2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

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  • Woman behind NBA ex-owner Donald Sterling's downfall denies they had romance

    By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The woman whose recording of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist remarks that cost him his NBA franchise testified in court on Thursday that she loved him but insisted again that they never had a romantic relationship. V. Stiviano, 32, described herself instead as a onetime confidante, personal assistant and platonic companion of the 80-year-old billionaire real estate mogul, who she said chose to give her large sums of money and expensive gifts as gestures of his love and appreciation. Stiviano was called to the witness stand in Los Angeles Superior Court on the second day of the non-jury trial of a lawsuit brought by Sterling's wife, Shelly, seeking the return of more than $3.6 million in joint marital assets she claims her husband was swindled into furnishing Stiviano without her permission. A forensic accountant called as an expert witness by the plaintiffs testified that gifts from Donald Sterling to Stiviano included a $1.8 million duplex in Los Angeles, $1.2 million in cash payments and several luxury cars.

  • Formula One - Ecclestone lauds Hamilton, takes swipe at Vettel
    Formula One - Ecclestone lauds Hamilton, takes swipe at Vettel

    - Bernie Ecclestone called Lewis Hamilton Formula One's best ever world champion as he took a swipe at former title-holder Sebastian Vettel. The F1 supremo said Hamilton was "100 percent" star material, with regular appearances on TV and at awards shows, while Vettel had stayed out of the limelight. "He's been the best world champion we've had," Ecclestone said. "I told Sebastian: 'You should be doing what he's doing'... the job of world champion," Ecclestone said.

  • Rugby-Saracens at forefront of on-field concussion research

    By Justin Palmer LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) - When Saracens took the field against Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership last month only the eagle-eyed in the 7,000-strong crowd would have noticed the small plaster behind the ears of their black-shirted heroes. The white sticky tape holds in place a tiny impact sensor that the club hope will produce scientific evidence on the short-term and long-term effects of concussion on professional rugby players. With increased concern over head injuries in a sport of big men and big hits, Saracens, the 2011 English champions and last year's Heineken Cup runners-up, want to be at the forefront of research. "We've been aware, like most people in rugby, for some time that concussion is an issue," Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths told Reuters.

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