Names In The News
Former German national football team player THOMAS HITZLSPERGER "has come out as Germany's first openly gay professional football player." Hitzlsperger "ended his professional football career in September" (HANDELSBLATT, 1/8). ... Bundesliga club Schalke 04 has acquired German national team player SIDNEY SAM from league rival Bayer Leverkusen. The 25-year-old midfielder "will join Schalke during the summer." He will receive a contract through June 30, 2018. The transfer fee is reportedly around €2.5M ($3.4M) (DPA, 1/6). ... Olympic Bronze Medalist CHARLINE VAN SNICK "is to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over her two-year suspension for failing a drug test." Van Snick "tested positive for cocaine at the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro last August, after another bronze medal, but has always vehemently denied taking the drug" (AFP, 1/7). ... England cricketers MATT PRIOR and STUART BROAD "helped to rescue a distressed man who was preparing to jump off a bridge near the team hotel in Sydney." Wicketkeeper Prior "helped to pull the man off the railing of the 19-metre Pyrmont Bridge in Darling Harbour when the man made a sudden movement as if to jump." Prior "calmed the unknown man and chatted to him along with fast bowler Broad for almost an hour before police arrived on the scene" (AFP, 1/9). ... Italian footballer MARIO BALOTELLI "refuted rumors about his impending departure from AC Milan." He told weekly magazine Chi that "he doesn’t want to switch clubs before this summer’s FIFA World Cup" (NESN, 1/7). ... Boxer FLOYD "MONEY" MAYWEATHER JR. "will arrive in South Africa next Wednesday for a number of boxing clinics around the country in a five-day stay." South African Sports Minister FIKILE MBALULA confirmed Mayweather's visit and said that he was "doing this out of the reservoir of goodwill" (SOWETAN LIVE, 1/8). ... The Singapore Badminton Association on Wednesday announced changes to its coaching staff, with chief singles coach LUAN CHING and chief doubles coach YOO YONG SUNG both replaced. LI QINGDONG, who was "formally in charge" of the National Intermediate Squad, will take over as chief coach on Feb. 1. He will be assisted by LIU FAN (singles), former Singapore national player JIANG YANMEI (doubles) and DING CHAO (NIS) (STRAITS TIMES, 1/8).