QPR punish Barton
Joey Barton was stripped of the Queens Park Rangers captaincy and fined six weeks’ wages by the club on Monday, following his sending-off at Manchester City on the final day of last season. The internal punishment follows the imposition last month by a Football Association-appointed independent regulatory commission of a 12-match ban and a ￡75,000 (US$117,029) fine. The two fines combined means this latest episode of ill-discipline has cost the controversial player about ￡500,000. His club and the FA took action after Barton elbowed City’s Carlos Tevez and then kicked out at Sergio Aguero as he left the pitch in the match on May 13, before aiming a headbutt in the direction of Vincent Kompany. QPR stopped short of sacking Barton, but warned the player that his contract will be terminated should he “seriously breach the club’s disciplinary procedures again.”
Rangers’ hopes dwindle
Rangers’ hopes of being allowed to play in the Scottish Premier League (SPL) next season appear dead in the water after a sixth club confirmed that they would vote against the proposal. St Johnstone joined Aberdeen, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Dundee United, Hearts and Hibernian in publicly announcing their opposition to a “newco” Rangers being admitted to the SPL. Rangers require an 8-4 majority for the “newco” — the new company formed after the original club went into liquidation earlier this month — to be included in the top flight next season when all SPL clubs vote on the issue at a general meeting on July 4. Rangers themselves are allowed to vote, but they needed seven others to vote in their favor and now require U -turns from at least two clubs for that to happen.
Byrd out for 50 games
Free-agent outfielder Marlon Byrd has been handed a 50-game suspension by Major League Baseball after testing positive for an illegal performance-enhancing substance, it was announced on Monday. The 34-year-old Byrd began the season with the Chicago Cubs, who traded him to Boston in April, but he was released by the Red Sox on June 12. Byrd will now be put on baseball’s restricted list for the duration of his suspension. He blames the failed test on a past medication he took for an undisclosed surgery. “I made an inexcusable mistake,” Byrd said in a statement released by the players’ association. “I absolutely did not use [the medication] for performance enhancement reasons.”
India kicks against tech
India’s powerful cricket board has maintained its opposition to mandatory video technology, despite backing for the system from the sport’s world bosses meeting in Kuala Lumpur. Indian officials said their stance on the Decision Review System (DRS) was “unchanged” despite a recommendation for the technology to be compulsory in all Tests and one-day internationals, costs allowing. “The BCCI continues to believe that the system is not foolproof,” the Board of Control for Cricket in India said in a statement released on Monday. “The board also sticks to its view that the decision on whether or not to use the DRS for a particular series should be left to the boards involved in that series.” The comments set the stage for more controversy over DRS, which uses ball-tracking and thermal imaging to verify umpires’ decisions. It was made optional last year, rather than compulsory, at India’s insistence.