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Volume 6 No. 212

People and Pop Culture

Liverpool announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder PHILIPPE COUTINHO from Inter Milan in a €10M ($13.6M) move. The player will wear the No. 10 shirt for his new club (GAZETA, 1/30). ... The list for this year’s Indian Premier League player auction has been released, and Australian player RICKY PONTING "is in the top price bracket alongside current Test captain MICHAEL CLARKE." Ponting and Clarke "have both been assigned a base price" of $400,000 for the auction, which will be held Sunday at the ITC Grand Chola hotel in Chennai, India (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/31). ... Danish cyclist MICHAEL RASMUSSEN on Thursday "admitted to 12 years of doping after making a tell-all deal with anti-doping authorities." Rasmussen said in a TV news conference that he "took performance-enhancing drugs between" 1998-2010 (REUTERS, 1/31). ... Japan national football coach ALBERTO ZACCHERONI is in "shock upon learning that 15 top female judo wrestlers, some of them London Olympians, were slapped, beaten with wooden swords and told to 'die' by their head coach" RYUJI SONODA (KYODO, 2/1).

Former South Korean table tennis player LEE ERISA, 58, who is now serving as a lawmaker with the ruling Saenuri Party, "declared her candidacy for president of the Korean Olympic Committee" Thursday. No woman "has been head of the country’s most influential sports governing body" (KOREA JOONGANG DAILY, 2/1). ... English swimmer REBECCA ADLINGTON "is set to announce her retirement from swimming." She "retires as the most successful British swimmer of the last century," having won two gold, two silver and two bronze medals at World Championship level, as well as four Olympic prizes (London DAILY MAIL, 1/30).

English Ligue 1 Marseille midfielder JOEY BARTON: "He'll be great for French Football. Although, he'll remain 2nd best/best looking, Englishman in France. That'll hurt his confidence!"

Retired English footballer FABRICE MUAMBA: "David Beckham is giving his salary away to charity, you got to love beckham for doing that."

Daily Star Sunday TV reporter EDWARD GLEAVE: "Beckham moves to the fashion capital of the world... I wonder whose idea that was"

London Telegraph's PAUL HAYWARD: "My point about Beckham is that French football doesn't need an Englishman who's just left LA Galaxy to help its league grow. A vain claim."

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