Sports News Roundup: Serena out of Australian Open, Djokovic on entry list; Brazil soccer legend Pele hospitalized again for colon tumor treatment and more
Concluding a month-long probe into race-fixing allegations against South Korean speed skater Shim, a panel of investigators said there is no concrete evidence to prove that she intended to take down a team mate during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games. Tennis-Serena out of Australian Open, Djokovic on entry list World number one Novak Djokovic was named on the official entry list for next year's Australian Open on Wednesday but 23-times Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams will not play on the advice of her medical team.
Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
NHL-Rangers still most valuable team, first worth $2 billion - Forbes
The New York Rangers are the National Hockey League's most valuable franchise for a seventh consecutive year and the first worth $2 billion, according to the annual list published by business magazine Forbes on Wednesday. The Rangers have missed the playoffs in three of the last four NHL seasons but their value shot up 21% compared to last year and they are worth more than double the average value of the league's 32 teams.
Olympics-South Korean panel finds no evidence of wrongdoing by short track champion Shim
The Korea Skating Union could not find any evidence of wrongdoing by double Olympic short track gold medallist Shim Suk-hee and said a further sports commission hearing will decide whether she can compete at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Concluding a month-long probe into race-fixing allegations against South Korean speed skater Shim, a panel of investigators said there is no concrete evidence to prove that she intended to take down a team mate during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Games.
World number one Novak Djokovic was named on the official entry list for next year's Australian Open on Wednesday but 23-times Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams will not play on the advice of her medical team. Djokovic has declined to disclose his vaccination status despite all players, officials, staff and fans at the Jan. 17-30 tournament at Melbourne Park needing to be inoculated against COVID-19.
Tennis-Billie Jean King proud of WTA's stance over Peng concerns
Women's Tennis Association (WTA) founder Billie Jean King said she was proud of the organisation for standing up for Peng Shuai after the body suspended tournaments in China due to concerns over the treatment of the former doubles world number one. Peng's whereabouts became a matter of international concern following a nearly three-week public absence after she posted a message on social media alleging that China's former Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli had sexually assaulted her.
Alpine skiing-U.S. has untapped potential in competitive skiing, says Miller
The United States has a well of untapped talent that could boost its Olympic performances in alpine skiing, retired gold medallist Bode Miller told Reuters as he expands his footprint in the business of ski innovation. The U.S. saw its medal count in the sport dwindle from an all-time high of eight at the 2010 Games - where Miller picked up three of his six Olympic medals - to three in 2018.
Brazil soccer legend Pele hospitalized again for colon tumor treatment
Brazilian soccer legend Pele was hospitalized to undergo treatment for a colon tumor, Sao Paulo's Hospital Albert Einstein said on Wednesday, adding that he is in stable condition and should be discharged in the next few days. The 81-year-old three-time World Cup winner underwent an operation to remove the tumor in September and spent nearly a month under care. The hospital said at the time he would need to undergo chemotherapy.
Australia and Britain will join the United States in a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, their prime ministers said on Wednesday, as other allies weighed similar moves to protest at China's human rights record. The United States has said its government officials would boycott February's Beijing Olympics because of China's human rights "atrocities", just weeks after talks aimed at easing tense relations between the world's two largest economies.
Motor racing-F1 on tenterhooks: History for Hamilton or victory for Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton will become either the first Formula One driver to win eight world championships or be dethroned by young nemesis Max Verstappen under the Abu Dhabi floodlights on Sunday. Either a record will be set, one surely destined to be longer lasting than Ferrari great Michael Schumacher's seven between 1994-2004, or Hamilton's long reign will end in a generational shift.
Canada will finish above the United States in the medals table for a second successive Winter Olympics thanks in part to the recent performances of their short track speed skaters, according to the latest projection by Nielsen's Gracenote. Canada finished above the United States at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, but have never won more medals than their North American neighbours at successive Winter Olympics.
Olympics-China launches "high pressure" crackdown campaign on Olympic IP infringement
China is cracking down on any unauthorised use of the Olympics logo or athlete names as part of a special intellectual property protection campaign in the run up to the Feb. 4-20 Winter Games in Beijing, state news agency Xinhua reported on Wednesday. The campaign, which began in October, will last till June, Xinhua quoted the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) as saying.
(With inputs from agencies.)