Names In The News
Ecuadorean footballer CHRISTIAN BENITEZ, who died on Sunday after making his debut for Qatari side El Jaish, passed away as a result of heart failure, according to El Jaish. Following the game, Benitez was "admitted to hospital with severe stomach problems" and died hours later. His club confirmed that "official medical reports stated that the sudden death was caused by heart failure" (BBC, 7/31). ... Motorcyclist RATTHAPARK WILAIROT announced his retirement from the sport Wednesday and "will become a coach." Ratthapark, who took part in the world championships this year for Thai Honda PTT Gresini Racing, is replaced by THITIPONG WAROKOM (BANGKOK POST, 8/1). ... PELE, the only person to win three World Cups, said that there will be "no problem" playing the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during the summer. Temperatures can reach as high as 50 degrees Celsius (122F) in the summer in Qatar. Pele: "Of course you can play, no problem" (BLOOMBERG, 8/1). ... Former cyclist JAN ULRICH said that LANCE ARMSTRONG should "have his seven Tour de France victories reinstated because of the prevalence of doping at the time." Ulrich: "Give Armstrong the tour victories back. ... That's how it was back then" (London TELEGRAPH, 8/1). ... India's first F1 driver NARAIN KARTHIKEYAN has appealed to the government to support the organizers of the Indian Grand Prix, which is "huge" for the image of any country. Karthikeyan: "I have been racing all around the world for almost two decades, but people started asking me about India only after we hosted the F1 race here" (IANS, 8/1). ... Former FIFA VP JACK WARNER, who quit football over the '11 cash-for-votes scandal during FIFA President SEPP BLATTER's re-election campaign, "has staged a political comeback after winning back his parliamentary seat in his native Trinidad and Tobago" (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 8/1). ... Australian Football League Essendon coach JAMES HIRD has engaged human rights barrister JULIAN BURNSIDE to protect his interests, as the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority "prepares to hand down the findings of its six-month investigation into drug use" at Essendon Football Club (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/2).