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Volume 24 No. 112

Leagues and Governing Bodies

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Managing Dir Chris Kermode "has emerged as a leading candidate to become head of the ATP," according to Neil Harman of the LONDON TIMES. The succession to late ATP Exec Chair & President Brad Drewett, who "died in April from ­motor neurone disease, has been stalled in recent months as argument has gone back and forth between the tournaments and the players -- who own a 50-50 share in the ATP -- as to who possessed the right credentials." It is "understood that there are four principal hopefuls," including Kermode and three Americans: Chief Legal Officer & ATP Americas CEO Mark Young; BNP Paribas Open Tournament Dir and WTA BOD member Steve Simon; and former WTA President and NBA China CEO David Shoemaker. Kermode has been tournament ­director of the ATP AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club for the past seven years, during which time he has "developed a healthy relationship with the leading players that has been solidified by his confident building of the reputation of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, the tour’s showpiece finale." The ATP BOD next week in London is "scheduled to deliberate and Drewett’s successor will be named by the end of the year." Kermode is "likely to be the choice of the players and as he has been responsible for the management of two highly successful tournaments, he ought to satisfy the demands of that side of the ATP governance" (LONDON TIMES, 10/29).

: In London, Mike Dickson writes the "attempts of tennis to clamp down on doping were mired in confusion and recrimination" yesterday after tennis player Marin Cilic "emerged from his shortened ban for testing positive." Cilic appeared at the BNP Paribas Masters in his first match since Wimbledon, and afterwards "insisted that the sport’s anti-doping authorities had mistakenly overestimated the amount of Nikethamide found in his body when he failed a test back in May." Tennis player Jo Wilfried Tsonga earlier "articulated a general level of exasperation with the system when he declared that 'everybody is lying'" on the issue. Tsonga said, "Those who are testing us I feel are not always saying the truth, so with all these things we don't even know where the truth lies" (London DAILY MAIL, 10/29).

Golfer Karen Stupples discussed the transition Lydia Ko faces after turning pro and being granted membership to the LPGA tour. Stupples said, "In many respects it is going to be a fairly comfortable transition for her. The difference will be playing for money, that will be a big difference and in the sponsor obligations she is going to have too." Stupples said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan "generally wants what is best for these girls that are applying for these petitions." Stupples: "He has their best interests at heart but obviously he wants the best for the Tour as well, and having her out on the tour is what’s best for us" ("Golf Central," Golf Channel, 10/28).

AGENT OF CHANGE? NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr. on Saturday became the first African-American in 50 years to win a race on NASCAR's national level. He talked about what the win could do for the future of the sport and said, “Hopefully, it changes it for the better. It’s increasing every day, you are starting to see more minorities in the stands, behind the wheel of cars, working at the track, dealing with sponsors, so it’s all changing. That’s the main goal, that’s what the diversity program is for. I’ve come up through the ranks of that and just trying to do the best I can on-track and off-track” ("NASCAR Race Hub," FS1, 10/28). Wallace also appeared on "The Arsenio Hall Show" and said he has been racing for "11 hard-fought years" and he does not "plan on turning back now." Hall: "You are like the Obama of racing, except your web site works better" ("The Arsenio Hall Show," 10/28).

EXPORTING BUSINESS: SI’s Lee Jenkins said there is a "race, clearly, between the NBA and the NFL" to see which league first puts a team in London on a permanent basis. Jenkins noted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said over the weekend he wants a team in London. But Jenkins wondered if there is "enough talent and specifically, quarterback talent, to go around for more NFL expansion." CBS’ Seth Davis said, “It isn’t a question of talent. It’s a question of television dollars and fans and marketing and attendance, and the NFL has done a good job over the years building up a fan base in England. In London, it's on television" (“Rome,” CBSSN, 10/28).
MORE HEALTHY BODIES: CBS' Bill Cowher on Sunday lobbied to have the NFL active roster expanded due to the rash of injuries teams are facing. He said, “It’s time we need to continue to talk about expanding the gameday roster, moving the gameday roster to maybe 50. … The quality of the game is going to suffer, and when an injury happens, there is a trickle-down effect where players are having to play more plays and more injuries can occur. It’s a CBA issue but it is something that has to be addressed” (“The NFL Today,” CBS, 10/27).