Caster Semenya gets government backing in IAAF testosterone row

16-02-2019 • Minister calls proposed limits a ‘violation of human rights’• Double Olympic champion takes her fight to Cas on MondayThe South African government has thrown its weight behind Caster Semenya in her legal battle with world athletics’ governing body, the IAAF, declaring its proposed testosterone limit for women “a gross violation of human rights”.The double Olympic and three-times world 800m champion takes her fight against the IAAF to the court of arbitration for sport (Cas) in Lausanne on Monday. Continue reading...

Genesis Open: Justin Thomas and Adam Scott tied for lead at Genesis Open

16-02-2019 Justin Thomas and Adam Scott are tied for the lead on 10 under at the Genesis Open but both failed to complete their second rounds in California.

The best of Gordon Banks, Tony Romo's gold and Juve's Welshmen | Classic YouTube

16-02-2019 This week’s round-up also features a Nascar crash, the World Club Challenge and parkour1) Farewell, then, Gordon Banks. Where else to start than The Save? Or, A Version Of The Save. Here he is keeping Denis Law out at Wembley in 1967, beating the looping deflection in style. The Pathe news report on 1966 is always worth a look, not least for some jaffas of saves by our man. No patriotic conviviality a few years later when he saved a penalty from Geoff Hurst in a broiling League Cup semi-final between Stoke and West Ham. Enjoy a compilation of his top stops, soundtracked by some delicious 1960s lounge jazz. Certainly more appropriate than Sabrina Vaz (us neither) to go with this clip of the last game Banks played before the car crash that effectively ended his career as a top-class goalkeeper, although as you can see in this Channel 4 interview, he declared the loss of his right eye “not too bad.” Finally … go on then, here it is.2) It’s the rugby league World Club Challenge this weekend, as Wigan take on the Sydney Roosters. Here’s the first official edition of the game, when Widnes turned over Canberra in 1989. And regard the time Wigan won it for the third time, a belter against Brisbane in 1994, featuring the British national anthem as played on a toy Stratocaster. The 2010 edition was a bit weird: Melbourne Storm won the game, beating Leeds Rhinos 18-10 (first half, and second here), only for them to be stripped of the title due to financial irregularities, but rather than give the crown to Leeds it was just…left in the ether. Continue reading...

Colin Kaepernick: Former NFL quarterback settles 'collusion' case

16-02-2019 Colin Kaepernick and former team-mate Eric Reid reach settlements with the NFL over 'collusion' cases against team owners.

Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

16-02-2019 How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

16-02-2019 Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

'I'm always at risk' of being sacked by Chelsea, says Sarri after humiliation at Man City – video

16-02-2019 Maurizio Sarri feels he is 'always at risk' of being sacked by Chelsea after watching them succumb to their heaviest defeat in almost 28 years.The pressure intensified on the Italian after Sergio Agüero's 11th Premier League hat-trick, Raheem Sterling's double and Ilkay Gundogan's goal wrapped up an incredible 6-0 win for Manchester City. Sarri made an encouraging start to his tenure. Chelsea were unbeaten after their first 12 top-flight matches under him but the Blues have faded out of title contention and face a battle to finish in the top four. Agüero hits hat-trick in Chelsea’s humiliation by Manchester City Continue reading...

Matti Nykänen, the Flying Finn who fell so far, so fast | Andy Bull

16-02-2019 The ski-jumper, who won five Olympic medals, had an otherworldly talent but not the sense, or support, he needed to cope with the fame it won himMatti Nykänen used to fly so far, so fast that it felt as if he would never come down. When the Finn broke the world ski jump record for the fifth, and final, time at Planica in 1985 he was moving so quickly that the cameraman struggled to track him through the air.Watching the footage you wonder if he might disappear into the yonder off the far side of the screen. In those days, the mid-1980s, Nykänen was the best ski jumper in the world and almost unbeatable. The records were the least of it. He won five world titles, five Olympic medals, including three golds in one Games, and four World Cups. Continue reading...

Sebastian Vettel backs Ferrari’s ‘extreme’ design in bid for F1 title

16-02-2019 • Four-times F1 champion ‘really excited’ by Ferrari’s new car• Mattia Binotto says team ‘tried to be as extreme as we could’Sebastian Vettel is confident Ferrari have the car to mount a strong fight for the Formula One title . The team unveiled the SF90 at Marenello on Friday as they attempt to end more than a decade without winning F1, with the team principal, Mattia Binotto, describing the design as an “evolution” pushed to be “extreme”.The car is named to recognise the 90 years since Enzo Ferrari established the Scuderia at Modena in 1929. Since then they have competed in every F1 championship and are the most successful team in the sport. However they have not won the drivers’ championship since Kimi Raikkonen’s victory in 2007 and the constructors’ since 2008. Last season their challenge fell away as Vettel made mistakes and the team failed to match the development of Mercedes. Continue reading...

In defence of Ashley Cole

16-02-2019 Ashley Cole has won more FA Cups than any player in history. Isn’t it time we appreciated his achievements?By Sean Cole for WSC, of the Guardian Sport NetworkAshley Cole played for Derby County in the Championship last weekend, his first appearance in English football for almost five years. The 38-year-old, who has felt curiously rootless and unloved throughout his career, says this will be his final stop before retirement. Of the much-vaunted, and subsequently derided, golden generation, Cole was arguably the only one to live up to his billing. For several years at Arsenal and Chelsea he made a compelling case for being the world’s best left-back. While Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney were all overhyped at times, Cole was under-appreciated.There are several reasons why this might be the case, but there are clear parallels between him and Raheem Sterling. Both are outstanding black footballers, raised in London, who were branded greedy and irresponsible from a young age. Neither would claim to be entirely blameless, but the negative attention they have received from sections of the press has been wildly disproportionate. Continue reading...

Declan Rice's switch shows why dual nationalities should be respected | Eni Aluko

16-02-2019 Many people believe it is about picking a country and sticking with it but when your heritage is dual it is trickyIt was intriguing to see the mixed reaction to Declan Rice’s decision to commit his international future to England over the Republic of Ireland. I don’t think people fully appreciate how difficult it can be to have two nationalities in football and the kind of stigma that can come with it – especially for someone who is only 20. Rice broached the issue of respect for his dual heritage so eloquently and honestly in his public statement, which I am sure will bring him respect for his decision in return.There will be a lot of Irish fans who were disappointed and offended by his decision but for me it is not necessarily a question of choosing an allegiance. There is an either/or culture in football that is polarising. Many believe it is about picking a side and sticking with it but when your heritage is essentially both it is difficult. For example, I’m both British and Nigerian. In the same way as someone such as Adam Lallana has family roots in Spain. If you dig a little deeper there are so many English players with Welsh or Scottish heritage. We’re not just one-dimensional. Raheem Sterling is another example. He is proud of his Jamaican roots but plays for England and is proud of that too. Continue reading...

Calm, alert and brave, Gordon Banks was the ideal goalkeeper for any age | Richard Williams

16-02-2019 For a while, as the 60s bled into the 70s, Gordon Banks, who has died at the age of 81, was accepted as the finest goalkeeper in the worldNot all of the 11 players who won the World Cup for England in 1966 would claim he was the best in his position the country has ever produced. Two or three might have a good shout, but the one over whom there could be no dissent was Gordon Banks.He was, in short, the ideal goalkeeper for any age. Calm but ever alert, organising his defenders, watching his angles, plucking the ball out of the air, anticipating what a forward with the ball at his feet might do next, as brave as a lion in an era when strikers had a licence to intimidate, his qualities were beyond dispute. Continue reading...

FA Cup fifth-round predictions: Lawro v Radio 1Xtra DJs Big Zuu & Trevor Nelson

16-02-2019 BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on Radio 1Xtra DJs Big Zuu & Trevor Nelson to predict this weekend's fifth-round FA Cup ties.