasol out for four months

Spanish center Pau Gasol is not expected to return to the NBA until January after successful surgery on his left foot on Friday, the Memphis Grizzlies announced. Gasol underwent the operation to repair a broken fifth metatarsal. Grizzlies team doctor Fred Azar, assisted by foot specialists, performed the surgery and gave the prognosis, which will mean Gasol will be out for about the first two months of the upcoming NBA season. "We inserted a 45mm screw and bone graphs into the fifth metatarsal. Pau will wear a cast for two weeks while his foot heals and then begin the rehabilitation process. His expected return to play is approximately four months," Azar said.

■ Soccer

Vietnamese players charged

Vietnamese police have charged eight players, including seven internationals, in connection with match-fixing at last year's Southeast Asian Games, the Thanh Nien daily reported yesterday. The paper quoted a source saying the players would face trial for their part in rigging a game against Myanmar in Manila last December. Internationals Bat Hieu, Van Truong, Quoc Vuong, Van Quyen, Hai Lam, Phuoc Vinh and Quoc Anh, and former player Truong Tan Hai will be charged with betting and organized gambling, the daily said. The players were allegedly paid 500 million dong (US$31,000) each to fix the game, and are believed to have used their money to place bets on their team beating Myanmar 1-0.

■ Auto Racing

State funeral for Brock

Peter Brock, who dominated Australian auto racing for three decades and was one of its most popular drivers, will have a state funeral at a date to be determined, his family said yesterday. Brock, 61, died on Friday when his car crashed into a tree during the Targa West Rally in Western Australia state. Brock's former wife, Bev Brock, who split with the former touring car driver in May last year after 28 years together, said the decision to accept the formal state funeral, likely in Melbourne, was made by the couple's three children. "Their dad was loved. He was in the public eye, and everything had to be done with a flourish and with a bang," she said. Witnesses told reporters that Brock's car hit a tree near the small town of Gidgegannup, about 40km north of Perth.

■ Cycling

Ullrich prosecutors seek help

The Bonn district attorney's office has asked Spanish police for help in its investigation of alleged doping by former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich. Chief district attorney Fred Apostel said on Friday his office was looking into whether the German cyclist had been provided with banned performance-enhancing drugs since 2003 -- in an operation allegedly centered on Spanish sports doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. Fuentes is under investigation following Spanish police's arrest of five people at a Madrid clinic in May, where drugs and frozen blood were seized.

■ Soccer

Fans demand state aid

Greek soccer fans clashed with police on Friday near a conference center where Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was to give a speech. Supporters of PAOK Thessaloniki hurled flares and rocks at police outside the conference center in the northern Greek city as Karamanlis arrived. About 5,000 protesters chanting "Free PAOK" gathered to demand government intervention to rescue the near-bankrupt club from financial ruin. There were no immediate reports of arrests or injuries. Some 3,000 police have been deployed in Thessaloniki for weekend protests, which were due to include several large rallies yesterday, including marches organized by Greece's largest unions and anti-globalization groups.

■ Olympics

Drug czar suit nearly over

A lawsuit filed against the US Olympic Committee by the organization's former drug czar is close to a resolution, according to documents filed in federal court on Friday. Wade Exum, who served as the Colorado Springs-based agency's director of drug control administration for nine years until he resigned in 2000, sued the organization in El Paso County District Court last year. The case was moved to federal court in May last year. Exum's attorney, John Pineau, filed to suspend the case because the two sides had reached an agreement and needed time to finalize paperwork. Exum, a psychiatrist, accused the USOC of undermining his push to eliminate doping and failing to discipline athletes who used drugs.

■ Basketball

Henderson, McFarlin sign

Alan Henderson, an 11-year NBA veteran, and rookie Ivan McFarlin, who played last season in France, signed with the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday. The forwards should help add depth up front for a club that went 38-44 last season and failed to make the playoffs despite the skills of playmaker Allen Iverson. "Both of these guys will add depth to our frontcourt," 76ers president Billy King said. "Alan will provide us with additional experience and leadership. Ivan earned a spot on this team with his hard work and rebounding." Henderson averaged 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds in 51 games with Cleveland last season.

■ Soccer

UEFA mulls Israel ban

European soccer governing body UEFA will meet on Thursday next week to decide if the suspension on international matches being played in Israel should be lifted. On Aug. 7, UEFA put a stop to all matches involving Israel or Israeli teams being played in the Jewish state due to the state of war between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. But a ceasefire to end the month-long conflict was agreed on Aug. 14 and there has been almost no resumption of hostilities since then. Israeli side Maccabi Haifa were victims of UEFA's ban when their `home' Champions League final qualifier tie against Liverpool was switched to Kiev.