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China

Li Na: The Global Marketing Of A Chinese Sports Superstar

After her historic French Open victory, Li Na instantly became the apple of advertisers eyes to the tune of $42 million. Though she was knocked out of the first round of the U.S. Open, a whole star system is counting on her earning power to keep growing.

Li Na, Chinese Tennis Star (#96)
Li Na, Chinese Tennis Star (#96)
Liu Xiang, Wang Jielu and Zhang Ben

Two years ago, when Max Eisenbud of the IMG sports star management group signed up the then 27-year-old Chinese tennis player Li Na, all agreed her age was a problem in a sport famous for its short professional life spans. But Eisenbud never had any doubt about Li Na, and his bet has proved to be right many times over.

Two months after becoming the first Asian tennis player to have won a Grand Slam singles title, at the French Open 2011, Li Na has signed at least seven endorsement contracts for commercial brands, totaling an estimated value $42 million, becoming the world's No. 2 female athlete as ranked by annual revenue, right behind Maria Sharapova. Fans hoping for a second grand slam at this month's U.S Open in New York were disappointed, as Li was stunned by Simona Halep in the first round in straight sets, 6-2, 7-5.

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Society

Taking A Position: A Call To Regulate Yoga In India

Trained practitioners warn that unregulated yoga can be detrimental to people's health. The government in India, where the ancient practice was invented, knows this very well — yet continues to postpone regulation.

Prime Minister Modi at a mass yoga demonstration in Lucknow, India

Banjot Kaur

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the observance of the eighth International Yoga Day from Mysuru, in southwestern India, early on the morning of June 21. Together with his colleagues from the Bharatiya Janata Party, he set out to mark the occasion in various parts of the country — reviving an annual ritual that had to take a break for the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yoga is one of the five kinds of alternative Indian medicine listed under India’s AYUSH efforts — standing for "Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha and naturopathy, and Homeopathy." Among them, only yoga is yet to be regulated under any Act of Parliament: All other practices are governed by the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM), Act 2020.

Yoga and naturopathy are taught at the undergraduate level in 70 medical colleges across 14 Indian states. The Mangalore University in Karnataka first launched this course in 1989; today, these subjects are also taught at the postgraduate level.

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