Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 4th 2013 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, September 4, 2013
LJUBLJANA---Spain is favoured
to win a third straight European
basketball championship despite
losing plenty in size by the
absence of Pau Gasol and Serge
Ibaka and the shooting of Juan
Carlos Navarro when the 24-team
tournament starts today.
Spain will rely on Marc Gasol
and Ricky Rubio to become the
first winner of three straight Euro-
pean titles since Yugoslavia in 1977.
Their campaign begins against
Croatia in Celje.
Two years ago in Lithuania, the
Gasol brothers were a huge pres-
ence under the basket, while
Navarro added 27 points in the 98-
85 victory over France in the final.
France is back with Tony Parker,
but is missing some of its own big
men, including Joakim Noah.
The tournament features 24
teams for the first time, split into
four groups in four Slovenian cities
--- Ljubljana, Jesenice, Koper and
Celje. The final two rounds are in
the capital of Ljubljana.
In Group A in Ljubljana, France
opens its campaign today against
Germany, which is without Dirk
Nowitzki and has brought in a
young, untested side.
Group B in Jesenice features
Lithuania, with its two NBA big
men, Jonas Valanciunas and
Lithuania is rebuilding after
being upset by Macedonia in the
quarterfinals at home two years
ago. The Lithuanians will get to
know where they stand when they
open against Serbia, another
unknown entity coming in with a
young team featuring NBA first-
round pick Nemanja Nedovic.
Lithuania will also run into
Macedonia again in a group that
is a Balkan-Baltic showdown.
Other teams are Bosnia-Herzegov-
ina, Latvia and Montenegro, which
is without Nikola Pekovic but with
the NBA center Nikola Vucevic.
Spain heads Group C, while
Group D features Greece, a bal-
anced team playing stifling defense.
Vassilis Spanoulis led Olympiakos
to two consecutive Euroleague titles
and hopes to deliver a medal for
Greece for the first time since the
bronze in 2009.
The tournament also serves as
qualifying for next year's World
Cup in Spain. The top six teams,
aside from Spain, will qualify. Spain
is already qualified as host.
NBA centre Marc Gasol and
playmaker Rubio are Spain's stand-
outs but the defending champion
also has newcomers and a new
coach in Juan Orenga.
Most experts see France as
Spain's biggest challenger again.
But with Noah, Kevin Seraphin and
Ronny Turiaf deciding to sit out,
France has lost some NBA muscle.
Coach Vincent Collet still has NBA
swingman Nicolas Batum and for-
mer NBA forward Mickael Gela-
Parker led the San Antonio Spurs
to the NBA finals and the guard is
as keen as ever to finally lift the
European title. (AP)
Spain seeks third
ROME---The criminal doping
investigation into former 100-
meter world record-holder Asafa
Powell, Jamaica teammate
Sherone Simpson and their train-
er has been delayed by bureau-
cratic problems but will go ahead.
Udine prosecutor Andrea Gon-
dolo said yesterday that his office
has been unable to contact the
athletes to ask whether they want
to observe the testing of substances
sequestered during a police raid in
July on their training base in north-
The athletes can observe the
testing themselves or designate a
lawyer to do so. They have 20 days
to respond once contacted.
"The problem has been finding
an address to deliver the notifica-
tion to see if they want to observe
the tests, because some of the tests
cannot be repeated," Gondolo said.
"But I think we should be able to
move forward within a month."
If the athletes cannot be con-
tacted, prosecutors could go to the
Jamaica Athletics Administrative
The Canadian trainer, Christo-
pher Xuereb, was already contact-
ed.Milton Samuda, a Jamaican
attorney who represents Powell
and Simpson, did not respond to
emails or calls seeking comment.
Following the July hotel raid in
Lignano Sabbiadoro, where the
Jamaicans have been training for
years, the athletes and Xuereb were
formally placed under criminal
investigation for violating Italy's
The raid came after it was
announced that Powell and Simp-
son had tested positive for the
banned stimulant oxilofrine at the
Jamaican championships in June.
The athletes blamed Xuereb,
their newly hired trainer, and said
that new supplements he provided
caused the positive tests. Xuereb
responded by saying that he didn't
give the sprinters performance-
enhancing drugs and suggested he
was being made a scapegoat.
Italy's doping laws include sec-
tions for use, administration of
banned substances and importa-
tion of banned substances.
Administration and importation
carry more severe sentences and
therefore Xuereb risks harsher
punishment, Gondolo said, adding
that the athletes do not risk prison
time. The confiscated substances
appear to be from the United
States, according to the containers
they were found in, Gondolo said.
Powell and Simpson also risk
bans from sports authorities. They
have already stopped competing
and missed last month's world
championships in Moscow. (AP)
Italian doping probe of
Jamaicans moving forward
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