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No one, it seems, will hold British Horseracing Authority to account

Guardian Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 16:09
Horse racing’s regulator has strayed too far off course in shambles over perceived bias in disciplinary cases and in the debacle over Jim Best

It would have been hard to believe three months ago but the British Horseracing Authority itself now appears to be a problem for the sport of horse racing. Early in the year it seemed to be a regulator of at least average competence, a bit dozy perhaps but showing signs of waking up under a dynamic chief executive who was not long in the door.

In light of the astonishing collapse of the Jim Best prosecution and associated revelations it is possible to draw a rather darker picture. The BHA begins to remind one of Skynet, the operating system from the Terminator movies that became self-aware and turned on its inventors, prioritising only its own survival.

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Celtic players 'relishing' Rodgers test

BBC Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 16:03
Goalkeeper Craig Gordon says Brendan Rodgers' appointment has created fresh enthusiasm among Celtic's players and staff.

Press association calls for full probe of grenade at KN

Stabroek - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 15:54
The Guyana Press Association (GPA)  today expressed solidarity with Kaieteur News over the finding of a grenade near its proprietor’s vehicle on Saturday and called for a full investigation of the...

View full article at stabroeknews.com

BHA’s Jamie Stier rejected jockeys’ association fear over alleged bias

Guardian Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 15:47

• Stier can be named as official at racing’s ruling body who dismissed concerns
• Guardian sees Stier’s letter to PJA over perceived bias in disciplinary process

Jamie Stier can be named as the official at racing’s ruling body who, more than a year ago, rejected concerns about perceptions of bias in the disciplinary panel which have recently caused such mortification to his employer. His decision to wave away objections made by the Professional Jockeys Association has resulted in the quashing of a recent verdict against the trainer Jim Best, several emergency measures aimed at shoring up confidence in the system and a cost to racing likely to run into six figures.

Related: No one, it seems, will hold British Horseracing Authority to account

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Brazil minister rejects Olympics worries

BBC - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 15:41
Brazil's new Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani says Rio is prepared for the Olympic Games and visitors do not have to worry about the Zika virus.

Martin O’Neill apologises for ‘inappropriate’ comment at Euro sendoff

Guardian Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 15:33
• Republic of Ireland manager’s attempt at humour backfires
• O’Neill also criticised in March for ‘ugly’ wives remark

Martin O’Neill has apologised for making an “inappropriate” comment as the Republic of Ireland squad were given a big Euro 2016 sendoff in Cork.

O’Neill, his staff and players attended an event at the city’s Opera House last Wednesday which was not open to the media, although excerpts were later broadcast by the organiser, Today FM.

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Nottingham Forest legend John Robertson to have hall of fame honour

Guardian Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 15:19
• National Football Museum pays tribute to double European Cup winner
• Brian Clough’s ‘Picasso of our game’ to be inducted in November ceremony

John Robertson, the double European Cup winner described by Brian Clough as “the Picasso of our game”, is to be honoured with a place in the hall of fame at the National Football Museum.

Related: Geoff Hurst’s England hat-trick shirt to fetch estimated £300,000 to £500,000

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The lost art of defending: how style has replaced solidity in England’s DNA | Amy Lawrence

Guardian Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 15:00
Roy Hodgson has selected only three centre-backs in his Euro 2016 squad and the shortage begins at youth level, where traditional defensive virtues are harder to come by than ever

On a brisk summer afternoon in Clissold Park in Hackney, east London, a group of boys aged seven and eight arrive for their first football trial. Although most of the parents try to underplay it all, with ready smiles and encouraging words come what may, it is a big moment for the boys. At stake is a place in the new intake for the academy at their grassroots club, London Soccer Stars.

There are 35 boys invited for trial. Most have been at the club since the age of three or four, when they started out playing imaginative pirate games or racing car drills to make early ball coordination skills fun. By now the coaches know the players and their capabilities and in trying to form a well-rounded squad they face the same niggle that crops up every year. Midfield players? No problem. Attackers? Fine. Defenders? Hmmm. Not so straightforward. AK Miah, the head of the academy, estimates that out of the 35 contenders there are only two players who show natural defensive qualities.

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NBA star Curry will not compete in Rio

BBC Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 14:56
Steph Curry - the NBA's most valuable player - says he will not compete for the USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Federer back in action after injury

BBC Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 14:51
Roger Federer says his back has improved as he returns to action in Stuttgart after his withdrawal from the French Open.

Stephen Curry withdraws from US Olympic basketball team citing injuries

Guardian Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 14:48
  • NBA MVP has been suffering from knee and ankle complaints
  • Curry currently playing in NBA finals for Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry has withdrawn from consideration from the Olympics, leaving the US basketball team without the NBA’s MVP.

Curry said on Monday in a statement that he has decided to pull out for “several factors — including recent ankle and knee injuries”.

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Zika cases at Olympics will be ‘close to zero’, says Brazil sports minister

Guardian Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 14:37
• Leonardo Picciani says cases of mosquito-borne viruses drop in August
• Minister plays down concerns over Olympic velodrome and metro link

Brazil’s new sports minister has predicted there will be “close to zero” cases of Zika recorded during the Olympic Games as he mounted a trenchant rearguard action over a host of issues clouding preparations for Rio.

Leonardo Picciani, who recently became the third person to fill the role since March, said he was convinced the Games, which start on 5 August, would be a success despite a backdrop of political and economic turmoil and a range of other concerns from unfinished transport links to doping controversies.

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Ticket delay after FA's postage error

BBC Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 14:36
About 500 tickets for Euro 2016 matches are not delivered to England fans after the FA fails to apply the right postage.

Brendon McCullum hits out at ICC over handling of match-fixing evidence

Guardian Sport - Mon, 06/06/2016 - 14:30
• ‘To report an approach, give evidence requires courage; players deserve better’
• ‘If players cooperate there must be something beyond giving maximum ban’

Brendon McCullum, the former New Zealand captain, has criticised the International Cricket Council for a lack of professionalism and confidentiality when handling his match-fixing evidence and warned players may be deterred from coming forward in future.

Related: County cricket talking points: Yorkshire catch Lancashire and Surrey struggle

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