GERARD LOPEZ replaced Frenchman ERIC BOULLIER as principal of "the unsettled" Lotus F1 Team (REUTERS, 1/24). ... N. RAMACHANDRAN, RAJEEV MEHTA and ANIL KHANNA "will be elected unopposed as president, secretary general and treasurer respectively" of the Indian Olympic Association at the Feb. 9 elections. The elections "may finally pave the way for IOA's return to the Olympic fold since it was suspended" by the IOC in '12 over its election process (IANS, 1/25).
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MARTINA NAVRATILOVA has warned it will be “impossible” to separate sport from politics at the Sochi Olympics. Navratilova "has never supported a boycott of Sochi," but she said that it "would be hard to keep politics out of the Games." Navratilova: "It’s a controversial situation there and it will be interesting how it all unfolds" (AFP, 1/26). ... UEFA has appointed former ManU Manager ALEX FERGUSON "as an ambassador to oversee its coaching programs." UEFA President MICHEL PLATINI said that Ferguson "will be chairman of its elite club coaches' conference held each September" (DAILY JOURNAL, 1/24). ... Russia national football team coach FABIO CAPELLO on Friday "signed a contract extension" that sees him remain at the helm through the home 2018 World Cup. Since Capello guided Russia to its first World Cup in 12 years in October, the country’s football bosses "have been seeking to retain the 67-year-old Italian for another four years" (R-SPORT, 1/24).
PUTTING THE BRAKES ON: F1 CEO BERNIE ECCLESTONE said the new F1 team proposed by NASCAR team co-Owner GENE HAAS is “most unlikely” to get the green light "due to the high costs of entering the sport." In December, "the FIA opened a tender for a 12th team to join from 2015." Last week, Haas, joint owner of NASCAR's Stewart-Haas Racing, announced that "he had made an application." However, Ecclestone said, “They have been talking about it for three years. Two or three people there. I would say it is most unlikely.” Haas is also the founder of engineering firm Haas Automation, which has an annual revenue of around $1B. Ecclestone: "It's no good proving someone has got the money. Somebody can have 10 billion in the bank but it doesn't mean they are going to spend it" (RACER, 1/23).
Reuters' ALAN BALDWIN: "The weight debate is not to be taken lightly (sorry). Sutil told me a few weeks ago that he was at around 77kg. Massa weighs in at about 60."
Former Barcelona President SANDRO ROSELL: "This tweet closes this twitter account. Thank you very much."
AP's ROB HARRIS: "Brazil anti-World Cup protests seem 7yrs late. Billions already spent on WC & would cost billions more if cancelled"
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