Handball Bundesliga (HBL) club HSV Hamburg reportedly appointed CHRISTIAN FITZEK "as its new managing director." The club's former sports director "is expected to start his new position on Aug. 1." The 53-year-old will replace HOLGER LIEKEFETT, "who resigned two weeks ago due to personal reasons" (SPORTAL, 7/22). ... The NHL Toronto Maple Leafs named Ontario Hockey League Soo Greyhounds GM KYLE DUBAS assistant GM. The club also announced the departures of VP/Hockey Operations DAVE POULIN and Assistant GM CLAUDE LOISELLE (Maple Leafs). ... Former England 2018 FIFA World Cup bid COO SIMON JOHNSON "has been appointed as a non-executive member of the Rugby Football League's independent board of directors." Johnson replaces former ManU Dir MAURICE WATKINS, "who has stepped down from the board after serving three four-year terms." Johnson was director of corporate affairs and company secretary at the FA when he was involved with the 2018 World Cup bid and "has also held roles as director of legal and business affairs at the FA Premier League and director of rights and business affairs at ITV." He "is currently a non-executive director of the Amateur Swimming Association" (PA, 7/23). ... Ecuador has sacked World Cup coach REINALDO RUEDA "following the team's failure to progress beyond the group stage in Brazil." Rueda "is being replaced" by Ecuadorean SIXTO VIZUETE "on a short contract until January" (REUTERS, 7/23).
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German national football team heach coach JOACHIM LÖW confirmed that he "will fulfill his contract with the German Football Federation (DFB) and stay on as head coach until '16." Löw, who "led his team to a World Cup title in Brazil, seems ready to collect a Euro title as well." He said, "Yes, at the moment I can't think of anything better than continue working with this team, lead them to the Euro in France, further develop each individual players and the team as a whole" (DPA, 7/23). ... Marketing agency The KINC announced it has signed Red Bull Global Rallycross driver NELSON PIQUET JR. to its motorsport talent roster. Piquet Jr. has followed his agent, STEVE HEWETT, "who joins The KINC from his previous role as head of athletes relations for North America at Alpinestars where he worked on several motorsport series including IndyCar and Formula Drift." Piquet Jr. retains NASCAR representation in the U.S. with FUEL Sports Management (ISPORTCONNECT, 7/23). ... National Rugby League side Newcastle Knights coach WAYNE BENNETT said that fullback DARIUS BOYD has checked "himself into a Sydney rehabilitation facility on Wednesday morning to treat depression."
After media reports surfaced on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that Boyd "was being investigated for an incident" in which A$,1500 ($1,400) worth of damage was done to a room in a Hunter Valley hotel he stayed at last Thursday, the Knights "issued a statement on Wednesday saying Boyd had been admitted to a mental health facility seeking treatment for depression" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 7/23). ... Former New Zealand netball player NOELINE TAURUA "fears the hiring of another Australian at a Kiwi netball franchise will signal the 'beginning of the end' for aspiring New Zealand coaches."
With SUE HAWKINS "taking over as coach of the Tactix, two of New Zealand's five professional teams are guided by Australians." Taurua said, "I think it's the beginning of the end unless we shake ourselves up and look strategically as to where we are going as a pool of coaches and Netball New Zealand as franchise" (THE PRESS, 7/23). ... British diver TOM DALEY "has denied reports that he will retire after the Commonwealth Games."
A source close to Daley "had been reported as suggesting the 20-year-old diver would call time on his career after Glasgow over fears he would not win a medal at the 2016 Olympics." A spokesperson for Daley said, "Tom’s working hard in training and his goal remains to compete in his third Olympic Games, at Rio 2016" (London TELEGRAPH, 7/23). ... Orica-GreenEDGE rider MICHAEL ALBASINI said "he regretted comments he made to French rider" KEVIN REZA during Tuesday’s 16th stage of the Tour de France in the Pyrenees. But he "denied that they were of racist nature as alleged."
Albasini "attributed the issue to a linguistic miscommunication, but he would not elaborate on what he exactly said to Reza." Albasini said, "He misunderstood me, that is what happened; so I couldn’t understand all the trouble at the finish line because I am far away from being a racist or anything like this" (SMH, 7/23).
TWO WHEELS NOT ENOUGH: Two senior execs of the Mercedes F1 team "have been injured in a cycling accident just hours before preparations for the Hungarian Grand Prix." Senior Dir TOTO WOLFF and Technical Dir PADDY LOWE were "on a team bike ride alongside the River Danube, which flows through the centre of Budapest."
Precise details "are not yet known," but team driver LEWIS HAMILTON and NICO ROSBERG "were not involved with the cycling party."
Lowe "escaped serious injury," but Wolff "suffered a fractured shoulder, collarbone, elbow and wrist." Pictures of "pins inserted in Wolff’s arm were posted on Twitter" (LONDON TIMES, 7/23).
Sky News' PAUL KELSO: "IOC President Thomas Bach in Glasgow tells me he's enjoying the "typical Scottish weather" and looking forward to hearing Rod Stewart"
London Guardian's OWEN GIBSON: "My five year old asked me today: "Why is the Commonwealth?" I must confess I struggled."
F1 team MERCEDES: "Toto: "We've decided to leave it to the pros now. Lewis & Nico are better wheel to wheel at 300 km'h than we are at 30 km/h!""
Colombia President JUAN MANUEL SANTOS: "¡Qué orgullo @jamesdrodriguez! Gracias por ser ejemplo de que los jóvenes en Colombia con esfuerzo y dedicación pueden llegar muy lejos." ("So proud @jamesdrodriguez! Thanks for being an example to all young people in Colombia of how far effort and dedication can take you.")
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