Names In The News
Canadian PM STEPHEN HARPER is urging NHL Commissioner GARY BETTMAN "to let the league's stars play in the Sochi Olympics." Harper said that he "speaks for all Canadians who want to see the country's top players don the Maple Leaf at the Winter Games next year" (AP, 4/9). ... A criminal case has been opened against businessman and former Russian Olympic Committee Deputy Head AKHMED BILALOV, whom President VLADIMIR PUTIN "publicly scolded and sacked over delays and cost overruns at the Krasnaya Polyana ski resort in Sochi." Bilalov is accused of "spending money allocated to the North Caucasus Resorts state corporation on lavish trips to London and across Russia" (THE MOSCOW TIMES, 4/10). ... The Japan Sumo Association will "not appeal a court ruling that forces the body to reinstate" wrestler SOKOKURAI, "whom the body had expelled in 2011 over match fixing" (THE JAPAN TIMES, 4/4). ... Australian test cricket captain MICHAEL CLARKE has been named "Wisden's leading cricketer of 2012, becoming only the third Australian" to receive the honor (AAP, 4/10). ... The British Darts Organisation has "vowed to investigate vile racist jokes" by COMPERE MARTIN FITZMAURICE, the man dubbed the voice of BBC darts. Fitzmaurice -- famous for his catchphrase 'Let's play darts' -- was forced to apologize after he "shocked an audience with remarks about Asians and black people" (DAILY MAIL, 4/10). ... A Brazilian civil court has "blocked bank accounts and seized property" belonging to former Brazil and Real Madrid coach VANDERLEI LUXEMBURGO "over an unpaid lawsuit." The decision is "the latest attempt" to force the 60-year-old to pay referee RODRIGO MARTINS CINTRA $68,000 "for moral damages" awarded in a '06 civil action (XINHUA, 4/9).