Sports Briefs


Fri, Jun 20, 2008 - Page 23


Oilers sale approved by NHL

The NHL board of governors has unanimously approved the sale of the Edmonton Oilers to Canadian billionaire Daryl Katz, and the purchase of the Tampa Bay Lightning by a group of investors led by Oren Koules and Len Barrie. Both deals were approved on Wednesday at a meeting of the league’s club owners in New York. Katz, the owner of the Rexall Drug Store chain, agreed in February to buy 100 percent of shares owned by the 34-member Edmonton Investors Group for nearly US$200 million. He offered to pay about US$22,000 for each of the 7,492 shares — a deal that represented twice the original purchase price.


Fans charged after victory

Prosecutors say 10 people have been arraigned on charges stemming from criminal acts during the Boston Celtics’ NBA championship celebrations. Police arrested 22 people before and after the Celtics won their 17th NBA title late on Tuesday. Ten suspects were arraigned in Boston Municipal Court on Wednesday, the vast majority for disorderly conduct. Several storefront windows were damaged near the TD Banknorth Garden after the Celtics’ 131-92 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 6 of the NBA finals. Mayor Thomas Menino called the alleged offenders “punks” and called for tough penalties.


NHL approves rule changes

The NHL board of governors on Wednesday approved rule changes regarding faceoffs and icing that had been recommended by general managers and approved by the competition committee. One change stipulates that the first faceoff of a power play will take place in the defending zone of the team that committed the foul. Another alteration states that “any contact between opposing players while pursuing the puck on an icing must be for the sole purpose of playing the puck and not for eliminating the opponent from playing the puck.” The amended rule further states that “unnecessary or dangerous contact could result in penalties being assessed to the offending player.”


Murtagh wins third race

Johnny Murtagh won his third Group One race in two days at Royal Ascot on Wednesday, riding Duke of Marmalade to victory in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes. Duke of Marmalade, the even-money favorite for the 1 mile, 2 furlong race, pulled ahead in the final furlong to beat Phoenix Tower by four lengths. Pipedreamer was a short-head behind Phoenix Tower in third. “He’s an unbelievable horse, he’s the real deal,” Duke of Marmalade’s trainer Aidan O’Brien said. It was the first win O’Brien in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes and came a day after he and Murtagh combined to win two Group One races at Royal Ascot.


Walker robbed in Las Vegas

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Javon Walker was recovering on Wednesday after suffering a concussion and facial injuries when he was robbed in Las Vegas, Nevada, early on Monday, the National Football League team said. “We are aware that Javon Walker was the victim of a robbery,” a Raiders spokesman told news service PA SportsTicker. “We have been told that he will make a full and complete recovery in the near future and will resume his preparation for the 2008 season.” Walker left hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Walker was beaten and robbed early on Monday following a night of partying at a casino. He was left unconscious on a city street.

■ EURO 2008

TV station rues Nazi error

Swiss television station SRG apologized on Wednesday for mistakenly displaying the words of the old Nazi Germany national anthem as subtitles instead of those of the present German anthem prior to the Euro 2008 Group B match with Austria on Monday. Both the Nazi version and the present-day one come from the same song, Das Deutschlandlied, composed by August Heinrich Hoffmann in 1841 from music by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. “It is an inexcusable error,” one of those in charge of the subtitling service for the station said, though he added it was the fault of two young female editors.

■ EURO 2008

Ribery out for two months

French midfielder Franck Ribery will be out of action for up to two months after he had to go off injured in his country’s Euro 2008 loss to Italy on Tuesday, his club doctor said on Wednesday. Bayern Munich’s Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said playmaker Ribery would be on the sidelines for “seven to eight weeks” after he was stretchered off having twisted his ankle early in the 2-0 defeat, which sent France packing. According to Muller-Wohlfahrt, who is Bayern’s and the German national team’s doctor, Ribery, who had to go off after just 10 minutes in a huge blow for Les Bleus, has torn a ligament above his left ankle.


Scientists solve riddle

Forensic scientists have proved the champion Australian gelding Phar Lap died of arsenic poisoning, solving a mystery that has intrigued the horse racing world for more than 75 years. Phar Lap won 37 of his 51 starts before his death in mysterious circumstances at the Menlo Park racetrack in California in April 1932. Days earlier he had won Mexico’s Agua Caliente Handicap, which was then the richest horse race in North America. At the time of his death, Phar Lap was the third-highest stake winner in the world. Arsenic poisoning has long been suspected as the cause of Phar Lap’s death, but confirmation had been lacking until yesterday, when researchers Ivan Kempson of the University of South Australia and Dermot Henry, manager of Natural Science Collections at Museum Victoria, released the findings of their forensic investigation. Kempson took six hairs from Phar Lap’s mane and analyzed them at the Advanced Photon Source Synchrotron in Chicago, finding that in the 40 hours before Phar Lap’s death the horse had ingested a massive dose of arsenic. “We can’t speculate where the arsenic came from, but it was easily accessible at the time,” Henry said.


Fothen wins Swiss stage

Germany’s Markus Fothen won the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse cycling race on Wednesday, a 190km ride from Domat-Ems to Caslano in Switzerland. After nearly five hours, the Gerolsteiner rider was 50 seconds ahead of the field after his partner in a late breakaway, Franck Schleck of Luxembourg, fell off the road with 5km to go. Serguei Ivanov of Russia finished in second place, with the main pack a further seven seconds behind. Igor Anton of Spain retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey. Fothen and Schleck escaped the peloton during the final Cademario climb, a second category peak, and looked set to fight a duel to the line. But Schleck struck a barrier and he tumbled over his handlebars and down a hillside. Fothen seized the opportunity for his first stage win of the year and improved to seventh in the overall standings, trailing Anton by 31 seconds. Schleck was unhurt and remounted to finish three minutes behind.