first_imgJuventus are monitoring Spanish youngster Ferran Torres, according to reports, joining a long list of suitors. The 19-year old, who plays for Valencia and is on duty with Spain’s U-21 team, is being observed by Juve’s scouts, claim Torres has made 12 appearances for Valencia this season, and scored once. He made his debut for the club in December 2017. Born in 2000, the right winger has a release clause of €100m, and his contract expires in June 2021. The imminent winding down of the deal means he could be available at a lowered price-tag. He has already been linked with Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Barcelona. Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: read more

first_imgZimbabwe gave India a seven-wicket hiding, their largest victory over India in ODIs, and also the first time they’ve beaten them in back-to-back games in their 27-year history.India vs Zimbabwe, Scores On a slow pitch at the Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe’s four spinners led by Greg Lamb (3-45) combined beautifully to restrict India to miserable 194-9, with only Ravindra Jadeja (51) reducing the damages.It seemed the pitch would continue to assist India’s spinners but Zim openers Brendan Taylor (74) and Hamilton Masakadza (66) knocked off 128 in 26.4 overs, before sealing the win in 39.2.Sri Lanka and India had both fielded second-string sides in what was to be a low-key tournament, and the opportunist Zimbabwe have seized upon a chance to ensure this isn’t a two-horse race.India’s slow, cautious start contributed to this loss in no small way. Murali Vijay (21 off 56b) did not strike a boundary in his painstaking innings, adding 58 with Dinesh Karthik in 16.1 overs. They started with 26 runs in 10 overs — a pace largely unseen since the turn of the century — and India’s run-rate never crossed four. Karthik was beginning to blossom when he miscued a reverse sweep off Lamb to Tatenda Taibu with the gloves.A collapse ensued, and India slipped to 95-5. Lamb put Vijay out of his misery, luring him to drive through the cover and getting him stumped.Virat Kohli (18) was caught behind off Prosper Utseya, and the twin run-outs of skipper Suresh Raina and the in-form Rohit Sharma ensured India could at best reach a modest score.advertisementYusuf Pathan flopped too, but Ashok Dinda added 48 with Jadeja to prevent India from being bowled out under 150.The top-order failure allowed seamer Andy Blignaut — who hasn’t played cricket in four years — to slip in 10 overs for 22 runs with the wicket of Jadeja. Taylor and Masakadza were cautious at the start before cutting loose. They raced to 54 in 10 overs and 100 in the 20th.Taylor, having made 83 in the previous game against India, missed out on a hundred here as well when he chipped Pragyan Ojha to long-off.Jadeja dismissed Masakadza and Charles Coventry but it was too little, too late.last_img read more

first_imgThe field of participating teams at the Lake Travis swimming relay in Austin, USA, last week included as big a name as cycling legend Lance Armstrong, but it was Delhi girl Meenakshi Pahuja who grabbed the limelight.Armstrong’s ‘SwimStrong’ team won the relay competition comprising about 15 sixman teams, but Meenakshi became the only individual to attempt and complete the herculean 12-mile open-water swim.Meenakshi braved winds that varied between five and 20 miles per hour and extremely choppy water to become the first Indian to complete the solo event with a time of seven hours, 10 minutes and 24 seconds, on a day that the organisers, American Swimming Association, called “perhaps the most challenging day in this event’s eight-year history”. The 34-year-old, who earlier this year had become the first Indian to swim 12.5 miles around Key West in Florida, said the achievements were all down to her quest for new challenges.”Every water body poses a different challenge – with the wind, the current, the tide, the underwater life. Key West was salty ocean water and had a risk of sharks, though I never saw one. At Lake Travis, I had to conquer gusting winds of about 20 miles per hour over the last two miles. There had been a drought in the area this year, but that day it was raining cats and dogs. Both were really hard swims, and it is not fair to compare one with the other,” she said.Meenakshi has to train herself and travel without a professional coach, with only her father or her sister to accompany her. Asked how she prepared for such demanding endurance races while living in a city like Delhi, Meenakshi said: “It’s a very demanding sport, but I can’t help it as it is a call of passion. Being a physical educationist, I have a strong background of training methods and sports science. My older sister is a doctor of naturopathy and always suggests the best protein and carbohydrate diet. If I had sponsors, I could have included therapeutics and recovery as well, but these swims are very difficult to pursue without sponsors. I have approached the Delhi government, so let’s see what happens.”advertisementMeenakshi was a dominant force at the national level in conventional swimming too, and believes the current crop of upand- coming swimmers can succeed at the highest level. “Swimmers like Prasanta Karmakar and Veerdhawal Khade are doing well, and the young ones are making waves at Asian championships etc too – the first time Indians have started getting that kind of exposure, which had been missing in times gone by. Mostly the teams were sent at no cost to the government, and obviously some of the best had to withdraw. I am happy to see that things are changing for the better, but the pace is still slow.”I would call the Indian swimmers talented and having potential, and now it is about nurturing that talent and keeping things like groupism and favoritism out of the equation. Honestly speaking, I would not say that swimming as a sport has progressed that much in our country, but surely swimmers individually have progressed,” she said.last_img read more

first_img370 documented positive dope tests in the past 13 yearsIn the West, champions are being sent tumbling to their knees. An anti-doping investigation in the US has gone after some of track and field’s big names. Kelli White, women’s 100 m world champion, is banned while men’s champ Tim Mont,370 documented positive dope tests in the past 13 yearsIn the West, champions are being sent tumbling to their knees. An anti-doping investigation in the US has gone after some of track and field’s big names. Kelli White, women’s 100 m world champion, is banned while men’s champ Tim Mont gomery is under a cloud. Marion Jones, triple gold medallist and poster girl from Sydney 2000, may not race in Athens. What does this have to do with India? Neither does it have champion sprinters nor is it a sporting power whose success attracts suspicion. In the grim history of doping, though, India can easily be considered a rogue nation with 370 documented positive dope tests in the past 13 years. Since 2000, India has produced 113 positives. The evidence has piled up and the numbers are too large to ignore.In December 2000, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) submitted an affidavit to the Delhi High Court which contained the names of 257 athletes who had tested positive in 3,078 dope tests between 1991 and 2000.Sunita Rani’s was the most high-profile doping case Rani’s was the most high-profileIn June 2001 syringes and strips of steroids were found in the hostels of the National Institute of Sport (NIS). In 2002 weightlifter Kunjarani Devi tested positive at the Asian Championships and two Indian lifters tested positive at the Commonwealth Games.Two months later, athlete Sunita Rani tested positive after winning two medals at the Busan Asian Games. In 2003 after a total of 64 positive tests from two National Games (Punjab and Hyderabad), then sports minister Vikram Verma revealed in Parliament that 108 athletes had tested positive in national events and five in competitions overseas in four years.If nothing else, this would indicate the existence of a problem, of a phenomenon that thrives behind the smokescreen of “everybody does it” and the puerile fig leaf of guarding national prestige. As it stands today, India’s anti-doping policy, from its ethos to its practice, seems to be neither anti-doping nor much of a policy.To begin at the top, India is yet to sign the Copenhagen Declaration, a globally accepted document that recognises the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) code. India is one of only four countries that attended a 126-nation conference and agreed to sign the declaration. But it is yet to do so.Sunaina’s is the most recent positive dope testM.K. Mishra, SAI executive-director (Finance), insists,”We will sign soon, there are procedural formalities.” Not only has the global letter of the law been a hurdle for the Indian sports administration, but the country’s primary anti-doping institution also exists in a twilight zone. The status of the SAI’s Dope Control Centre (DCC) in Delhi has now become a convenient liability. The laboratory, set up in 1989, hasn’t yet been given accreditation by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or WADA. Any positive test result from it can always be contested in court. It is the easiest escape route for any athlete, federation and administrator. The lack of an accredited laboratory is most frequently cited as the reason for India’s ineffective anti-doping programme.”This is a bad excuse,” says David Howman, WADA’S director-general. “Proper anti-doping programmes can be run efficiently even when a country doesn’t have a WADA-accredited laboratory.” There are only 31 WADA accredited laboratories worldwide.Mishra, who is also the CEO of the DCC, is confident that the day the Delhi lab is accredited the complaining will stop. Now that India has won the right to stage the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the ISO 17025 certification needed for accreditation is finally being sought. Dope-testing in India takes place on two main occasions. Before athletes go for any overseas event, samples are taken from athletes and transported to Delhi for testing. Participants are also tested at major national and international events in India. The first practice is controversial amounting, says one SAI official, to pre-event”screening”. The cheating gameadvertisementIndia recorded 370 positive dope tests in the past 13 years in both national and international events.Since 2000, 113 Indian sportspeople have tested positive for dope.After 15 years of its existence, the country’s only dope testing centre has just applied for accreditation.Allegations of rampant, organised doping at the NIS, Patiala, continue to be swept under the carpet.Athletes are not being tested to catch and punish those on dope but being systematically weeded outand dropped from the team to prevent them from being caught overseas. The cases of athlete Sunita Rani and lifter Sunaina (the most recent case of an Indian testing positive for dope) indicate that the laboratory’s standards are far from watertight as both had tested negative in India.In late 2002, experts from the SRL Ranbaxy Laboratory, Mumbai, were roped in to study Rani’s case. Their analysis of testing procedures in Korea helped exonerate Rani and got the Seoul lab stripped of its ISO/IEC 17025 certificate and IOC accreditation. Once the case was decided, SRL Ranbaxy sent out feelers to the government and the SAI for four months, offering to set up and run a modern laboratory. They also met former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu to set up a laboratory in Hyderabad. The response was uniformly cool. Mishra’s own comment is telling.”The DCC is not a commercial proposition. Everyone thinks they can start a laboratory.” Sumedha Sahani, director, operations and clinical trials, SRL Ranbaxy, says, “There is much merit in public-private partnerships, they must be developed.”Along with the responses at the top, the rumblings of a sustained doping programme in Indian sport continue with frequent revelations from the NIS, Patiala. Says one SAI official:”What they do in the West is systematic damage.We go in for random destruction.” A 2003 report into the functioning of the NIS by former SAI officer K. Narasimhan lies buried in the Union Sports Ministry. The report is believed to contain proof of sustained irregularities in anti-doping procedures and a nexus between the NIS authorities, federation coaches and SAI officers in Delhi. The report even recommended an inquiry by India’s professional probe agencies. Even though the inquiry was ordered by former SAI director-general Shekhar Dutt, strangely no one in either the ministry or the SAI gives the report any credence. The Sports Ministry appointed a one-man inquiry committee headed by H.S. Kingra.According to Joint Secretary R.K. Mishra,”Kingra found no evidence of allegations of doping.” Manmohan Singh, head of the IOA’s medical commission, believes the over the-counter availability of drugs in India is a spur for doping.”In most cases the competitors are more educated than doctors and coaches. There is a general tendency among sportspeople to cheat to get medals.” They may”get away” at home but in the absence of a strong anti-doping policy, continue to be”outed” overseas. India’s day of infamy in world sport could be lurking around the corner.advertisementlast_img read more

first_imgIt is a trade practice that would not impress a union man. It is a truth whose profoundity would not impress Rahul Dravid.The sports media’s simple operating principle, the manager of the Minnesota Vikings team was once told, is: “When you lose we make fun of you. When you win,,It is a trade practice that would not impress a union man. It is a truth whose profoundity would not impress Rahul Dravid.The sports media’s simple operating principle, the manager of the Minnesota Vikings team was once told, is: “When you lose we make fun of you. When you win, we make fun of the other guy.”For the Indian cricket team, fun has pretty much fled the building and the jokes are coming back at them with all the sweet intent of a Makhaya Ntini opening spell. There’s the batting order jokes (“think of a number, yaar… arre, any number…”) the process jokes, the flexibility jokes. The only unfunny element here are the numbers-two ODI wins from 10 matches (seven of those against the resolutely flaky West Indians).BREACHED WALL: DravidWithin a week, the Champions Trophy, cricket’s biggest event outside the World Cup, will sweep into our living rooms and the world’s best bowlers and batsmen will be asking questions of India. The logical question to ask in turn is: Are the men in blue going to be, like… er… embarrassing? Unlikely because at home, India are a force multiplied.But the graph of this reforged team has taken its first dive, most inconveniently, when the world has come knocking. The first year of the Dravid-Greg Chappell combine was marked by heady success and high altitude vocabulary-the latter only makes for a barrelful of cheap shots today. It may not be the moment for a full-throated chrous of rhetoric and condemnation. But a raising of the eyebrows? Surely.Click here to EnlargeThe Indian team must question its assumptions of not so long ago or it will have them questioned by its adversaries. That its batting line-up can chase speeding bullets anywhere, anytime, that all problems could be solved by drafting in a slew of young players and shunting out fusty grey beards with bad attitudes, bad knees and long memories.Solutions work in their own time and space. Old ones are rarely the answer to new problems. Today, India’s new problems in the middle are plain to see-not enough runs from outside the old fortresses of Tendulkar and Dravid, the unravelling of performances from Irfan Pathan and M.S. Dhoni (two players key to plans) and the search for stability in the bowling attack.The reasons these issues have come to exist amongst the young men who play for India, how they have been handled and the dynamic that exists inside a team. On the outside though, the professional interpreters of maladies judge by the evidence of their eyes. For a team hardsold as being based on ‘youth’, India’s last six Man of the Match awards have been shared between Dravid, Yuvraj Singh (twice each) and Harbhajan Singh, the sixth going to S. Sreesanth, who is not in the Champions Trophy team. Former India bowler Javagal Srinath has pointed out that 10 bowlers had been tried in a year without a core of even three being identified. Former Test batsman Sanjay Manjrekar wrote after watching the younger Indian batsmen in the West Indies, “Is there a rush to become a dashing match-winner as against merely a humble servant of Indian cricket?” Former India keeper Saba Karim has noticed a trend where players are failing to deliver on what jargon would call their “main skill”- batting and bowling. He says, “Talent, fielding and eagerness to learn is fine, but as a batsman you have to be willing to stay at the wicket, deliver the match-winning score.”More the reason to find and cement in the ‘glue’ players. None of the younger bunch have quite Dravid’s accomplishment. Even the most experienced among them, Mohammed Kaif, it appears, is adrift. Karim is most disappointed about the failure of most of the batsmen to adjust to wickets that ask for a plan B involving shot selection. Given Chappell’s encyclopaedic and microscopic grasp of batting, Karim said he expected the Aussie’s deepest impact to show here.Many look back to the second ODI in Kingston earlier this year, when Yuvraj Singh was bowled by Dwayne Bravo with two runs to win, as the moment India’s ODI team lost its mojo. Dravid’s men have won only one of nine matches since, now unable to shake off poor early season batting form. There is no telling though whether that intangible called ‘form’ feeds into confidence or if the process actually works the other way round.A former member of the team says, “It’s not about form, it’s about getting results. If you’re not careful, you can turn ‘form’ into an excuse… and that feeling can go through a team. When you are struggling, it is more important to remember you have a job to do and then try to do it -ugly if you have to.”At the start of a season that will define this team, India has not narrowed the gap between planning and execution to Australian-style efficiency but has widened it. The Champions Trophy may bring India back to where they were early in 2006. But the clock is ticking and the rest of the world has no intention of standing still.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

first_imgThe ousted Kochi team of Indian Premier League (IPL) has challenged the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) decision in the Bombay High Court.The battle between Kochi Tuskers management and the BCCI entered the legal space two days after the team’s termination from the IPL.The high court was expected to pass an order on the case later on Wednesday.The BCCI had on Monday terminated the contract with Kochi Tuskers for non-payment of dues and citing violation of terms by the franchise. However, the Kochi team maintained they were unfairly treated by the BCCI.Co-owners of the Kochi Tuskers cried foul saying that the BCCI jumped the gun, especially since the deadline for payment of dues ends on September 30.Kochi Tuskers have become the third IPL franchise to take the BCCI to court after the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab challenging the board’s order of termination late last year.last_img read more

first_imgCome London 2012 all eyes would be on the Indian hockey team as Bharat Chettri and his men would try sealing their passage to London in style with their victory at the Delhi qualifiers recently.While coach Michael Nobbs and his men have erased the shame of Beijing 2008, when India even failed to qualify for it, their quest to end the three-decade wait for a hockey Olympic medal would be tough and difficult.”We now have to work hard. We are now playing the top teams in the world. They are significantly better than us at this stage. We will improve. We will play against the teams which have been preparing for last six years and we have been into this for last six months,” warned a cautious Nobbs.However, team’s crucial player Sardar Singh was delighted at the achievement in the last few months and was hopeful of doing well in the games.”We are delighted at reaching the Olympics. We have performed better and are peaking at the right time,’ he said.Elated and ecstatic after erasing the shame of Beijing 2008, India’s hockey heroes have been celebrating their return to the game’s ultimate stage. Turning in a series of resounding performances, Chettri and his men stormed their way back to the Olympics with a triumphant show at the Delhi qualifiers. However, the team has been aware that its biggest challenge lies ahead.”It is going to be tough from here. We have to improve our game,” player Sandeep Singh admitted recently.advertisementPitted against the best in the business, Indian players would truly be tested in their quest for glory at London 2012. Having failed to make it to the top four since the 1984 Games, the Indians clearly have their task cut out. And it would take some doing for them to even improve from their eighth place finishes at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004.But with the countdown to the Olympics entering its final 100-day stretch, the coach and his wards have set their goals at hitting top gear.”We will be here till we move to England which will be a pre-Olympic test. We will move on the 26th (of July). We will also travel to Australia and Germany,” Nobbs said in Pune.For a nation that has sealed Olympic glory a record eight times, London 2012 presents an opportunity for resurrection and redemption. And a billion would be going all out to cheer their favourite heroes to make it count at the game’s biggest stage.- With inputs from Pankaj Khelkar in Punelast_img read more

first_imgBeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Rickie Fowler birdies last 3 holes to take Phoenix Open lead PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid “This is a big win for us because this will give a very big boost in our confidence, I just hope that we won’t relax after this,” said FEU head coach Rey Diaz in Filipino.“I hope the players won’t be contented with this one win, because if you won’t excel if you’re already satisfied with this one.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingJohn Paul Bugaoan led the Tamaraws with 13 points while Jude Garcia and Richard Solis had 11 and 10 points, respectively.Reigning four-time MVP Marck Espejo had 12 points for Ateneo.center_img ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims MOST READ Far Eastern University stunned a seemingly invincible Ateneo side with a commanding three-set sweep, 25-18, 25-19, 25-22, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.The Tamaraws dealt the Blue Eagles’ their first loss in the UAAP since falling to Adamson in a five-setter in the first round of Season 78.ADVERTISEMENT In the first game, University of the Philippines whipped University of the East, 25-22, 25-15, 25-13, to start its campaign.Jerry San Pedro had 12 points to lead the Fighting Maroons while Wendel Miguel and John Millette put up 11 points apiece.Geric Ortega and Noel Alba led the Red Warriors with seven points apiece.ADVERTISEMENT Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more