Blame swimmers: D’Arcy
Nick D’Arcy believes his fellow swimmers have to take responsibility for Australia’s disappointment in the London Olympics last year, rather than coaches and team management. The 25-year-old, who swam well outside his personal best to crash out of the 200m butterfly in the semi-finals, said the review of team culture released on Tuesday was deliberately inflammatory. The Bluestone review said team management had failed to prevent a “toxic culture” from developing in the swimming squad, which produced Australia’s worst Olympic results in 20 years. The review said abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs, flouting of curfews and bullying, went unchecked. “I think we’re just trying to look for excuses and trying to pass the buck. I certainly didn’t perform the way I would have liked to. I take full personal responsibility for that,” D’Arcy told Triple M radio yesterday.
arton dismisses Beckham
Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Olympique de Marseille could also feature a tasty battle between English midfielders David Beckham and Joey Barton, who have little in common apart from their home country. “We are totally opposite characters, Beckham and I. I take it as a compliment,” Barton told reporters on Tuesday. Barton has become a regular starter for Marseille after joining on loan from Queens Park Rangers this season, while former England captain Beckham looks set to make his PSG debut on Sunday at the Parc des Princes following his high-profile arrival last month. “I don’t mean no disrespect, but he [Beckham] is not as scary as when he was playing in the Premier League,” Barton said. “PSG have a lot of stars, Beckham is the latest, but on the pitch he is not our main concern. It would be naive of us to focus on him.”
Luton manager resigns
Luton Town manager Paul Buckle has left the club just days after their FA Cup defeat by Millwall, the non-league side announced on Tuesday, citing “personal reasons.” Buckle, who took charge at Kenilworth Road in April last year, oversaw impressive FA Cup wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Premier League Norwich City, before the Hatters’ march to Wembley was halted by a 3-0 loss at home to Championship side Millwall on Saturday.
India expects lift of ban
Indian International Olympic Committee member Randhir Singh is confident the world amateur boxing federation (AIBA) will soon lift its ban on the country’s pugilists, the official said yesterday. The AIBA suspended the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation in early December last year for “possible manipulation” of its elections, in the wake of a wider Olympic ban that has sent shockwaves through sport in the South Asian country. Randhir, Indian Olympic Association secretary-general during the previous regime, said he asked AIBA president Wu Ching-kuo of Taiwan to lift the ban on the country’s boxers when he spoke to the official on Tuesday. “I spoke to Wu and told him that the boxers should not be made to suffer for no fault of theirs,” Randhir said. Vijender Singh, whose middleweight bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics helped raise boxing’s profile in India, was glad to hear news of a development. “That’s great news, all our boxers will be very happy. I have always said that the boxers should not be penalized,” Vijender said. “We never stopped training, hoping there will be some solution some day.”