‘UCI planned doping cover-up’
Lance Armstrong claims former International Cycling Union president Hein Verbruggen instigated a cover-up of his doping at the 1999 Tour de France. Armstrong told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper that Verbruggen insisted “we’ve got to come up with something” to explain his positive tests for a banned corticosteroid. Cycling’s governing body,the UCI,appeared to ignore its own anti-doping rules when it accepted Armstrong’s backdated prescription for a cream to treat saddle sores. “Hein just said,’This is a real problem for me,this is the knockout punch for our sport … so we’ve got to come up with something.’ So we backdated the prescription,” Armstrong said.
India face resurgent Nepal
Having lost to Nepal in the SAFF Championship last month,the Indian football team faces a tough task as they lock horns with them again in an international friendly in Shillong. After playing out a 1-1 draw with Philippines on Friday,India are still looking for their first international friendly win this year. National coach Wim Koevermans said his boys will go all out for a victory at the Kanchenjunga Stadium. “It’s not a match of revenge as is being stated. Every team takes the field to win. Sporting culture says that once you lose to a team you stay keen to win it the next time you play. We want to win,” Koevermans said.
Amnesty criticises 2022 hosts
Qatar’s construction industry is rife with abuse of migrant workers who are “treated like cattle” and live in squalid accommodation,Amnesty International said. Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup and the human rights organisation asked FIFA to work with the Qatari authorities to stamp out abuses of workers who mainly come from South Asia. “Our findings indicate an alarming level of exploitation in the construction sector in Qatar,” said Amnesty International’s secretary-general,Salil Shetty. “FIFA has a duty to send a strong public message that it will not tolerate human rights abuses on construction projects related to the World Cup,” he said.
Messi’ may be at fault
Lionel Messi seems to keep getting injured these days,and he could be the one to blame for his own troubles. The four-time world player of the year hurt his left hamstring while playing for Barcelona on Nov. 10 and will be sidelined for 6-to-8 weeks,keeping him off the field until after Christmas. Trainer Fernando Signorini,who has worked closely with Messi,tells The Associated Press in a telephone interview that he is “a kid who doesn’t know how to manage himself because he is so passionate for the sport. Someone has to set limits for him”. Prior to his most recent injury,Messi said he was not yet 100 percent recovered from the last one.
Late win lifts Fluminense
Defending Brazilian champion Fluminense scored a last-minute goal to defeat Sao Paulo 2-1 Sunday and move away from the relegation zone in the Brazilian league. Defender Gum netted the winning goal with a header from a 90th-minute corner to give Fluminense the crucial win at the Maracana Stadium,moving the titleholders two points away from the drop with three rounds to play. Fluminense,which also won the title in 2010,is trying to avoid becoming the first defending champion to be demoted in the Brazilian league. Vasco da Gama remained in serious danger of relegation after a 0-0 draw at Corinthians,a result that kept the four-time Brazilian champion 18th in the 20-team standings. The bottom four clubs are demoted.
Wawrinka to play in Chennai
World No. 8 Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka has confirmed his participation in the 19th edition of the Aircel Chennai Open,India’s only ATP World Tour tennis event,starting December 30. Last year,Wawrinka had partnered Frenchman Benoit Paire to lift the doubles title. The Olympic doubles gold medallist will be participating in the tournament for the sixth successive year and would look to win title here second time,having triumphed here in 2011. The 28-year-old has had a terrific 2013 as he qualified for the season-ending ATP World Tour,where he reached semi-finals and lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.