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    tuejue

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    WELLINGTON Howard Wilson Limited Jersey , Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- There were 39 million guest nights spent in short-term commercial accommodation in New Zealand in the year ended July 2017, an increase of 1.3 million on the previous July year, the country's statistic department Stats NZ said on Tuesday.



    The month of July 2017 was relatively quiet, with a modest increase in guest nights of 1.4 percent compared with July 2016, Stats NZ said, adding that both international and domestic guest nights had small increases.



    The July month caught the tail end of the Lions rugby tour with matches in Wellington and Auckland following eight matches in June, it said.



    "The effect of the Lions tour on international guest nights hasn't been as visible in July as it was in June," accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said in a statement.



    Motels benefited the most from the increase in international guest nights. International visitors spent 13.9 percent more nights in motels in July 2017 than in July 2016, McKenzie said, adding that motel international guest nights have now been increasing for two years when compared with the same month of the previous year.



    Of all the regions, guest nights increased the most in the Bay of Plenty, up 5.4 percent in July 2017 compared with July 2016, according to Stats NZ.



    Auckland was notably flat, but this comes off July 2016 that was 8.4 percent higher than July 2015, it said, adding that increases occurred in 9 of the 12 regional areas.



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    "

    By Kimathi Kamau



    NAIROBI, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Kenya Rugby Union (KRU) on Friday rubbished the anti-doping report presented by a government probe committee that claimed the sport was among those affected by substance abuse.



    In a terse riposte to the allegations contained in the findings presented to Kenya's Cabinet Secretary in charge of sport on Thursday, KRU boss, Mwangi Muthee, accused the Professor Moni Wekesa-led committee of ""going the wrong way in dealing with the threat of drug use by Kenyan sportsmen and women.""



    The union further accused the doping probe body had ""failed to assist sports associations with facts from doctors and scientific laboratory operators and instead willingly or unwittingly caused their comments to be published in a very casual manner in the (local) media.""



    Muthee pointed out the national rugby team that is currently in London fielded at the annual nine-event HSBC Sevens World Series where they were continually tested by world class anti-doping agencies and no player was yet to fail a dope test.



    ""Like all top class rugby players, or general sportsmen in the world -- and Wekesa knows this -- our squads use approved food supplements and not drugs.""



    ""Voluntarily, the KRU handed for testing to Wekesa's committee samples of the food supplements used by the squads. What we should be receiving back is the transparent reports on the findings of identified authentic doctors and testing laboratories, to say specifically what banned substances were found in the food supplements,"" Muthee charged.



    ""The supplements are manufactured by a South African company of world repute - Evox Advanced Nutrition - and if found illegal, with all the evidence, Wekesa's committee should be assisting the KRU to seek answers from the manufacturers.""



    ""We would also expect the onus to be on Professor Wekesa's committee to point a finger to the suppliers doing illegal business in the country and for Government to close down and punish them. KRU does not condone illegal drug use and will not defend anyone doing so,"" the rugby boss added in his terse assessment of the report.



    ""KRU officials were co-operative and agreed to stop it. They even handed over the supplements and we plan to destroy the same,"" Wekesa said of rugby in his report.



    ""Now, that is sensationally untrue and quite outrageous and it is incredible to think that the Committee actually said this. It is simply erroneous.""



    ""The KRU has its Medical Advisors and it is only they who can rebut the purported accusations of rugby using banned substances.



    ""To get to the bottom of the matter, there must be honest back and forth communication between Wekesa's committee and sports associations backed with medical and scientific findings from bona fide practitioners,"" Muthee countered.



    The Union boss cautioned against blanket blacklisting of sporting disciplines without conclusive investigations as it would harm the reputation of majority of clean sportspersons.



    ""We would like it to be the same in our country. Causing blanket suspicion should not be the way to conduct business by any authority entrusted with a genuine fight against banned substances,"" he added.



    Wekesa's report singled out rugby and football as the disciplines in the country where banned substance use was common.



    His report went light on athletics that has witnessed 17 Kenyan runners banned in 12 months saying most of the culprits doped by mistake due to lack of proper advice whilst seeking medication for common ailments.



    Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Hassan Wario, pledged to act on the report after the Government commissioned a probe into drug abuse in Kenyan sport following World Anti-Doping Authority threat to blacklist the nation's athletes after a spike in positive tests last November.

    " Following the huge success of last year's Football Business Awards, entries are now open.
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