- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 25, 2017

SOCCER

NEW YORK (AP) - A former judge who led Guatemala’s soccer federation is set to be the first person sentenced in the U.S. in the world soccer scandal.

Hector Trujillo is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn. Trujillo pleaded guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy in June.

He admitted to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes from a company trying to secure sports marketing contracts.

Trujillo was arrested in December 2015 in Port Canaveral, Florida. Prosecutors say the former general secretary of Guatemala’s soccer federation should serve more than three years in prison. Defense lawyers are asking for no prison time for crimes between 2009 and 2016. According to his plea agreement, he will not contest any sentence less than four years and nine months in prison.

ROME (AP) - Anne Frank’s diary will be read aloud at all soccer matches in Italy this week, the Italian soccer federation announced after shocking displays of anti-Semitism by fans of the Rome club Lazio.

Lazio supporters on Sunday littered the Stadio Olimpico in Rome with images of Anne Frank - the young diarist who died in the Holocaust - wearing a jersey of city rival Roma. The ultra right-wing fans of Lazio associate their Roma counterparts with being left-wing and Jewish, and had hoped to incite Roma fans, since the teams share the same stadium.

Stadium cleaners found the anti-Semitic stickers on Monday and Italian police have opened a criminal inquiry into the case.

The Anne Frank diary passage reading will be combined with a minute of silence observed before Serie A, B and C matches in Italy this week, plus amateur and youth games over the weekend, to promote Holocaust remembrance, the soccer federation said.

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian authorities say next year’s World Cup will cost $600 million more than previously planned.

There was no immediate explanation from organizers or the Russian government for the latest cost rise, published in a government decree and signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Costs have risen by 34.5 billion rubles ($600 million) to 678 billion rubles ($11.8 billion), the decree states.

Of that, 57.6 percent comes from the federal budget. There is another 13.6 percent from regional government budgets, with a further 28.8 percent from “legal entities,” a category which can include both private and state-run companies.

IDITAROD

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Cycling. Baseball. Track. Horse racing. Now dogsledding has become the latest professional sport to be engulfed in a doping scandal, this one involving the huskies that dash across the frozen landscape in Alaska’s grueling, 1,000-mile Iditarod.

The governing board of the world’s most famous sled dog race disclosed Monday that four dogs belonging to four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey tested positive for a banned substance, the opioid painkiller tramadol, after his second-place finish last March.

It was the first time since the race instituted drug testing in 1994 that a test came back positive.

Seavey strongly denied giving any banned substances to his dogs, suggesting instead that he may have been the victim of sabotage by another musher or an animal rights activist.

Race officials said he will not be punished because they were unable to prove he acted intentionally.

ANTHEM PROTESTS

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A national civil rights group says it has “grave concerns” about actions taken by a Georgia university after five black cheerleaders knelt during the national anthem at a football game.

The Kennesaw State University cheerleaders were told they’d be kept off the field in a stadium tunnel at future pregame activities after protesting racial injustice during the anthem Sept. 30. Four of the cheerleaders then knelt in the tunnel behind the stands at the school’s homecoming game Saturday.

In a letter to the state’s board of regents, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said that moving the cheerleaders off the field during the anthem is “an act of retaliation.”

OLYMPICS

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (AP) - South Korea’s Olympic organizers played down concern over ongoing tensions with North Korea and also said that work has been completed on all venues for the 2018 Pyeongchang Games.

Lee Hee-beom, president of the Pyeongchang organizing committee, said the International Olympic Committee has made it very clear that the Feb. 9-25 games will go ahead as scheduled.

“There is no Plan B,” Lee said, speaking at the birthplace of the ancient Olympics shortly after the last rehearsal for Tuesday’s official flame-lighting ceremony.

“We know that the world is watching the current geopolitical situation on the Korean peninsula,” he said. “We continue to work very closely with all the relevant authorities and stakeholders to ensure we can deliver a safe and secure games for everyone involved.”

SPORTS DOPING

LONDON (AP) - The British government has decided doping cheats should not face criminal prosecutions.

Sports minister Tracey Crouch says sanctions for drug offenses should be left to sports governing bodies to enforce. It follows a government review examining the merits of criminalizing doping.

Crouch says “it was right that we looked into the case for criminalizing doping,” adding that “the strong consensus is that it would not necessarily aid the fight against drug cheats.”

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