MUNICH, Germany -- Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone rejected accusations of bribery as he went on trial Thursday in a case that could threaten his grip on the sport, telling a Munich court that he was blackmailed by a German banker who received a disputed $44 million payment. Carlos Bacca Jersey . Ecclestone said at the beginning of a four-hour personal statement read out in German by his lawyers that he was "grateful" to be able to give his side of the story -- though he told judges that he would answer questions from the Munich state court through his lawyers, rather than personally. The 83-year-old Ecclestone is charged with bribery and incitement to breach of trust, and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The charges involve a $44 million payment to banker Gerhard Gribkowsky, who is serving an 8 1/2-year sentence for taking the money. Ecclestone appeared in court in a dark three-piece suit and followed the proceedings closely with help from an interpreter whispering into his ear. Prosecutors allege the payment was meant to facilitate the sale of Munich-based bank Bayern LBs stake in Formula One to a buyer of Ecclestones liking. Gribkowsky was in charge of selling that 47 per cent stake in F1 in 2005. Ecclestone testified during Gribkowskys trial in 2011 and Gribkowsky is expected to be the main witness during Ecclestones trial, which is scheduled to last until Sept. 16. Gribkowsky was found guilty of corruption, tax evasion and breach of trust in a trial led by the same judge who is hearing Ecclestones case, Peter Noll. The defence made clear that it will attack Gribkowskys credibility, and Ecclestone said in his statement that the banker didnt tell the truth. In Thursdays statement, Ecclestone reiterated testimony he gave at Gribkowskys trial that he gave the banker the money because he was "blackmailed" and worried Gribkowsky would falsely accuse of him of being in charge of a trust fund set up for the Formula One bosss former wife and their children -- possibly incurring a huge British tax bill. Ecclestone said that "from todays point of view, it was not a rational decision" to pay Gribkowsky. "I saw my lifes work in danger" if Gribkowsky went to the British tax authorities, he said, adding that he wouldnt have been able to pay the resulting bill. Ecclestone said he had turned over his entire stake in Formula One to his then-wife, Slavica, and their two daughters in 1997 following a series of operations and a health scare that left him worried his wife would face a 40 per cent inheritance tax. He said he ran the day-to-day business of Formula One but hasnt owned any stake in the lucrative series since 1997. Ecclestones lawyers also insisted anew that their client is innocent, saying in a written statement that "the alleged bribe has not occurred." They argued that the indictment is based on statements by Gribkowsky that are "incorrect, misleading and incoherent" and said they would produce new documents at the trial to dispute Gribkowskys assertions. Ecclestone said he thought Gribkowsky wanted out of banking and had been interested in founding his own Formula One team. Ecclestone has stepped down temporarily as a director of F1s holding company pending the outcome of the trial, though he continues to manage the sports commercial operations on behalf of investment fund CVC Capital Partners, which has a controlling stake in the web of companies which run the commercial side of the sport. Ecclestone, who built his powerbase in F1 starting in the 1970s, likely would be unable to remain in charge if convicted -- even if he avoids a prison sentence. The trial will continue May 2. Jefferson Lerma Jersey . -- Chris Crawford hit a 3-pointer with 1:36 left to put Memphis ahead to stay, and the 21st-ranked Tigers beat seventh-ranked Louisville 72-66 Saturday, sweeping the season series from the Cardinals. Jefferson Lerma Colombia Jersey . "Opinion: Womens World Cup is the best Soccer of the year," Hanks tweeted to his 8.73 million followers on Friday. "Hey FIFA, they deserve real grass. Put in sod. http://www.soccercolombiamart.com/world-cup-johan-mojica-football-jersey/ . Gordon reportedly failed another drug test and is facing a one-year ban. Gordon led the NFL in yards receiving last season despite being suspended two games for violating the leagues substance-abuse policy. VICTORIA -- Brittany MacLean of Toronto smashed the second longest-standing national womens record with her victory in the 800-metre freestyle on the last night of competition at the Canadian swimming trials on Saturday. MacLean clocked 8:24.91 seconds, eclipsing the previous mark of 8:27.59 set by Brittany Reimer of Victoria at the 2005 FINA World Championships in Montreal. MacLean and Tabitha Baumann of Ottawa -- second in 8:32.37 -- both went under the qualifying standard to be nominated to the Commonwealth Games and Pan Pacific teams. "Ive done a lot of racing this year and I wasnt sure how much my body would hold up," said MacLean, 20, a triple champion this week. "Im glad it did. To get the record is a huge accomplishment." Two-time Olympic medallist Ryan Cochrane of Victoria collected a third gold as well, winning the mens 1,500 freestyle -- his main event -- in 15:01.72, well under the qualifying standard. "I wanted to come here and put up a fast time," said Cochrane. "Its not where I want to be yet." Cochrane, who is one of 36 who will represent Canada at the Pan Pacifics in Australia in August, and one of 30 nominated to swim for Canada at Commonwealth Games in Scotland in July, says he wont settle for less than gold this summer. "Im looking forward to the Commonwealth Games because it was a dream of mine to compete at those Games since I was five," he said. "The Pan Pacs is a big event for the swimmers and the competition will be tough." In addition to 19 swimmers with national team experience, 18 newcomers will be representing Canada at the senior level for the first time thhis summer. Jose Izquierdo Colombia Jersey. The Pan Pacs team features 21 female swimmers and 15 males, while 20 females and 10 males are nominated to the Commonwealth Games. Three Canadian women went under the qualifying standard in the 200 individual medley. Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson of Ottawa completed a golden individual medley sweep clocking a personal best 2:12.26, Marni Oldershaw of Oakville, Ont., followed in 2:13.72 and Sydney Pickrem of Halifax was third in 2:13.78. "Im pretty pumped," said 18-year-old Seltenreich-Hodgson. "To get two titles this week is really exciting. To have three girls go under the standard is something. We are an IM country." Evan White of Oakville just missed notching a Canadian record in the mens 200 IM but still went under the qualifying standard with a personal best 1:59.84. The 18-year-old was 0.3 seconds under the Canadian record before heading into the final freestyle length. "I was trying to break the record and I could hear the crowd," White said. "It was a good swim." Katerine Savard won the womens 200 fly in 2:07.61, while Audrey Lacroix followed in 2:08.84. Both Pont-Rouge, Que., racers went under the qualifying standard as they did in the 100 butterfly on Friday, which featured a national record for Savard. "I dont really believe I did that time," said the 20-year-old Savard. "Its really good for me." Victoria Poon of Montreal was first in the 50 freestyle for her second win of the competition. Yuri Kisil took the mens 50 freestyle in a personal best 22.53 for his second title this week, and Zack Chetrat of Oakville, won the mens 200 butterfly. China Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap Wholesale NFL T-shirts Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping Wholesale Black NFL Jerseys Stitched NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys China ' ' '