Benzema's blackmail trial will proceed
PARIS • A French court yesterday rejected a request from Real Madrid and France footballer Karim Benzema to drop the investigation into alleged blackmail over a sex tape featuring international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
The case, which cost Benzema a place in France's Euro 2016 squad on home soil, is now expected to go to trial next year. Benzema's lawyer, Sylvain Cormier, said his client would fight on to clear his name.
Everton trio sign contract extensions
LONDON • Leighton Baines, Gareth Barry and Mason Holgate have finalised new contracts with English Premier League football club Everton.
Baines, the 32-year-old left-back, has signed a contract until June 2019. Barry, the former England midfielder, has signed an extension until the summer of 2018.
Holgate, the England Under-21 defender, has also extended his contract, signing a new 41/2-year deal.
NBA broadcaster Craig Sager dies at 65
LOS ANGELES • Craig Sager, the popular broadcaster whose National Basketball Association (NBA) sideline reports were an integral part of the game for a legion of basketball fans, has died at the age of 65, Turner Sports network said on Thursday.
Sager had waged a public battle with cancer over the past two years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2014.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that teams will observe a moment of silence in Sager's memory prior to games.
Winter Games champ may lead a boycott
OSLO • Olympic biathlon champion Martin Fourcade has threatened to lead a boycott of the sport's World Cup series unless the international federation takes tough action against Russian doping.
The 28-year-old Frenchman and other top biathletes are furious after the International Biathlon Union said 31 suspicious Russian cases had been raised in the latest report by Canadian lawyer Richard McLaren for the World Anti-Doping Agency.