Russian appeals doping ban
Russian biathlete Evgeny Ustyugov has appealed a doping ban that saw all of his results from 2010 to 2014 annulled, his lawyer said on Wednesday. The Court of Arbitration of Sport last month suspended Ustyugov, who retired in 2014, after concluding that he had received help in trying to conceal his doping. The biathlete’s lawyer Alexei Panich told the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that he did not yet know the date of the hearing. If the verdict stands, 35-year-old Ustyugov would be stripped of the mass start gold medal and relay bronze he won at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Last month’s ban was the second punishment for the retired biathlete this year.
Cano banned 162 games
New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano was banned 162 games after testing positive for the banned steroid Stanozolol in a second MLB doping breach, the league said on Wednesday. The suspension without pay would commence at the start of next season and cost him about US$24 million in salary, the MLB said in a statement. Cano was with the Seattle Mariners when he was suspended in 2018 after testing positive for the diuretic furosemide, which can be used as a masking agent for drugs that enhance performance. Cano, 38, was suspended for 80 games in 2018, saying at the time he was prescribed furosemide for a “medical ailment” by a doctor in his native Dominican Republic.
NFL steps up protocols
The NFL has stepped up its pandemic protocols with tougher restrictions going into effect on Saturday to try and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the same day the Las Vegas Raiders found themselves in the midst of another outbreak. The stricter measures, which would last until the end of the season, include forcing players to wear masks during practice sessions, a strict 15-minute time limit per person in the dressing room, and making sure all players and coaches have a negative test from the previous day before being allowed into the club’s facilities. According to the latest test results announced by the league earlier this week, 95 players and 175 team personnel had tested positive through Saturday last week since monitoring began in August.
No prep ‘dangerous’: Soares
Playing the Australian Open with no preparation time would be “very dangerous,” Brazilian doubles specialist Bruno Soares warned on Wednesday, after Australian tennis chiefs flagged “new challenges” around the arrival of players during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ATP has said that arrivals originally planned for next month were now uncertain, potentially disrupting the packed January schedule. With players facing a 14-day quarantine, any delay could make it difficult to hold the ATP Cup and other tournaments before the scheduled start of the Australian Open in Melbourne on Jan. 18. It is also unclear whether players would be allowed to train during quarantine. Soares, playing in the doubles event at the ATP Finals in London this week, said it would be tough to play with no practice. “I think it’s quite dangerous for the players with no preparation I think to go there and compete right away. I think it’s physically very dangerous,” he said.
After a long week cooking and cleaning in the cramped households of Hong Kong, a group of Philippine domestic workers are using their Sunday off for an unlikely hobby: cricket. They are proving rather good at it. Despite no background in the game, scant coaching and little time, the SCC Divas have made a startling impact, winning Hong Kong’s development league twice in their first two seasons and going unbeaten since stepping up to the main divisions this year. Along the way, they have inspired the Philippines’ first national women’s cricket team, providing seven of its players, while shaking up Hong Kong’s sleepy
One of this year’s strangest NFL stories appears to have reached a conclusion, with robbery charges against former New York Giants cornerback Deandre Baker dropped by authorities in Florida. The 23-year-old Baker was facing a possible life sentence after he was charged with four counts of robbery. It was claimed that Baker, along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar and two other men, robbed partygoers of thousands of US dollars in cash, watches and other valuables at a party in Florida in May. The charges against Dunbar were dropped in August. Baker, a first-round pick for the Giants last year, was
The treatment of Pacific Island rugby union players in the professional era is compared to colonialism in a new documentary film produced and narrated by former Samoa international Dan Leo. Oceans Apart: Greed, Betrayal and Pacific Island Rugby accuses World Rugby and the sport’s elite nations of exploiting the player resources of the Pacific Islands while retaining almost all of the wealth that those players create. The island nations of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have a combined population of only 1.5 million people, but provide almost one-quarter of all professional rugby players. At last year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan, 42 players
The cutting-edge yacht that Team New Zealand are to use to defend the America’s Cup took to the water in Auckland yesterday, with crew members describing it as a “flying machine.” The 23m yacht features innovative foil arms, which lift the hull above the surface of the water into the air, reducing drag and increasing racing speed. Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby said that the vessel — which is expected to reach speeds of more than 50 knots (93kph) — was part racing yacht and part aircraft. “It is a boat and it has to go through the water, but it’s also