Gay, Bailey eye bobsled role
Veteran sprinter Tyson Gay is making a bid to force his way onto the US bobsled team after entering this week’s National Push Championships in Canada. The 34-year-old, a polarizing figure in track and field after his 2013 doping conviction, joins Ryan Bailey as another former Olympic sprinter hoping to switch sports. Push championships are compulsory for any athlete aiming to make the US national team during the 2016-2017 season, a key part of preparations for the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang. The championships got under way yesterday in Calgary, Alberta. Both Gay and Bailey were members of the US’ 4x100m relay squad which won the silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The team was later stripped of the silver after evidence of Gay’s doping emerged.
Iceland out of FIFA game
Iceland will not feature in the latest FIFA video game due to a financial row between the Euro 2016 quarter-finalists and US game manufacturers Electronic Arts (EA). The Icelandic Football Association (KSI) has accused EA of showing them a lack of respect in their monetary offer to the European minnows. “We do not accept bad treatment. They offered under 2 million Icelandic crowns (US$17,300). We made them a counteroffer, which they did not accept,” KSI president Geir Thorsteinsson said. The FIFA series of soccer video games are hugely popular, with the latest version — FIFA 17 — due for release on Tuesday next week in North America and two days later throughout the rest of the world.
Rome to pull plug on bid
Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi has decided to withdraw the city’s backing for a bid to host the 2024 Olympic Games in the Italian capital, a city hall official said yesterday. The decision effectively sinks Rome’s bid and narrows the field of Olympics bidders to Paris, Los Angeles and Budapest. Raggi’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which won control of Rome in June, had always expressed doubts about staging the sporting spectacular, saying the heavily indebted city could ill afford to finance the investment needed. However, the Rome 2024 bid team, backed by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, had held out hopes that she would change her mind. Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago has said the bid would fail without the city council’s backing.
French tennis player Constant Lestienne has been suspended for seven months and fined US$10,000 for gambling on tennis, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said yesterday. The 24-year-old — presently at a career-high ranking of 164 — placed bets on 220 tennis matches, none involving him, in a three-year period from February 2012 to June last year. The TIU softened the blow by suspending half his period of the ban — so long as he commits no other offenses — and offered him the olive branch of considering half the fine paid if he cooperates with them. “The suspension applies with immediate effect and means the player is not allowed to compete in, or attend, any tournament or event organized or sanctioned by the governing bodies of the sport,” the TIU statement said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Raptors guard Fred VanVleet is already in Florida with the rest of his Toronto teammates, and he knows the time to take a stand and counter the NBA plan to restart the season has passed, but his opinion on the matter has not changed. “It sucks,” VanVleet said on Monday in a videoconference of his choice to return to the court during the COVID-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter campaign. “It’s terrible timing, but that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. Morally, yes, that makes sense, but