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SBD Global/January 29, 2013/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

The Lotus F1 team has won "the first battle" of the new F1 season by launching its '13 car on Monday evening ahead of every other team (LONDON TIMES, 1/28). Prior to the unveiling of the new car, Lotus uploaded a video to its YouTube channel that showed former "Friends" actor MATT LEBLANC interviewing Lotus driver KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN about his new car (SBD GLOBAL). ... Heptathlete JESSICA ENNIS’ coach has been given a “take it or leave it” ultimatum as he ponders whether to accept a new role with UK Athletics. TONI MINICHIELLO has been offered a consultancy role with the governing body "on reduced pay" (LONDON TIMES, 1/28). ... Ex-professional cyclist GRISCHA NIERMANN said that he took the banned performance-enhancing substance EPO, "becoming the fourth former Rabobank team rider to say he’s cheated." In October, Rabobank ended its 17-year sponsorship of cycling. Last week, Rabobank said doping admissions made by three of its former athletes were "disturbing and shocking" (BLOOMBERG, 1/28).

TOP OF THE CHART: Spanish tennis player DAVID FERRER "has become for the first time in his career the top Spanish player in the ATP rankings." Ferrer has surpassed the injured RAFAEL NADAL to become No. 4 in the rankings. Nadal dropped to No. 5 (MARCA, 1/28). ... Sky Deutschland Chief Commentator MARCEL REIF "has extended its contract with the pay-TV channel until summer '15" (DWDL, 1/28). ... Broadcaster BeIN Sport VP CHARLES BIETRY will leave his post "in the upcoming weeks" (TELE, 1/26). ... Chinese sailor GUO CHUAN "finished half voyage of his solo non-stop sailing around the world last week." The mark of Guo's half voyage was a buoy near the Port Coronel Rosales, east of Argentina (XINHUA, 1/28).

ATHLETE CONTRACTS: Istanbul club Galatasaray has completed its signing of Chinese Super League Shanghai Shenhua forward DIDIER DROGBA in a one-and-a-half-year deal (UEFA). ... Barcelona midfielder XAVI has signed a contract extension through June 30, 2016 (AS, 1,28). ... Swiss National League A hockey club SC Berne has signed former Czech Stanley Cup champion PETR SYKORA "to a contract until the end of the season." Sykora has scored 721 points (323 goals/398 assists) in 1,017 NHL games (NEUE ZÜRCHER ZEITUNG, 1/28).

NEWS FROM HOLLYWOOD: Newly Oscar-nominated BRADLEY COOPER will star as LANCE ARMSTRONG in American producer JJ ABRAM's "forthcoming biopic of the shamed cyclist." Cooper, who competes for a best actor Academy Award next month for his portrayal of a troubled soul in American Dir DAVID O'RUSSELL's "Silver Lining Playbook," expressed his interest in the role in an interview with BBC last week. Cooper: "I think he's fascinating" (London GUARDIAN, 1/28).
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