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Volume 6 No. 196

People and Pop Culture

British tennis player ANDY MURRAY "called for tennis to step up its efforts to ensure it does not suffer from the same drugs-related scourge that has blighted cycling," according to Mike Dickson of the London DAILY MAIL. Murray "wants to see an increase in the unannounced testing" of players in their offseason. He "actually welcomed having a random blood test at his hotel last Saturday night, and would like more players to have those 'surprises' when they disappear for winter training blocks." Murray "joined a growing number of professionals who want to see more done" in a sport that, while still involving a huge amount of skill, "places an increasing premium on strength and endurance." Murray said, "The out-of-competition stuff could probably get better. When we’re in December, when people are training and setting their bases, it would be good to do more around that time" (DAILY MAIL, 10/30).

NOT ENOUGH DONE: In London, Paul Newman wrote that "while tennis is not believed to have a major drugs problem, critics believe that not enough testing is done." Most tests "are carried out during tournaments and most are urine tests, which are not considered as effective as blood tests." Last year only 21 players worldwide -- 18 men and three women -- were blood-tested out of competition by the Int'l Tennis Federation and the World Anti-Doping Agency (INDEPENDENT, 10/29). In Glasgow, Simon Cambers wrote that Murray "believes tennis was in a much healthier position than cycling." He said, "I think there's very little skill involved in the Tour de France, it's pretty much just physical. A lot of the way the teams work now is just science whereas with tennis, you can't teach the skill by taking a drug" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 10/30). Murray said, "It's a shame for their sport, but how they managed to get away with it was incredible, for so long" (MIRROR, 10/30).

The Goa Cricket Association expelled former President DAYANAND NARVEKAR, who is "accused of misuse of funds from the primary membership." The GCA Special General Body announced its decision at its meeting held in Porvorim, India. GCA President VINOD PHADKE said that Narvekar had been "found guilty of alleged financial irregularities, misuse of funds and impropriety" by the Managing Committee (PTI, 10/28).

MANAGERS: Romanian champions CFR Cluj 1907 has appointed PAULO SÉRGIO as its coach until the end of the season. He replaces IOAN ANDONE, who vacated his post last week. Sérgio's deal includes an option to stay past this season (UEFA). ... Korea Baseball Organization club Lotte Giants Manager YANG SEUNG-HO has resigned "to take the fall for the club's failure to reach a final during his two-year tenure." Yang "offered to step down" during a meeting with team President CHANG BYUNG-SOO (YONHAP, 10/30).

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Nearly 20 players have already confirmed their participation in the 10th edition of the UEFA-backed Match Against Poverty at the Grêmio Arena in Porto Alegre, Brazil on Dec. 19. Former players RONALDO and ZINÉDINE ZIDANE will each choose and lead his own team. Ronaldo's team already includes current players NEYMAR, LUCAS MOURA, ROMÁRIO, BEBETO, DENILSON, JULIANO BELLETTI, SERGINHO and ROQUE JÚNIOR. Former players on the team include CHRISTIAN VIERI, SANTIAGO SOLARI, DECO, PEDRO PAULETA, CHRISTIAN KAREMBEU, MICHEL SALGADO and HIDETOSHI NAKATA. World Cup coach for Brazil in '02 LUIZ FELIPE SCOLARI and current Brazil national team coach MANO MENEZES will be the team captains (UEFA). ... German hockey player SVEN FELSKI "announced his retirement Monday afternoon after 20 years with only one club, Eisbären Berlin." Felski, who was also called "Mayor," has to end his career "due to a severe knee injury" (, 10/29). ... Spanish cyclist ALBERTO CONTADOR will make his brief acting debut in the Spanish TV comedy series "Fenómenos" (EFE, 10/30). ... World No. 1 squash player JAMES WILLSTROP's book "Shot and a Ghost" has been shortlisted for this year's William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award (Professional Squash Association). ... SERENA and VENUS WILLIAMS arrived in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, on Tuesday, as part of a two-nation tour. A statement from the initiative they are representing, Breaking The Mould, said the trip, including exhibition matches, is aimed at promoting "the role that women play in shifting perceptions and encouraging development at all levels across the African continent" (AFP, 10/30).

AN AWARD OF GOLD: Tour de France champion BRADLEY WIGGINS has "won the prestigious" Velo d'Or award as the best rider of '12. Wiggins beat the Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders winner TOM BOONEN and Spain's JOAQUIM RODRÍGUEZ in a poll of cycling journalists set up by French publication Velo Magazine (REUTERS, 10/30). The London INDEPENDENT reported that Wiggins has been awarded third place in the 2009 Tour de France after LANCE ARMSTRONG's result was "wiped from the record books" (INDEPENDENT, 10/30).

NHL PLAYERS ABROAD: German Hockey League (DEL) club EHC Red Bull Munich reacted to the injuries of its forwards JASON ULMER and TONI RITTER by acquiring NHL player BLAKE WHEELER. The 26-year-old forward will join the team on Thursday. Wheeler scored 64 points in 80 games with the Winnipeg Jets last season (EHC Red Bull Munich). ... NHL player PATRICK KANE "will make his debut with Swiss National League A club EHC Biel." The Chicago Blackhawks captain and his new team "will take on EV Zug" (, 10/30).

WHEN THE GAME'S OVER: Mercedes F1 driver MICHAEL SCHUMACHER, who will retire at the end of the season, "will be allowed to keep his Mercedes F1 W03 race car as a farewell present." Schumacher said about the around €1M ($1.3M) car, "Optically, especially due to the kink of the nose, you have to get used to the car" (MOTORSPORT MAGAZIN, 10/28). ... Former F1 driver ADRIAN SUTIL "could make a comeback with his former team Force India in '13." Force India Team Principal VIJAY MALLYA "mentioned Sutil as a possible successor of current driver NICO HÜLKENBERG who will probably move to Sauber." Mallya said, "Adrian is always fast, and I definitely would consider him" (SID, 10/30).

The BBC F1 reporter JAKE HUMPHREY: "Dear F1 gods, British F1 fans are best in the world so please, please deliver an exciting race for the first time in a while-they deserve it"

The BBC's BEN SMITH: "Spoken to Harry Redknapp in the last 30mins, he told me there is "nothing in" reports linking him to the Blackburn job"'s TIM STANNARD: "Someone in Madrid may not have enjoyed their cornflakes and paper this morning. 1st 15 pages in Marca dedicated to Messi winning golden boot"

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