Chinese ban on 34 athletes
Beijing: China has fined or banned 34 athletes who tested positive for drugs, the official Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday.
Fourteen of the offenders were weightlifters and 10 were from track and field events, Shi Kangcheng, an Olympic Committee official who oversees China’s anti-doping programme, was quoted as saying. “We are determined to eradicate the cancer,” he told the news agency.
Lin Na, national women’s 800m and 1,500m champion in 2001, and Liu Huyuan, a top men’s distance runner, were among those caught last year. Shi said eight athletes, including Lin Na and Liu Huyuan, were suspended for two years. Lin’s coach Zhang Juan, charged with a second doping violation, was banned for life and fined 40,000 yuan ($4,800).
China, host of the 2008 Olympics, was widely accused of systematic doping after seven of its swimmers tested positive for steroids at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima. But it announced a clean-up campaign and dropped 27 athletes from its Olympic team before the 2000 Sydney Games due to suspicious blood tests.
Sexual assault charge
Melbourne: Gavin Hopper, one of Australia’s top tennis coaches, appeared in a Melbourne court on Tuesday charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
Hopper, who has coached Monica Seles, Mark Philippoussis and Amanda Coetzer, faced three charges of assaulting a 15-year-old girl in Melbourne between 1985 and 1986, Australia media reported.
The qualified sports scientist, who specialises in helping players with their physical conditioning, now runs a tennis academy in Queensland with Australia’s former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash. After a brief hearing on Tuesday during which the 47-year-old was not required to enter a plea, Hopper was ordered to return to Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on August 6.
MCC rejects Lord’s protest
London: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), the owners of Lord's cricket ground, have rejected a request from an anti-Robert Mugabe protest group to have a dedicated spot inside the ground when the first test against Zimbabwe starts Thursday.
Peter Tatchell, one of the organisers of the stop the tour campaign asked for a spot inside lord's to make their point. Tatchell wanted a space to display a protest banner, even though MCC ground regulations ban spectators from bringing in flags and banners. An MCC executive board meeting turned down Tatchell's request Tuesday.
Wilmots heads towards Senate
Brussels: Belgian World Cup great Marc Wilmots is heading from retirement as a player straight into Parliament after he was overwhelmingly elected to the Senate, near-complete results showed Monday.
The rookie politician finished fourth in the popularity ratings in Belgium’s southern Wallonia, earning 79,437 votes with 98 per cent of polling stations counted. Wilmots’ popularity at the polls stands in sharp contrast to his success as a coach. During the election campaign, Wilmots also coached his club Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga but lost the last four games.
He will quit that job to become a full-time politician and the first soccer player in the Senate.
In a nation marked by perennial political divisions between the Dutch-speaking north and the Francophone South, Wilmots has said he wants to be a defender of unity and sports. Wilmots scored 28 goals in 70 appearances for the Red Devils.
Olympic boxer dies
Almaty: Aleksandr Miroshnichenko, a former Soviet Olympic boxing medallist plunged to his death on Monday in an apparent accident. Miroshnichenko, 38, a super heavyweight who won bronze at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and twice the Soviet Union champion, was found dead on the ground floor of his apartment Monday.
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