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Volume 10 No. 22

People and Pop Culture

Red Bull driver MARK WEBBER "is fuming over a grid penalty from Formula 1 stewards for hitching a ride back to pit lane on the side of FERNANDO ALONSO's Ferrari at the end of the Singapore Grand Prix," according to the AP. Both drivers received "reprimands over the incident, but it was Webber who was hit hardest given it was his third sanction of the season." Webber was cited for "walking on to the circuit without permission and slapped with a 10-place grid penalty for next month's race in South Korea." Webber had pulled off the track "with his car in flames after an engine failure on the final lap." Rather than having a "slow post-race walk back to the pits, he dashed out on to the circuit, hailed Alonso's Ferrari like it was a taxi and then clambered on to the sidepod for a quicker ride back." The penalty "did not sit well" with Red Bull Team Principal CHRISTIAN HORNER either. Horner said that the "image of Alonso giving Webber a lift was 'good TV' and did not deserve such a harsh punishment." Horner: "It should have been dealt with by a fine or a slap on the wrist" (AP, 9/23). AUTOSPORT's Jonathan Noble reported although there are "no plans to introduce a regulation that bans such 'taxi rides,' which are not strictly outlawed," motorsports governing body FIA is "keen to impose a safety clampdown." The FIA is "to remind drivers that under no circumstances are they allowed to run on to the track without marshals' permission, nor should they stop to pick someone up in the manner that Alonso did" (AUTOSPORT, 9/23).

The German Handball Federation (DHB) unanimously elected BERNHARD BAUER as its new president. Bauer will succeed ULRICH STROMBACH, who led the federation for 15 years (SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG, 9/21). ... National Rugby League club Parramatta Eels announced the appointment of SCOTT SEWARD as CEO. Seward will officially begin in his new role on Wednesday following 11 months as GM Membership & Consumer Business for the Eels. During that time Eels Membership has grown by 49.5% since '12 to a record 17,205, the largest increase in the NRL (Parramatta Eels).

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In a study carried out by Spanish marketing research company Sondea, Coca-Cola asked more than 2,000 people in Spain "which athlete they would most like to share a Coke with," with 63% of the voters choosing RAFAEL NADAL. Real Madrid goalkeeper IKER CASILLAS was the second-most popular choice, with 60%. Casillas was followed by NBA L.A. Lakers forward PAU GASOL (55%), F1 Ferrari driver FERNANDO ALONSO (42%) motorcycle racer DANI PEDROSA (33%) and Spanish Olympic swimmer MIREIA BELMONTE (32%) (EP, 9/23). ... The Madrid city council's Art, Sports & Tourism Commission on Monday approved Madrid Mayor ANA BOTELLA's proposal to give RAFAEL NADAL the title of "Hijo Adoptivo" ("Adopted Son"). The proposal "recognizes Nadal's extraordinary sporting career and his close, continued connection to Madrid through his agreement to promote sports and the development of his values" (EFE, 9/23). ... Portuguese football side Benfica coach JORGE JÉSUS is being investigated by Lisbon, Portugal authorities "after video showed him pushing police officers following his side's 1-0 win against Vitoria Guimaraes." Benfica fans had come onto the field and Jésus "stepped between officers and the fans, eventually being restrained by security officers" (EFE, 9/23). ... Former Croatian Football Federation President VLATKO MARKOVIĆ, who "also played and coached" at the intl level, died Monday in Zagreb, Croatia at the age of 76 (AP, 9/23). ... Argentine field hockey player LUCIANA AYMAR "has announced that she will retire" following the 2014 Int'l Hockey Federation (FIH) World Cup. Aymar: "I love hockey, but I am not Highlander" (OLE, 9/23). ... Australian Football League CEO ANDREW DEMETRIOU said that "he wants to accept an offer" from JAMES PACKER and join the board of Crown casino. Demetriou said that "he would join the Australian Stock Exchange-listed Crown Ltd. when time permitted" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 9/24). ... Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist KAORI ICHO of Japan and Iranian world champion HAMID SORYAN REIHANPOUR will help lead an athlete's commission for wrestling's int'l governing body. FILA announced the wrestlers' appointment to the new seven-member commission. The commission also includes MARIA PREVOLARAKI of Greece, U.S.'s JAKE HERBERT, Canadian CAROL HUYNH, CHRISTOPHE GUENOT of France and Hungarian TOMAS LORINCZ (FILA). ... Red Bull Team Principal CHRISTIAN HORNER "lashed out at the fans who continue to boo Formula One championship leader" SEBASTIAN VETTEL and "suggested they were hurting the young German's feelings." Horner said it was "unfair" to boo Vettel, who has suffered repeated ill-treatment this year and was again subjected to loud chants and heckles after winning Sunday's Singapore Grand Prix (AFP, 9/23). ... At an Extraordinary General Meeting, Switzerland's Parliament of Sport, the Swiss National Olympic Committee's Congress, which is made up of 80 national sports federations, decided on LAUSANNE as its official candidate to host the 2020 Winter Youth Olympic Games (Swiss Olympic).

London Times' KEVIN EASON: "Not many subjects have divided F1 like Webber’s taxi ride from Alonso after #SingaporeGP"

London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "Appears a total of 14 Premier League players wore rainbow laces at the w/e. Not quite a resounding success, but sparked debate I suppose."

Daily Telegraph's PAUL HAYWARD: "Reports of player revolt at Sunderland. But was Di Canio "acting like a dictator" or dictating like an actor?"

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