Names In The News
Russian "hoaxers tried to prank call journalists and Paralympic officials" on the day the country was suspended from the 2018 Winter Olympics. IPC Media & Communications Dir CRAIG SPENCE said that they used edited recordings of former IPC President PHILIP CRAVEN. German journalist HAJO SEPPELT was the first to receive a call, before reporting it to the IPC. Spence then took a call from "Sir Philip" while sitting next to Craven (BBC, 12/6). ... Golfer SERGIO GARCÍA was named the European Tour's Golfer of the Year for the first time on Thursday. The 37-year-old, who beat Englishman JUSTIN ROSE in a playoff at the Masters in April to "capture his maiden major," is the third Spaniard to win the award, after SEVE BALLESTEROS and JOSÉ MARÍA OLAZÁBAL (REUTERS, 12/7).
GOLDEN BOY: CRISTIANO RONALDO was awarded the Ballon d'Or for world player of the year on Thursday for a joint-record fifth time, "going level with eternal rival" LIONEL MESSI. The Real Madrid forward won the award, handed out by magazine France Football, for the second consecutive year. He collected the trophy in a "glitzy ceremony" at the Eiffel Tower. Messi finished second while NEYMAR came in third, Italian goalkeeper GIANLUIGI BUFFON finished fourth and Real midfielder LUKA MODRIĆ was fifth. Chelsea and France midfielder N'GOLO KANTÉ was the highest-ranked Premier League player, coming eighth (REUTERS, 12/7).