NAIROBI, Kenya (AP):The IAAF’s ethics board yesterday rejected an appeal from the CEO of Kenya’s track and field federation against his provisional suspension for allegedly soliciting bribes from two athletes.Isaac Mwangi was provisionally suspended in February after The Associated Press first reported the allegations from runners Joy Sakari and Francisca Koki Manunga.Mwangi challenged that decision in March.In a statement, the ethics board said it has dismissed his challenge.Sakari and Manunga are serving four-year bans for doping at the 2015 world championships. In an AP interview, they said Athletics Kenya CEO Mwangi asked them each for a US$24,000 bribe to reduce their suspensions. They said he asked for the payment in an October 16 meeting, but that they could not raise the money. They then were informed of their four-year bans in a November 27 email, but never filed a criminal complaint because, they said, they had no proof to back up their bribery accusation and also feared repercussions.The ethics board said the athletes – who are both serving police officers – have since reiterated their allegations in signed written statements.”They state that the accounts that they gave The Associated Press, and the content of The Associated Press article dated 10 February 2016, are true,” the ethics board said.Mwangi’s challenge countered that the athletes are “cheats” and “liars” and that “their evidence should not be trusted”, the ethics board said.Yesterday, Mwangi told the AP that he now wanted a public hearing “so that we can meet these accusers”.NO ALIBIWhen presented with the allegations in February, Mwangi denied meeting the athletes. In its decision, the IAAF’s ethics board said he provided no alibi. The board also said his defence that he could not have influenced their doping cases was “not wholly convincing”.The board said Mwangi has not “identified anything” that sufficiently undermines the probe for his 180-day provisional suspension to be lifted.Sakari and Manunga told AP the alleged October 16 meeting took place at AK’s headquarters in Nairobi.The ethics board said Mwangi “accepts that both he and the athletes were indeed present in the Athletics Kenya offices in Riadha House on the day in question”, but says he could not have met them because his schedule was “very tight”.The board said the probe should continue.The ethics board’s decision to reject the appeal now frees up the IAAF investigator in Kenya, Sharad Rao, to begin a formal investigation of Mwangi, Rao said.Rao is a former director of public prosecutions in Kenya and a member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.The IAAF ethics board, through Rao, is also investigating three other senior executives from the Kenyan federation for alleged corruption.
Exciting and never-say-die 400m runner Javon ‘Donkeyman’ Francis, who brought the curtains down on the 13th staging of the Jamaica International Invitational (JII) meet on Saturday night in emphatic fashion at the National Stadium, dedicated the victory “for my mother, tomorrow (yesterday) is Mother’s Day”. Twenty-one-year-old Francis completed a stout-hearted victory to much applause from the National Stadium crowd. “I just did a great job for her, and then tomorrow (yesterday) I’ll visit my mother and give her a big kiss,” the former Calabar High School standout said in a post-race interview. He added: “I feel good with the win and to come out here and put on a show.” Francis ran a fast backstretch from Lane Five and took over the race after being briefly consigned to second place by American Vernon Norwood for some distance before his power finishing saw him surge ahead and take the win in 44.85 seconds. Norwood was second in a flat 45.00, with Belgian Olympian Kevin Borlee (45.17) in third place. National record holder Rusheen McDonald had to settle for fifth in a time of 45.90 seconds. “It’s a good run for me and I am pleased with my time.” He added that in the “next couple years I just want to uplift myself, stay focused and just think about my career”. Francis is a 2013 World Championships relay silver medallist and says he is looking forward to an excellent National Trials in June. “My focus right now is on the Olympic team, and when I make the Olympic team, I focus on the final,” he commented, adding that he was doing what he loved, “running with the big guys”. “All the years I have always told myself I want to run with the big guys. The preparation is going quite fine and I want to just thank the Lord that I’ll stay injury-free,” he stressed, a clear reference to last year’s injury-plagued season. At last year’s IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China, Francis was eliminated in the semi-finals despite running a fast 44.77 seconds, the 12th fastest time overall.
Tastee Limited took another step towards uplifting the development of sports within this country as pen was put to paper and a total of $350,000 was donated to the Humble Lion Football Club.The presentation was made during half-time of the Red Stripe Premier League showdown between Humble Lion and Maverly-Hughenden on Sunday at the Effortville Community Centre in May Pen, Clarendon.Michael Pringle, technical director of the Humble Lion, was absolutely elated as he expressed his gratitude towards the sponsorship and noted that it would go a far way in their pursuit of the premier league title.”This sponsorship can go a far way in terms of the whole operation of the club, we really appreciate it because in these testing times to get a contribution like this is really difficult. We have several bills to take care of on a daily basis and this has really assisted with that,” Pringle said.”It also serves as a catalyst towards our title charge, we are faced by many obstacles on a daily basis such as a player being injured and that instantly brings forth an expense. At that point, medication and treatment is instantly needed, and these are challenges we are faced with on a regular basis. This donation has come at the right time when we are in need of it and it will go a far way,” he added.Marketing and public relations manager for Tastee Ltd, Tara Goulbourne, noted that the company was very happy to be associated with the Humble Lion Football Club.”Sports development plays a great part in our corporate social responsibility programmes. As Tastee Ltd continues to celebrate its 50th anniversary, we thought it fitting to sponsor theHumble Lion Football Club, a team that has seen vast growth and development since making their Premier League debut in the 2009/2010 season … . We look forward to building a solid relationship for years to come.”
JOHANNESBURG (AP): With an air of unease hanging over the tournament, the African Cup of Nations returns to Gabon for the second time in five years. Opposition parties in the oil-rich central African nation have stated their intention to use African football’s biggest show as an opportunity to express their grievances against Gabon President Ali Bongo Ondimba, who retained power in a tense election last August that led to about 100 deaths on the streets, according to opposition claims. That gives African football organisers, who chose to go back to former co-hosts Gabon as a replacement for Libya, even more to contend with alongside shaky infrastructure and two largely untested new stadiums. Libreville, the capital city of palm tree-lined Atlantic Ocean beaches and French colonial villas, and Franceville, deep inland in the jungle and the last stop on the railway line that cuts across the country, staged games when Gabon co-hosted with Equatorial Guinea in 2012. Now, Gabon gets the 16-team, 23-day tournament all to itself, bringing in two new venues that have barely seen any kind of football before, let alone a top international championship involving European league superstars. Oyem, a town in the far north surrounded by rubber plantations, will be home to defending champions Ivory Coast for the group stage. Hopefully for Manchester United defender Eric Bailly and teammates, they’ll be in one of only a few hotels listed with the luxury of hot water. Port-Gentil, the southern centre of Gabon’s oil industry, is the second new city. Both have stadiums that were being built right up to deadline and not many have set eyes on the finished, or possibly unfinished, products. The African Cup always has vibrant colour, fans painted head to toe and in an array of wacky outfits, and competing countries you’re unlikely to ever see at the World Cup, even when it’s expanded: Guinea-Bissau qualified this year, their first appearance at a major tournament and the first time they have really come anywhere close to the big time. But the African championship is also an event that flirts with calamity. Two years ago at the tournament in nearby Equatorial Guinea, there were brawls between players on the field and riots in the stands when security forces waded in among supporters wielding batons and an army helicopter hovered so dangerously low in the stadium that its rotors whipped up debris and scattered the spectators. Among the title contenders over the next three weeks kickoff is today and the final on February 5 Ivory Coast is striving for the rare achievement of back-to-back African titles after the team finally ended a long drought two years ago. There are two significant absences for the Ivorians this time, though, with powerful midfielder Yaya Toure, its driving force last time, retired from international football and victorious coach Herve Renard now in charge of group opponents Morocco. Algeria and Senegal produced eye-catching performances in qualifying, with those teams spearheaded by Premier League talents Riyad Mahrez of English champion Leicester and Sadio Mane of Liverpool, respectively. Ghana have lost two finals and three semi-finals in the last five tournaments and will continue their increasingly desperate search for a long-awaited first title since 1982, and, they hope, an end to African Cup misery. Absences
“I did a little bit of research on New Orleans. It is very rich in culture, and I heard the food there is awesome,” he said. “I am looking forward to eating a lot of New Orleans food and seeing the different places and enjoying the culture.” At the outset, however, Robertson didn’t believe he had won the random draw. “I have to be honest, I was sceptical at first,” he explained. “There are a lot of people out there that make jokes and that try to scam people out of money, so I tried to figure out if it was true. I did some research and made sure the SportsMax Instagram page was real. It was only after I got a few calls that I realised that winning the trip was real.” KINGSTON: Thirty-year-old aircraft technician, Joseph Robertson, is the winner of an all-expense paid trip to the NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans from February 18-19 courtesy of SportsMax and the National Basketball Association (NBA). There he will watch the NBA Slam Dunk contest next Saturday and the All-Star game the next day. At first, he didn’t believe it, but once he did, Robertson was perhaps the most excited man in all of Trinidad and Tobago. “I am most excited about seeing the best players in my generation in one place at one time,” said Robertson, who with his wife of just over a year, Delicia, will be afforded airfare and accommodation, the NBA Tour package, amazing seats and spending money. Delicia, he said, was just as excited about the trip as he is. “The same day I gave her the news, she started picking out her outfits,” said Robertson, who is a huge fan of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. While there he also plans to soak up some of the magical city of New Orleans. Rich culture
The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) has opened a new regional office in at the Courtleigh Corporate Centre, in New Kingston, as part of what it says is its effort to accelerate football development throughout the Caribbean. CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani was the special guest at the official opening of the office on Wednesday night and he described the move as a landmark for the entire region. “This is a milestone for the confederation and its 41-member associations. With the completion of the office, we take an important step towards accomplishing our ‘One CONCACAF’ vision to further invest in football and achieve prosperity in the game,” he said. The “One CONCACAF” initiative was conceived by its president Victor Montagliani, with the aim of setting up a financial assistance programme to aid the development of football in these member associations. It will see a pay out of US$125,000 to each on a yearly basis. The office will be headed by Horace Reid who will now serve in the role of CONCACAF Caribbean Football Director and Montagliani said that Reid was the best choice for the role. “There’s no doubt of Jamaica’s pedigree in CONCACAF, not just in the Caribbean,” Montagliani said. “There have been offices here in the past, not from a CONCACAF perspective but from a Caribbean perspective. I thought it was important that we establish roots here and Horace was the obvious choice with his pedigree as an administrator in the global game, not just the Caribbean region. So to build a team around him, to service our members in the Caribbean and to push our One CONCACAF platform forward as it relates to development and the operation of the competitions, it was just an obvious choice.” Reid said that he is not in the role for special recognition or praise, and described himself as just another member of the office when it opens its door for business. “I’m just one of the vehicles,” he said. “I’m not here to position myself as the leader of the vehicle. I’m just a member of the vehicle – a member of the team that is trying to elevate the football across the region …” CONCACAF’s 41-member associations are broken down into three from North America, seven from Central America and 31 from the Caribbean. CONCACAF is headquartered in Miami, Florida but also has another regional office in Guatemala to oversee its affairs in Central America. BEST CHOICE
Overgrown grass, dilapidated spectator stands, and the appearance of a venue that has been left to rot best describes the current condition of what was once one of the island’s most popular football venues – Ferdie Neita Sports Complex. Situated in the community of Braeton in Portmore, St Catherine, the multi-sports facility is in dire need of assistance with clear signs that the ground is not being properly maintained. The facility is the responsibility of top-flight title challengers Portmore United, and while the club’s general manager, Clive Marshall, refused to give details about the venue when contacted yesterday, there have been calls for further dialogue and partnerships in order to improve the state of the venue. Portmore United have been playing home fixtures away from their home ground for the last two seasons, adopting Prison Oval in Spanish Town, Wembley Centre of Excellence in Clarendon, and Juici Park, also in Clarendon, as their home venues over the period. Marshall ignored the topic when contacted via telephone yesterday evening, arguing that the club’s focus at this point is on their local and regional football ambitions. “It is not necessary to talk about the ground now. We are approaching the end of the season and are in the Premier League semi-final and CFU (Caribbean Football Union) second-round competition. We should talk about those things, not a ground. We must put things into perspective,” said Marshall, whose team still uses the Ferdie Neita field as a training ground in preparation for competitive games. Councillor for the Braeton Division, Anthony Wint, said that the Portmore Municipality has, in the past, assisted the club in certain areas where the upkeep of the facility is concerned and that they will be looking to play a part in lifting the ground out of its current state. “Through the municipality, we used to assist with water. We are in dialogue with the Portmore management in order to offer further assistance,” Wint said. Vassell Walker, who acted as caretaker in the past, said that he wants to see the park restored to its former glory. “We want to see it come back. When the park was been used for competitions, it was the best thing in Portmore. We want it to be ready as we are willing to work,” Walker said. Walker noted that former caretaker Junior Cooper, who managed the grounds from in the late 1980s, died a few years ago, and pointed out that he has since decided to take care of the park. “When Mr Cooper got blind, I was his assistant. Since he died some five years ago, I took charge. But since Portmore stop playing matches here, the field is not properly maintained,” Walker informed. “The field is idle as no competition is taking place there.” The 3,000-capacity venue was a prime location for football games in St Catherine and has hosted games at the local and international levels. NEEDS TO BE RESTORED
Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ MOST READ PBA IMAGESMeralco got it going early on both ends en route to a 107-78 whipping of Blackwater in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Baser Amer scored a team-high 20 points on top of eight assists while Allen Durham had 18 points and 21 rebounds for the Bolts, who zoomed to a 32-15 lead after the first 12 minutes and never relented.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite View comments OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans “It was exactly the kind of start we’re hoping for. We came out pretty strong defensively,” said Meralco head coach Norman Black. “We were able to pick up some stops in the first quarter and our offense started to click.”Minus the injured Art dela Cruz and Mac Belo, who is with Gilas Pilipinas for the Jones Cup in Taipei, the Elite couldn’t draw enough offensive support from their locals to back up their import Trevis Simpson.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Simpson had game-high 25 points on 9-of-21 shooting from the field to go along with eight rebounds. Bam Gamalinda was Blackwater’s next best scorer with 10 points.The Elite fired blanks from downtown, missing all of their 13 attempts. They shot just 35% from the field and were out-rebounded, 64-46. Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur LATEST STORIES End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Standhardinger says relationship with Chot now at a higher level The Bolts shot 48% thanks to their good ball movement that led to 27 assists.Garvo Lanete added 15 points, all of which came from long range for Meralco, which nailed 11 3-pointers.The Bolts stretched their lead to as high as 39, 93-54, early in the fourth quarter.ADVERTISEMENT
Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite MOST READ 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES View comments LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube “We just wanted to do our best so we don’t lose our sharpness going into the playoffs,” said coach Eric Altamirano after the unstoppable Thunder—who are assured of an outright semifinal berth—improved to 9-0 to move within a win of an elimination sweep.Cignal HD joined Flying V in the top two after a 96-89 tripping of Centro Escolar University in the other game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’Jason Perkins delivered 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists to help the Hawkeyes climb to 8-2 and nail the second seed in the standings.Perkins sparked Cignal’s decisive 10-0 run in the third quarter, turning a 59-60 deficit to a 69-60 lead before fending off the Scorpions’ late rally. —WITH CARLO ANOLIN Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ PBA IMAGESJeron Teng dropped a second straight triple-double for streaking Flying V as Cignal HD secured the last outright semifinals berth in the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup on Tuesday.Teng, the leading MVP candidate, scattered 20 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to power the Thunder to a 97-59 rout of Zark’s Burgers at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.ADVERTISEMENT Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Football dreams are made of this Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson
Baniqued was tested like never before, with fellow upstart triathletes hot on his heels from the get-go.The 14-year-old had a crowd with him after finishing the swim course in 5:55, but slowly gained a bit of a lead with his 17:51 time in the bike course to establish a lead against contenders Clifford Pusing and Adrian Thomas Dionisio.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’What he didn’t expect was a huge fightback from Joseff Miguel Quirino, who made up for a one-minute differential and gave Baniqued a run for his money with the photo finish ending.Still, Baniqued gained the edge by a mere millisecond for a time of 38:50. LeBron James scores 31 points, Lakers beat Rockets Ginebra halts NLEX’s unbeaten run ‘I’m out!’: PewDiePie releases last video before taking break from YouTube Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Juan Francisco Baniqued. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLAPU-LAPU CITY — Bidding the IronKids goodbye, Juan Francisco Baniqued knows that he’s leaving the 14-and-under circuit in good hands.“My career was very good. It was very fun and I’m very happy to be part of the IronKids,” he said Saturday morning after claiming his fourth win in the 2017 Alaska IronKids at Shangri-La Mactan here.ADVERTISEMENT McGregor blasts Cerrone in 40 seconds in UFC return LATEST STORIES View comments “It was a very close competition all throughout. Knowing that it’s a close fight, I knew I had to have a little more energy for the finish because if it’s close, I knew I have to sprint. But I was confident because of my training and I had enough trust on myself that I can win,” he said.Seeing how his fellow competitors have closed the gap, Baniqued noted that the tight ending in three of the past four IronKids is a good indication for the youth.And as he moves on to new endeavors, the four-time IronKids champion gave a word of advice to his fellow upstarts.“Never underestimate your competitors. You just have to continue training because if you stop, they will catch up to you,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT Indian national gunned down in Camarines Sur MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Kawhi Leonard, Clippers rally to beat Pelicans OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’