AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli may require surgery on a troublesome groin injury. The 25-year-old, who has made only four appearances since re-joining Milan on loan from Liverpool earlier this season, has been sidelined for over a month with the problem and travelled to Denmark on Monday for a consultation with a leading specialist. AC Milan said in a statement: “The medical staff of AC Milan and Liverpool FC will soon agree on which treatment the player will undergo.”
French triathlete Laurent Vidal has died of a heart attack, aged 31. Vidal competed at two Olympics, finishing fifth at London 2012. He retired suddenly in April last year after suffering a cardiopulmonary arrest during a swimming training session, but recovered after being placed in an induced coma. World Triathlon confirmed the news on Tuesday, tweeting: “We are terribly saddened to hear of the passing of Laurent Vidal. He touched us all.”
The Moscow Antidoping Center has had its accreditation suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The move was one of the key suggestions of a WADAcommission report examining allegations of doping, cover-ups, and extortion in Russian athletics. The ban, which takes immediate effect, prohibits the centre from carrying out any WADA-related anti-doping activity. The centre may appeal against the ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport within 21 days of receipt of notice. “The Moscow laboratory is provisionally suspended, and the status of the laboratory’s accreditation beyond that will be decided by a disciplinary committee which will be formed shortly to review the case,” WADA president Sir Craig Reedie said. In WADA’s independent commission report, which was published on Monday, officials from the Moscow laboratory were accused of intentionally and maliciously destroying more than 1,400 samples after receiving written notification from the anti-doping organisation to preserve target samples. The report also advocated the permanent removal of the laboratory’s director Grigory Rodchenkov, whom it accuses of asking for and accepting bribes and intentionally destroying samples he was told to keep. Following the closure of the laboratory, all samples will be transported to an alternative WADA-accredited facility.
The president of the German Football Association (DFB) has resigned over a FIFA payment that has resulted in a tax evasion investigation. Wolfgang Niersbach said he was taking “political responsibility” for a 6.7m euro (£4.9m) payment to FIFA. The sum was allegedly used to bribe officials of world football’s governing body to vote for Germany’s 2006 World Cup bid. Niersbach said he always worked “cleanly, confidently and correctly”. On 3 November police in Frankfurt raided the headquarters of the German Football Association over allegations of tax evasion linked to the 2006 World Cup. The DFB denied the claims last month. “I was involved in the bid for the 2006 World Cup from day one until the final documentation of the summer fairy tale was submitted,” Niersbach said. “I would like to make it clear unmistakably once again that I had absolutely no knowledge of the background of the flow of payments that are being looked into.” The homes of Niersbach, his predecessor Theo Zwanziger, and former Secretary General Horst Schmid, were also searched. In a statement, the prosecutor’s office said it had opened a probe into claims of serious tax evasion linked to the awarding of the World Cup to Germany in 2006.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has proven to be the best player from Sweden. The Paris St-Germain striker has won a record 10th Guldbollen (Golden Ball), the award given to the best male footballer in his home country. It is the ninth year in a row that Ibrahimovic has lifted the award. He won it for the first time in 2005, and has won it every year since former Arsenal midfielder Fredrik Ljungberg triumphed in 2006. No other player has won the award more than twice. This year Ibrahimovic won a historic French domestic treble, reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League and became PSG’s all-time record scorer.