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Volume 6 No. 214

People and Pop Culture

Professional Footballers’ Association CEO GORDON TAYLOR "has remained tight-lipped" Wednesday morning over claims that he ran up gambling debts of £100,000 ($155,000) after placing up to £4M ($6.2M) in bets in the space of 30 months, according to the LONDON TIMES. Taylor, who has spoken out repeatedly about the dangers posed to his members and their sport by the lure of gambling, was Wednesday "the subject of detailed allegations about his betting history." The claims, made by The Sun, suggested that Taylor "was himself gambling large sums on sporting events including football, cricket and horse racing." He "has so far refused to comment on the allegations" (LONDON TIMES, 8/28).

Argentine second division side Independiente on Wednesday presented OMAR DE FELIPPE as its new coach. Independiente, "which is looking to return to the Argentine first division," has hired a coach who has "twice helped Argentine teams achieve promotion to the first division: with Olimpo in '09-10 and with Quilmes in '11-'12" (OLE, 8/28). ... National Rugby League club Penrith Panthers announced the extension of coach IVAN CLEARY's tenure for a further two years (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/29). ... Boxing South Africa appointed NTAMBI RAVELE as its first female chairperson in the organization's 12-year history. She was appointed in an acting capacity by Sport & Recreation Minister FIKILE MBALULA Thursday. Ravele takes over the seat that was vacated by NGCONDE BALFOUR, "who quit early this month after insisting that he had achieved all the goals he set for himself after being appointed" by Mbalula on Sept. 11 (SOWETAN LIVE, 8/23).

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New South Wales Minister for Sport & Recreation GRAHAM ANNESLEY "has resigned" to become the head of the Gold Coast Titans rugby league franchise, admitting that "he is not a very good politician." Annesley said, "Politics is a tough game. I have never really considered myself to be a politician ... more of a sports administrator." He said that when he was approached by the Titans, "he realised he was not a career politician and that if he committed to another term of parliament he would be too old to return to his former career of sports administration" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 8/28). ... Former Barcelona footballer ANDERSON LUÍS DE SOUZA has announced his retirement from professional football. De Souza finished his playing career with Brasileiro Fluminense after playing for Barcelona from '04-08 and with Chelsea from '08-10 (EL PERIODICO, 8/26). ... Former Hungarian footballer LÁSZLÓ GYETVAI died Wednesday in Budapest at age 94. Gyetvai scored three goals in 17 games with the Hungarian national team and "scored more than 80 goals in 230 games with his club team," Hungarian side Ferencváros, which he played for from '33-48 (EFE, 8/28).

MAKING HIS OWN DECISION: UEFA President MICHEL PLATINI indicated that "he does not have a problem" with Real Madrid paying €100M ($133.4M) for EPL Tottenham's GARETH BALE. Platini: "It does not cause me any problems if the club that buys him has the means to pay. If Real Madrid buys three players for €30M ($40M), we would not say a thing. Now, is Bale worth €100M? It is a debate" (MARCA, 8/28). ... DIEGO MARADONA criticized the Argentine FA's leadership for "not prioritizing winning the upcoming World Cup." Maradona: "For the [AFA] directors, it matters more to play a game in Dubai for money than to see to it that we win the 2014 World Cup. I suffered a lot and as of today I have not seen anything added to the Argentine national team. I do not believe in the people running it" (CLARIN, 8/28). ... Turkish Athletics Federation's Disciplinary Board banned European champion and Turkish sprinter NEVIN YANIT "from competitons for two years, justifying that she was proved to be positive in use of banned performance-enhancing drugs" (ANADOLU AGENCY, 8/28). ... National Rugby League Canberra Raiders player BLAKE FERGUSON "has gone AWOL." The "fed-up Raiders" have cut off his A$300,000 ($268,000) salary "after he stopped communication with the club." Ferguson's days at Canberra "seem numbered, with the club's board delivering an ultimatum for the 23-year-old to front it and explain his behaviour or face the sack" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 8/29).

SHOW OF SUPPORT: NBA L.A. Lakers forward PAU GASOL will represent the Madrid 2020 Olympic bid in September in Buenos Aires, where the IOC will announce the host of the 2020 Olympics. Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) President ALEJANDRO BLANCO said, "In Spain, we have a great number of athletes that could do this. We had a lot to choose from and the one we picked was Pau Gasol. It excites us that Pau will speak in the name of Spanish athletes. First, because of the friendship that we have, and second because he was our standard-bearer at the London Games" (EL PAIS, 8/27). ... Officers of the Tennis Management Center of General Administration of Sport of China denied that LI NA "was once forced to take steroid pills as an article in the New York Times stated." Meanwhile, writer BROOK LARMER "admitted that his report was based on Li Na's autobiography, which turns out to be a misunderstanding due to translation mistakes" (CHINA DAILY, 8/28). ... Four-time Ryder Cup golfer DAVE THOMAS has died at age 79. He designed "more than 100 courses." After arthritis brought a premature end to his playing career, Thomas immersed himself in golf course designing. He designed The Belfry's Brabazon Course on which The Ryder Cup was layed in '85, '89, '93 and '02. His CV also includes De Vere Slaley Hall in Northumberland, where GB and Ireland will play the U.S. in the PGA Cup in September, St. Leon Rot, a European Tour Destination Course in Germany, where Europe will defend the Solheim CUp in '15, the Roxburgh in Scotland, San Roque in Spain, Cannes Mougins, La Baule and Terre Blanche in France and courses in Africa, China, Japan, South America and Taiwan. (European Tour). ... The Russian athletics federation's anti-doping committee banned shot putter ANNA AVDEYEVA for two years for doping. It said that a sample Avdeyeva gave for testing on July 30 at the Podolsk training base near Moscow "contained the banned steroid oralturinabol" (AFP, 8/28).

AN 'HONEST' MAN: Barcelona President SANDRO ROSELL has claimed he has always acted in an "honest and above board" way and "has nothing to hide concerning his business dealings in Brazil before he took up his position as Barcelona president." Rosell "has come under fire in recent weeks" following reports linking him with an alleged embezzlement scheme involving the Brazilian Football Federation. The Barça president, however, "has come out swinging and expressed his exasperation at the allegations" (MARCA, 8/27). ... Former Olympic committee chief DAN MOYO has urged South Africa Sports Minister FIKILE MBALULA "to intervene in athletics' boardroom shenanigans." Moyo described the infighting at Athletics South Africa as "an embarrassment to the country, saying athletes were the ones who were suffering" (SOWETAN LIVE, 8/22). ... Retired Chinese Olympic diving champion GUO JINGJING "has given birth to her first baby" with KENNTH FOK KAI-KONG, the eldest son of tycoon TIMOTHY FOK, in Hong Kong (CHINA DAILY, 8/28).

London Times' OLIVER KAY: "Disappointed that Bale has resorted to missing training while Spurs haggle with Real. Frustration understandable but he should be above that"

BBC's JENNIE GOW: "On my way to @SilverstoneUK for a weekend of #motoGP - who's coming??"

The Financial Times' ROGER BLITZ: "Plenty of time left in summer transfer window and PL clubs' spending about to storm past last year's £490m and eclipse record £500m in 2008"

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