“In order to demonstrate that I am willing to have all allegations of unethical behaviour on my part in 2013 properly and fairly investigated, I have referred my emails to Papa Massata Diack in 2013, my statements and the circumstances of the emails to the IAAF ethics board,” Davies said in yesterday’s statement. Davies has suggested that emails reflected his job “to manage and promote the reputation of the IAAF”. Russia’s athletics federation was suspended by the IAAF after a World Anti-Doping Agency independent commission found evidence of systemic doping and cover-ups. Lamine Diack is now accused of “active corruption”, which generally involves offering money or other promises in exchange for violating a rule, an official with the Paris financial prosecutor’s office said yesterday. Diack was previously accused of “passive corruption”, on suspicion he took around €1 million (US$1.1 million) to cover up positive drug tests by Russian athletes. The official told the Associated Press the new preliminary charges center on suspicions that Diack bribed Gabriel Dolle, the former IAAF anti-doping chief who was also under investigation, to delay reporting of violations by Russian athletes. The preliminary charges allow magistrates more time to investigate before deciding whether to file formal charges and whether to send a case to trial. Diack, an 82-year-old former long jumper, is free on bail pending further investigation, but barred from leaving France. EMAILS REFERRED TO BOARD LONDON (AP): The director of IAAF President Sebastian Coe’s office temporarily stepped down yesterday pending an ethics investigation into emails linked to Russian doping cases. Emails sent by Nick Davies, leaked to a French newspaper and published this week, indicated that he tried to delay public identification of alleged Russian drug cheats before the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. “I have decided to step aside from my role with the IAAF until such time as the ethics board is able to review the matter properly and decide if I am responsible for any breach of the IAAF code of ethics,” Davies said in a statement. Davies was IAAF communications director at the time under Lamine Diack, who was succeeded by Coe as president in August. The French criminal case against Diack deepened this week, with magistrates filing new, tougher corruption charges against him in connection with cover-ups of Russian doping. French prosecutors also suspect Diack’s son, Papa Massata Diack, a former IAAF marketing consultant, played an active role in an alleged “system of corruption” that sought to blackmail athletes, with demands of money to hush-up suspected doping. Davies is reported to have sent an email to Papa Massata Diack in 2013 asking what “Russian ‘skeleton’ we have still in the cupboard regarding doping” and suggesting using the marketing company chaired by Coe – then IAAF vice-president – to lead an “unofficial PR campaign” to “avoid international media scandals” related to the Moscow championships. If Russian athletes guilty of doping were not competing in Moscow, “then we might as well wait until the event is over to announce them”, Davies wrote in the email, which was published on Monday by Le Monde. After promoting Davies to run his office at the IAAF in September, Coe is now losing one of his closest aides just as he tries to clean up the scandal-tainted governing body.
VILLA (4-1-4-1)GUZAN, HUTTON, OKORE, LESCOTT, BACUNA, SANCHEZ,WESTWOOD, VERETOUT, GANA, SINCLAIR, AYEWLEICESTER (4-4-2)VARDY, OKAZAKI,MAHREZ, KING, KANTE, ALBRIGHTON,DE LAET, FUCHS, MORGAN, SIMPSON,SCHMEICHELLeicester City are now level at the top of the Barclays Premier League with Arsenal after beating Spurs 1-0 at White Hart Lane on Wednesday thanks to Robert Huth’s late winner at White Hart Lane.It ended their run of three games without a league win, while Huth’s goal was Leicester’s first in 374 minutes.On Tuesday, Aston Villa claimed their first win in the Barclays Premier League in 157 days when they beat Crystal Palace 1-0 thanks to a goal from central defender Joleon Lescott.It was also Villa’s first Premier League win in 20 attempts, having lost 14 of the previous 19.They remain at the foot of the table and face high-riding Leicester City next.The most common Premier League result between these teams at Villa Park is a draw. In nine clashes, four have been drawn while Villa have won three and Leicester two.When they met at the King Power Stadium in September it was a remarkable game. Villa led 2-0 but Leicester struck three times in the final 18 minutes, with Nathan Dyer stealing an 89th-minute winner.
“When you hear on the Wednesday morning that you’re arriving at the weekend with a penalty already, of course, that changes the approach to the weekend and it changes the mindset a little bit,” he said at the track yesterday. “But for me, a challenge is an opportunity to rise.” Rosberg is confident after sweeping the races in Australia and Bahrain to start the season – and capturing five straight races going back to last season – but he knows he can’t count Hamilton out, particularly on a track where the British driver has prevailed four times before. “A Hamilton that starts sixth is still going to challenge for the win and we know that,” Rosberg said. “I’m not taking anything for granted at all.” Hamilton noted that his teammate will most likely have an “easier weekend” with his penalty, but added: “I’m going to be pushing as hard as I can. It doesn’t mean I can’t win the race.” SHANGHAI (AP): Reigning Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton will have to make up considerable ground in the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday if he’s going to capture his first race of the season, and close the gap with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in the drivers’ standings. Hamilton received a five-place grid penalty in Shanghai for making an early switch of his gearbox after it was damaged in a collision at the Bahrain Grand Prix two weeks ago. Hamilton, though, seemed unfazed by the fact he can only start as high as sixth in Sunday’s race, even though he’s already 17 points behind Rosberg in the standings following a disappointing start to the season. RISE TO THE CHALLENGE TECHNICAL ISSUES Ferrari will also be looking to challenge the Mercedes cars after a series of technical issues slowed the team’s start to the year. Sebastian Vettel was forced out of the race in Bahrain with engine failure on the warm-up lap, and Kimi Raikkonen failed to finish in Australia due to a problem with the turbo charger. “We didn’t have the start that we wanted, which is not a big secret,” Vettel said. “The performance is not yet where we want to be. But there’s nothing that shakes me or makes me nervous for this season or the next couple races because I know that this team is very strong.” McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, is looking forward to just getting behind the wheel again following a frightening crash at the season-opening race in Melbourne that left his car in a mangled heap on the track and him with a fractured rib.
perennial bridesmaids Buoyed by the confidence of fielding four persons in the 400 metres final a few days earlier and simply tired of losing to the Americans, Jamaica’s women’s 4x400m relay team stepped on to the Bird’s Nest’s mondo track knowing that something had to give. It had been 14 years since the quartet of Sandie Richards, Catherine Scott, Debbie-Ann Parris, and Lorraine Fenton won the 4x400m at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton, Canada. Back then, the Jamaicans beat Germany and Russia into second and third, respectively, with Fenton, World and Olympic silver medallist, making the most of a mistake from the US anchor leg runner, Suziann Reid, who had dropped the baton after receiving it with a 10-metre lead. The United States has since won the event at four of the next six World Championships that followed. This time, however, the Jamaicans, who are perennial bridesmaids, having won four silver and two bronze medals, were more confident than ever after their four athletes – Christine Day, Shericka Jackson, Stephenie-Ann McPherson, and Novlene Williams-Mills – had earlier created history by becoming the first quartet from the same country to compete in a World Championships 400m final. Cancer survivor Williams-Mills showed that she is just as determined on the track, as she tracked American Francena McCorory like a predator stalking its prey, striking at the top of the 100m straight and pulling away to lead the Jamaicans home in a world-leading 3:19.13, with the Americans finishing second in 3:19.44 and
Better in past days The marauding dominance of the West Indies team in those glory days was hardly due to any stroke of genius or brilliant structures and systems implemented by the board then, compared to what is happening now. In fact, I would venture to say that things are better today for the average regional cricketer than they were back in those glory days. Other social, cultural and cricket dynamics have significantly shifted over the past two decades and have effectively forced West Indies cricket into relative obscurity. Those are not restricted to the ineptitude of successive boards and administrators. I have long argued that the problems of West Indies cricket are complex and multifaceted and at this point I would like to add unsolvable. West Indies cricket will never return to what it used to be. The game of cricket has evolved globally, but it has done so at an even faster rate in the West Indies. The fundamental factor driving the current reality is the shift in the mindset and focus of the young and emerging players in the region. The advent of the fast, frantic and cash-rich T20 version of the game has rendered the longer versions of the game irrelevant and unattractive to the average young cricketer across the region. This is quite understandable, since the players stand to make ton loads more money and become bigger and more celebrated stars if they become swashbuckling T20 experts such as Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell, instead of seeking to represent a struggling mockery of a Test team that is merely clinging to the remnants of a triumphant past. The future of West Indies cricket lies in the T20 format and nowhere else. The West Indies are just as pathetic and shameless in 50-over cricket as they are in Test cricket. The natural athleticism, speed, strength, agility plus typically short attention span makes the Caribbean cricketer the perfect fit for T20. Only the blind optimists will remain defiant and continue to clutch at the rhetoric-laced emotional straws being offered as a chance of a full West Indies revival. The hard, cold fact of the matter is that West Indies cricket remains in a serious coma gasping for its last breath, with the life support machine being fuelled by the much-maligned Twenty20 cricket. ONE of my colleagues said in a commentary last week that the West Indies Cricket Board is sleeping. Upon hearing that pronouncement, I contacted him immediately, telling him it was worse. It is not just that the board is sleeping; West Indies cricket itself is in a coma. This conversation took place even before the regional team bowed and slumped to another predictable and pathetic innings defeat in the first Test match on the current tour of Sri Lanka. Blaming a sleeping WICB for the continuous deterioration of our cricket is an easy way out, within which lies a covert denial of the actual gravity of the situation. Many Caribbean fans continue to profess unconditional support for the West Indies team. Again, an attitude buried in a deep-seated denial of the rapid whittling away of the West Indies team and the very institution of West Indies cricket as we once knew it. The many clichÈd rants about returning to the glory days and turning the corner are basically ‘pie in the sky’ dreams based on emotionalism, blind loyalty, and patriotism without any semblance of appreciation for the reality. While the administrators of the regional board provide an easy punching bag for the state of our cricket, my retort to that is that the competence of our administrators is in no way significantly worse today than it was in the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
P W D L GF GA GD Pts1. Man City 9 7 0 2 24 8 16 212. Arsenal 9 6 1 2 16 7 9 193. Man United 9 6 1 2 15 8 7 194. West Ham 9 5 2 2 20 12 8 175. Leicester City 9 4 4 1 19 17 2 166. Crystal Palace 9 5 0 4 12 10 2 157. Tottenham 9 3 5 1 11 7 4 148. Southampton 9 3 4 2 15 12 3 139. Everton 9 3 4 2 12 11 1 1310. Liverpool 9 3 4 2 8 10 -2 1311. Stoke City 9 3 3 3 9 10 -1 1212. Chelsea 9 3 2 4 14 17 -3 1113. West Brom 9 3 2 4 7 11 -4 1114. Swansea City 9 2 4 3 10 11 -1 1015. Watford 9 2 4 3 6 10 -4 1016. Norwich City 9 2 3 4 14 20 -6 917. Bournemouth 9 2 2 5 11 17 -6 818. Newcastle 9 1 3 5 12 19 -7 619. Aston Villa 9 1 1 7 8 15 -7 420. Sunderland 9 0 3 6 8 19 -11 3
Champions Naggo Head Primary will launch the defence of their Institute of Sports (INSPORTS) National Primary Schools Athletics Championships crown at the National Stadium today, beginning at 8 a.m. The national sports agency, in keeping with its objective of unearthing and nurturing talent, is contributing a total of $5 million in sporting equipment, to be utilised among outstanding athletes who participate in this year’s staging of the meet, which continues everyday through to what is expected to be an exciting climax on Saturday. This contribution towards primary-school athletes who display exceptional talent is in keeping with the agency’s strategic direction, which includes nurturing the talents through extensive coaching programmes. This is in addition to the $500,000 worth of spikes that INSPORTS will be donating to the winning school. Also, one of the pivotal terms to access the contribution is for the athlete to continue being active in the athletics sporting discipline throughout his/her five-year tenure in high school. “The sporting equipment utilised among these athletes will be very instrumental in encouraging the development of the techniques associated with the sporting discipline, said Ian Andrews, administrative director, INSPORTS. POTENTIAL CHAMPIONS “Additionally, it will encourage these potential champions to participate in more training seminars, which will maximise their potential and contribute to the development of a nation through sports,” added Andrews. Over the years, the championships has served to unearth some of the nation’s top talent and some of the current high school stars, namely Jhevaughn Matherson and Christopher Taylor, the World Youth 400 metres record holder. This year; Naggo Head expects to win again, but the seven-time winners expect a tougher challenge to retain the four day championship which ends Saturday, and assistant coach, Oral Whilby, believes they have enough to finish atop the podium again. “We have some very competent schools rising like Rousseau, St Richards and the main culprits in Greater Portmore and Southborough. I expect them to give a good account of themselves and take critical points,” said Oral Whilby, Naggo Head Primary’s assistant coach. He added: “We are weak in Class One, but we are very good in the other classes, in the field and middle-distance areas. We should have enough to take us across the line.” Greater Portmore finished third in 2014 and second in 2015 and coach Krisneve Palmer is convinced that they have what it takes to topple the champions. “Our chances are great again, just like last year. We have worked on our weak areas and make our strong points even stronger. We are right where we want to be, so we are coming strong,” he said. Southborough, which placed third last year, along with fourth place Black River and New Providence, are expected to challenge strongly in the 92-team meet.
MIAMI, United States (CMC): Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz are set to leave Miami today for Chicago to begin what is expected to be a difficult campaign in Group C of the historic Copa Centenario on Sunday. All but two members of the squad assembled in Florida for a short camp, following their 2-1 victory over Chile last Friday in Vina del Mar, and have been undergoing final preparation for the June 3-26 showpiece in the United States. Captain Rodolph Austin, who plays his football in Denmark, joined the squad on Monday, while defender Wes Morgan is set to link up with the contingent in Chicago today. Morgan recently captained Leicester City to their historic capture of the English Premiership title. On Monday, Jamaica further enhanced their match preparation with a 2-0 victory over American Premier Soccer League side, Boca Raton FC, at the Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. England-based Joel (Jobi) McAnuff and Dever Orgill, who plays in Finland, both scored in the game where most of the squad got time on the pitch. Since then, the squad members have gone through their medicals and light pool sessions. Jamaica, who qualified for the Copa Centenario by virtue of being the reigning Caribbean Cup champions, will be hoping to build on their performance in last year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup when they reached the final of that tournament. They played unbeaten in the preliminaries before edging Haiti in the quarter-finals, shocking the United States in the semi-finals and clinching a spot in the final against Mexico, where they eventually lost. Jamaica open their Copa campaign against Venezuela at Soldier Field on Sunday, then follow up against Mexico on June 9 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, before closing out against Uruguay at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The Reggae Boyz contested last year’s Copa in Chile, losing all three of their preliminary games 1-0 against Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (CMC):Bowling coach Roddy Estwick expects a positive approach to pay dividends for West Indies, as they enter today’s final day of the second Test chasing a world record 456 to level the three-Test series.West Indies finished the penultimate day at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on 171 for four, still requiring a further 285 runs to overhaul their massive target and grab their first win of what has been a tough tour.”A lot will depend on the first hour or the first session and how Roston Chase and (Jermaine) Blackwood approach it,” Estwick said following the day’s play.”I thought today (yesterday) we played reasonably well. We probably lost two wickets too many, but at least I like how we were positive. I found in the first innings, we got stuck and we were unable to rotate the strike, and we weren’t able to turn it over.”Today, we looked a lot better. Kraigg played wonderfully well. I thought he was a bit unlucky with his decision, but I thought they came out and showed positive intent and that kind of spread through the team.”Resuming yesterday on 114 for one, Pakistan declared their second innings on 227 for two at lunch, to put themselves in pole position to take victory.TOP SCOREOpener Leon Johnson then fell cheaply for nine and Darren Bravo for 13 as West Indies slipped to 60 for two, before Brathwaite stroked a top score of 67 and Blackwood, an unbeaten 41, to keep their side alive.Estwick said the final day would be a challenging one and it was important that West Indies remained focussed throughout and not let their guard down.”(They have to) keep playing the same way, keep being positive. If you’re positive, you get those close fielders from around the bat and then you have a better chance of survival so I would say keep playing the same way, assess the situation, make sure you don’t relax too much because this is Test cricket,” the former Barbados seamer stressed.”You’ve got to be patient. This is Test cricket. It is very, very hard and you can see that the conditions here are very, very tough. They’re unforgiving, and you’ve got to keep working. You can’t afford to relax.”Estwick said one of the big lessons West Indies would take away from the ongoing tour was the value of discipline and focus.”When you’re bowling you’ve got to be patient. You have to learn to bowl one side of the wicket,” he pointed out.”One of the differences between the two teams is when their batters got in, they got big hundreds and I hope that our players would learn from that and move their averages from the mid-30s to the 40s and 45 and the only way you can do that is by churning out big scores.”SCOREBOARDPAKISTAN 1st innings 452WEST INDIES 1st innings 224PAKISTAN 2nd innings(overnight 114 for one)Sami Aslam c wkp Hope b Gabriel 50Azhar Ali c Holder b Cummins 79Asad Shafiq not out 58Younis Khan not out 29Extras (b4, lb3, w1, nb3) 11TOTAL (2 wkts decl., 67 overs) 227Fall of wicket: 1-93, 2-164.Bowling: Gabriel 12-2-36-1 (nb2), Cummins 7-0-26-1 (w1, nb1), Brathwaite 15-2-33-0, Bishoo 20-0-77-0, Holder 7-0-22-0, Chase 6-0-26-0.WEST INDIES 2nd innings (target: 456 runs)K Brathwaite lbw b Mohammad Nawaz 67L Johnson b Yasir Shah 9D Bravo c Mohammad Nawaz b Rahat Ali 13M Samuels c & b Yasir Shah 23J Blackwood not out 41R Chase not out 17Extras (lb1) 1TOTAL (4 wkts, 62 overs) 171Fall of wickets: 1-28, 2-63, 3-112, 4-124.Bowling: Sohail Khan 10-2-24-0, Rahat Ali 14-1-40-1, Yasir Shah 18-2-60-2, Zulfiqar Babar 15-5-32-0, Mohammad Nawaz 5-0-14-1.Position: West Indies require a further 285 runs for victory with six wickets standing.Toss: Pakistan.Umpires: M Gough, R Illingworth; TV – P Reiffel.
SYDNEY, Australia (CMC):A tidy all-round performance from Hayley Matthews failed to spark Hobart Hurricanes and the Sydney Sixers grabbed a seven-wicket victory over them in the Women’s Big Bash League yesterday.The West Indies Women’s opener hit the top score of 27, as the Hurricanes, choosing to bat, failed to ease worries about their batting and were restricted to a modest 106 for eight from their allocation of 20 overs in the 25th match of the League at Huntsville Oval.Matthews, a part-time off-spinner, returned to grab two wickets for 20 runs from 3.2 overs, but Australia international Elyse Perry made 44 not out to lead the successful chase for the Sixers.The result meant that the Hurricanes remained in fourth place on the eight-team table with seven points, but the Sixers improved to fifth with six points.Matthews and the Hurricanes now take a one-week break before returning to face Sydney Thunder, whose line-up includes West Indies Women’s captain Stafanie Taylor, on January 5 at Launceston.