independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Ecclestone steps down from F1 post

Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone

Bernie Ecclestone is to step down as a director of Formula One's holding company until court proceedings against him are concluded.

The billionaire businessman is due to go on trial in Munich in April following allegations he bribed German banker Gerhard Gribkowsky during negotiations relating to the sale of the sport in 2006. The 83-year-old denies the allegations and intends to continue to run F1 on "a day-to-day basis".

Ecclestone was indicted in July over a $44m (£29m) payment made to Gribkowsky to help smooth the sale of F1 to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners eight years ago.

Gribkowsky was imprisoned in June 2012 for eight and a half years after being found guilty of breach of trust, tax evasion and receipt of corrupt payments.

Ecclestone has admitted making the payment to Gribkowsky but claims he did so because he had been threatened with blackmail.

IRISH PAIR IN SECOND PLACE IN MONTE CARLO

The Irish crew of Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle are in second place after the opening six stages of the Monte Carlo Rally, which is the opening round of the World Rally Championship.

The duo, in their Citroen DS3, are 38.8 seconds behind the Ford Fiesta of Bryan Bouffier. Robert Kubica, the former F1 driver, is third.

MARK SELBY produced an astonishing comeback to book his place in the semi-final of the Masters with a 6-5 victory against John Higgins.

The Scot led 5-3 and also had a 50-point lead in the deciding frame but it was three-time champion Selby who dug deep to snatch victory on the pink.

A brilliant snooker behind the green brought Selby back into the deciding frame and, after a few nervous moments in which both players made mistakes, he doubled the blue and delicately cut in the pink to win his 10th final frame decider at the tournament.

Earlier, Shaun Murphy launched an inspired comeback to beat Marco Fu 6-4 The 'Magician' trailed 3-0 and 4-1 before finding his most fluent break-building form to reel off five frames in succession.

From 4-1 down, Murphy roared back and breaks of 86, 81 and 117 helped him to level the match and press on for victory.

A motion from Tipperary calling for U-16 players to be banned from inter-county minor panels will go before the GAA's Congress at Croke Park next month.

Two motions from the Moyle Rovers club dealing specifically with underage player welfare, which were passed at the Tipperary annual convention, have been given the green light by the GAA's motions committee.

The second calls for the back door to be removed from the All-Ireland minor championships, with only provincial winners allowed to go forward to the All-Ireland series.

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