Sports Digest, January 22, 2013

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2013, 5:07am

Chen sets up equaliser in first start in Brazil

A low key start to Brazil's soccer season gave Chinese forward Chen Zhizhao his first chance for a start after nearly a year with world club champions Corinthians. Corinthians fielded reserves for their opening Paulista (Sao Paulo) state championship match, while the first choice squad prepare to begin their defence of the South American Libertadores Cup next month. Chen, known in Brazil as Zizao, was the outstanding player and laid on Giovanni's equaliser having only played 15 minutes previously since his arrival in March 2012 in what was regarded as a marketing move rather than for his technical qualities. "I'm happy," Zizao, who last year rarely started matches on the bench, said in Portuguese in his first post-match television interview in Brazil. Reuters


Everton fan found guilty of racial abuse

A man was found guilty of racially abusing two English Premier League footballers by a London court yesterday. Everton supporter William Blything shouted the racist abuse at Queens Park Rangers' South Korean star Park Ji-sung and Everton forward Victor Anichebe during a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road on October 21. However, District Judge Jeremy Coleman said Blything would not face a custodial penalty when he is sentenced on February 11. AFP


Bruyneel to explain role in doping scandal

The prosecutor of the Belgian cycling federation has set a late January date for Lance Armstrong's former team leader to discuss his role in the doping scandal. During a 2010 hearing, Johan Bruyneel had denied all doping allegations made by disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis against Armstrong and no disciplinary action was taken. Cycling federation prosecutor Jaak Fransen said last week's admission by Armstrong was a new element in the case. He had already invited Bruyneel to explain himself after US Anti-Doping Agency charged in October that he was a central figure in Armstrong's doping programmes, but no date was set. Now Fransen has sent Bruyneel an invitation with only one date and expects him to appear. The consequences of a no-show are unknown. AP


Kings to change hands for record US$525m

Control of the Sacramento Kings has been sold to a group from Seattle in a deal that may value the NBA team at a record US$525 million . The new ownership group is led by Chris Hansen, founder of San Francisco-based Valiant Capital Management, and includes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. If the deal is approved, the team will move to Seattle. Bloomberg