Riyadh, Oct. 9 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Saudi Arabia is set to host an international golf tournament in January with the participation of top world players, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Tuesday.
The Saudi International Golf Tournament will kick off from January 30 at the grounds of the Royal Greens Golf Course in King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh.
Several world stars, led by the American Brooks Koepka, the world top ranked PGA golfer and Dustin Johnson will take part.
The competition, one of the stations of the "European Tour" in 2020, seeks to establish itself as one of the most important international tournaments with the participation of elite stars of the world, competing for prizes of more than 3.5 million U.S. dollars.
Saudi Arabia has been promoting initiatives to improve the contribution of various non-oil sectors, such as sports and tourism, to its GDP, with an ultimate goal to drastically reduce the dependency on oil incomes for state revenues.
New York, Oct 9 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump's two golf resorts in Scotland posted another year of multimillion-dollar losses as his properties contend with a struggling local economy and a backlash against his divisive rhetoric.
Trump's golf clubs on the North Sea and Irish Sea lost a combined 11.9 million pounds ($14.5 million) last year, according to financial statements filed with Britain's Companies House.
That comes on the heels of a string of annual losses that started before Trump was president. But there were signs of recovery, including an increase in revenue at both Scottish resorts.
The president has 17 golf operations around the world. But unlike his licensing operations where he has sold his name for fee, he has spent hundreds of millions to buy and improve the clubs, a bold bet that he can buck the industry trend of bankruptcy and losses.
The numbers from Scotland so far have not been encouraging.
At Trump's Turnberry resort on the Irish Sea, which has hosted several British Opens, losses topped 10.8 million pounds ($13.2 million) last year, triple the loss from a year earlier, though much of that came from a hit in foreign exchange. Taking that out and one-time and non-cash costs, the club lost 210,000 pounds, or $257,000. Revenue jumped 20%.
Trump's North Sea club overlooking a stretch of dramatic dunes also posted losses, though much lower — 1.1 million pounds, or $1.3 million.
Some in Scotland have praised Trump for bringing in tourists and helping businesses in the North Sea club area. But others have protested his comments about Mexican immigrants and have accused of him of bullying tactics in trying to buy up land and of harming the local dunes with his course.
More recently, the club has drawn protests from environmental groups and others over plans to build 550 homes on the property in what would be the biggest construction project for the president's company since he took office.
Residents sent thousands of letters to local politicians, raising the prospect of heavy traffic and crowded schools, though others have argued the homes could provide a boost to the economy.
Last month, a local government council approved the Trump club's plan for expansion, a potentially big source of cash. A marketing brochure says buyers should be prepared to pay as much as 1.3 million pounds for the biggest homes, or $1.6 million each.
Moscow, Oct 9 (AP/UNB) — Russia has sent a formal response to the World Anti-Doping Agency after signs of tampering were found in data it handed over regarding past performance-enhancing drug cases.
Russia had until Wednesday to explain to the World Anti-Doping Agency why data it handed over appears to have been doctored, with some key evidence missing or altered.
Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said the response addressed 31 questions from WADA and was compiled with the help of "independent Russian experts in the field of information technology."
"We are confident that we've met all the requirements," Kolobkov said. "We're ready to continue cooperating, to put this situation behind us quickly and do everything so that there are no more questions for the Russian side."
Kolobkov didn't say how Russia's response explained the apparent tampering. Talks are planned with "experts and interested parties" before the end of the month ahead of a WADA meeting in November, he said.
WADA confirmed receiving the response and said it would analyze the claims "as quickly as practicable."
If WADA rules there's been yet another Russian doping cover-up — of data which was supposedly secure in the Russian state's custody — new rules could mean tougher sanctions than ever before.
"What decision will WADA make? It will be strict. This is an issue of recidivism, a repeat, and it's about using the same methods again," Yuri Ganus, CEO of the Russian anti-doping agency, told The Associated Press in a recent interview.
"It's actually a big problem, and obviously it's to be expected. If the (Russian) sports authorities can't find some answers, and I struggle to imagine what those answers could be, I can envision that the decision will be fairly strict."
The data handover in January in a sealed-off section of the Moscow lab was meant to clear up years of doping cases. Russia's anti-doping agency, known as RUSADA, was reinstated in return, against protests from some Western athletes.
The head of World Athletics' taskforce for Russia, Rune Andersen, has said the data doesn't match an earlier copy WADA obtained from a whistleblower.
Andersen wrote last month that the data shows signs that particular athletes' test results were selectively edited, rather than the random changes which could result from a corrupted file.
Tampering would be a breach of trust and could taint the entire data archive so that it's hard to prosecute cases even for athletes whose files appear untouched.
If WADA decides foul play was involved, its first step will likely be to re-suspend RUSADA, which the rules require as a pretext to further sanctions.
"There will be significant restrictions on athletes, restrictions on the whole sports jurisdiction, on hosting competitions on Russian territory, and the role of officials in sports administration," Ganus said. "The worst thing is that it's now in its fifth year and it will continue for quite some time."
Possible further sanctions range from monitoring programs to a ban on hosting international sports events or even exclusion from the Olympics. However, that could run into resistance from the International Olympic Committee, which has signaled its reluctance to repeat its punishment of Russia at the 2018 Winter Olympics. On that occasion, Russia was officially banned but allowed to send a smaller, officially neutral squad.
WADA's new powers are based on a code of rules passed last year and they haven't been tested in court.
Ganus is keen to stress that his agency had no custody of the data, and couldn't have tampered with it. The data was held at the lab, which has never been a RUSADA facility, and sealed off by Russian law enforcement.
Russia has been accused of hacking before in connection with doping. Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI alleged in an indictment that Russian military intelligence officers had hacked WADA, the Court of Arbitration for Sport and an IOC official in 2016.
After WADA receives Russia's explanation regarding the data tampering, its compliance and review committee will study the evidence before making a recommendation to the executive board, which meets Nov. 4 in Poland.
Stuttgart, Oct 9 (AP/UNB) — Simone Biles won a record 21st medal at the world gymnastics championships on Tuesday as the United States retained its women's team all-around title.
It was Biles' 15th career gold and broke a tie with Russian gymnast Svetlana Khorkina for the most medals overall by a woman at the world championships. She's now two short of Vitaly Scherbo's all-time record of 23 among men or women.
"Every year it feels better and better just because we're adding to the legacy," Biles said. "I feel like I never think of records. I just go out there and do what I came to do, which is compete for the country."
The U.S. team scored 172.330 points to beat second-place Russia by 5.801 points and win its seventh consecutive team title at an Olympics or world championships.
The reward for winning was a battery-powered medal that lights up when it senses movement. Biles called it "the sickest medal we've ever had."
Biles posted the best individual scores on the vault, balance beam and floor.
"I think if I do the routine that I did tonight I'll be more than happy" in Thursday's individual all-around final, she said.
A fall for Sunisa Lee on balance beam in her world championship debut and a fumbled routine from Grace McCallum on the uneven bars left the U.S. with room for improvement, though both were strong on other apparatus.
"It's just so surreal to come out here and end up on top with the strength of the team that we have, even after having a couple falls out there," Biles said.
Russia became the first team to get within six points of the U.S. since China at the 2015 world championships, something which pleased Russian gymnast Angelina Melnikova.
"We're happy that we got second because we can't battle the Americans just yet, but today the gap was significantly lower than at the last few world championships," Melnikova said.
Biles said other teams were "most definitely" closing in on the U.S.
"All of the teams have improved their difficulty over the last quad, and I think that's really exciting to see the strength that they have."
Italy ended its 69-year wait for a women's team medal with bronze, as China failed to make the podium for the first time since the 2003 world championships.
China was fourth after a tough day for Liu Tingting, who fell twice on the uneven bars and again on the balance beam.
A fall on the beam mount by Italy's last gymnast, Elisa Iorio, made for a tense finish but she recovered to score enough to stay ahead of China by 0.536 points.
It was a big recovery for Italy, which qualified in last place for the final.
"The goal for today was just to do better than qualification and how it goes, it goes," Italian gymnast Giorgia Villa said through a translator.
Dhaka, Oct 8 (UNB) – Bangladesh Under-21 Hockey team, now preparing for the next-year Junior Asia Cup in Dhaka, made a flying start in the Walton five-match practice series beating Oman U-21 team by 5-1 goals in the opening match at the Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium here on Tuesday.
Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Mohammad Akhter Hossain inaugurated the five-match series at a simple ceremony in the afternoon.
In the day’s match, captain Ashraful Islam put Bangladesh team ahead from a penalty corner (1-0), Arshad Hossain doubled the margin by a field goal (2-0), both in the first quarter, Shohanur Rahman Shohan scored the 3rd goal for the home side from a penalty corner in the 2nd quarter to dominate the match 3-0 during break.
Nayem Uddin and Mahbub Hossain scored two more goals in the remaining part of the match (5-0) while Rashed Al Fazarai scored the face-saving goal for Oman in the 42nd minute (5-1).
In the remaining matches, Bangladesh Youth team will play Oman on Wednesday (Oct 9) at 6 pm, on Friday (Oct 11) at 4 pm, on Saturday (Oct 12) at 6 pm and on Tuesday (Oct 15) at 4 pm.
Oman Under-21 Hockey team arrived in the capital on Monday from Pakistan after playing four preparatory matches there responding to invitation of Bangladesh Hockey Federation as part of Bangladesh team’s preparation for the next year’s Junior Asia Cup in Dhaka, a qualifying meet for the Junior Hockey World Cup.
Bangladesh Hockey Federation earlier decided to host Junior Asia Cup Hockey 2020 in June and Asian Champions Trophy in October next year, marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.