Steven Gerrard will only consider leaving Rangers if “Liverpool, Manchester United or Arsenal” come calling, claims Alex Miller.The ex-England captain is cutting his managerial teeth at Ibrox after accepting a first post in the senior game.He has picked up coaching experience within the academy system at Liverpool, with a return to Merseyside made after hanging up his boots with MLS side the LA Galaxy. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Gerrard is being tipped to make a positive impact with Rangers and a man who worked with him during his playing days at Liverpool believes a spell in Glasgow will only be broken by an approach from a Premier League giant.Former Anfield assistant manager Miller told BBC Scotland: “Rangers will mount a challenge to Celtic.”And if you make a go of the Rangers job, why would you leave? It would need to be Liverpool, Manchester United, or Arsenal.”Gerrard has guided Rangers into the third qualifying round of the 2018-19 Europa League and is set to open a Scottish Premiership campaign away at Aberdeen on Sunday.A modern-day icon is being backed to deliver success for a club still rebuilding on the back of financial struggles, with 10 additions having been made this summer to a new-look squad expected to push Old Firm rivals Celtic close.Miller added: “Rangers will be some machine if Stevie can get them going.”He felt he had too many of the same type of player when he came in. Too small. Nice footballers, but Rangers needed a bit of height and strength. Now they have a better squad and are better equipped.”They don’t have enough to win the Premiership, but they have more about them than Aberdeen. They will finish ahead of everyone bar Celtic.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Lyon coach Bruno Genesio is unable to offer assurances over Nabil Fekir’s future at the club.The France international forward was close to joining Liverpool in July before the Ligue 1 club withdrew from negotiations .Chelsea, who defeated Lyon on penalties in an International Champions Cup meeting on Tuesday, have been linked with a move for the 25-year-old, while La Liga giants Real Madrid have also been mentioned as a possible suitor. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Fekir returned to training with Lyon this week, but his manager is braced for more interest to come in on the player. “It’s too early to say,” he told a news conference when questioned about the player’s future.”He wanted to leave at the end of last season, but came back to training yesterday and was happy.”Who knows? There may be opportunities that come up before the end of the window. For now, he is a Lyon player.”Lyon kick off their Ligue 1 campaign against Amiens on Sunday.
Spanish club Zamora have released one of the most baffling kits of the season!The club currently play in the Spanish fourth division, but have gone viral after their third kit was presented online.Zamora’s new offering is produced by Kappa, and features an entire circulatory system, with the team’s logo in place of the heart. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! A series of veins also runs all around the shirt, as well as a motto on the back of the shirt.GRACIAS 😍 | Más de 1.000.000 de personas ya han visto el traje del zamora en todo el mundo. No sabemos como agradecer toda esta difusión. #VosotrosHacéisElZamora #trajeZamora pic.twitter.com/0KO7FsFfK5— Zamora CF (@ZCFoficial) October 10, 2018In Spanish, it reads: “La sangre, ese líquido rojizo que transporta vida por nuestro cuerpo, que nace y fluye del corazon para alimentar nuestras emociones y sentimento.”That loosely translates to “Blood, that reddish liquid that transports life through our body, that is born and flows from the heart to nourish our emotions and feelings.”Zamora posted a tweet thanking fans for their response to the kit, writing: “Thanks! More than one million people have already seen the Zamora shirt around the world.”Zamora have lost just once this season, but it remains to be seen if this kit will spark fear into opposition hearts – it has certainly circulated around the internet!
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has revealed that he decided to sell Juan Bernat after the player’s poor performance in the Champions League quarter-final first leg last season.The left-back made the switch to PSG in the summer after having spent four years with the Bundesliga giants having initially signed for the club from Valencia in 2014.And the reasons behind Bayern making the decision to move the Spaniard on have now been disclosed, with president Hoeness having seen enough in one particular game to convince him to get rid. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! It all centres around Bernat’s performance in Bayern’s 2-1 win over Sevilla in the Champions League back in April.With the first leg taking place in Spain, Bernat was partly responsible for the hosts’ first goal, as Pablo Sarabia shrugged off a challenge from the defender before smashing home past Sven Ulreich.Bayern did recover courtesy of a Jesus Navas own goal and one from Thiago Alcantara, although Bernat was subsequently hooked at half-time in place of Rafinha.The Bavarians eventually went on to win the tie 2-1 on aggregate after a 0-0 second-leg draw, but Bernat would only play for the club four more times after that, before being sold to PSG in a €15 million (£13m/$17m) deal.And discussing the sale, Hoeness revealed to reporters in an explosive press conference on Friday: “When we played in Seville, he was solely responsible for us almost being eliminated.”That day [the Champions League first leg against Sevilla], we decided that we would sell him because he almost cost us all the success in the Champions League.”In what was a heated exchange with the gathered media, Bayern also backed their manager Niko Kovac despite a run of four matches without a win in all competitions.That form had seen former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger linked with the post, but the club’s chiefs, including Hoeness, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic have stood by the Croatian.Next up for Bayern is an away trip to Wolfsburg as they look to halt their recent slump, with Kovac’s side, who are currently sixth in the table, looking to close the gap on current leaders Dortmund.
Paris Saint-Germain stand just one match from setting European footballing history, having won all of their first 11 Ligue 1 fixtures of the season.On Friday, Thomas Tuchel’s side kick off the weekend’s play in the top flight by hosting second-placed Lille, with their eyes fixed upon winning a historic 12th-straight game at the outset of the campaign.PSG have already surpassed the French record, which stood at eight games and was set by Olympique Lillois in 1936-37, Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! Moreover, they have established an eight-point advantage in France and appear destined to claim their third successive title, but how does their record stack up against other quick-starting sides in Europe’s biggest leagues?What is the record for matches won at the start of a Premier League season? Wins Team Season 11 Tottenham 1960-61 10 Manchester United 1985-86 9 Chelsea 2005-06 Chelsea’s nine successive wins at the outset of the 2005-06 season represents the best start to a Premier League season in history.Managed by Jose Mourinho, they kept six consecutive cleansheets at the start of the season, seeing off Wigan, Arsenal, West Brom, Tottenham, Sunderland, Charlton, Aston Villa, Liverpool and Bolton as they compiled a remarkable run.Everton halted their sequence in a 1-1 Goodison Park draw.Their record, however, is not an all-time best for the English top flight.Indeed, Manchester United bettered the Blues’ by making a perfect 10-out-of-10 start to the 1985/86 campaign.Tottenham, though, set the benchmark during the 1960-61 season, when they won 11 consecutive matches to set the standard in Europe’s elite leagues that PSG are set to break. Spurs, who were managed by the legendary Bill Nicholson that year, enjoyed a stunning start to the season that saw them win 15 of their opening 16 matches before losing to Sheffield Wednesday, the eventual runners up, at Hillsborough on November 12, 1960.By the times the Owls defeated the White Hart Lane side, however, they had already chalked up their incredible run, which saw them beat Everton (2-0), Blackpool twice (3-1 both home and away), Blackburn Rovers (4-1), Manchester United (4-1), Bolton twice (2-1 away and 3-1 at home), Leicester (2-1), Aston Villa (6-2) and Wolves (4-0).Their winning streak was ultimately ended by Manchester City, who earned a 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane.What is the record for matches won at the start of a La Liga season? Wins Team Season 9 Real Madrid 1968-69 8 Real Madrid 1961-62 8 Real Madrid 1987-88 8 Barcelona 2013-14 8 Atletico Madrid 2013-14 Real Madrid are traditionally the quick starters of Spanish football, as the great club occupies four of the top six slots when it comes to winning streaks after the summer.The best that Los Blancos have ever mustered came in the 1968-69 season, when they won nine consecutive matches, while they have also attained eight victories on a trio of occasions.Perhaps the most remarkable start to a season in La Liga came in 2013-14, though. On this occasion, it was not Real who made the headlines, but rather Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, who both amassed eight-match runs – the best any clubs have made in the last 30 years.Atletico’s winning streak actually lasted longer, but only because Barca drew with Osasuna on October 19, the day before Diego Simeone’s side were defeated by Espanyol.Atleti went on to take the title in dramatic circumstances that season, earning a 1-1 draw with Barca on the last day of the campaign to finish three points ahead of their rivals.What is the record for matches won at the start of a Serie A season? Wins Team Season 10 Roma 2013-14 9 Juventus 2005-06 8 Napoli 2017-18 8 Juventus 1930-31 8 Juventus 1985-86 Roma hold the record for the best start to a Serie A season, having won their opening 10 matches of the 2013-14 campaign under Rudi Garcia.The side from the capital beat Livorno, Hellas Verona, Parma, Lazio, Sampdoria, Bologna, Inter, Napoli, Udinese and Chievo in their run. They failed to win the title that year, frustrated by a Juventus side that picked up 102 points, setting another Serie A record in that regard, and lost only twice. As the dominant force in Italy over the years, it is unsurprising that Juve occupy second place in this regard, with a club-best record of nine successive wins coming at the start of the 2005-06 campaign. They have also achieved eight wins on two occasions (1930-31 and 1986-87), which is a mark Napoli equalled as they started the 2017-18 season in stunning form.What is the record for matches won at the start of a Bundesliga season? Wins Team Season 10 Bayern Munich 2015-16 8 Bayern Munich 2012-13 7 Kaiserslautern 2001-02 7 Bayern Munich 1995-96 7 Mainz 2010-11 Bayern Munich have won half of the Bundesliga titles on offer, so there is no surprise that they are the quickest starting team in the history of the league. Indeed, in recent seasons they have been especially rapid off the blocks.Twice in the last decade they have set a national record in this regard, first chalking up eight games in a row at the start of the 2012-13 campaign but going two better in 2015-16.Under the guidance of Pep Guardiola in that latter campaign, they recorded a series of thumping victories, notably hammering Hamburg 5-0 at home and dispatching Wolfsburg, Dortmund and Koln by four-goal margins.Kaiserslautern (2001-02) and Mainz (2010-11) are the best of the rest, with seven-game runs each.
Iraq’s Radhi Shenaishil became the third coaching casualty of Asian World Cup qualifying Group B when he was sacked late on Monday.The 50-year-old was shown the door after defeat to Saudi Arabia in Jeddah at the end of last month all but ruled the country out of contention for a place in Russia next year.”We are not happy with the results and the coaching team is to be sacked and replaced by foreign staff,” read a statement on the Iraq FA Facebook page (www.facebook.com/iraqfa).”The FA will work with the Iraqi government and Iraqi Olympic Committee to provide funds for a replacement.”Shenaishil’s departure follows that of United Arab Emirates coach Mahdi Ali, who quit after a 2-0 loss to Australia in Sydney in the same round of matches effectively ended his team’s dreams of qualifying for Russia.Thailand’s Kiatisuk Senamuang also stepped down in the wake of the 4-0 thrashing by Japan that ended slim Thai hopes of reaching the finals for the first time.Shenaishil led Iraq to the semi-finals of the 2015 Asian Cup in a previous stint in charge and, after a spell at Baghdad club Al-Shorta, returned to mastermind the bid to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.Hampered by having to play their “home” matches in neutral venues for security reasons, the Iraqis were always going to struggle to clinch a ticket to Russia after losing their first three qualifiers of the third round.The 1-0 loss to the Saudis on March 28 left the 2007 Asian champions fifth in Group B with four points from seven matches, nine points behind third-placed Australia and 12 in arrears to leaders Saudi Arabia and Japan.advertisementThe top two teams qualify directly for Russia, while third place offers a further berth via a playoff against the similarly placed team in Group A and an intercontinental tie against a team from the Central and North America Confederation.
Noamundi (Jharkhand), Apr 18 (PTI) The Tata Steel today inaugurated a training camp for Sekkor players at the Noamundi Sports Complex in West Singhbhum district. The seven-day residential training programme for 300 tribal children was arranged for the proposed premier league of the traditional tribal sport Sekkor here next month, a company release said. The steel major will host the premier league to revive the sport, mainly played by Ho tribe in summer, to its old glory, it said. PTI BS PR PR
Lalit Modi has dropped another bomb by leaking Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s offer letter from India Cements, a company owned by former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president N Srinivasan.India Cements owned Indian Premier League franchise Chennai Super Kings, who were suspended for two seasons in 2015 following the spot-fixing and corruption scandal that rocked the world cricket in 2013.Along with CSK, the inaugural edition champions Rajasthan Royals were also suspended by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha panel. The committee also banned CSK’s Gurunath Meiyappan, who is also Srinivasan’s son-in-law and RR’s co-owner Raj Kundra for life.Modi, who was sacked as IPL chairman in 2010, tweeted the contract letter of Dhoni and captioned, “It seems only in #india #contempt after contempt continues by the #old #guards of @bcci – How ? My best guess is #northblock.”It seems only in #india #contempt after contempt continues by the #old #guards of @bcci – How ? My best guess is #northblock pic.twitter.com/J3Z1kJgtvM- Lalit Kumar Modi (@LalitKModi) May 8, 2017In the letter it shows Dhoni was appointed as the vice-president of India Cements in 2012 with a basic pay of Rs 43,000 a month and a special allowance of Rs 60,000 a month among numerous other perks.Dhoni, who has always been tight-lipped over the IPL controversies, is yet to react to the story.The former India skipper is busy with his duties at the Rising Pune Supergiant, who will not get an extension next season.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga joined the exodus of the seeds at the Aegon Championships after being outplayed by Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller at a boiling hot Queen’s Club on Wednesday.The Frenchman, seeded five, had no answer to left-hander Muller’s swinging serve as he bowed out 6-4, 6-4.Top seed and five-times champion Andy Murray, French Open runner-up Stan Wawrinka and 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic all suffered surprise defeats on Tuesday.The 34-year-old Muller won the grasscourt title in Den Bosch on Sunday and has continued that form on the London lawns.With on-court temperatures nudging 40 degrees Celsius on Wednesday, Tsonga looked as listless as the sweltering crowd as Muller dominated behind his serve to claim his second title of the year, having never won one before.He needed one break of serve in each set to subdue former runner-up Tsonga and will move on to face either Murray’s conqueror Jordan Thompson of Australia or American Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals.American Donald Young also progressed, beating Serbia’s Viktor Troicki in straight sets.
Manchester United defeated Real Madrid in an ugly penalty shootout on Sunday with seven players failing to convert from the spot after their International Champions Cup match ended 1-1 in Northern California.United, who won the shootout 2-1, took the lead just before halftime when Anthony Martial slalomed into the box past three defenders to set up Jesse Lingard from close range.Both sides made a raft of changes at the break, which upset the rhythm of the game. The sweltering conditions were also a factor as players struggled to get the tempo back up, while the 65,109 fans eagerly awaited the next goal.It came in the 69th minute after Victor Lindelof took Real’s Theo Hernandez down in the box and Brazilian Casemiro scored from the penalty spot.Casemiro would get another chance from the spot in the shootout but hit the crossbar with Real’s fifth kick to leave United the winners.The first four penalty takers all missed, prompting incredulous laughter from a crowd denied much of a game in the second half. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Daley Blind found the net for United while Luis Miguel Quezada was the only Real Madrid shooter to score.Jose Mourinho was pleased to get the win but emphasized it was nothing more than a training exercise. His only real concern from the game was midfielder Ander Herrera limping off just minutes after coming on as a substitute in the second half.”I also always say to the players, no risk in friendlies,” said Mourinho. “If you feel something, or if you feel something is coming, get out, because the result is not important.”advertisementReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was encouraged by what he saw from his team in their first pre-season match.”It was our first game and we did quite well against a team that has had four or five games under their belts. I think that’s a positive,” Zidane told reporters.”We hope we continue to find our form fast and that’s what we’re working on.”The two sides are to meet again in the UEFA Super Cup on Aug. 8 in Macedonia, which will be a much more competitive affair.European champions Madrid next play Manchester City while United face Barcelona on Wednesday.
Virat Kohli’s men go into the three-Test series against Sri Lanka in Galle on Wednesday fully aware that they need to win the series to retain their number-one Test ranking.India are presently sitting pretty on the top of the tree on 123 points, while second-ranked South Africa, who are involved in a four-Test series against England, are second on 117 points.If India win the series against Sri Lanka then it will end the Proteas’ chances of reaching the top even if it wins the remaining two Tests against England.However, if Sri Lanka turn the tables on the number-one ranked Test side then South Africa will have a sniff of the top position.If Sri Lanka beat India 2-1 or 2-0 or 1-0 then South Africa will need to beat England by 2-1 or better to surge to the top of the Test rankings. If Sri Lanka win all the three Tests against India then South Africa will need to draw the series against England.On the other side of the coin, if India win 3-0 then it will gain two points and rise to 125 points while Sri Lanka will drop two points to finish on 89 points.To retain its pre-series points, India will need to either win 2-0 or 3-0, otherwise it will lose points.In the Test Rankings of Batsmen, India’s Cheteshwar Pujara will be aiming to break into the top three.The right-hander trails number-three ranked Kane Williamson of New Zealand by 34 points. Steve Smith is the number-one ranked batsman and he is followed by England captain Joe Root.advertisementDespite missing 10th ranked Lokesh Rahul, India have Kohli (fifth) and Ajinkya Rahane (11th) inside the top 20, while the next highest-ranked Indian batsman is wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha, who is ranked 47th, while Rohit Sharma is 48th.As far as Sri Lanka are concerned, 19th ranked Angelo Mathews is its highest-ranked batsman. He is followed by Kusal Mendis, who shares 24th place with an absent Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva (44th) and Upul Tharanga (45th).Among the bowlers, India’s left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja will start as the number-one ranked bowler, leading Sri Lanka’s stand-in captain Rangana Herath by 32 points.Other bowlers who feature prominently in the player rankings and will be aiming to make upward movements include Ravichandran Ashwin (third), Dilruwan Perera (18th), Umesh Yadav (22nd), Mohammed Shami (24th), Ishant Sharma (29th), Nuwan Pradeep (33rd), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (35th) and Suranga Lakmal (36th).Series schedule:July 26-30: 1st Test, GalleAugust 3-7: 2nd Test, SSC, ColomboAugust 12-16: 3rd Test, Pallekele
Wayde van Niekerk retained his world 400 metres title in dominant fashion on Tuesday as he stormed to victory in 43.98 seconds but there was almost as much interest in the empty lane alongside him where Botswana’s Isaac Makwala should have been.South African Van Niekerk, the Olympic and defending champion and world record holder, ran a controlled race and was even able to ease down over the final strides as he secured the first half of what he hopes will be a 400/200m double.Steven Gardiner, 21, of the Bahamas was a clear second in 44.41 and 20-year-old world junior champion Abdalelah Haroun of Qatar blasted through at the end to snatch bronze in 44.48.Makwala, third-fastest in the year this season, was scratched from the race earlier on Tuesday having also been withdrawn from Monday’s 200m heats after vomiting before he got on to the track.He insisted he wanted to run but IAAF officials ruled him out for public health reasons and refused him entry to the stadium amid a swathe of nanovirus and gastroenteritis cases that have affected about 30 athletes from a selection of countries.In his absence, Van Nierkerk looked an even shorter-odds favourite and duly delivered, barely seeming out of breath when he crossed the line with his thoughts already turning to the 200m.”I’ve got a good team to help me recover and its back to work tomorrow,” he said.Van Niekerk had huge sympathy for Makwala.”It was definitely a heartbreaking moment,” he said. “I saw him just before the 200 heat and the only thing I could think of was just wrapping my arms around him and telling him he should get well soon.advertisement”As much as we want to win gold medals, we also want to go out there and have best guys on the track with us. It’s such a massive pity. He’s a strong athlete, I’ve seen him break through a lot of challenges. So I have a lot of sympathy for him.”I wish I could give him my medal to be honest, but this is sport. We need to go out there and fight for our opportunities and it could’ve happened to any one of us. We all have tough times, we just need to get up and fight harder.”Long-striding Gardiner, who set a national record 43.89 in the semis, could not quite reproduce that on a cold London night but looks equipped to challenge Van Niekerk in the future.Haroun, who switched nationality from Sudan to Qatar two years ago, was last with 70 metres to go but edged past Baboloki Thebe of Botswana (fourth) and Jamaica’s Nathon Allen (fifth) in the final metres.Fred Kerley had scraped into the final as a fast loser but finished last as the United States failed to medal in the event for only the second time since the championships began in 1983.
Apple’s anniversary edition iPhone 8 is set to launch soon. The phone has been in buzz for past few months. The rumours that have constantly been pouring in have left almost nothing for the imagination. The iPhone will come with true tone display, ditch headphone 3.5mm headphone jack, support wireless charging and similar more rumours are doing rounds.There are talks that Apple could integrate a 3D sensor in the iPhone 8 which could be used to unlock the device by facial recognition. Now a new rumour suggests that the same 3D sensor could also act be used to silence the incoming notifications on the iPhone.Guilherme Rambo, an iOS developer has unlocked a new code in the HomePod firmware that suggests that sensor can also mute the notifications when user looks at the display. The revelation leads us to the following 3 possibilities:– First, the 3D sensor could be placed at the front since it has to perform multiple functions via facial recognition.– If the 3D sensor can also mute the notifications, then there’s no need for a physical button. Apple phones come with a physical button to silence the notifications which may be ditched in iPhone 8.– No touch ID. Reports of Apple mulling to do away with Touch ID is already in buzz. With 3D sensor’s multi-functionality there are higher chances that there would be no Touch ID in the anniversary edition iPhone 8.Also, in such a scenario, the 3D sensor will have to be manually set to perform any task. It can either unlock a phone or mute the notifications , only one function at a time.advertisementFurther, a dummy video by a YouTuber Danny Winget shows a comparison between iPhone 7s Plus and iPhone 8. The latter appears to be smaller in height and width than the Plus variant. The alleged iPhone 7s Plus is seen with the same horizontally aligned camera set up, a glass body and a home button where as the iPhone 8 is seen sporting a bezel less screen, no home button and wit several sensors on front.Also Read: iPhone 8 specs and key features leak, this year’s iPhone will be truly differentIn separate leaks coming from popular tipsters Benjamin Geskin and Ben Miller , the iPhone 8 is speculated to come in two new colour variants- Copper Gold and Copper Gold.#iPhone8 Design-Dummy, das Display wre gr?er als jenes eines Plus-Modells, aber im Gehuse eines regulren. pic.twitter.com/wflyGMAHBt- Ben Miller (@bensen) August 9, 2017I think It can look amazing | #iPhone8 Copper Gold(Model by AppleiDesigner, color by Me) pic.twitter.com/Mawrs7MuMI- Benjamin Geskin (@VenyaGeskin1) August 9, 2017
Kozhikode (Ker), Aug 23 (PTI) A delegation of 20 service attaches (FSAs) from friendly foreign countries arrivedtoday at the Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala in Kannur district on a two-day official visit. They were received by the academys Principal Director (Training) Commodore Arjun Dev Nair. The visiting FSAs were formally briefed on INAs infrastructure progress and plans, training processes and training facilities, a release from the INA said. A conducted tour to academic faculties and laboratories, warship simulator, weapon training centre, sail training centre, firing Range, sports facilities, equitation training centre, cadets mess, cadets squadrons and aquaticscomplex was also held for the delegation, it said. The FSAs expressed interest in exploring possibilities for enhancing training cooperation with their respective countries and participation in the annual Admirals Cup Sailing Regatta. PTI KV SS MVV
Washington, Aug 30 (PTI) Official tests may fail to detect doping in sports, according to a new study which shows that using performance-enhancing drugs is far more common in professional athletes than previously thought.The study found that at least 30 per cent of athletes in the 2011 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships and 45 per cent of athletes at the Pan-Arab Games in 2011 claimed to have taken doping drugs or used other doping methods.Only a fraction of these cases were detected by biological tests. At the World Championships, 0.5 per cent of biological tests showed positive for doping agents. The figure rose to 3.6 per cent for the Pan-Arab games.The scientists used the “randomised response method” to question a total of 2,167 participants at the World Championships in Daegu (South Korea) and the Pan-Arab Games in Doha (Qatar) whether they had taken doping drugs or used other banned doping methods before the competitions.The method ensures the anonymity of the respondents to allow them to answer honestly without fearing negative consequences.”The randomised response method is used for sensitive topics. In a direct face-to face interview, respondents would be strongly motivated to provide socially desirable responses, even if these responses were not true. Anonymity gives protection, allowing the respondents to answer honestly,” said Rolf Ulrich from the University of Tubingen in Germany.In the study, the athletes were asked on a mobile device to answer one of two questions – an unobtrusive question about a birthdate or a sensitive question about whether they had engaged in banned doping in the past 12 months. The two questions were selected at random.advertisementTherefore, if an athlete answered “yes,” the researchers could not tell whether the athlete was answering “yes” to the unobtrusive question or “yes” to the sensitive question – thus guaranteeing the athletes anonymity.Researchers used statistical methods to closely estimate the percentage of athletes in the overall study group who had answered yes to the doping question.”The study suggests that biological tests of blood and urine greatly underestimate the true prevalence of doping,” said Harrison G Pope at McLean Hospital in the US.”As we note in the paper, this is probably due to the fact that athletes have found various ways to beat the tests,” said Pope, who is also a professor at the Harvard Medical School.Tests immediately before and during a competition find evidence of doping on average of only 1-3 per cent.However, doping agents are often no longer biologically detectable at this time if they have been taken long before.Somewhat better results are achieved with the “biological passport,” which tracks the athletes medical data and offers a higher detection rate of about 14 per cent.The passport employs long-term documentation which can reveal deviations that could be caused by the abuse of doping agents. Doping agents are defined as all items listed by the World Anti-Doping Agency on the “List of Prohibited Substances and Methods.” PTI MHN SAR MHN
Hyderabad, Dec 26 (PTI) Former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia feels strengthening club culture and providing attractive pay will encourage more people to take sports as a profession in the country.Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar had last week raised the issue of financial security of athletes, saying it is often a challenge when any person decides to focus on sports alone as their career.Bhutia agreeing to the batting maestro said financial security is definitely a factor while choosing a career but also pointed out that things have improved with the advent of professional leagues in different sports disciplines.This trend, along with the long standing football culture, has provided sportspersons with more opportunities to earn a decent living.”I guess the club structure in any sport has to be strong. Incentive for sportspersons when they do well at state and national levels has to be good. And corporates have to come up (in a bigger way) and sponsor”, Bhutia told PTI.He said that more than health insurance, it is good pay that will attract people to take up sports as a career.Bhutia also emphasised on the importance of having health insurance for national-level athletes.It is really good if sportspersons are covered under health insurance. But more importantly, one should have good club structure, which offers attractive professional contracts to players, the 41-year-old said. PTI RS NRB APA APA
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — A battle of reserves to end the preseason was fittingly decided by a backup kicker.Chris Boswell kicked four field goals and the New York Giants finished off the preseason with a 12-9 victory Sept. 3 over the New England Patriots, who had already won a much larger victory earlier in the day.A Federal judge vacated the NFL’s four-game suspension of Tom Brady, clearing the Patriots star quarterback for the regular-season opener and beyond.Brady was among the 34 players who didn’t play against the Giants, who rested quarterback Eli Manning and most other starters as well.“It came down to a second half for a lot of people realizing that it was their opportunity and they played hard. That’s the best thing you can say about it,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.Boswell was waived on Aug. 16 but re-signed Sept. 2 with veteran kicker Josh Brown still nursing a bruised leg from making a tackle Aug. 22 against Jacksonville.If the Giants want to keep a backup kicker on the roster, Boswell made a good case for himself by with field goals of 34 and 29 yards in the first half and with a 33-yarder late in the third quarter. Boswell’s 41-yard kick with 8:18 left to play was the only scoring of the fourth quarter.Kicker Stephen Gostkowski also provided all of the scoring for New England, which left the offense in the hands of third-stringer Ryan Lindley.The focus was still on Brady, whose whereabouts were kept top-secret by the Patriots.“I’ll just talk about the game — any questions about the game,” New England coach Bill Belichick said, cutting off the first Brady-related question.There wasn’t much of a game to talk about, but New England fans continued celebrating until a downpour late in the fourth quarter.Brady was well represented in the stands. During one early stoppage, The Who’s “I’m Free” blared from the PA system as fans wearing “Free Brady” T-shirts cheered.One fan even suggested U.S. District Judge Richard Berman, whose ruling led to New England’s collective vindication celebration, should consider higher aspirations.The “Judge Berman for President 2016” sign got the most cheers of the many shown on the giant monitors.Brady’s teammates, like their coach, had little to say about the good news.“Hey man, I have enough on my plate,” recently signed receiver Reggie Wayne said. “I’m excited he’s available, but Reggie’s got to take care of what Reggie’s got to take care of — to get better.”(DOUG ALDEN)TweetPinShare0 Shares
ZURICH — Banished from soccer’s ruling body for eight years for unethical conduct, Sepp Blatter won’t give up the Presidency of his beloved FIFA without a fight.“I will fight. I will fight until the end,” Blatter said Dec. 21 at a news conference that started 90 minutes after he and former protege Michel Platini were each banned by FIFA’s ethics committee.It was a stunning removal of world soccer’s most powerful leaders over a $2 million payment by FIFA to Platini, the President of European soccer’s ruling body UEFA. The payment is also the subject of a criminal investigation in Switzerland.“I’m sad. It can’t go on this way. It’s not possible,” said the 79-year-old Blatter, who has spent more than half his life working for soccer’s scandal-hit governing body. “After 40 years, it can’t happen this way. I’m fighting to restore my rights.”Already serving a provisional ban, the elected FIFA President and his long-time likely successor were kicked out of the sport just two months before 209 member federations elect a new leader.Platini, a FIFA Vice President whose bid to succeed Blatter on Feb. 26 now looks over, described the proceedings as a “true mockery.”Their offences were judged to be conflict of interest and disloyalty to FIFA. They avoided life bans because corruption was not proven.Platini’s lawyer, Thibaud d’Ales, told The Associated Press it came as no surprise that the corruption charge had been dropped.“They used it with the sole purpose of dirtying Michel Platini, although they knew from the start it was an untenable argument,” D’Ales said.Guilty verdicts were expected. So were the subsequent denials of wrongdoing and promises of urgent appeals to FIFA and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.Blatter’s defiant display was a bonus for international media summoned to FIFA’s former headquarters, just hundreds of meters (yards) from the new building where he spent eight hours with four ethics judges on Dec. 17.The choice of venue hinted at a vintage Blatter show. He did not disappoint.Blatter invoked Nelson Mandela within a minute, pointing to the spot where the iconic South African leader had lifted the World Cup trophy 11 years ago, when his country was chosen as the host nation for the 2010 tournament.Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, the Nobel organization and the United Nations were also referenced in a spirited 52-minute performance as he held court with more than 100 journalists.His last words were “I’ll be back, thank you.”Blatter’s trademark fighting talk was delivered while still sporting a strip of surgical tape on his right cheek after a minor medical procedure five days earlier.Blatter made it clear he regretted his current position but declared he was innocent of any wrongdoing.“I am not ashamed,” he said. “I am sorry that I am a punching ball. I am sorry for football. … I am now suspended eight years, suspended eight years. Suspended eight years for what?”Platini was also dismissive of the ethics commission’s work.He said its proceedings, which included a hearing earlier this month that he did not attend, had been “orchestrated… by governing bodies that I know well” to tarnish him.“I’m convinced that my fate was sealed before the Dec. 18 hearing and that this decision is just a pathetic maneuver to hide a true will of taking me out of the football world,” the Frenchman said.“My behavior has always been faultless and I’m at peace with my own conscience.”Platini said he will also file a lawsuit in a civil court to seek damages for what he has endured during the ethics commission’s proceedings.In a brief statement, UEFA said it was “extremely disappointed” with the ruling and supported its leader’s right to clear his name.FIFA’s ethics judges decided that Blatter and Platini had broken ethics rules on conflicts of interest, breach of loyalty and offering or receiving gifts.Platini took $2 million of FIFA money in 2011 – a payment approved by Blatter as uncontracted salary for work as a presidential adviser from 1999-2002.In the verdict, Blatter was fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,250) and Platini 80,000 Swiss francs ($80,400).“Neither in his written statement nor in his personal hearing was Mr. Blatter able to demonstrate another legal basis for this payment,” the judges said.“By failing to place FIFA’s interests first and abstain from doing anything which could be contrary to FIFA’s interests, Mr. Blatter violated his fiduciary duty to FIFA.“His (Blatter’s) assertion of an oral agreement was determined as not convincing and was rejected by the chamber.”Blatter hit back at that conclusion during his news conference, portraying the ethics committee as saying of Platini and himself: “He’s a liar and I’m a liar.”“This is not correct,” Blatter said.Blatter acknowledged an administrative “error” in failing to register FIFA’s debt to Platini in its accounts for eight years, though he insisted: “This is nothing to do with the ethics regulations.”The Swiss had started tentatively and the grey bristles on his chin – that clearly showed he hadn’t shaven that morning – added to his aged appearance.Yet his voice grew stronger, seeming to take heart from gentle prompts and notes given by his only child, daughter Corinne, sitting to his left.He spoke in four languages and translated his own German, French and Spanish answers into English, clearly relishing the attention of a big audience again.By the end, with his top shirt button undone and tie loose, it was possible to forget that Blatter had faced a health scare on Nov. 1.“I am back, I am back, I am doing better,” he said. “I have the support of my daughter, I have the support of Linda (Barras), my love.”While Blatter wants to leave FIFA with his head high, the 60-year-old Platini wants to clear his name, pass a FIFA integrity check and be declared an official candidate in the election he had been favored to win.Platini’s campaign has stalled since he was questioned on Sept. 25 in a Swiss federal investigation of suspected criminal mismanagement at FIFA.Switzerland’s attorney general has opened criminal proceedings against Blatter for the suspected “disloyal payment” of FIFA money to Platini and selling undervalued World Cup TV rights for the Caribbean.Platini was paid in February 2011, just before Blatter began campaigning for re-election against Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar. Platini’s UEFA urged its members weeks before the June 2011 election to back Blatter, who was elected unopposed when Bin Hammam was implicated in bribery.Few FIFA officials knew of the Platini payment which emerged during a wider Swiss probe of the governing body’s business affairs, including suspected money laundering in the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.“I have never cheated with money,” Blatter insisted, before claiming he still wielded authority in the sport. “I am still the President. Even if I am suspended, I am still the President.”__By Graham Dunbar, AP Sports Writer. AP Sports Writer Samuel Petrequin contributed from ParisTweetPinShare0 Shares
LAS VEGAS — Robbie Lawler defended his UFC welterweight belt with a bruising split-decision victory over Carlos Condit at UFC 195 on Jan. 2.Lawler (27-10) was awarded the narrow decision after an outstanding five-round brawl. Condit (30-9) landed 120 more strikes and wobbled the champion multiple times, but Lawler’s power did enough damage to win three rounds on two judges’ scorecards.Stipe Miocic also stopped Andrei Arlovski with punches 54 seconds into the first round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, likely earning a heavyweight title shot in the UFC’s traditional New Year’s week show in its hometown.Lawler and Condit established a lofty benchmark for the best fight of 2016 with their thrilling, draining slugfest. Both fighters landed huge strikes and big knockdowns, yet both bounced up and kept fighting into a brutal fifth round.(GREG BEACHAM, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
LAKELAND, Fla. — Minor injuries befell key components of the Mets and Tigers on March 14. Neither manager, however, is worried.Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez pulled his left hamstring after a single in the Tigers’ 9-2 win over New York.At first, it looked serious, and Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus thought it might be an injury to Martinez’s left knee, but after the game, he said Martinez was fine but would miss a few games.“I’m not too concerned,” Ausmus said. “If it were, that would be serious, but it is mild. He’ll be ready in a couple of days.”Ausmus was even able to joke about it. “I don’t think it will affect his ability to steal bases,” he said of Martinez, who has seven stolen bases in his 14-year career.For New York, pitcher Jacob deGrom is struggling with back stiffness and missed the start, instead throwing batting practice at the Mets’ spring training facility.“He’ll be starting by the end of the week,” Collins said.J.D. Martinez led the Tigers’ offensive onslaught Monday, hitting his third homer of the spring and second in two days to boost his batting average to .217. Meanwhile, Ian Kinsler had another hit and raised his spring average to .391.For the Mets, third baseman Wilmer Flores went 3-for-3 with two doubles.(JEFF BERLINICKE)TweetPinShare0 Shares