Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Sports Briefs

Published:Wednesday | November 29, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Wenger

Iranian wrestler says managers told him to throw match

TEHRAN, Iran (AP): 

An Iranian wrestler said his managers told him to intentionally lose to a Russian competitor to avoid facing an Israeli wrestler in the next round.

Ali Reza Karimi told the semi-official ISNA news agency late on Monday that only one minute before the end of a Sunday round of the U-23 World Championship in Poland his coaches told him to throw the match to avoid facing an Israeli wrestler.

Israel and Iran are bitter adversaries and Iranian athletes traditionally refrain from competing against Israelis. Iran's government usually rewards such behaviour.

Karimi told ISNA that he was beating Russian Alikhan Zhabrailov when coaches told him to lose. "I tried hard for months to get the world gold medal," he said. "Achieving a world medal is the only happiness for any of us."

Arsenal hires Barcelona's director of football

LONDON (AP):

Barcelona's director of football will join Arsenal early next year as the latest arrival to the English club's backroom staff.

Arsenal says Raul Sanllehi will lead its "future player negotiations," working alongside manager Arsene Wenger, and "represent and support the club with international and domestic governing bodies."

Sanllehi officially joins in February, ending a 14-year association with Barcelona. He was involved in the deal that saw Neymar join Barcelona from Brazilian side Santos in 2013.

FIFA says doping is not widespread in Russian soccer

MOSCOW (AP):

FIFA defended Russia's right to host the World Cup amid a series of doping scandals, saying yesterday that there is no sign of "widespread" drug use in Russian soccer.

Russia has been stripped of dozens of Olympic medals for doping and cover-ups, including tampering with samples.

Football is among the sports where positive tests were apparently covered up, according to a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation last year.

"From the information we have, we cannot talk about widespread doping in football in Russia," FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura said yesterday, three days before FIFA hosts the World Cup draw at the Kremlin.

All World Cup samples will be shipped out of Russia to a laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the day they are collected, Samoura said.