Sharapova single again after Dimitrov split
SOFIA • Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has split with her Bulgarian boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov after a nearly three-year relationship. Dimitrov, the men's tennis world No. 16, confirmed this news with the Bulgarian media yesterday.
Hulk out of 2018 World Cup qualifying draw
SAINT PETERSBURG • Brazil and Zenit St Petersburg forward Hulk has been dropped from today's star-studded line-up for football's 2018 World Cup qualifying draw.
The 28-year-old has been replaced by former Russia captain Alexey Smertin. Hulk apparently spoke about the problems World Cup hosts Russia face with racism and suggested it could blight the 2018 tournament.
West Brom pull out of Chinese takeover talks
LONDON • West Bromwich Albion have suspended talks with a possible buyer for the English Premier League football club as chairman Jeremy Peace said he "would not be held to ransom".
The BBC reported that a period of exclusivity in takeover talks granted to a Chinese consortium had ended because Peace was not satisfied with the speed of the negotiations.
Wada fears youngsters are doping to succeed
LONDON • Young athletes could be using performance-enhancing drugs as they try to make the breakthrough into elite sport, fears World Anti-Doping Agency director general David Howman.
He also believes 10 per cent of elite athletes could still be doping as Wada continues its efforts to weed out drug cheats and those who supply them with illegal substances.
Another caddie quits on Allenby mid-game
OAKVILLE (Canada) • Robert Allenby's bizarre golf season took another strange turn when his caddie walked off the course - following a heated confrontation between the pair - midway through the first round of the RBC Canadian Open on Thursday.
It was the second time in eight years that a caddie had quit on Allenby during a round. It came after he made headlines in January when he claimed he was mugged and robbed outside a bar after he missed the cut at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Kewell takes on Watford coaching role
LONDON • Former Australia and Liverpool football star Harry Kewell has been appointed the Under-21 coach of English Premier League club Watford.
The 36-year-old former Leeds United winger retired last year after a short spell with Melbourne Heart. He has returned to England for his first major coaching role at Watford who won promotion to the top-flight last season.
Foundation stones for Gabon arena missing
LIBREVILLE (Gabon) • Foundation stones laid for the 2017 Africa Nations Cup stadium in Gabon by Argentinian football star Lionel Messi and the country's President Ali Bongo Ondimba have gone missing, the L'Union daily reported yesterday.
Last Saturday, Messi and Bongo went to Port-Gentil to lay the first stones of the stadium for the contest Gabon will host in two years' time.