09/28/13 - San Jose Mercury News - Cuba promises opendoor policy for its athletes
Cuba announced Friday that athletes from all sports will soon be able to
sign contracts with foreign leagues. But the Cold War-era embargo against
Cuba means it may not happen anytime soon.
"It's the dream of many athletes to test themselves in other leagues --
the big leagues," said Yasmani Tomas, one of Cuba's top baseball talents.
Under the new policy, athletes will be eligible to play abroad as long as
they fulfill their commitments at home, the Communist Party newspaper
Granma reported. That means being available for international events, as
well as Cuba's November-to-April baseball league.
President Raul Castro's government hopes the move will stem defections by
athletes who are lured abroad by the possibility of lucrative contracts.
The biggest obstacle to the new policy may be the United States. Granma
said Cuban athletes will have to pay taxes on earnings from foreign clubs,
a conflict with the 51-year-old American embargo that outlaws nearly all
U.S. transactions with Cuba unless they're specifically licensed by
"Our policy has not changed," a U.S. Treasury Department spokesman said.
"In order to qualify, the players must prove they have permanent residency
outside of Cuba."
Major League Baseball said it "would be premature to speculate" on the new
Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 743, a bill designed to speed up construction
of the proposed arena in Sacramento. The law will streamline the court
process for any environmental lawsuits that could arise against the $448
* New York signed Ike Diogu, who's been out of the league for nearly all
of the past two seasons. Also, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Dan
* Minnesota's Chase Budinger will be out indefinitely to have surgery on
his left knee.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won his second NASCAR pole of the year with a
161.849-mph lap at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Matt Kenseth,
winner of the first two Chase for the Sprint Cup races, will join
Earnhardt on the front row for Sunday's race at the mile oval.
* Sponsor 5-Hour Energy will stick with Michael Waltrip Racing and Sprint
Cup driver Clint Bowyer through the 2014 season despite the team's
attempt to manipulate a race to get Martin Truex Jr. into the Chase.
* Izod will end its sponsor deal of the IndyCar Series at the end of 2013.
Peter Uihlein just missed an eagle putt on the last hole at the Alfred
Dunhill Links Championship. He tapped in for birdie for a 12-under 60 at
Kingsbarns (Scotland). He was two shots behind leader Tom Lewis, who had
a 65 at Carnoustie to reach 15-under 129.
* Cheeson Hadley posted a 4-under 66 at the TPC Sawgrass (Fla.) to take a
two-shot lead over Joe Durant (67) at the Web.com Tour Championship.
Hadley was at 9-under 131.
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