Category Archives: Sports

Venus Williams is Overwhelmed at Wimbledon

Williams is Overwhelmed at Wimbledon

Venus Williams has long been the stoic of the two sisters, the one containing her emotions, maintaining her cool.

And then came a news conference on Wimbledon on July 3rd afternoon, that was as striking as it was revealing of an anguish she has brought with her to Wimbledon. the grass-court surface most tailored to her game and special in her heart.

The questions about a fatal car accident in early June for which Williams has been blamed and sued were posed gently but persistently. When she finally surrendered, asked if there was anything she wished to add to a statement of sorrow she had recently released, she described these past few weeks as devastating before being just unable to punctuate her grief.

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“There are really no words to describe, like, how devastating and — yeah, I’m completely speechless,” she said. “It’s just — yeah, I mean, I’m just.…” Her lips trembled. Her eyes flashed. She averted her eyes, raised a hand to her chin and began to sob. “Maybe I should go,” she said softly to the interview room moderator. “Yes,” he said sympathetically before leading her out.

A composed Williams would return minutes later to field a few questions about her first-round match, a 7-6 (7), 6-4 victory over Elise Mertens, a promising 21-year-old from Belgium, whom Williams had defeated in straight sets last month in the third round of the French Open.

Shock descended on Williams’s life soon after the French Open. The car accident occurred June 9th in Palm Beach Gardens, FL, taking the life of Jerome Barson, 78, a retired schoolteacher. He died on June 22nd from injuries sustained when Williams entered an intersection in her 2010 Toyota Sequoia sport-utility vehicle, was obstructed by traffic and run into by Barson’s wife, Linda, who was at the wheel of their 2016 Hyundai Accent. A lawyer for Williams has said the light was green when she proceeded through it, but witnesses told the police she had run a red light.

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A daughter of Jerome Barson filed a wrongful-death suit in Palm Beach County circuit court, citing unspecified damages. The news became public last week, on the eve of Williams’s 20th Wimbledon appearance.

She tried to evade each question about the accident to tennis and this tournament, where she is a five-time champion and carries the aura of stately, unflappable royalty.

Interviews a very private Venus on any delicate subject could be a study in her determination bordering on stubbornness, in contrast with her sister. She used to be sprinkled with questions about her emotionally chatty and occasionally tactless father, Richard, to no avail. She has seldom wanted to discuss her autoimmune disease, Sjogren’s syndrome, and the effects it might have had on her tennis. She has been an advocate for women’s tennis, particularly on the issue of equal prize money, but is careful about when and where to take up the fight.

This, until she was asked Monday about how, in what has been a competitively resurgent season, she was dealing with an unexpected challenge, her action that had led to a tragedy, when she wanted only to be thriving on a Serena-less Wimbledon that any number of players, herself included, could conceivably win. But she is a public person, and the crash is no private affair.

Then came the moment when we better understood what Venus Williams is waking up to each morning, likely contending with her conscience, coping with a crash that cost a man’s life. The stoic finally capitulated.

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Federer and Djokovic advance after foes retire

Federer and Djokovic advance after foes retire

Both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic reached the second round on Wimbledon when their opponents retired out of injuries from their matches in the second set.

Federer won his first-round match after just 43 minutes of action when his opponent, Alexandr Dolgopolov, stopped in the second set with an injury. The former was leading 6-3, 3-0 – going straight to his record-breaking 85th match win at the All England Club. Owner of seven titles here and 18 Grand Slam trophies is 85-11 for his career at Wimbledon.

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Djokovic passed to the second round after just 40 minutes, when Martin Klizan left because of an ankle injury while trailing 6-3, 2-0. Djokovic, a three-time Wimbledon champion, was leading 30-0 in the third game of the second set when Klizan, from Slovakia, decided he couldn’t continue. This victory put Djokovic alone in second place on the list of Grand Slam match wins ever. He will next face Adam Pavlasek.

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Other results:

  • Two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist David Ferrer, unseeded, beat 22nd-seeded Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-4, 5-7, 6-2.
  • Juan Martin del Potro needed seven match points to continue his run of reaching the second round at Wimbledon in each of his eight appearances. Seeded 29th, beat Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 (2), 6-4.
  • The sixth-seeded Milos Raonic, first Canadian man to reach a Grand Slam final, advanced by beating Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 7-6 (5), 6-4, 7-6 (4).
  • Former top-10 player Ernests Gulbis won a match for the first time in more than a year on July 4th, beating Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the second round.
  • Alexander and Mischa Zverev are the first seeded brothers to reach the second round in singles at Wimbledon in 35 years. The German brothers both won their opening matches at the All England Club on Tuesday. Tenth-seeded Alexander beat Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 7-6 (3), 6-3, while 27th-seeded Mischa defeated Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-3, 6-4.
  • Frances Tiafoe defeated Robin Haase 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5. It was the first tour-level victory for the 19-year-old Washington native since a first-round win in Miami in March. Tiafoe, in the main draw of a Grand Slam event for the sixth time, will face Alexander Zverev in the second round.

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Rays looking like contenders in AL East after Ramos inclusion

Ramos inclusion in Rays

There is still half a season left to play, but if the playoffs started today, the Rays would be the second wild card in the American League, and Wilson Ramos would be their starting catcher. Just a taste: in the games on Friday and Saturday nights at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Wilson Ramos caught 19 innings, hit two home runs, drove in five runs and shepherded a young Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff to a pair of wins over the Baltimore Orioles.

“It’s the same as when I came to the Nationals,” Ramos, 29, said, comparing his new team to his old one. “It’s a lot of young talent. Once they get some experience, this team will be really good.”

In fact, Ramos, who missed the first 10 weeks of the season rehabilitating from major knee surgery, can be forgiven not noticing yet that the Rays are good already. And the addition of Ramos has only improved them. A team that appeared to be constructing a future contender around its young core now looks like it may have arrived ahead of schedule.

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Their series win in Baltimore left the Rays at 43-41, five games out of first place in the AL East. The final week before the all-star break will be crucial, with a pair of games at Wrigley Field against the defending World Series champion Cubs, then four games at home against the first-place Boston Red Sox, the team they are trying to equal in the East.

Four weeks away from the deadline limit (July 31st), the Rays are a very intriguing club in baseball, and not in the way most observers would have expected. In January, coming off a 95-loss season in 2016, they traded away second baseman Logan Forsythe to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitching prospect Jose De Leon. It seems they were cutting off money and players. But this move stood alone, a simple one-off trade of talent for talent, and the big teardown never came.

Designated hitter Corey Dickerson, named a first-time all-star on Sunday, summarizes: “Just because we had a bad season doesn’t mean we weren’t good players.”

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Now, instead of being trade-deadline sellers, the Rays look like they may be in the buyers’ side. Last week, they sent a pair of minor leaguers to the Miami Marlins for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, a defensive wizard who should shore up one of Tampa Bay’s trouble spots. For those who have been long around the Rays, seeing the team add a big-league piece via trade has been an odd experience.

The arrival of Ramos that same week had the effect of another key acquisition. An all-star and Silver Slugger award winner in 2016 with the Nationals, Ramos saw his massive free agent payday crushed when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament at the end of the season, forcing October surgery and tamping down his market to the point where he had to accept a two-year, $12.5 million deal from Tampa Bay. The Rays figured they would not see Ramos in the majors until after the all-star break, at the soonest, but he beat their most optimistic schedule by a couple of weeks. And the team feels fine about it.

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Gene Sauers and his Improbable Return

Gene Sauers and his Improbable Return

When Gene Sauers won last year’s United States Senior Open, it was his first victory of any kind in 14 years. His reward was a place in this year’s United States Open at Erin Hills, Wisconsin. Sauers, 54, was competing in his first Open in 30 years, and didn’t make the cut, he was just glad to be in the field. During the past six years, he wasn’t sure he would ever be back.

In 2011, Sauers was hospitalized for seven weeks with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a milder form of toxic epidermal necrolysis, which badly blisters or erodes the skin. “I almost died,” he says, “When I got better, they told me I had a 25 percent survival rate. […] So I don’t take any day for granted.” Sauers carried that mind-set to Salem Country Club where he began the defense of his Senior Open title.

Sauers won three times on the PGA Tour, including his first title at the 1986 Bank of Boston Classic. In 2005, though, while battling a bulging disk and an increasing contempt for the demands of tour life, Sauers essentially walked away from pro golf. Not yet 43, he saw his career come to an abrupt hiatus after a missed cut at the Reno-Tahoe Open that summer.

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He settled in Savannah, GA, focused on his family, until his health began to deteriorate in 2010. It began with pain in his shoulders and soon spread. In April 2011, his wife detected a black spot the size of a silver dollar underneath his left arm. It looked like frostbite, so she sent a photo of it to his doctor, who advised her to take her husband immediately from their home to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. By the time Sauers arrived, his body was stained with black marks. They were told that he had contracted a rare, life-threatening skin condition.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is typically the result of an immune-system failure, and those who endure it complain that they feel as if their skin is burning from the inside out. Blood vessels in Sauers’s arms and legs were clotting. Doctors treated him as if he were a burn victim, removing layers of the charred-black skin. He spent weeks in the hospital, enduring skin grafts and waiting for his body to heal. He couldn’t leave his bed for five weeks, and laid there, to his surprise, picturing a golf swing.

So after he was discharged in June of that year, Sauers began chipping and hitting putts on his backyard putting green and then to play complete tracks. Not much after he was convinced that getting back to pro golf was worth the shot.

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In October 2011, Sauers played in three Web.com Tour events and missed all three cuts. He had no business being there, but as his 50th birthday — and with it the chance for eligibility on the PGA Champions Tour — approached, he began to envision a new lease on his golf life.  Four years later, he had gathered more than $2 million in earnings in his first four seasons of eligibility, but a victory still eluded him.

Two years later, several months after he switched to a cross-handed putting grip, where his left hand grips the club below his right, Sauers found himself standing over another short putt on the tournament’s final hole. That day, Sauers was tied with Miguel Ángel Jiménez when the latter missed a par-saving putt. Five feet separated Sauers from his first senior title. He said: “The last thing I thought about before I stroked the putt was one of my buddies, who always says, ‘You’re either going to miss it or make it.’’ Sauers made it.

At the Masters, in April this year, Sauers was the recipient of the Ben Hogan Award, which is given annually to an individual who has remained active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness.

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Houston Rockets Get Chris Paul

Houston Rockets Get Chris Paul

The Los Angeles Clippers traded Chris Paul to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, according to a league official briefed on the deal.

Paul’s contract was due, and he could have gone to the Rockets as a free agent. The Clippers worked out the deal so they could receive something in return for him. The transaction will allow Paul to make more money than he would have if he had left as a free agent.

The Clippers will receive seven players in exchange, including Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams and Sam Dekker, and a 2018 first-round pick, multiple news media report. The deal will also grant salary-cap space for them in the near future.

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At 32 years old, Paul is a nine-time All-Star. He will now share team with a genuine superstar, James Harden, to give the Rockets a formidable lineup to challenge the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference.

Harden became the Rockets’ regular point guard last season, shifting over from shooting guard. The move was successful: his assists per game soared to a league-leading 11, and his scoring output continued solid. Now the team may have to rethink things with the arrival of Paul, one of the league’s premier point guards.

Coach Mike D’Antoni’s may find difficult to make Paul fit his up-tempo offense. Because of Harden’s full embrace of his coach system, the Rockets ran the third-fastest offense in the N.B.A., averaging 102.5 possessions per game. The Clippers were 17th at 98.2 possessions, which was in line with the last three seasons.

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Paul’s age and injury history also make him a fair risk. He played in 61 games last season, missing time because of surgery to his thumb. It was the third time in his career in which he missed 20 or more games. His ability to steal the ball frequently — he is the career leader in steals among active players — has contributed to problems with his fingers over the years.

The Clippers can suffer more confusion because Griffin is also a free agent, and he could choose to join forces with Russell Westbrook and the Thunder in his hometown, Oklahoma City. If he leaves, the Clippers will have lost their two top scorers, and despite they still have DeAndre Jordan, it would seem to be the end of a successful era for the team. After years of enduring in the shadow of the Lakers, the Clippers finally surpassed them recently. The team has had five straight 50-win seasons, the first ones in its history. But it has failed to advance past the second round of the playoffs.

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Red Sox retire Ortiz’s No. 34 as tribute

Red Sox retire Ortiz's No. 34 as tribute

David Ortiz stepped up to the microphone, wiped the tears from his eyes and paused for the sold-out Fenway crowd to shout “Papi!” a few more times.

The Red Sox team awaited at the top of their dugout. Friends, family and dignitaries from both the US and Dominican Republic lined the infield. Three World Series trophies gleamed in the sundown light. The only ones capable of knowing how he felt were Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Pedro Martinez, Wade Boggs and Jim Rice — whose numbers preceded Ortiz’s to the Fenway façade.

“It’s an honor to get to see my number right next to all those legends,” Ortiz said before his No. 34 was unveiled along the right-field roof boxes last Friday night.

Ortiz retired last season as one of the most prolific offensive players in franchise history, and the single-most important player to wear a Red Sox uniform in one hundred years. With three World Series titles — including the 2004 championship that ended a drought of 86-years— Ortiz dragged the ballclub out of its disappointment and gave a fresh generation of Bostonians reasons to fall in love with the Red Sox again.

But it was Ortiz’s defiant speech after the Boston Marathon bombings that cemented him as a civic hero and helped prompt the Red Sox to retire his number less than a year after he retired. As a nod to his foul-mouthed challenge to those who would test the city’s resolve, Ortiz took the microphone on Friday with the welcome, “This is his (pause) city.”

Ortiz is the tenth Red Sox player to have his number retired, and he was joined by four of the others, plus family representing the ones who couldn’t be there. Representatives from the Dominican Republic, the city of Boston, and family of Minnesota Twins Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett, from whom Ortiz adopted his No. 34.

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“Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to give Boston the greatest gift ever: my compadre, David Ortiz,” said Martinez, who helped persuade the Red Sox to sign Ortiz in 2003 and then joined with him the next year to win the title.

Much like it was last season, when Ortiz made his farewell tour, the stadium was decorated in his honor, from a five-story silhouette hanging from the courtyard ramp outside to the No. 34 mowed into the outfield grass. Fans were provided with posters with the No. 34, and it was also painted onto both on-deck circles.

After both the Dominican and U.S. national anthems were played, Ortiz took a ball from ex-teammate Tim Wakefield and threw (somewhat wildly) to former catcher Jason Varitek.

The beloved slugger shook hands with virtually everyone on the field as he left it, accompanied by video from the careers of the other 10 players with their numbers retired.

Though the Red Sox have offered Ortiz a spot in the organization, he told reporters that he has stayed away from the team since his retirement to avoid being a distraction. However, he has discarded not to consider it again in the future.

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Fired President of the New York Knicks

Fired President of the New York Knicks

Barely three years after being received as the savior of the Knicks, Phil Jackson is out as team president. Jackson was informed of the team’s decision on June 27th.

Jackson, 71, winner of 11 N.B.A. championships as coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers, never came close to even approaching that type of success with the Knicks. In three full seasons under his lead, the Knicks had a combined record of 80-166, which was among the worst in the league for that period.

“After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction,” the team’s owner, James L. Dolan, said.

Steve Mills, the team’s general manager, would lead the team’s day-to-day operations over the short term. Tim Leiweke, a longtime sports executive, has been enlisted to advise Mills on an interim basis and “help develop a go-forward plan.” Dolan also thanked Jackson for his service to the team.

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In recent months, Jackson had clashed with the team’s two star players: Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis. It was the latest sign of Jackson’s troubled tenure with the organization.

As it became clear last season that the team was underperforming and would not make the playoffs, Jackson publicly lobbied for Anthony to abandon his no-trade clause — a clause that Jackson had agreed to give him when he re-signed the aging superstar to a five-year contract worth $124 million in 2014. Anthony resisted Jackson’s requests, saying he wanted to continue in New York.

In April, Porzingis — the team’s 7-foot-3 power forward and a lone source of optimism for the Knicks’ struggling fan base — skipped his exit interview with Jackson at the end of the season. It was his way of expressing his frustration with the direction of the franchise. This annoyed Jackson, who made Porzingis available in trade talks ahead of last Thursday’s N.B.A. draft.

There was a time when Porzingis represented Jackson’s highest triumph as an executive. After the Knicks selected him with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Porzingis exceeded the expectations in his first two seasons with the team. Last season, he averaged 18.1 points and 7.2 rebounds a game and was clearly shaping himself into one of the more versatile offensive players in the league.

Porzingis estrangement from the team only grew after skipping this interview. In a strange power play, Jackson declined to renew the contract of Josh Longstaff, one of Porzingis’s favorite assistant coaches. Then, last week, on the eve of the draft, Jackson appeared on the MSG Network to confirm that he was retrieving calls from teams that were interested in acquiring the Latvian player.

Dolan had seen enough by then. In recent days, rumors had grown that the Knicks might even consider a buyout of the remaining $55 million on Anthony’s contract, a reflection of the frustration Jackson felt over his inability to trade him to another team. However, it is Jackson who is leaving.

Days after the draft and less than a week the start of free agency on Saturday, the timing of Jackson’s departure is not ideal. While Mills remains in place, Jackson was the organization’s leading voice on staff decisions.

Jackson was already a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame when he joined the Knicks in 2014. He was also a part of the Knicks’ championship era as a popular player in the early 1970s. But he had never previously held a front-office position. Sign up at WagerWeb.ag.

Wimbledon 2017 Best Bets

Wimbledon 2017 Best Bets

After dominating the sport for a decade, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal gave way to a slightly younger top pair, conformed by Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. However, Federer and Nadal have returned strong in recent times. Federer is the favorite with Wimbledon coming up in less than a week, while Nadal is in the top-three.

Here, a quick review on what may be the most possible winners in the most prestigious of tennis tournaments.

Roger Federer: 11/5

A seven-time winner at Wimbledon, Federer went more than four years between securing his last two major titles. He raised the trophy in England in 2012, and then didn’t win his record 18th major until this year’s Australian Open. To rest up for the grass season, the 35-year-old sat out the French Open. He knows his best chance to continue playing at the highest level involves rest and prioritizing what he does best; in this case, playing on grass instead of clay.

Andy Murray: 17/4

He was ranked number one in the world at one point and he has two Olympic gold medals. However, when it comes to the majors, Murray has never been the biggest prospect, unlike Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, who have each had turns dominating tennis’ biggest tournaments. Murray’s 2017 season has been not the best. That said, two of Murray’s three major titles came at Wimbledon, including last year, and one of his Olympic triumphs came on the grass at the All England Club. He also reached the final in two other majors last year (Australian, French). After departing the Australian Open in the fourth round, he lost in the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal: 9/2

Ten of Nadal’s 15 major titles have come at the French Open, and his win at Roland Garros this year was his first major title since 2014. He’s had success on grass in the past, winning Wimbledon in 2008 and 2010, and losing the final in 2011. He hasn’t made the quarterfinals since. As Federer, he has tried to limit his schedule recently. Although he’s only 31, four years’ junior to Roger, his style takes a toll on the body and he has battled injuries for years. He is 43-6 this year, but has taken off the last several weeks.

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Novak Djokovic: 13/2

Djokovic seized the sport in 2015, winning three majors that year and adding the first two in 2016, too. However, the 12-time major winner, just like Murray, has seen some difficulties lately. He was troubled in the second round of the Australian Open and the quarterfinals in Paris. He also exited Wimbledon in the third-round last year. His good performance in the last days can improved his odds.

Milos Raonic: 14/1

At 26 years, Raonic has all the tools, but has rarely put everything together. Grass is the best surface for the Canadian and his hard services, and he was the runner-up at Wimbledon last year. However, that is the only major final he has ever reached. He made the semis in England in 2014. After a five-set, fourth-round exit against Pablo Carreno Busta at the French Open, Raonic lost 10-8 in the third set in his opening match at a Wimbledon warm-up in London.

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FIFA Publishes Secret Garcia Report

FIFA Publishes Secret Garcia Report

This Tuesday, FIFA on published an American investigator’s top-secret report into the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, acting, it said, “for the sake of transparency.” The decision to publish the report, which had been kept secret for more than two years and detailed bribes and vote-trading in the bidding process, came a day after a German newspaper revealed that it had obtained a copy and planned to publish the report’s details.

New disclosures of probable ethics violations in the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were likely to emerge after the newspaper, Bild, revealed on Monday that it had obtained a copy of a previously unreleased, 430-page report. The account, compiled by Michael J. Garcia, a former United States attorney who had served as FIFA’s chief ethics investigator, detailed the findings of a months-long examination of the voting procedures — extensively reported to have been spoiled by corruption — that awarded the two World Cup tournaments on the same day in 2010.

The investigator submitted the report in 2014 after leading an investigation that, Mr. Garcia stated at the time, uncovered “serious and wide-ranging issues” in the selection process.

Despite pleas for transparency by Mr. Garcia and members of FIFA’s ruling executive committee in 2014, the report was never released to the public. Instead, Hans-Joachim Eckert, who at the time was serving as the chief judge of FIFA’s ethics committee, published a 42-page summary in November 2014 that declared, in ostensible disparity to Mr. Garcia’s statements, that the voting process had occurred without any serious wrongdoing.

Mr. Eckert also rejected the idea that any violations should lead to a reopening of the bidding process for the tournaments, and FIFA’s leadership, led by its former president Sepp Blatter, rapidly declared the matter “closed.”

Mr. Garcia resigned from his position in protest a month later, charging at the time that Mr. Eckert’s summary included “numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions.”

The Bild reporter who obtained secret document that had come to be known as the Garcia Report, Peter Rossberg, wrote on his Facebook page late Monday night that the dossier did not provide “definitive proof” that the 2018 and 2022 World Cups had been “bought.” He said, though, that it still provided important details that would contribute to a larger picture of what he called a “completely corrupt system.”

But before Bild could publish the information, FIFA took away the new by releasing the report itself.

In a news release on its own, FIFA said that “the new chairpersons of the independent Ethics Committee, Maria Claudia Rojas of the investigatory chamber and Vassilios Skouris of the adjudicatory chamber, have decided to publish the report,” and contended that FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, had “on numerous occasions” had called for the report’s release.

“Despite these regular requests, it is worth noting that the former chairpersons of the Ethics Committee, Cornel Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert, had always refused to publish it.”

Mr. Eckert, who had alleged privacy concerns had made publication of the report “impossible,” and Mr. Borbély, the investigator who had replaced Garcia, were removed from their positions earlier this year. At the time, they implied their ongoing ethics investigations into several top figures in FIFA had been interrupted by their dismissal.

Call for changes after boxer Davey Browne’s death

Davey Browne's death was preventable

A coroner has suggested significant changes to the way combat sports are administered in New South Wales after finding that the 2015 death of the boxer Davey Browne was preventable.

Browne, 28, died three days after he was knocked out by the Filipino fighter Carlo Magali in the 12th round of the International Boxing Federation Pan Pacific super featherweight title fight at Ingleburn RSL, NSW.

The deputy state coroner Teresa O’Sullivan on Thursday found that Browne had died because of a large right acute subdural hematoma, from the final blow he sustained in that fight, owing to his “impaired condition” going into the final round, which “diminished his ability to defend himself or control his head movements”.

Last May the inquest into Browne’s death sought to determine how and when the injury that caused his death was sustained, and if the referee, doctor, trainer or government inspectors present during the fight on 11 September 2015 should have interfered to either assess Browne’s ability to continue or to stop the fight. The inquest also examined which rules were in place during the fight and the contestants’ understanding of those rules.

In her findings, the coroner said: “It was a striking feature of the evidence that many witnesses did not know which rules applied to this contest, and had a flawed understanding of the rules … It should not be left to those participating in a boxing contest to work out which rules apply.”

She recommended that the minister for sport consider revising the legislation to provide a “comprehensive set of rules to govern all boxing contests in NSW”, and whether the obligations on attending medical practitioners, or ringside doctors, should be amended to better protect the health and safety of combat sport participants.

Throughout the investigation, the coroner heard evidence from the Browne family, including Davey’s wife, Amy Lavelle, his father, David, and his brother Tommy, as well as the ringside doctor, Dr. Lawrence Noonan, the referee, Charlie Lucas, and government inspectors present on the night of the fight.

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In her findings, the coroner said criticism of the ringside doctor, Noonan, for failing to examine Browne during the break between rounds 11 and 12 of the fight was justified. She also said that the “limited understanding” Noonan shown of his role as a ringside doctor, “especially the role to examine a boxer during a boxing contest, calls for better clarity in the rules and training.”

The coroner recommended that the NSW Office of Sport continue to develop training for registered industry participants in the identification, significance and risk associated with serious concussion, as well as implementing an accreditation process to safeguard every relevant industry participant and ringside doctor completes such training at least annually.

She also recommended significant adjustments to the official combat sports rules, including that a ringside doctor must examine a combatant during a fight after a knockdown caused by a blow to the head, or on suspicion of concussion. Sign up at WagerWeb.ag.