Russia banned from world sports for 4 years over doping

News Network
December 9,2019

Lausanne, Dec 9: Russia was banned from the Olympics and world championships in a range of sports for four years on Monday after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) ruled to punish it for manipulating laboratory data, a WADA spokesman said.

WADA's executive committee took the decision after it concluded that Moscow had tampered with laboratory data by planting fake evidence and deleting files linked to positive doping tests that could have helped identify drug cheats.

The WADA committee's decision to punish Russia with a ban was unanimous, the spokesman said.

Russia, which has tried to showcase itself as a global sports power, has been embroiled in doping scandals since a 2015 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) found evidence of mass doping in Russian athletics.

Its doping woes have grown since, with many of its athletes sidelined from the past two Olympics and the country stripped of its flag altogether at last year's Pyeongchang Winter Games as punishment for state-sponsored doping cover-ups at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Monday's sanctions had been recommended by WADA's compliance review committee in response to the doctored laboratory data provided by Moscow earlier this year.

One of the conditions for the reinstatement of Russian anti-doping agency RUSADA, which was suspended in 2015 in the wake of the athletics doping scandal but reinstated last year, had been that Moscow provides an authentic copy of the laboratory data.

The sanctions effectively strip the agency of its accreditation.

Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov last month attributed the discrepancies in the laboratory data to technical issues.

The punishment, however, leaves the door open for clean Russian athletes to compete at major international sporting events without their flag or anthem for four years, as was the case during the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Some Russian officials, meanwhile, have branded the call for sanctions unfair and likened it to broader Western attempts to hold back the country.

If RUSADA appeals the sanctions endorsed by WADA's executive committee, the case will be referred to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), WADA has said.

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Indian Test squad may be asked to quarantine in Adelaide before Australia series

News Network
July 21,2020

Melbourne, Jul 21: Cricket Australia's chief executive Nick Hockley has said that the Indian players and staff will most likely be asked to face two weeks of quarantine before the four-match Test series.

This scenario will bring the Adelaide Oval and its newly constructed hotel firmly into view as the sort of biosecure bubble, ESPNCricinfo reported.

India and Australia are slated to face each other in a four-match Test series, which is to begin from December 4 at Brisbane.

"The two-week quarantine is pretty well-defined. What we are working on is making sure that even within that quarantine environment, the players have got the absolute best training facilities, so that their preparation for the matches is as optimal as it can possibly be," ESPNCricinfo quoted Hockey as saying.

"Certainly the fact that the Adelaide Oval has a hotel. It does provide a facility not dissimilar to Old Trafford or Ageas Bowl where the hotels are integrated into the venue," he added.

Hockley also said that an exacting standard of biosecurity and testing would be applied before the series against India as the coronavirus cases are spiking in the subcontinent.

"It's widely known and it's unlikely that international travel restrictions would have lifted by the time that India will be due to come into the country. Clearly there will be testing regimes. We will be able to test people before that they get on to the plane and it is the nature of the situation of making sure we have the quarantine arrangements in line with government and health authority protocols," Hockley said.

"The key thing for the players is that there's regular testing and that we appropriately quarantine them when they come in and all of those plans are currently in development," he added.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the postponement of the T20 World Cup 2020 slated to be held in Australia from October 18-November 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Following the announcement, the BCCI is likely to go ahead with the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the October-November window. However, it is known where the T20 tournament will be played as cases continue to rise in India.
"I think the BCCI has made no secrets that they are considering what that means for the IPL. For us, it's about getting a bit of an understanding and certainty around what that means. Clearly, in a normal course, some of our best players are obviously top picks for those IPL teams," Hockley said.

"It's a bit premature to speculate on that. We need to understand what the plans are if any and once we understand that we will make decisions accordingly," he added.

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England defeat Ireland by 6 wickets in first ODI

Agencies
July 31,2020

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Hampshire, Jul 31: David Willey's maiden five-wicket haul guided England to a six-wicket victory over Ireland in the first ODI here on Friday.

With this win, the hosts have taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series.

Chasing a small target of 173 runs, England got off to a bad start as opener Jonny Bairstow was given LBW in the third over, bowled by Andy McBrine. Jason Roy was then joined by James Vince and the duo added 22 runs on the board before the former was dismissed.

Craig Young then got hold of Vince, who was caught behind after scoring 25 runs. Sam Billings and Tom Banton then took the charge of the chase but the latter too was caught behind which ended his 11-run innings.

Banton's dismissal brought skipper Eoin Morgan on the field. Billings and Morgan played stunning innings and kept scoring boundaries. Morgan struck a scintillating six on the last bowl of the 28th over to take England over the line. Morgan scored 36 runs while Billings played a knock of 67 runs.

Earlier, after being asked to bat first, Ireland witnessed a poor start as Paul Stirling was dismissed in the very first over of the innings, bowled by Willey. Andy Balbirnie then joined Gareth Delany but Willey struck again in his next over, removing Balbirnie.

Delany then played furiously and smashed three consecutive boundaries to Saqib Mahmood in the fourth over. However, the fall of wickets did not stop as England took three wickets in quick succession. Mahmood bowled Harry Tector while Delany and Lorcan Tucker were sent back to the pavilion by Willey.

Kevin O'Brien and Curtis Campher then took the charge and played cautiously, taking their struggling side over the 50-run mark. Adil Rashid got hold of O'Brien (22) in the 22nd over before Simranjit Singh was run out in the same over.

Andy McBrine was the next batsman and he played brilliantly along with Campher, who went on to complete his half-century. Both formed a 66-run partnership before McBrine (40) was dismissed by Tom Curran.

Campher remained unbeaten on 59 but failed to find a partner as England bundled out Ireland on 172 runs.

The second ODI between both teams will be played on Saturday.

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Suresh Raina, Harmanpreet Kaur appointed as global brand ambassadors of WTF Sports

Agencies
August 5,2020

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New Delhi, Aug 5: Indian cricketers Suresh Raina and Harmanpreet Kaur were on Wednesday appointed as the global brand ambassadors of the WTF Sports.

Raina is also joining the brand as a Strategic Partner. WTF Sports, a fantasy sports gaming platform, was today formally launched in India and globally.

The announcement was made through a web conference with prominent cricket host, Vikram Sathaye moderating and hosting the webinar and Vinit Bhatia, Manit Parikh and Yash Kadakia Co-Founders - India and Global, WTF Sports introducing the cricketers as the Global Brand Ambassadors.

Kaur said it was a perfect fit for her and she can use her strategy and experience while playing.
"WTF Sports was the perfect fit with me, I can use strategy and my experience while playing, I've actually learnt to strategize better as I've played along. Additionally, when we were under lockdown and I couldn't really practice, it was fun to come on the platform and feel like I'm still playing," Kaur said in a statement.

On the other hand, Raina said, "It is exciting to be a part of a fantasy sports platform like WTF Sports not just as an ambassador but also as the strategic partner, it is everything that I embody and what I believe in, it's fierce, fun and competitive."

The app currently hosts three major sports, multiple playing modes, and exciting contests, ensuring that sports fans can get more skillful by letting them strategize and use their sports knowledge into rewarding behaviour.

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