AC Siena winger Jonathan Bachini has tested positive for cocaine for a second time in less than two years, the Italian Olympic Committee said today. The 30-year-old had already been suspended for nine months in November 2004 when he was playing for Brescia Calcio. Bachini, who has made five appearances for Siena this term, could now serve a longer ban.
BV Borussia Dortmund have extended the contract of director of football Michael Zorc for a further two seasons, keeping him at the Ruhr club until 2008. The 43-year-old has held the position since 1998 having enjoyed a long and successful playing career with Dortmund, for whom he appeared in 463 Bundesliga matches, scoring 131 goals, and helping the team lift the UEFA Champions League trophy in 1996/97.
Belgian strugglers R. Excelsior Mouscron have appointed Paul Put as coach. The 49-year-old will succeed Geert Broeckaert who stepped down at the end of November, with Gil Vandenbrouck taking temporary charge. Put had been out of work since being sacked by K. Lierse SK two months ago.
RC Lens left-back Yoann Lachor has begun a three-day trial with Premiership side Newcastle United FC. "With Yoann's contract up in June, we don't mind if he moves on now," said Lens assistant coach Francis Collado. The 29-year-old has spent his entire career at Lens, winning the French title in 1997/98.
RCD Espanyol's Brazilian midfielder Fredson Camara Pereira has gained Spanish citizenship, making room for a non-European Union player in the Barcelona club's squad. The 24-year-old, who is in his fourth season with Espanyol, said: "It is an advantage to both me and the club."
Athletic Club Bilbao's third-choice goalkeeper Miguel Escalona will be sidelined for up to six weeks as he requires surgery on his right knee to cure a persistent cartilage problem. The 22-year-old has not appeared for the Spanish side's first team this season.
The former Maltese international Richard Aquilina died today at the age of 52 following a long illness. Aquilina - the brother of Sliema Wanderers FC coach Edward Aquilina - will be fondly remembered for his one and only goal in the colours of his country as it came in the historic 2-0 UEFA European Championship qualifier against Greece at the old Empire Stadium in Gzira in 1975.
Azerbaijani clubs FK Karabakh and FK Kapaz will start the second half of the season under new coaches, although both men are familiar faces. The 58-year-old Beyukaga Agaev, who famously won a UEFA Intertoto Cup tie with Karabakh in 1999, has returned after Elkhan Abdullayev's contract expired in December. Meanwhile, 46-year-old Mekhman Allahverdiev has gone back to Kapaz, where he landed three league titles, after Shakhin Dinieyev left for the Azerbaijan national team.
Poland's oldest football club, MKS Cracovia SSA, have got their 100th birthday celebrations off to a fine start by tying coach Wojciech Stawowy to a ten-year contract. "I am very happy," said the 39-year-old. "This contract shows the faith the club have in me."
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