Global sports round-up

Boxing stalwart passes on at 68

Emanuel Steward

DETROIT – Top trainer and former amateur boxer Emanuel Steward, who worked with several world champions at his fabled Kronk Gym in Detroit and was also a respected television commentator, died in a Chicago hospital last night aged 68.

Steward’s girlfriend Anita Ruiz, who is also executive director of the Kronk Gym Foundation, told Reuters the trainer had died after having “complications through surgery” for diverticulitis.

Steward ended his amateur career with a record of 94 wins and three losses but is best known as the trainer who transformed Thomas Hearns from a light-hitting boxer into a devastating puncher.

Under Steward’s guidance, ‘Hitman’ Hearns became a four-division welterweight champion in the 1980s as he vied with fellow boxing greats such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran and Marvin Hagler.

West Virginia native Steward was central to the famous Kronk Gym in Detroit where he helped shape the careers of fighters such as Hilmer Kenty and Milton McCrory. Later he worked with British and Canadian world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis.

Most recently, Steward trained heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko before he was forced to step aside because of an undisclosed illness.

An inductee of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame, Steward also worked for many years as part of HBO’s commentary team on fights.


Dopers told to pay back prize money

PARIS – No one will replace Lance Armstrong as winner of the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005 after the American was stripped of the titles for doping, and the disgraced cyclist has also been told to repay his prize money.

The decision, supported by Tour organisers, was widely expected given that so many riders finishing behind Armstrong, who was stripped of his titles and banned from the sport for life on Monday, have also been associated with doping offences.

The sport’s governing body also called on the American and other disgraced riders to return prize money they had received and said it would set up a “fully independent external commission” to investigate allegations made against it over the Armstrong affair.

Armstrong was formally stripped of his seven titles on Monday when the UCI ratified the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to ban the 41-year-old Texan for life and nullify his results from August 1998 onward.


Melandri gets suspended jail sentence

Marco Melandri

ROME – Former motorcycling world champion Marco Melandri has been given a 19-month suspended jail sentence for tax evasion.

Melandri invented a fictitious residence in England in order to avoid millions of euros of Italian tax between 2003 and 2005.

Prosecutors said that while the BMW rider was supposedly resident near Donnington Park race track, the flow of money and his assets showed that his

financial interests remained in his home town of Ravenna. The 2002 world MotoGP 250cc champion had already reached agreement with the Italian tax authorities

over his debts. Melandri came third in the 2012 World Superbike Championship with 328.5 points, 29.5 points behind leader and compatriot Max Biaggi.


Napoli under match-fixing investigation

NAPLES – The Italian Football Federation is to open disciplinary proceedings relating to match-fixing at Napoli.

The charges refer to the Serie A club’s 1-0 defeat against Sampdoria on the final day of the 2009-10 season. The club, along with former goalkeeper Matteo Gianello and ex-coach Silvio Giusti, will now face a FIGC disciplinary committee.

Napoli defenders Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava have also been charged for failing to report the alleged fix.

A wide-ranging criminal and sporting probe into illegal betting and match-fixing in Italy has already led to several arrests and bans.

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