Bates sacked over jet row
Ken Bates on Sunday revealed he was sacked as president of Championship club Leeds United after a disagreement over a private jet. Former Chelsea chairman Bates bought Leeds in 2005 and remained on the board after selling the three-time English champions to Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) in December last year. However, the 81-year-old’s time with Leeds appears to have come to an acrimonious end after reports he renewed a contract with a private jet company without the approval of GFH. Bates had used a private jet to travel between his base in Monaco and Leeds for eight years and is adamant the contract, reported to be worth ￡120,000 per year, he signed to become president continued that arrangement with the full knowledge of GFH. Bates was on holiday in Italy when he received a hand-delivered letter informing him of his dismissal.
Zabel admits to doping
Former sprinter Erik Zabel admitted to having used doping products including EPO from 1996 to 2004, in an interview published on German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Sunday. He also admitted to blood doping and using cortisone. Zabel’s admission comes a few days after he was named in a French government report that identified cyclists who had tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour de France. The German had previously admitted in 2007 to taking EPO in 1996, although he said he had stopped using it after one week.
Probe clears BCCI president
A probe ordered by India’s cricket chiefs into a betting scandal in the Indian Premier League has found no wrongdoing, allowing the return of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N. Srinivasan, a source said yesterday. Srinivasan stepped aside temporarily as president of the BCCI on June 2 after his son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan was arrested, and later released on bail, over alleged links to illegal bookmakers. Meiyappan is a team owner of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings, a team bought by Srinivasan’s India Cements conglomerate when the league was launched in 2008. The BCCI appointed two retired High Court judges, Jayaram Chouta and R. Balasubramanian, to conduct an internal probe into the involvement of its members or of IPL owners. Police have also questioned Raj Kundra, husband of Bollywood star Shilpa Shetty and co-owner of the Rajasthan Royals franchise which had three players arrested for alleged spot-fixing. The probe report, which was submitted to BCCI’s acting chief Jagmohan Dalmiya on Sunday, cleared Srinivasan’s India Cements, Rajasthan Royals, Meiyappan and Kundra of spot-fixing allegations.
Prodigy sets sights on Rio
Twelve-year-old Japanese table tennis prodigy Mima Ito has set her sights on challenging China’s hegemony at the next Olympics after once again wowing audiences in Taiwan. Ito won the under-15 and under-18 events at the Chinese Taipei Junior and Cadet Open over the weekend, retaining the titles she won two years ago at the age of 10. “I am very happy to have won this double title for the second time after two years,” she said in an International Table Tennis Federation press release. “Two years ago my technique was very basic and I won purely on my reflexes. This year, I have a much higher level of technique.” Now Ito is hoping to break the Chinese stranglehold on the sport at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.