Names In The News
GRIGORY RODCHENKOV, the whistleblower at the heart of the IOC’s case against Russia, alleges in sworn testimony that Nets Owner MIKHAIL PROKHOROV "paid a Russian biathlete millions of rubles not to disclose the elaborate doping scheme that has resulted in the country’s ban from the upcoming Pyeongchang Games." Still, there is "no further evidence to support the accusation," and Prokhorov disputed the claim made by Rodchenkov, the former director of Russia's anti-doping agency (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/8).
MAJOR PLAYERS: Sources said that the potential Disney-Fox deal would make Fox Exec Chair RUPERT MURDOCH and his sons major Disney shareholders with "outsize power over important decisions," including who would succeed Disney Chair & CEO BOB IGER. The deal under discussion "involves cash and Disney stock that would flow to Fox shareholders, and it could make the Murdochs Disney’s largest individual shareholders." Sources said that the Murdochs are "jockeying behind the scenes for as much power as they possibly can extract from Disney" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 12/7).
BODES WELL: Gold Medal-winning U.S. skier BODE MILLER recently became an equity partner and the Chief Innovation Officer at Aztech Mountain, an upstart company based in N.Y. and Aspen that "makes functional and ruggedly stylish ski wear." Miller said that he "initially came in contact with Aztech Mountain in the Andes, while working on a commercial photo shoot for Bomber, a ski and pole company of which he is also part owner." Started in '13, Aztech was "still very much in start-up mode, which appealed to Miller, who was looking for a role beyond the traditional celebrity spokesmodel." Meanwhile, Miller will serve as an analyst for NBC during the Pyeongchang Games (N.Y. TIMES, 12/7).
LOADS OF IT: Redskins LS NICK SUNDBERG and the team recently launched Loads of Love, which aims to fix "one potential excuse for absenteeism." With a $25,000 donation from Sundberg himself, they have "installed washers and dryers in three local schools and two local youth shelters." He has also "advertised the cause on his cleats, solicited donations from fans and teammates, and promoted the grant process that will allow other local schools to apply for similar help" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/8).
MAKING A PLEDGE: Devils D BEN LOVEJOY is the first active NHLer to "pledge his brain to the Concussion Legacy Foundation." Lovejoy said that while he has "never had a diagnosed concussion, he's pledging his brain because, 'I am a believer in science'" (TSN.ca, 12/7)....The Raiders have "pledged $10,000 to Las Vegas nonprofit Safe Nest," which assists survivors of domestic violence by "providing services such as shelter, advocacy and protection" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 12/8).
NAMES: Nike announced plans to expand its campus in Beaverton, Ore., with four new buildings. One will be named after SERENA WILLIAMS and another after IAAF President SEBASTIAN COE. A fitness center will be named after Duke men’s basketball coach MIKE KRZYZEWSKI. The fourth new building will be a parking garage (SI.com, 12/7)....Pelicans C DEMARCUS COUSINS on Thursday “hosted his seventh annual ‘Santa Cuz’ shopping spree for kids” at a Target in New Orleans (NOLA.com, 12/7)....IndyCar drivers CONOR DALY and ALEXANDER ROSSI on Thursday “officially announced they’ll compete” in CBS’ next season of “THE AMAZING RACE,” which premieres at 8:00pm ET on Jan. 3 (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 12/8)....LAVAR BALL said that his sons, LIANGELO and LAMELO, have “signed with agent HARRISON GAINES” of Ball Sports Group. The plan is now for “both to play on the same team overseas.” Gaines also represents their older brother, Lakers G LONZO BALL (ESPN.com, 12/7)....Former NBAer ANDREI KIRILENKO’s house in L.A. reportedly has “burned down in the wildfires that have engulfed southern California” (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 12/8).