IOC suspends Fredericks
LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP):
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) suspended Frank Fredericks as a member yesterday, four days after he was charged in a French investigation of suspected bribery in the 2016 Olympic host city vote.
The IOC leadership intervened eight months after the four-time Olympic sprint medallist from Namibia stepped back from his duties when the allegations were reported in French media.
"Considering the gravity and urgency of the situation and its impact on the reputation of the IOC, the IOC (executive board) decides to suspend Mr Frank Fredericks from all the rights, prerogatives and functions deriving from his quality as an IOC member," the Olympic body said in a statement.
Fredericks was an IOC board member when he accepted a US$300,000 payment eight years ago on the day Rio de Janeiro was chosen as the 2016 host.
The money allegedly came from a Brazilian businessman and was paid to Fredericks via the son of Lamine Diack, then a senior IOC member and president of track and field's governing body. Both Diacks are under investigation by French prosecutors in a wide-ranging corruption case.
Spain's World Cup jersey sparks controversy
MADRID, Spain (AP):
Spain's jersey for the World Cup has sparked controversy after being linked to the Republican flag of the 1930s.
The jersey has the colours red, yellow and blue. Some say that from afar, the blue appears to have the same purple tone of the Republican flag used from 1931-39.
The flag is still used by those who oppose the Spanish monarch.
Apparel maker Adidas said there were no political implications in the jersey, and the design was agreed upon with the Spanish Football Federation a long time ago.
"The current design represents the courage and the fury of our national team, with graphics of red, yellow and blue diamonds, which represent the best qualities of this team: Speed, energy and its renowned style of play," the company said in a statement yesterday.
Koscielny to end France career after World Cup
PARIS, France (AP):
France center back Laurent Koscielny says he will end his international career after the World Cup in Russia.
Koscielny, who has 49 caps, spoke yesterday at France's camp ahead of friendlies against Wales and Germany.
He says, "After the World Cup, I will be nearing 33 years old. It will be the right time to make room for the youngsters pushing behind."
Koscielny, who played his first international in 2011 against the United States, hopes to be selected for his second World Cup after featuring in the French team in 2014.