IAAF records back Lewis
Madrid: World track and field’s anti-doping chief determined in 1988 that drug samples provided by eight American athletes at the Olympic trials that year should not be treated as positives, according to IAAF records. Arne Ljungqvist, head of the sport’s anti-doping commission, found that the US Olympic committee “had wrongly announced that eight athletes had been found positive,” according to minutes of the IAAF council meeting in Seoul, on September 18-19, 1988.
The document supports the International Association of Athletic Federation’s statement last month that the USOC was right in clearing Carl Lewis and other athletes of doping violations. According to documents released to media outlets by Dr Wade Exum, the USOC’s former director for drug control, US athletes tested positive for drugs more than 100 times from 1988-2000. Only a handful were barred from competing; 19 went on to win medals.
Becker wants more of Pete
Hamburg: Boris Becker hopes that Pete Sampras’ decision to miss this year’s French Open and Wimbledon championships does not mark the end of his illustrious career. “You have to respect his decision. But I sincerely hope we see him one more time at the US Open. I don’t know if this is it, I hope not,” the six-time Grand Slam winner said at the Masters Series event in Hamburg on Friday. “I haven’t spoken to him so I don’t know what’s on his mind. It’s probably the most difficult decision of his life.”
Sampras has not played a match since winning his 14th career Grand Slam by beating Andre Agassi at the 2002 US Open but Becker, who lost to Sampras in the 1995 Wimbledon final, believes it will be hard for him to walk away. “It took me a while to call it quits and I think anybody who has won a Grand Slam or two, in his case 14, it’s something we have been doing all our lives so we don’t have the game plan for what is going to happen after. You need time to finally make up your mind,” he said.
‘Deadlock’ over TV rights
Milan: Italians may be revelling in their whitewash of this season’s Champions League, but next season they could face a blackout of European soccer on their TV screens. Uefa, European soccer’s governing body, says talks over broadcasting rights in Italy for the continent’s premier club competition are “deadlocked” after broadcasters Mediaset and Sky Italia offered to pay only 50 million Euros, half of what they stumped up for the previous rights deal.
The Champions League final will be an all-Italian affair with Juventus facing AC Milan in Manchester on May 28.
Fake uniforms confiscated
Athens: Fraud inspectors confiscated 13,500 T-shirts and other counterfeit Olympic clothing following a raid in Central Athens, 2004 organisers said Saturday. The clothes, packed in 110 boxes, were seized on Wednesday.
The articles bore the 2004 olive wreath logo and images of Olympic mascots Athena and Phevos, modelled on ancient Greek dolls. Several officials from the raided clothing company were charged with fraud, organisers said.
Mexico City: Mexico will check the naturalisation papers of 23 foreign-born soccer players after media reports alleged that a Brazilian had forged his papers. Local media reported on Friday that Brazilian Joao Batista, who plays for Colibries, had used a false naturalisation letter to obtain a Mexican passport in December.
Steve Bruce to stay
Birmingham: Steve Bruce has agreed to stay on as manager of Birmingham City for another five years after keeping the club in the Premier League this season. The former Manchester United captain took over at Birmingham in December 2001 and led the side back into the top flight for the first time in 16 years after winning last year’s playoff final.
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