Ex-champ's slayer convicted
A Dominican air force sergeant was convicted in the slaying of former boxing champion Agapito Sanchez, the Santo Domingo prosecutor's office said on Thursday. Sergeant Diogenes Nova Rosario shot Sanchez twice in the stomach on Nov. 15, last year during a fight at a Santo Domingo shop where the boxer had been playing dominoes, prosecutor Angel Tejeda Fabal said in a statement. The 35-year-old former junior featherweight champ died two days later from the gunshot wounds. Nova was sentenced to 15 years in prison and ordered to pay court costs and a US$31,000 fine to the boxer's relatives.
Real inject fresh blood
Real Madrid have boosted their squad with the signings of Argentines Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago. Higuain received the club's white jersey on Thursday at his official presentation in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. He completed his 13 million euro (US$17.1 million) move from River Plate on Wednesday and has signed a six-and-a-half-year contract. "I am going try and prove that those who showed confidence in me were not mistaken, I'm going to try and win everyone's respect through hard work," Higuain said. Real confirmed on Thursday the signing of Boca Juniors' Fernando Gago. Gago has agreed to a six-year contract and was due to be presented yesterday, Madrid said in a statement on its Web site. The club gave no details of the fee. On Wednesday, Boca said on its Web site that the Spanish club would pay US$27 million for the 20-year-old midfielder. Boca originally wanted to keep Gago until June next year, and wasn't willing to cede on its transfer fee demand. Boca president Mauricio Macri traveled to Spain earlier this week to hear Real Madrid's offer, but returned on Wednesday without news to announce. But Argentine media reported that the deadlock was ended late Wednesday after Gago renounced his 15 percent of the transfer fee.
Irureta quits Real Betis
Real Betis coach Javier Irureta resigned on Thursday after just six months in charge. Irureta guided Betis to just three wins from its first 15 games of the season. "My contract has been rescinded by mutual agreement but I made the first move. We could have continued like this for much longer but it wasn't good," said Irureta, who added he took the decision before Betis' 1-0 win over Gimnastic Tarragona on Wednesday. "Betis has a lot of life left. In fact it's still in the Cup and as it has a game in hand in the league it can avoid relegation. But there is a lack of confidence for one reason or another and we have taken this decision," the coach was quoted as saying by the Web site of sports daily Marca.
■ Winter Sports
N Korea backs games bid
North Korea has officially backed South Korea's bid to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, organizers said yesterday. The announcement is welcome news for the Pyeongchang 2014 bid committee, which is promoting the resort's claim to the event partly on the grounds that it would foster reconciliation on the divided peninsula. Pyeongchang, located 150km east of the capital Seoul, is vying with Salzburg in Austria and Russia's Black Sea town of Sochi. Mun Jae-duck, president of the North Korean Olympic Committee, wrote to the bid committee on Wednesday to confirm his support, it said in a statement. It said the letter was also sent to Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee.
Anthony won't appeal ruling
Carmelo Anthony won't appeal his 15-game suspension for his role in the New York Knicks brawl last weekend, according to USA Today and ESPN.com reports. "It is Melo's desire to focus on the issue at hand, not be a distraction to his team and focus on coming back as the best teammate he can be," Bill Duffy, CEO of BDA Sports, the agency that represents Anthony, told USA Today in Thursday's editions. "He's accepting full responsibility. That's a mature response." Duffy and Anthony's agent, Calvin Andrews, didn't return calls on Thursday.
Injured Pierce to sit out
Boston Celtics captain Paul Pierce is expected to miss the next two or three weeks of the NBA season with an injured left foot, the club announced on Thursday. An MRI exam revealed the stress reaction, a swelling on bone and soft tissue. The 29-year-old forward suffered the injury last week against Denver but has been playing despite pain for the past five days. Pierce did not train on Thursday and was wearing a protective boot. In 24 games, the playmaker has averaged a team-high 26.6 points plus 7.4 rebounds and a team-best 4.3 assists a game.
All Stars to play next year
An annual all-star game pitting South America's best against another continent's top players will take place in Los Angeles starting next year, South America's soccer organization announced on Wednesday. Conmebol, the South American soccer federation, said that the annual exhibition would run for at least nine years. The first match would likely be held in July or August, but details and dates were still being arranged. Conmebol president Nicolas Leoz said that the organization had reached agreement with Los Angeles for the annual event.
Pens may look for new digs
The Pittsburgh Penguins are off the market and owner Mario Lemieux says the team will look at relocating while it attempts to reach a deal for a new arena. "It is time to take control of our own destiny," Hall of Famer Lemieux said in a statement issued by his team on Thursday. The Penguins are free to move when this season ends following a state panel's rejection on Wednesday of a casino company's offer to build the team a new arena for free.
Williams verdicts rendered
The father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams is liable but won't have to pay damages in a lawsuit that claimed he reneged on a deal for his daughters to play in an exhibition match. A jury on Thursday cleared Venus Williams of all allegations, but said Serena Williams let her father act as an agent. Neither sister must pay damages. The dispute centered on whether Richard Williams had authority to commit his daughters to play in a 2001 match that didn't take place.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
‘CRIMINAL ACT’: The UCI said it ‘strongly condemns’ Dylan Groenewegen’s ‘dangerous behavior,’ which left Jakobsen in critical condition and injured other cyclists Dutch cyclist Fabio Jakobsen was in a coma on Wednesday, in “serious” condition, after he was thrown into and over a barrier at 80kph in the conclusion to the opening stage of the Tour de Pologne. Footage showed 23-year-old Jakobsen, of the Deceuninck-Quick-Step, racing elbow-to-elbow with fellow Dutchman Dylan Groenewegen of Jumbo-Visma as both men frantically tussled in a tight sprint to the line in Katowice. However, Jakobsen came off worst, somersaulting over the barriers before colliding with a photographer after Groenewegen had veered suddenly to the right, squeezing his rival into the security wall. “His condition is very serious. His life is
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational