Saturday, November 18, 2017
Sports

Sports in brief

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Soccer

Mourinho anointed savior of Man United

MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United needed a serial winner to restore its status as a European powerhouse. Jose Mourinho craved an iconic stage like Old Trafford to remind the world of his rare talent as a coach.

It had been inevitable that England's most prestigious club would come calling for soccer's most successful current manager, and confirmation arrived Friday.

United — owned by the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs — announced the hiring of Mourinho on a three-year deal on a reported annual salary of $17.5 million.

Mourinho is a two-time Champions League winner, with FC Porto and Inter Milan. He has won eight league titles since 2002 in four countries (Portugal, England, Italy and Spain), three of them coming in the Premier League with Chelsea.

For a club of United's global standing, it has been a disappointing three years since Alex Ferguson's trophy-filled 26-year tenure ended. David Moyes, Ferguson's hand-picked successor, lasted 10 months. Louis van Gaal was fired Monday after an underwhelming two years in charge. The 20-time English champions have finished seventh, fourth and fifth in the Premier League and won't be in the Champions League next season.

"I prefer to forget (United's) past three years and focus on the giant club I have in my hands now," Mourinho said. "I think we can (win), yes."

Olympics

Health experts: Change Games because of Zika

Health experts urged the World Health Organization to consider whether this summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, should be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak. The 150 experts issued an open letter to the U.N. agency.

The letter cited recent scientific evidence that the Zika virus causes severe birth defects. In adults, it can cause neurological problems.

The World Health Organization did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment. The International Olympic Committee said it would "always consult the WHO for guidance and advice on health matters." No Games have been moved from their host city for medical concerns.

Drugs: Another 23 athletes could be barred from the Summer Olympics after retests of their doping samples from the 2012 Games using new scientific methods discovered possible evidence of drug use, the IOC said. The IOC said it could not immediately identify the athletes for legal reasons. It was informing the athletes, who competed in five sports, and the six national Olympic committees to which they belonged.

Times wires

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