Messi praises Aimar

BUENOS AIRES: Lionel Messi assumed the rare role of fan on Thursday conveying his best wishes to his idol and Argentina great Pablo Aimar who retired on Wednesday. “A great player is retiring, one of my idols. Pablo Aimar, I wish you the best in the next stage (of your life),” the Argentina captain wrote on his Facebook page. Messi has often said that the former River Plate, Valencia, Benfica and Argentina midfielder Aimar — who won 52 caps and scored eight goals — was a player he idolised as a child. Aimar announced that he was quitting football having failed to make River’s squad for the last two rounds of Libertadores Cup.

Fiol tests positive

TORONTO: Mauricio Fiol of Peru, the silver medallist in the 200-metre butterfly at the Pan American Games, has tested positive for the banned steroid stanozolol and been suspended from the team. In a statement, the Peru team says, “We are profoundly sorry for the incident, which affects not only the athlete but all Peruvians.” Fiol has the option of asking for the result of the B sample.

Jordan to be inducted

NEW YORK: Michael Jordan, who won two Olympic gold medals, will be inducted in the FIBA Hall of Fame. Basketball’s governing body announced on Friday that Jordan will be part of class of nine players who will be enshrined September 19. The six-time NBA champion won gold with the US in 1984 at Los Angeles, then starred on the famed Dream Team in 1992 in Barcelona, Spain. They will be honored in France, then presented at halftime of the Eurobasket championship game on September 20.