Archive for the ‘Money in sport’ Category

Titans’ Bird, Harrison, Loa Have Charges Dropped

Worst diver in the game, Greg Bird. Image: http://www.news.com.au/sport/nrl/state-of-origin-2015-trevor-gillmeister-fears-fakers-might-decide-match/story-fndv2twz-1227369174577

Gold Coast Titans Players Greg Bird, Beau Falloon, Ashley Harrison, and Kalifa Faifai Loa have had their charges for cocaine possession dismissed in a Southport Magistrates court this week.

The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Magistrate Callaghan said the prosecution had presented no evidence to substantiate intercepted phone conversations between the players and Joseph Touma pertained to cocaine. The prosecution had said the defendants had used a code-word when referring to the substance. McCallum argued that the word used could refer to anything.

But trio Dave Taylor, Joe Vickery, and Jamie Dowling are yet to stand trial for drug charges. Their defence lawyer, Chris McCallum conceded there was a prima facie case against them.

The scandal emerged in March this year, engulfing former and present NRL players.

Bird has a long and tarnished record both on and off the field. But now says he would be ‘honoured’ to captain the Gold Coast Titans (again).

Bird was the co-captain with Manly-bound Nate Myles in 2013-14; but was stripped of his position when he was caught urinating in public, in December of last year.

The dropped charges come as a huge relief to the struggling Gold Coast club. They narrowly avoided the wooden spoon this year and are desperate to organise a successful strategy for the 2016 season.

Whether Bird will play any part in that strategy remains to be seen.

McGregor Claims Nine-figure Contract Negotiation

Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Truth or fiction?

In an interview with MMA Hour host Ariel Helwani UFC superstar Connor McGregor has said he is negotiating a nine figure contract with the UfC franchise.

“Let’s compare contracts,” he said in the interview, “because the contract that I’m talking now is nine figures – NINE FIGURES!, I’m talking. Nobody in the game has talked nine figures.

“That’s $100 million plus. That’s my contract, so, that’s where I’m at and I’ve done it the way I’ve done it. Either learn from it or don’t.”

Many are wary of such an astronomical sum. Especially when the UFC has never even approached the figures paid to boxing superstars (like Floyd Mayweather).

But McGregor claims he is worth every cent.

“When you’re bringing in $60 million revenue on a fight where the main event guy (Jose Aldo) has pulled out two weeks before, you think anyone else can do that?

“This next one (the fight against Aldo), we are estimating $10 million for the gate alone. This is going to bring in $90 to $100 million this card here. So you’re damn right I’ll get it (the nine-figure contract).

“I came at them (the UFC) with facts, I came at them with numbers, and I didn’t go round about. I looked them dead in the eye with straight facts. When someone comes at you with clear facts, there’s only one thing you can do – and that’s respect it. You got to respect good business, if you don’t respect good business, then that’s on you. I am very confident we will come to a deal and it will be in the nine-figure mark, and rightfully so.”

McGregor will fight Aldo for the championship belt on December 12th after easily disposing of Aldo’s short-notice replacement Chad Mendez.

McGregor has become one of the most widely recognisable fighter in the UFC stable. But when asked who was the bigger star, himself or Women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, he was quick to give credit where it was due:

“I have a lot of respect for Ronda, rightfully so. She’s as dominant as they come. I’m a big fan of Ronda, I always have been,” he waxed. “Ronda is the queen and I am the king.”

Channel Nine Suspend Andrew Johns

Image: twitter

Didn’t hear the voice of Andrew Johns during the NRL Grand Final? That’s because he wasn’t there.

Fairfax reported that Channel Nine stood Johns down after he was accused of making explicit comments to a mother of three and then passing out in the Toowoomba Wellcomap Airport.

Johns had been in Toowoomba speaking at a lunch at The Spotted Cow, in front of 120 guests.

It is understood the event exceeded its allotted time; but Johns was good enough to stay, sign autographs, and pose for photographs with the crowd.

Johns left the engagement and arrived at the airport at 6:30 pm to catch a 7 pm flight back to Sydney.

While he waited to board the flight he hit the bar.

Helen Wright, 42, posted a message on the Today Show’s Facebook page lashing out at Johns for being ‘severely intoxicated’ and asking to kiss her.

Image: Facebook

Image: Facebook

The post was removed from the Facebook page shortly after it appeared.

“I am a 42 year-old woman that he asked to kiss him.

“When I refused to kiss him and replied I was happily married and had three sons his question to me was ‘why did you have a cesarean birth?’

“Then he proceeded to pass out on the airport floor.”

An airport security officer (who asked not to be named) said, “He (Johns) was full, no doubt about that.”

Mrs Wright was outraged, not only at Johns’ behaviour, but that it was witnessed by families at the airport.

“This is not an example that should be presented to children that were present!” she wrote.

“Many of the children had taken photos of him passed out.”

The photos and comments have gone viral on social media.

Johns has since contacted Mrs Wright and apologised

“I’ve obviously said the wrong thing, which has offended her. I rang her and apologised for that; and she accepted my apology,” said Johns.

But Johns has denied he passed out.

“I was up there for a function and had been up since 5 am. My flight home was delayed three hours last night, so I took myself away into a quiet corner and laid down and had a sleep. No way did I pass out.”

MMA Fighter in Weight-Class Dispute

http://nypost.com/2015/09/28/meet-the-mma-fighter-held-back-by-double-d-breasts/

Well here’s a problem you don’t come across every day. Brye Anne Russillo is a 29 year-old New York MMA fighter. She has two amateur fights with one win and one loss.

The problem she faces is that she has to fight in a heavier division than she would like to because of her double-D breasts.

“I can’t cut my tits off,” said the single mother of one to MMA News, “and put them on the side, they weigh 12 pounds (5.4 kg).”

That 5.4 kg moves her up a weight class, but gives her no strength advantage. And in combat sports that’s a huge advantage to give away.

Brye Anne Images: https://www.facebook.com/BryeanneBoneBreaker/photos/pb.1253724314654551.-2207520000.1443823120./1253739617986354/?type=3&theater

Brye Anne Images: Facebookr

In fact, it took Russillo’s team more than three months to finalise an agreement to fight Paige Lian at 150 pounds (68 kg) for the Aggressive Combat Championships in Queens on October 3.

Everyone expects me to be a Barbie Doll,” says the pastry chef, bartender and mother of one. “Bleach blonde hair and a big chest.”

But when she found MMA she fell in love with the sport. Her trainer made the decision simple when he said it was alright to bring her baby daughter to training.

“If you find a hobby late in life, follow it! I have a child and turning 30 in a couple of months, and I’m glad I followed my passion.”

Image: Facebook

Image: Facebook

Jon Jones Pleads Guilty, Receives 18 Months Probabation

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones has pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident in a New Mexico court on Wednesday.

He avoided jail time and was granted a conditional release with up to 18 months of supervised probation.

Because Jones avoided a felony conviction there are no travel restrictions placed on his personal work schedule.

He has, however, been sentenced to community service; the judge mandated he make 72 appearances speaking at local boys and girls clubs and schools in and around Bernalillo county, New Mexico.

In a statement released through his Public Relations team Jones aid:

“With regards to today’s decision made by the court, I am very happy to now be able to put this incident behind me.

“My actions have caused pain and inconvenience in the lives of others, and for that I am tryuly sorry, and I accept full responsibility. I have been working hard during this time away from my sport to grow and mature as a man and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. I have learned a great deal from this situation and I am determined to emerge a better person because of it.

“I apologise to those who were affected by my actions in this incident and I am hopeful that I will be given the opportunity to redeem myself in the eyes of the public, my family, and friends as well as my supporters. I am not sure what the future holds for me but I plan to continue to do the work needed to be productive and successful in every aspect of my life.”

Jones was stripped of his light heavyweight title days after the accident and arrest. The UFC placed him on indefinite suspension. UFC boss Dana White was in attendance at the hearing on Tuesday along with Jones’ manager Malki Kawa.

“The UFC organisation,” says a statement on their website, “is aware that Jon Jones reached a plea agreement with authorities in Albuquerque, New Mexico this morning stemming from charges associated with a motor vehicle accident earlier this year.

“As a result, UFC, through Las Vegas-based law firm Campbell & Williams, will thoroughly review the agreement before discussing Jones’ possible reinstatement to return to competition.”

“I Played for the Penalty,” says Guerra

Hodges image: commons.wikimedia.org

The NRL judiciary looks set to determine another Grand Final.

Brisbane Broncos captain Justin Hodges will have his fate decided on Tuesday night, as he and the club look set to defend a grade one dangerous throw for his tackle on Roosters backrower Aidan Guerra.

But it doesn’t look good.

Not because of the tackle – Guerra himself admitts he was off-balance and contributed to the fall that saw him topple past the horizontal – but because Brisbane have only a seven per cent success rate with the blatantly partisan NRL judiciary.

Queenslanders have long known and seen the Sydney judiciary protecting their own – consistently rubbing out players from teams north of the border, while expressing leniency for NSW clubs. It is an outrage that has existed for such a long time it has all but been accepted.

In fact, the last time the Brisbane club had a player exonerated by the NRL judiciary was Karmichael Hunt back in the year 2000 (Hunt has swapped codes three times since then).

The Brisbane club have virtually given up contesting charges, realising the futility of expecting fairness from the judiciary. The last time they fought a charge was in 2013. Just once in 14 attempts has a Bronco’s player been acquitted by the board.

Aidan Guerra has offered to support Hodges at the hearing. In an interview with Fox Sports he was asked if he jumped off the ground as Hodges had suggested? Guerra said: “Yep, it’s a bit like that.

“To be honest, I played for the penalty.

“If I tried my hardest (to resist Hodges and fellow Broncos defender Ben Hunt) I wouldn’t have got spear-tackled, but I got the penalty and I really hope it’s left where it is.”

Jonathon Thurston, Cowboys Captain said, “You want to play the best teams at full strength and he needs to be in that team for it to be at full strength. It would be a sad way to end his career (suspended from the grand final).”

Race to Break 1000 Miles Per Hour on Land

http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/
Thrust SSC image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThrustSSC

Thrust SSC image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThrustSSC

In 1997, Royal Air Force pilot Andy Green (now 53) strapped himself in the Thrust SSC (Super Sonic Car). He flashed across the Nevada desert, in the U.S, to set the world land-speed record of 1,228 kilometres per hour, an achievement no one thought would ever be beaten.

Now Andy is working with aeronautic engineers to build the Bloodhound Supersonic Car; with the ambition of breaking the magic 1,000 miles an hour barrier.

Along the way he is hoping to inspire a new generation of engineers.

The first plan is to reach 800 miles an hour (1,287 kilometres per hour) next year in South Africa. Should that go as planned then the goal for 1,000 miles per hour will be set for 2017.

Bloodhound SSC image: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

Bloodhound SSC image: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

The Bloodhound SSC is a $32 million car that looks more like a spaceship.

It employs three power drives – a Rolls-Royce EJ200, a jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon; a cluster of Nammo hybrid rockets synced together; and a Jagua V8 engine whose sole purpose is to drive the oxidiser pump.

“It’s an aeroplane, but on four wheels,” said Mark Blackwell, a project technician.

As stated previously, one of the main goals is to beat the 20 year-old record. But another strong motivation is to give kids around the world a taste of modern science.

Richard Noble explained to AFP how the Ministry of defence told them they have trouble recruiting engineers.

“In the U.S. during 1961 to 1972 the number of PhD’s achieved in science increased by 300 per cent.” This was primarily because of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Since then interest in science has dwindled.

Bloodhound SSC image: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

Bloodhound SSC image: http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/

But the Bloodhound SSC is hoping to change that.

Noble said footage of the car, and the maths and science relating to it, is being uploaded to a website available to students and teachers.

“Kids respond very well; (they) set up rocket clubs, (and) do more maths,” said Kirsty Allpress from the Bloodhound Education Team.

“What you’ve got here is an enormous global online game.”

Criminal Proceedings Against Sepp Blatter

Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1uW3lwNZas

Swiss investigators have begun criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini by searching the former FIFA president’s office while quizzing his UEFA counterpart, Platini.

At the heart of their search is an answer to the legality of a two million dollar payment from Blatter to the French football legend.

“Swiss criminal proceedings against the President of FIFA, Mr. Joseph Blatter, have been opened on September 24, 2015 on suspicion of criminal mismanagement … and – alternatively – misappropriation,” said a statement from the OGA, Switzerland’s Lawyer General’s Office.

Blatter (now 79) is in the process of handing over the reins of the world football governing body amid accusations of corruption.

The Swiss prosecutor said data had been seized and the FIFA President questioned. He is considered a ‘suspect’; while Platini is considered ‘a person called upon to give information’.

Platini, now 60, is the automatic FIFA vice-president as he has been head of UEFA since January 2007.

Blatter was said, by his lawyer Richard Cullen, to be cooperating with the Swiss authorities and that he was confident a review of the evidence would yield ‘no mismanagement occurred.’

The alleged $2.0 million franc ($2.9 million) is thought to have been made in February of 2011 ‘for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002’.

Michael Platini Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Platini

Michael Platini Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Platini

On Friday Platini said the money had been for ‘contractual’ work.

“Concerning the payment that was made to me, I wish to state that this amount relates to work which I carried out under a contract with FIFA,

“I was pleased to have been able to clarify all matters relating to this with the authorities. I also made clear to the Swiss authorities that since I live in Switzerland I am available to speak with them any time to clarify any matters relating to the investigations.”

Blatter is under investigation by US authorities for links with former FIFA vice-resident Jack warner.

It is being alleged that Warner used the Caribbean Football Union as a power base to which Blatter was suspected of contributing.

But Blatter’s lawyer, Cullen, said the contract was ‘properly prepared and negotiated’ by all FIFA staff required for such matters..

Warner is just one of 14 soccer officials and business executives expected to face US prosecutors. It will be alleged they were involved in more than US$150 million in bribes for broadcasting rights and marketing deals.

Push to Legitimise Bare-Knuckle Boxing

Bobby Gunn image: https://twitter.com/RealBobbyGunn

Reputed ex-mobster Danny Provenzano, 51, wants to take bare-knuckle boxing mainstream. He believes it can be turned into a multi-billion-dollar industry and capture the world’s attention.

In an interview with the Daily Mail Provenzano said, “Bare-knuckle boxing requires a lot more skill than gloved boxing. You’ve got to make sure every punch counts, otherwise you’rre going to break your hand.”

He went on to argue that bare-knuckle boxing is safer than gloved boxing, “There are a lot more cuts and bruises, but less long-term damage.”

The medical fraternity appear to be divided on this.

The argument goes like this: Gloves ‘cushion’ a blow allowing for more blows to be delivered during a bout. The more blows there are, the more damage is done to a fighter’s brain.

The other side argue that the greater impact of an ‘un-cushioned’ blow inflicts more trauma on the brain and substantially increases the chance of damage to a boxer’s hand.

What both sides agree on is that the sport already exists. Without regulatory oversight the combatants are without any protection other than their own fists.

Bobby Gunn is regarded as the best bare-knucle boxer in the world. In an interview with MMA Radio he announced that two states in the US are on the verge of legalising the combat sport.

“It’s going to be ground-breaking for the sport.”

Provenzano is working closely with Gunn to legalise the sport throughout the world. To that end they wish to organise a fight with high profile MMA fighter Kimbo Slice to grasp world attention.

“He (Gunn) is the poster boy of the bare-knuckle boxing world.”

While Kimbo Slice rocketed to fame with viral Youtube videos of his accept-all-comers street fights. Gunn won the first officially sanctioned bare-knuckle boxing match in 2011.

He said to barcrogt.tv, “I’ve been fighting since I was 6 years old. I do this for my family.”

While it was an underground sport promoters were happy to allow gambling. Their fighters stood to earn up to $100,000 for a high profile fight. But in a bid to have the sport legitimised they have had to eliminate this side of their events.

“We’ve taken a hit in the pocket,” Provenzano said. “But it will be worth it once we’re mainstream.”

Cricket Will Never Be Free from Corruption

Image: en.wikipedia.org

Sir Ronnie Flanagan, chief of the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption wing, has admitted corruption will never be expunged from the game.

But he was quick to add that fans should know administrators are doing ‘everything humanly possible’ to root out illegal practices.

“I’ll give you the honest answer – That we will never totally, utterly, and absolutely eradicate corruption from the game,” Flanagan said to icc-cricket.com.

“But we can make the game a very difficult environment for those who would seek to bring corruption to bear.”

Flanagan labelled as ‘most evil’ those who attempted to corrupt the game.

“Those are organised criminals. These are members of organised criminal gangs across the world.”

Recently three Pakistan internationals were jailed for spot-fixing during the 2010 Test series in England.

Mohammad Amir, Salman Butt, and Mohammad Asif have since been released and are attempting to resume their cricket careers.

When asked whether he thought the three should be eligible for international duty with the Pakistan side Flanagan said it was a matter for  the Pakistan cricket Board.

“They’ve been punished. They’ve met their punishment. It’s now a matter, I think, for their home board to decide whether they should ever grace an international cricket team again.”

But cricket’s integrity remains under a cloud of suspicion worldwide.

After football, cricket is the main sport in the world attracting illegal gambling.

One expert estimated the sports betting market is worth $3 trillion annually, with the vast majority of that being illegal.

Cricket is thought to make up 12 per cent of that figure.