SPORTS DAY: Caster saves fight for court, not media

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SPORTS DAY: Caster saves fight for court, not media

Your roundup of the sporting news of the day

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ATHLETICS
Semenya ready to fight IAAF
Caster Semenya will fight her battle with the IAAF in court and not in the media‚ her lawyers said on Thursday. The firm Norton Rose Fullbright said the arbitration proceedings before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland were confidential and that she was not permitted to discuss the case publicly. “She looks forward to responding to the IAAF at the upcoming CAS hearing‚” they said‚ reacting to reports apparently stating the IAAF’s case.
RUGBY
Stormers negotiate late injuries
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck had last-minute injuries to contend with when selecting his team to face the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday. As expected, Bok loosehead Steven Kitshoff has been ruled out with a grade-two hamstring tear‚ which will keep him on the sidelines for between four to six weeks. Exciting loose forward Juarno Augustus, Bok veteran Frans Malherbe, winger Sergeal Petersen and Eben Etzebeth are all out of contention. Despite all the injuries Fleck was able to pick nine capped Springboks in his starting line-up‚ including skipper Siya Kolisi.
Bad boys look to clean up act
Forget high-minded talk of “people and culture”, the old-school mantra of “boys will be boys” is alive and kicking in Australian Super Rugby where three problematic former Wallabies are set to reboot their careers at new teams. With colourful rap sheets of off-field indiscretions, Quade Cooper, Karmichael Hunt and James Slipper all spent time in the wilderness in 2018, frozen out at the Queensland Reds by firebrand coach Brad Thorn. But all three have found more accommodating homes.
Upbringing helped turn brothers into All Blacks
Running around frost-covered coastal Taranaki fields in their bare feet was indicative of the sort of grounded upbringing that former captain Richie McCaw believes helped the three Barrett brothers make it as All Blacks. The trio – twice World Player of the Year Beauden, fullback Jordie and lock Scott – created history last June when they all started a test against France at Eden Park and all three look likely to be in the 2018 World Cup squad. McCaw, who grew up on a farm and is no stranger to running around on frosty mornings himself, said it was the willingness of the three to just go that bit further and put themselves under pressure that helped earn them the famous black shirt.
SOCCER
Bale risks ban for ‘inciting’ fans
Gareth Bale risks being banned for an upcoming Clasico against Barcelona after being reported by La Liga on Thursday for inciting Atletico Madrid supporters following his goal in Real Madrid’s 3-1 derby win last weekend. La Liga said Bale was accused of “raising his right arm towards his head, a gesture of provocation towards the supporters, and then making a possibly obscene and derogatory gesture by raising his bent arm and hitting it halfway up with the other hand.”
Shakes advises Baxter
Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba has asked Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter to stop obsessing about “petty things” ahead the vital African Nations Cup qualifier against Libya next month. Mashaba‚ the former Bafana coach‚ said his successor should rather channel his energy into assembling a strong squad for the match rather than allowing the Libyans’ mind games to get in his head. The Libyans are yet to confirm the venue and date of the crunch encounter. “If they take us to the moon‚ we have to go out there and play them.”
Downs prepare to fight for point
Mamelodi Sundowns are preparing to mount a strong argument for why they should not be deducted a point‚ and Bidvest Wits awarded two in the disciplinary matter involving Downs allegedly fielding Wayne Arendse an ineligible player. Sundowns have been called to a Premier Soccer League (PSL) disciplinary committee, which was postponed from last Wednesday and will now be heard on February 25.
United confirm huge Mourinho payoff
Manchester United revealed on Thursday that sacking Jose Mourinho cost the club nearly £20m, with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward hailing the impact of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The sum of £19.6m, which is listed under “exceptional items” in the club’s second-quarter results, includes payouts for the members of Mourinho’s staff who left with him after he was sacked in December.
United youth coach dies
Eric Harrison, the former youth team coach of Manchester United’s “Class of 92”, which included David Beckham and Ryan Giggs, has died at 81, the club announced on Thursday.
BASKETBALL
Embiid fined for attack on referees
The National Basketball Association slapped Joel Embiid with a $25,000 fine on Wednesday after the Philadelphia 76er player openly criticised the referees following a loss to the Boston Celtics. Embiid was wrapping up a post-game news conference with reporters after a 112-109 defeat on Tuesday night when he leaned into the microphone, yelled a profanity and said the referees “suck”.
MOTORSPORT
Teenager hopes he can meet McLaren challenge Lando Norris, who will become Britain’s youngest F1 driver when the season gets under way in Australia in March, says he hopes he can react positively to the huge pressure that comes with driving for historic team McLaren. “I have got a lot to live up to with the history of McLaren” said Norris at the launch of the 2019 car on Thursday. “There is a lot on my shoulders,” said the 19-year-old.
GOLF
Garcia blames ‘emotional’ news for tantrum
Sergio Garcia has apologised for his spectacular meltdown at the Saudi Arabia International, blaming his tantrum for “emotional, personal news” he had received that week. “I received some very emotional, personal news earlier that week that didn’t help,” Garcia told The Golf Channel. “It was in the back of my mind. As I became frustrated on the course everything erupted.” – AFP, Reuters, TimesLIVE

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