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Yao Ming to announce retirement soon

Updated: 2011-07-09 13:18


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Yao Ming to announce retirement soon
Houston Rockets Yao Ming is pictured during a timeout against the Phoenix Suns during their NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Arizona in this April 1, 2009 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

BEIJING - Yao Team is planning to announce Yao's retirement soon, a source close to Yao told Xinhua Saturday.

In an email sent to Xinhua, Yao Team said Yao Ming is to hold news conference on July 20 about his "personal future development plan".

Earlier Yao Team confirmed Yao had decided to retire and was planning to announce his decision on August, but several American reports had released the news on Friday.

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Another source of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) said Yao and his Yao Team came to Beijing two weeks ago to inform the Chinese basketball governing body his decision.

NBA China, however, denied receiving any official information from Yao about his retirement.

"We didn't receive any information about his retirement from Yao Ming himself, and Yao Ming didn't come to the headquarter in Beijing in the past weeks," said Bo-Ning Yang, Senior Director of Communications And Community Relations of NBA China.

Xinhua's Washington Bureau had confirmed that the Houston Rockets did not have any contact with Yao about his decision after Xinhua's sports jounalist called the Rockets' office Friday night.

Yao, 31 year old, played nine seasons for the Rockets after he was drafted on No. 1 in 2002 by the Rockets.

The most famous Chinese sports star has been suffering from foot injuries in the past two seasons.

He was supposed to become free agent this summer after his contract is expired and the Rockets had tried to deal the 2.26m center last season.

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