In brief - 2004-05-20

  • 2004-05-20
Thailand's billionaire Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra says his 60-million pound bid for a 30 percent stake in the English soccer side Liverpool has been accepted by the club "in principle."

Shinawatra said that the deal had been "60 percent agreed" but added that he would consider other alternatives if he felt the Liverpool board hesitated too much over the deal. Liverpool has already rejected a 73-million pound bid by Steve Morgan, a building tycoon and lifelong fan of the club. Most observers believe the deal will go through over the next few days. Liverpool was a dominant force in English and European soccer in the 1980s but hasn't won the English league for more than a decade.

Transsexuals have been given the official go-ahead to compete in the Olympics for the first time. The International Olympic Committee approved a proposal to allow athletes who have undergone sex-change surgery to participate in the games if their new gender has been legally recognized and they have gone through a minimum two-year period of postoperative hormone therapy. The decision, which covers both male-to-female and female-to-male cases, will come into effect starting with the Athens Olympics in August.

Marian Jones, the triple Olympic athletics champion, said that she was prepared to sue if she was prevented from competing at the Athens Olympics because of information obtained in a United States Justice Department investigation into the illegal sale and use of steroids. Last week the US Senate, which has been looking into the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport, handed over its findings to the United States Anti-Doping Agency of a Justice Department investigation into a major steroid scandal. As part of the investigation several prominent American Olympians, including Jones and her partner Tim Montgomery, the 100-meter world-record holder, have testified before a federal grand jury. Jones, who won five medals at the Sydney games, says she has never used performance-enhancing drugs and her name will be cleared when the findings are made public.

Former boxing heavyweight champion Riddock Bowe (photo) was released from prison May 17 after serving a 17-month sentence for kidnapping his first wife and their children in 1998. The 36-year-old boxer was released early for good behavior. Bowe's lawyers said that the kidnapping was a misguided attempt to reunite his family.