Light-weight Neymar needs to put on kilos

»Brazil forward Neymar is on the light side and might need to bulk up a bit for Spanish soccer, his new club Barcelona has said.

The gazelle-like 21-year-old, who is 1.74 metres tall and weighs 64.5 kilograms, has signed a five-year contract with the Spanish champions, who paid 57 million euros ($76.3 million) for his services.

After competing for Brazil on home soil at the Confederations Cup, he is likely to make his Barca debut in a friendly in Gdansk, Poland, next month.

"We gave him a very speedy checkup and his weight was one of the pieces of information," Barca doctor Ricard Pruna said.

"The first impression is that his weight of 64.5 kilograms is on the low side and maybe he is lacking the odd little kilo but I cannot say exactly how much," he added.

"As the season progresses we will get to know the player and we are constantly gathering information. That way we can determine his ideal weight."

Brazil ’keeper’s wife falls in robbers’ net

»The wife of Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar was victim of an armed robbery in Fortaleza but played down the incident saying it was nothing more than "a gun pointed at me".

Susana Werner said on Twitter the robbery happened just before midnight last
Wednesday in the city where hosts Brazil beat Mexico 2-0 in the Confederations Cup.
"It was a routine robbery, just like all the ones I've heard about," said Werner. "It was the first time, but I was prepared to not react. The criminals were young and just wanted my belongings. There was no act of aggression, just a gun pointed at me."

Werner said she was driving when she suffered the robbery.

"I told them to take everything including the car but they let us go," she said. "Life goes on. I love Brazil and I have faith.

"It could have happened to anyone, there were three of them in the middle of the street, waiting for the first car which passed. I won the prize."

Aussie lawmakers fuel Ahmed’s Ashes dream

»Pakistan-born refugee Fawad Ahmed's Ashes dreams received a major boost on Thursday with the Australian senate passing legislation to fast-track citizenship in special cases.

The legislation empowers the immigration minister to apply shorter residential requirements on certain citizenship seekers.

"This is pleasing news for CA and a big step forward in a process that will help enable Fawad Ahmed become an Australian citizen," a Cricket Australia (CA) spokesman said on the governing body's website.

Ahmed, a 31-year-old leg spinner, arrived in Australia in 2010 on a short-term visa and claimed asylum on the grounds of receiving death threats from Islamic extremists for being involved with a Pakistani NGO promoting women's rights.

The spinner, who has claimed 40 wickets from 14 first class matches, was picked in the Australia ‘A’ squad to tour South Africa and Zimbabwe starting next month but could be handed a debut in the first Test against England starting on July 10.

Koji bid scuttled by ‘overzealous’ officials

»London Olympics hammer throw medallist Koji Murofushi was the victim of an "overzealous" Japanese Olympic Committee (JOC) who were to blame for him being banned from election to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) athletes' commission, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has said.

Murofushi's own reputation was not tarnished by the ban, the CAS said in an explanation of its decision to reject the athlete's appeal against the ban.

The 2012 Games bronze medallist and the JOC had appealed to the CAS after the IOC barred him from the commission for violating election rules.

"The panel concludes to uphold the decision of the (IOC) Executive Board and in turn dismisses the appeal," the CAS said. "Having said this the panel would like to add that - at least to a significant extent - the candidate was a victim of an  overzealous (national Olympic Committee) and that his own actions were neither motivated by a desire to cheat nor can they be equated to dishonesty.

"His reputation and integrity as a sportsman, therefore, remain completely untarnished."

Ryder hero Olazabal gets his due in Spain

»Spanish golfer Jose Maria Olazabal has won the Iberian nation's most prestigious sports award, the Prince of Asturias prize, after he captained Europe's Ryder Cup team to a stunning win against United States last year.

"One of the best golfers in history, with two Masters titles at Augusta and four Ryder Cup wins, a competition in which he also showed his leadership qualities, as captain helping the Europe team to an epic comeback in 2012," the jury said in announcing their decision.