Thu, Sep 20, 2012 - Page 18


Escobar banned for gay slur

Major League Baseball slapped Toronto Blue Jays player Yunel Escobar with a three-game ban on Tuesday after he appeared in a game with a homophobic slur written in eye black on his face. The gay slur was written in Spanish and appeared in the shortstop’s eye black during Saturday’s contest against the Boston Red Sox. “The salary lost by Escobar during his suspension will be directed by the Toronto Blue Jays to You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD),” the Blue Jays said on Tuesday. “Yunel will participate in an outreach initiative to help educate society about sensitivity and tolerance to others based on their sexual orientation ... Escobar will also participate in a sensitivity training program in accordance with the Blue Jays and Major League Baseball. The Blue Jays want to reaffirm that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. The club looks forward to supporting the efforts of You Can Play and GLAAD to help promote education for players and fans alike and to help keep language like this out of the game and society.”


Venus to play in Hopman Cup

Venus Williams will make her Hopman Cup debut in Perth later this year, partnering John Isner to represent the US in the mixed international tournament, organizers said yesterday. Seven-time Grand Slam champion Williams will have a chance to match her sister Serena, who won the tournament in 2008 with Mardy Fish and five years earlier with James Blake. “I’ve never been to Perth — I’ve never played the Hopman Cup, so for me it’s going to be a wonderful experience,” Williams said in a press release. “I’ve watched it literally every year on TV so now I get to play, I’m very excited.” World No. 10 Isner won the title last year with Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic have already been confirmed as the Serbia pairing for the event, which will take place from Dec. 29 to Jan. 5.


Allawee cleared of fixing

Malaysia international goalkeeper Sharbinee Allawee has been cleared of match-fixing allegations leveled at him by his club manager after passing a lie-detector test, a government anti-corruption agency has said. Terengganu’s English coach Peter Butler substituted 25-year-old Sharbinee after the goalkeeper had clumsily palmed the ball into his own net to allow Kedah to equalize in a Malaysia Cup match earlier this month. An incensed Butler vowed Sharbinee would not play for his side again following the incident, but the director of the Terengganu office of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) said the player was found to have done nothing wrong. “As far as we are concerned, he is innocent,” Md Yusoff Md Zin told yesterday’s Malaysian Star.


Coach accused of abuse

An investigation has been launched after a South Korean athlete with cerebral palsy accused his coach of abusing him at the London Paralympic Games earlier this month. The unnamed athlete also said the coach had taken money from him to pay for training sessions, Yonhap news agency said, adding that prosecutors in Incheon were investigating. “During the Paralympics, the coach one night returned home drunk and hammered the athlete’s head with a light stand,” the athlete’s aide told Yonhap. “He has been abusing him frequently since 2010. The athlete is ranked No. 1 in the world, but couldn’t win a medal because of injuries he sustained from the coach’s abuse.”