The BBC will announce changes to its Sports Personality of the Year awards process later this month "following last year's outcry at no women being included on the 10-strong shortlist," according to Martyn Ziegler of the London INDEPENDENT. It appears unlikely that 'lads mags' Nuts and Zoo will keep their votes as changes are expected to be made to the shortlisting panel. Other changes are also likely to take place, "possibly expanding the number of sports stars on the shortlist and having a panel of experts to then reduce the size of the list ahead of a public vote." A BBC spokesperson said that the changes "would not be dramatic." The spokesperson said, "It will be evolution rather than revolution." In other words, there will be "no move toward having a separate award for men and women nor of giving the Paralympics any special status," both of which have been suggested (INDEPENDENT, 9/12).
People and Pop Culture
Seven-time NBA champion ROBERT HORRY is in India to promote NBA 3X presented by Sprite "to help the sport grow" throughout the country (IANS, 9/12). ... Belarusian shot putter NADZEYA OSTAPCHUK, who had her Gold Medal taken away during the London Games, "was unaware her coach had been doping her food." Belarusian Anti-Doping Agency Head ALEKSANDR VANHADLO said, "It was a complex investigation, which we completed on Sept. 7. It was established that the forbidden substance was given to the athlete without her knowledge. The athlete's coach ALEKSANDR EFIMOV added dope to Ostapchuk's food." And Efimov admitted this during the investigation" (RT.com, 9/12). ... London Mayor BORIS JOHNSON will chair his London Legacy Development Corp. following the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Johnson said that the Games legacy, "including the future of the Olympic Park and the continued regeneration of East London, is a top priority" (EUROSPORT, 9/12). ... England's Blenheim course designer DAVID EVANS received the Bill Thomson Memorial Award (HORSEANDHOUND.co.uk, 9/12). ... Former tennis World No. 1 JUAN CARLOS FERRERO announced he will retire from the sport after the Valencia Open 500 (EFE, 9/12).
FOOTBALL PLAYERS: ManU defender RIO FERDINAND has been banned from driving after being caught speeding on the same road three times in less than six weeks. Lawyer NICK FREEMAN, who represented him at Trafford Magistrates Court, said Ferdinand was "a victim of the modern speed detection system" (MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS, 9/12). ... Arsenal wants to take DIDIER DROGBA away from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua. The club has made inquiries with Shenhua "to see if there is a way of bringing the striker, 34, back to London" (THE SUN, 9/12). ... Former Arsenal midfielder IAN SELLEY has been named head coach of Arsenal Soccer Schools in Dubai. He will begin work on Sept. 24 (GULF NEWS, 9/12). ... Japanese midfielder DAISUKE MATSUI has joined Bulgarian club Slavia Sofia (REUTERS, 9/11).
BBC presenter Gary Lineker: "Remember being in Barcelona watching the tragedy unfold. 23 years on we learn the truth. 23 YEARS!! A national disgrace!"
ManU defender Rio Ferdinand: "Didn't know so many drivers followed me!! Thanks for the offers but I'm cool, I'm sorted on the drivers front. #speedkills"
London Daily Mail's Mike Dickson: "Found a novel way of avoiding being stopped by customs at Heathrow this morning - walk a few steps behind Andy Murray."
Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl: "Road to 2014 World Cup: 127 nations now competing for 31 spots. (Started with 203.) Out this week: Cuba."
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