Daimler overtakes Mercedes
German auto giant Daimler confirmed on Monday that it had taken full control of the Mercedes Formula One team after buying up a 40 percent share from the Abu Dhabi-based fund Aabar, Agence France-Presse subsidiary SID reported. Aabar joined forces with Daimler in 2009, but had since decided to stop funding the Mercedes team. Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who will race in his final Grand Prix before retiring on Sunday, will be replaced at Mercedes next year by Briton Lewis Hamilton, who signed from McLaren. Hamilton will race for the German team alongside Nico Rosberg.
50 Cent to promote boxing
Rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent is taking a swing at promoting boxing in Nevada in the US. Nevada Athletic Commission executive Keith Kizer on Monday said the entertainer and businessman, whose real name is Curtis James Jackson III, won approval last week for a promoter’s license. The company is called SMS Promotions and is handling a Dec. 8 bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas between Cuban-born, Miami-based boxer Yuriorkis Gamboa and an opponent yet to be named. Messages left on Monday with the company in New York City were not returned.
Top jockey banned for bet
Leading Australian jockey Damien Oliver has been banned from racing for 10 months after admitting placing a US$10,000 bet on a rival horse. Oliver, who has twice won Australia’s richest race, the Melbourne Cup, pleaded guilty at a hearing yesterday to placing the bet on the winning horse in a race in Melbourne in October 2010. Stewards imposed an eight-month suspension on Oliver, to be followed by a two-month limited suspension during which he will be allowed to ride track work. Oliver apologized for his action, saying his lack of judgment should not reflect on jockeys or the racing industry. He told stewards the betting incident happened after his wife had left him, taking their three children. Oliver said he was in emotional turmoil and had developed a drinking problem. He placed the bet on the horse Miss Octopussy, which won as favorite, returning US$23,000 for his US$10,000 bet.
Serb-Croat rivalry flares up
The strained relations between Balkan rivals Serbia and Croatia have spilled over into the realm of soccer. A proposal by Croatia manager Igor Stimac that acquitted generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac take the honorary kickoff at the start of a 2014 World Cup qualifier between the two nations on March 22 in Zagreb, Croatia, was greeted with fury by Serbian soccer officials. On Friday, the two generals were acquitted by the UN tribunal for the former Yugoslavia of charges of being responsible for war crimes against minority Serbs during a 1995 Croatian military blitz. Serbia manager Sinisa Mihajlovic, a Serb born in Croatia, on Monday said his team will boycott the match if the two are allowed on the field. After receiving criticism from his own football association, Stimac said that his words “were taken out of context.” Croatian Football Federation president Davor Suker said Stimac “needs a spanking” for the proposal. Croatia and Belgium lead Group A with 10 points, with Serbia trailing six points behind and seeing the match against Croatia as its last chance to catch up.