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Updated: 15 min 28 sec ago

McKayla Maroney says sexual abuse by team doctor started when she was 13

1 hour 19 sec ago

Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney said on Wednesday that she was sexually abused by her USA Gymnastics doctor from the age of 13 until her retirement from the sport last year.

Maroney, now 21, detailed years of abuse by longtime team doctor Lawrence G Nassar, who is already facing criminal charges for molesting other gymnasts. She wrote a lengthy post on Twitter inspired by the #MeToo movement, the hashtag campaign that’s encouraged victims of sexual harassment or assault to step forward with their stories.

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Johanna Konta ends 10-month association with coach Wim Fissette

1 hour 40 min ago
• Britain’s No1 tennis player will not compete again this season
• Konta says split with coach was an amicable one

Johanna Konta has split from her coach, Wim Fissette, after less than a year together.

The British No1 linked up with the Belgian Fissette, who had previously worked with Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka, before the 2017 season.

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The Fiver | Having to put up with Riyad Mahrez functioning in hologram mode

2 hours 47 sec ago

In today’s Fiver: FA apologies, Leicester, LinkedIn, the Pard and fan-player chat

The FA is currently getting torched by evidence heard at the DCMS select committee into its Mark Sampson investigations. At the time of writing:

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Mourinho discusses reports regarding his Manchester United future – video

3 hours 2 min ago

Speaking before his Manchester United side's Champions League match against Benfica, José Mourinho posited that the British media had taken comments he made about his future out of context. Mourinho claimed that Arsène Wenger is the last manager who'll last at a club at the top level for a long period of time, blaming the outside pressures of the job

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FA apologises to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence over Mark Sampson’s racial remarks

3 hours 26 min ago

• New report by barrister finds Sampson made ill-judged attempts at humour
• FA chief executive Martin Glenn says sorry to England’s Aluko and Spence
• Katherine Newton concludes that Sampson is not a racist

The Football Association’s chief executive, Martin Glenn, has issued a full apology to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence after the reopened investigation into the Mark Sampson affair concluded that the now-deposed England Women’s manager did make discriminatory remarks to two of his players.

The third inquiry, conducted by the barrister Katharine Newton, has found that Sampson did tell Aluko to be careful her Nigerian relatives did not bring the Ebola virus to Wembley and also upset Spence, a mixed-raced player, by asking her how many times she had been arrested.

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Denmark Women’s World Cup qualifier in Sweden called off in pay dispute

3 hours 55 min ago
• Last month’s friendly with Holland fell victim to players’ protest
• Danish FA and players’ association have been negotiating since last November

Denmark Women’s World Cup qualifier against Sweden has been cancelled because of a pay dispute.

The Danish team refused to play a friendly against Holland last month in protest over pay and conditions and the Danish Football Association (DBU) announced on its website on Wednesday that it had informed its Swedish counterpart that Friday’s match, scheduled to take place in Gothenburg, was off.

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FA chiefs face parliamentary inquiry over Mark Sampson investigations – live!

3 hours 56 min ago

11.59am BST

So here we are, in front of the digital, culture, media and sport select committee, waiting to find out more about the Mark Sampson affair and the Football Association’s handling of a case that has cast a shadow over the women’s game in England. It has been almost a month since Sampson lost his job as the manager of the England women’s team amid reports that the FA was guilty of a cover-up over racism allegations made by players in his squad. Top FA executives are set to be grilled about the apparent failure to deal satisfactorily with the seriousness of the issues relating to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence. Aluko has been invited to speak, along with Lianne Sanderson, another player involved in the story.

The players will be going first.This is a story that snowballed after Aluko, who holds 102 England caps, gave an interview on 21 August to the Guardian in which she alleged that Sampson had told her not to let her Nigerian relatives to bring the ebola virus to a game at Wembley. Much has happened since then, but to fast-forward to the latest developments, this week the Guardian exclusively reported that Greg Clarke, the FA chairman, responded with a 14-word email - “I’ve no idea why you’re sending me this. Perhaps you could enlighten me?” - after a six-page letter from the Professional Footballers’ Association detailing complaints against Sampson and another member of staff. As Daniel Taylor, our chief football writer, says, Clarke is likely to face some difficult questions this afternoon:

Clarke was one of four FA executives to be sent a letter from the PFA alleging that the governing body’s technical director, Dan Ashworth, and the director of human resources, Rachel Brace, had overseen a ‘sham’ internal review that was ‘not a genuine search for the truth’ and ‘designed to close down the complaint and absolve Mark Sampson’

Big fixture for DCMS committee, kick off 2.30. https://t.co/mWhjcQ1r2M

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Oxlade-Chamberlain: ‘I must be patient for first team chances at Liverpool’

4 hours 59 min ago
• Player scored his first goal on Tuesday since his move from Arsenal
• England international has made only one start under Jürgen Klopp

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has said he must be patient for first-team opportunities at Liverpool as he is still developing and adapting to Jürgen Klopp’s methods.

The England international scored his first goal for Liverpool since a £40m deadline day move from Arsenal in Tuesday’s 7-0 Champions League rout of Maribor. The strike, which Klopp claimed would lift the midfielder’s confidence and “open his chest”, followed an impressive substitute’s display against Manchester United on Saturday.

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Manchester City: Guardiola on 'incredible performance' to beat Napoli – video

5 hours 32 min ago

Speaking after watching his Manchester City side beat Serie A leaders Napoli, Pep Guardiola spoke of his pride at his players beat 'one of the best teams in Europe'. City won 2-1 thanks to early goals from Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus, before Amadou Diawara pulled one back from the penalty spot in the second half. Napoli's top scorer this season, Dries Mertens, missed a penalty in the first half

Manchester City rely on early goals to overcome Napoli in Champions League

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Kevin De Bruyne is in no rush to sign a new contract with Manchester City

5 hours 38 min ago
• Agent will begin discussions with City over improved terms in coming months
• Belgian midfielder been in brilliant form in the opening period of the season

Kevin De Bruyne insists there is no rush to sign a new contract with Manchester City. The Belgian midfielder has been in brilliant form in the first two months of the season and delivered another masterful performance as City beat Napoli 2-1 in the Champions League on Tuesday.

De Bruyne’s agent Patrick De Koster has said he intends to begin discussions with City over improved terms in the coming months. The outcome for De Bruyne, who is currently paid a reported £115,000 per week on a contract that runs until 2021, could be a huge increase in wages. De Koster referenced Paris St Germain’s latest big-money signings when he discussed the potential deal that he could seek.

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ESPN kneels before advertisers by silencing Jemele Hill for doing her job | Marina Hyde

6 hours 5 min ago
ESPN asked Jemele Hill to ‘discuss sports topics, news, culture, and social issues’ and to tweet on ‘a current issue impacting sports’ – then suspended her for doing exactly that

More than a week into her suspension for some highly anodyne tweets related to the Take the Knee protest, it feels long overdue to devote space to the ESPN anchor Jemele Hill. Still, I vaguely heard we were listening to women for a minute, and wondered if a black woman could catch a little of that entitlement to be heard. The traditional answer to that has been “No, I’m afraid she can’t” – which accounts for the nagging sense among many women of colour that sisterliness only stretches so far. Its borders are currently feared to mirror precisely those of Hollywood, California.

Even so, let us journey into the great wilderness beyond. Let us go where the vice-president of the United States can spend up to $250,000 of taxpayer money attending a game just so he could walk out of it when players knelt; where two owners in an 80% or so black NFL can decree that any athlete who silently kneels during the national anthem will be benched; but where a woman whose job is in part to talk about sports and social issues is suspended for doing that.

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Talking Horses: why a jockey's words can't always be taken at face value

6 hours 5 min ago

If a jockey knows he’ll have to compete for the best strip of ground, it’s not in his interests to point out where it is

One of the tricky things about betting on horse racing is that we constantly need information but can’t put blind faith in those who offer it. This thought occurred to me at Newmarket on Saturday, when events on the track (taken together with recent racedays there) suggested there was a faster strip of ground up the stands’ rail.

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It’s tough on Rhys Webb but strict rules are needed to save future of Test rugby | Paul Rees

6 hours 39 min ago
Wales have to keep making a stand in an attempt to galvanise the regional game which, the Scarlets aside, remains in a depressed state

Rhys Webb wants to have his Welsh cake and eat it. The Ospreys and Lions scrum-half signed for Toulon earlier this month, days before the Welsh Rugby Union announced a change to its policy governing players outside the country, entrapping the 28-year-old.

The new rules outline that players moving to England or France from next season would only be considered by the Wales head coach if they had reached the 60-cap threshold. As Webb is on 28, he has no chance of reaching that by next September, even with all the extra internationals Wales are fond of arranging.

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Pochettino 'so proud' after Tottenham draw with Real Madrid – video

7 hours 19 sec ago

Following his Tottenham side's 1-1 draw away at champions Real Madrid, manager Mauricio Pochettino congratulated his team on the result, saying: 'I'm so proud of the effort.' Harry Kane, whose deflected effort provided the first goal, said that he thought the draw represented a good result for Spurs, while Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos assessed that a draw was probably a fair result

Pochettino full of praise after Lloris saves Spurs at Real

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Tory MP missing universal credit debate for Barcelona game is ‘doing good job’

7 hours 2 min ago
• Douglas Ross misses Commons vote to officiate at Champions League game
• Previously criticised as MSP for missing meeting for Real Madrid match

A Conservative who will miss a Commons vote on welfare policy on Wednesday night to officiate at a Champions League match is “doing a good job” in his role as both an MP and a referee, one of his colleagues has insisted.

Tory MP Douglas Ross will not take part in a debate and vote on universal credit because he will be running the line at the Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona as the home side take on the Greek team Olympiacos.

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Edin Dzeko: ‘I don’t run? I don’t give my best? Come on! That is a joke’

7 hours 56 min ago
In an exclusive interview, the Roma striker discusses the criticism he has endured throughout his career, growing up in Bosnia during the war and facing Chelsea in the Champions League

Edin Dzeko looks as if he wants to jump up from the chair. He is animated. His cheeks are red and he gesticulates wildly. “I don’t run? I don’t give my best? Come on! That is a joke,” he says. “I can guarantee that no one in the stands or in front of the TV wants us to win games more than I do! Any match, I don’t care who we play against or what we play for, I just want to score a goal or my team to score a goal so that we win the match. Every match I give my very best. Every single match.”

It is a moment that encapsulates what the Bosnia-Herzegovina striker is all about. He has been described as being indifferent and cold but when we meet in an empty hotel restaurant on the outskirts of Sarajevo he is neither. Instead he is extremely passionate about the game, more perhaps than any other player I have interviewed, and a man who realises how lucky he is to play football for a living.

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Football teams fielding three or more players with the same first name | The Knowledge

7 hours 56 min ago

Plus: players who have mysteriously disappeared, European Copa Libertadores winners and brothers sent off for the same club, in the same season in the same position. Send your questions and answers to knowledge@theguardian.com or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“Sitting down to watch Lithuania v England (with little else to do) I noticed that Gareth Southgate has handed starts to three Harrys – Winks, Maguire and Kane,” wrote Alex Chance. “When was the last time three players with the same forename lined up for England?”

It turns out this isn’t as rare as you might think. “Daniels Rose, Drinkwater and Sturridge all started against Holland in a friendly on 29 March 2016,” writes Steven Hyde. “There would probably have been a more recent example if more than one of Rose, Welbeck and Sturridge could stay fit for more than a couple of months at a time. And if you’re looking for competitive fixtures, you have to go all the way back to the last century – Davids Seaman, Batty and Beckham played alongside each other on a number of occasions, most recently in 1999 under Kevin Keegan. Also worth noting is the first match of Terry Venables’ reign, against Denmark in 1994. England played the first 67 minutes with three Pauls on the pitch (Parker, Ince and Gascoigne), and the remainder with three Davids, as Batty replaced Gazza from the substitutes bench to join Platt and Seaman.”

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Unfriendly confines: the unsung history of America's low-key hooliganism

8 hours 26 min ago

Don’t let all of the mascots, cheerleaders, Kiss Cams and marriage proposals give you the wrong idea: US sports stadiums are often as dangerous as European ones

Loud, violent, armed. If you polled the world on what Americans are like, all three of those descriptors would surely merit frequent mentions. But when it comes to rabid support of sports teams, it’s Europeans who have long had the reputation for mayhem and violence.

Football hooliganism dates back all the way to the Middle Ages in England, when King Edward III banned football in 1349 because he felt the disorder and violence that accompanied matches led to social unrest and distracted his subjects from practicing archery. Another decree 14 years later doubled down on football as undesirable: “We ordain that you prohibit under penalty of imprisonment all and sundry from such stone, wood and iron throwing; handball, football, or hockey; coursing and cockfighting, or other such idle games.”

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Football transfer rumours: Barcelona's Paco Alcácer to Southampton?

8 hours 35 min ago

After all last night’s Champions League action, today’s tell-all is thin, thin gruel

Despite sacking Craig Shakespeare, speculation abounds that Leicester City do not have anyone in particular lined up to replace him. In the wake of a parting that is understood to have caused Leicester’s players much sweet sorrow and launched no end of other dreadful bard-related puns, anyone who’s anyone is currently touted as a possible replacement for the man they call “Shakey”. The club hierarchy have put Michael Appleton in charge as caretaker while they “begin the process of identifying and appointing its next first team manager” and local paper the Mercury have identified Sam Allardyce, Chris Coleman, Carlo Ancelotti, Alan Pardew, Sean Dyche and Roberto Mancini as potential candidates on a shortlist that seems to have been drawn up from the list of bookies’ favourites.

Related: Leicester opt to twist rather than stick for a second time in eight months | Stuart James

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NYC FC's Jack Harrison making mark from St George’s Park to the Bronx

8 hours 56 min ago

The New York City FC winger is making headlines on both sides of the pond after debuting for England’s Under-21s amid his club’s play-off push

The moment Jack Harrison realized that he had finally made it in his home country was not when he stepped onto the Riverside pitch for his England Under-21 debut, but when he walked past a TV screen.

“Growing up in England I watched Sky Sports all the time and one afternoon at St George’s Park I walked past a TV and saw myself on it and I thought, ‘That’s so weird’,” Harrison laughs.

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