Global sports round-up

Pierre Rolland

Two straight for Europcar team

LA TOUSSUIRE – Pierre Rolland of France won the hardest Alpine stage in the Tour de France today, and Bradley Wiggins dusted defending champion Cadel Evans in the final climb to extend his overall lead.

Rolland gave the Europcar team its second straight stage win after the 92-mile ride in the Alps from Albertville ended with a gruelling ascent to the ski resort of La Toussuire.

Rolland won by 55 seconds, ahead of Thibaut Pinot of France and Christopher Froome of Britain. Wiggins and two rivals for the title– Jurgen Van Den Broeck of Belgium and Vincenzo Nibali of Italy – were another two seconds slower.

Wiggins, along with Froome and other Sky teammates, repelled repeated attacks by his yellow jersey rivals over three huge ascents in the ride. Evans fell from second place overall – possibly seeing his repeat hopes vanish – after losing more than a minute to Wiggins.

The race stays in the Alps tomorrow with a 140-mile ride from Saint-Jean-De-Maurienne to Annonay Davezieux.


US uniforms 100% Chinese

WASHINGTON – Uniforms for US Olympic athletes are American red, white and blue — but made in China. That has members of Congress fuming.

Republicans and Democrats railed today about the US Olympic Committee’s decision to dress the US team in Chinese manufactured berets, blazers and pants while the American textile industry struggles economically with many US workers desperate for jobs.

“I am so upset. I think the Olympic committee should be ashamed of themselves. I think they should be embarrassed. I think they should take all the uniforms, put them in a big pile and burn them and start all over again,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference on taxes.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference that she’s proud of the nation’s Olympic athletes, but “they should be wearing uniforms that are made in America.”

In a statement, the U.S. Olympic Committee defended the choice of designer Ralph Lauren for the clothing at the London Games, which begin later this month.

“Unlike most Olympic teams around the world, the U.S. Olympic Team is privately funded and we’re grateful for the support of our sponsors,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said in a statement. “We’re proud of our partnership with Ralph Lauren, an iconic American company, and excited to watch America’s finest athletes compete at the upcoming Games in London.”


Blatter knew about bribery

Sepp Blatter

LONDON – FIFA president Sepp Blatter was aware senior officials were paid millions of pounds, according to a court investigation into bribery claims.

Former president Joao Havelange and executive committee member Ricardo Teixeira were named yesterday as having received huge sums by FIFA’s former marketing partner ISL.

Neither was disciplined by FIFA.

Instead, FIFA paid 1.64m (2.5m Swiss francs) to a Swiss court on condition criminal proceedings were dropped.

On FIFA’s website today, Blatter said he knew about the payments but that they were legal at the time.

He said: “Back then, such payments could even be deducted from tax as a business expense. Today, that would be punishable under law.

“You can’t judge the past on the basis of today’s standards. Otherwise it would end up with moral justice. I can’t have known about an offence that wasn’t even one.”

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