Names In The News
Serbian tennis player NOVAK DJOKOVIC "has been named Balkan Athlete of the Year." The 25-year-old beat out Turkey's ASLI CAKIR ALPTEKIN, who won the women's 1,500m Gold Medal at the London Olympics. Croatian SANDRA PERKOVIC, women's discuss champion at the London Games, came third in the annual poll (REUTERS, 1/22). ... NBA Houston Rockets G JEREMY LIN "is reportedly being courted" by the Pontifical Council for Culture to attend a Vatican-sponsored int'l conference. The event will aim to instill "moral and ethical values in athletes following numerous high-profile sporting scandals in recent years involving alcohol, sexual misconduct and performance enhancing drugs" (WANT CHINA TIMES, 1/21). ... French cyclist STEVE HOUANARD has tested positive for the presence of EPO in a urine sample collected during an out-of-competition test on Sept. 21 and will be suspended for two years (Int'l Cycling Union) ... Serie A club U.C. Sampdoria President RICCARDO GARRONE died Monday "after a long illness." The 76-year-old, who ran the ERG energy group, took control of Sampdoria in '02 and "helped steer them back to Serie A in his first season" (ESPN, 1/22). ... Britain marathon runner MARA YAMAUCHI has decided to retire from elite competition. Yamauchi will return to her previous employment at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, but will continue to be active in the running world (UK Athletics).