Montoya fined for gesture
Ex-Formula One driver Juan Pablo Montoya was slapped with a US$10,000 fine on Wednesday for making an obscene gesture during a NASCAR Busch Series practice session in Phoenix, Arizona. The Colombian was handed the fine and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for raising his finger to a cameraman last week. The racing series said Montoya's action -- which was captured live on US television -- was "detrimental to stock car racing." Montoya, a former Indianapolis 500 winner, told ESPN television that he accepted the punishment but added the gesture was made in fun and not with malice toward anyone. Montoya, a former Indianapolis 500 winner, told ESPN television that he accepted the punishment but added the gesture was made in fun and not with malice toward anyone. "I really feel bad that the incident happened," Montoya said. "It was only meant as a joke to one of my friends. I completely understand NASCAR's point of view and their decision."
Hackett regains hunger
Seeing Beijing and its Olympic stadiums has helped Australian star Grant Hackett regain his hunger to once again dominate world swimming. But first the 26-year-old needs to shake off the effects of a leg infection. Olympic champion Hackett was placed on a drip on Wednesday and given a strong course of antibiotics to help ease swelling in his right leg, the Melbourne Herald Sun reported yesterday. The 26-year-old, who is on a fact-finding mission to Beijing ahead of next year's Games, said; "I just can't believe cuts on my legs from reef coral on my honeymoon can turn into this. I'm just so relieved they got to it early because it could have been a lot worse." Hackett was hopelessly out of sorts at last month's world championships in Melbourne but being in Beijing helped whet his appetite again.
Morrison bout in doubt
Former heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Morrison needs to give more medical information to Texas state officials before they rule on his boxing license application for a bout today. The 38-year-old former WBO champ returned to boxing this year after retiring 11 years ago when tests revealed he had contracted the AIDS virus. He is to face Dale Ortiz in a four-round bout at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Houston. Patrick Shaughnessy, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, could not say whether the additional medical information concerned Morrison's AIDS status. He said state officials expected to receive the information yesterday and a decision on the application most likely would come the same day.
■ RUGBY UNION
Meads made life member
All Blacks great Colin Meads was made a life member of the New Zealand Rugby Union at its annual meeting in Wellington yesterday. Meads, 70, played a record 133 matches for New Zealand, including 55 tests, between 1957 and 1971. He captained the All Blacks 11 times, including four times in test matches. Meads later coached the King Country provincial team, for which he played most of his 361 first class games, and was an All Blacks selector and manager. He served on the New Zealand Rugby Union council from 1992 to 1996. Meads was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame in 1997 and in 1999 was voted New Zealand Player of the Century.