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LONDON (THE GUARDIAN) – Mo Farah is facing fresh questions over his relationship with banned coach Alberto Salazar after it emerged that he repeatedly denied to US anti-doping investigators that he was given injections of a controversial supplement – only to change his account.

The BBC's Panorama says that he was injected four times with L-carnitine two days before before the 2014 London Marathon by UK Athletics chief medical officer at the time, Dr Rob Chakraverty – with UKA head of distance running Barry Fudge, former UKA performance director Neil Black and Salazar also present.

However, the programme claims that when Farah was drug tested six days after the injections, on April 17, he did not record L-carnitine on his doping control form as he was required to do.

A year later when he was questioned by Usada officials in London for nearly five hours, he also initially denied receiving the supplement.

While L-carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid, there are strict rules governing its use under World Anti-Doping Agency rules – with infusions or injections only permitted provided the volume is below 50ml every six hours.

Salazar was found guilty of two violations of these in respect of other people when he received a four-year ban in October. In 2017, a parliamentary select committee heard that Farah had been given in total 13.5ml of L-carnitine – well under the permitted dose – but that Chakraverty had been heavily criticised in his appraisal for not recorded it in any official records.

According to transcripts obtained by the BBC, during his interview with Usada investigators, Farah was asked: "If someone said that you were taking L-carnitine injections, are they not telling the truth?" Farah replied: "Definitely not telling the truth, 100 per cent. I've never taken L-carnitine injections at all." He was then asked: "Are you sure that Alberto Salazar hasn't recommended that you take L-carnitine injections?" Farah responded: "No, I've never taken L-carnitine injections."

He was asked again: "You're absolutely sure that you didn't have a doctor put a butterfly needle – into your arm – and inject L-carnitine a few days before the London Marathon?" Farah replied: "No. No chance."

According to Panorama, minutes after leaving that interview, Farah then met Fudge, who had been interviewed by Usada the day before, and then returned to the interview room as the investigators were packing up and gave a different account.

The transcript shows Farah telling Usada: "So I just wanted to come clear, sorry guys, and I did take it at the time and I thought I didn't."

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NEW DELHI (REUTERS) – India will host the shooting and archery championships, which had originally been left out of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, six months before the main multi-sport competition takes place in Birmingham, it was announced on Monday.

The medals won in the events to be staged in Chandigarh at the start of 2022 will count in the final tally of the Birmingham Games, which take place in July and August later in the year, the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) said.

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) had initially threatened to boycott the Birmingham Games over the exclusion of shooting, which is an optional sport for host cities.

They withdrew the threat in December and offered to host separate championships for archery and shooting, both of which had been omitted from the Birmingham schedule.

The CGF executive board approved India's "innovative" idea after a three-day meeting in London.

"I am delighted that we have approved India's ambitious proposal to host a Commonwealth Archery and Shooting Championships in Chandigarh during 2022," CGF president Louise Martin said in a statement.

A week after the closing ceremony of the 2022 Games in August, the CGF will issue a medal table combining results from ChandigarhRead More – Source

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LONDON (AFP, REUTERS) – Anthony Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn wants a blockbuster all-British heavyweight unification clash with Tyson Fury this year in what would be "the biggest fight in the history of the sport".

This comes on the heels after the self-styled "Gypsy King" – a nod to his Irish Traveller heritage – put on a boxing masterclass at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday (Feb 22) night.

Fourteen months after their dramatic and contentious split-decision draw, Fury battered Deontay Wilder for over six rounds, leaving him bleeding from his ear, before the American's corner threw in the towel in the seventh for his first career loss.

While Wilder has 30 days to activate a third fight clause to set up another contest, which would likely take place in June or July, Hearn is not keen for that to happen as he believes the Joshua bout makes more sense.

Fury is the World Boxing Council champion and with Joshua holding the other belts in the division, the stage is now set for boxing's first unified heavyweight title holder since Britain's Lennox Lewis 20 years ago.

"What a time for British boxing," Hearn said on TalkSport radio. "To have one world heavyweight champion would be great, but to have two with all the belts, we will never see it again.

"I have said and I will make this clear, we have to make this fight happen. We will never get the chance for two Brits to fight for an undisputed heavyweight world championship.

"I will promise you we will do everything we can to make this fight happen."

Hearn also that insisted Joshua, 30, (23-1, 21 knockouts) was eager to step into the ring with the 31-year-old Fury and would not be daunted despite watching his destruction of Wilder to leave his undefeated record (30-0-1, 21 KOs) intact.

Tyson Fury is the World Boxing Council champion and with Anthony Joshua (above) holding the other belts in the division, the stage is now set for boxing's first unified heavyweight title holder since Britain's Lennox Lewis 20 yearRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew]

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LONDON: Tyson Fury will return to Britain hailed as a hero after his demolition of Deontay Wilder completed a remarkable redemption story as anticipation grows over an all-British unification bout against Anthony Joshua.

The self-styled "Gypsy King" brought Wilder's five-year reign as WBC heavyweight champion to a dramatic halt in the seventh round of their rematch in Las Vegas on Saturday.

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Tyson Fury will return to Britain hailed as a hero. AFP/Mark RALSTON

It is an astonishing comeback for the 31-year-old, who battled depression, drink and drug problems that threatened to end his career in the years after he beat Wladimir Klitschko for the WBA, IBF and WBO belts in 2015.

The controversial British heavyweight has made no secret about his battles with mental health issues and cocaine use and said at one stage he considered suicide.

Fury's licence to box was suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control in 2016 pending further investigation into "anti-doping and medical issues".

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ASUNCION: Emmanuel Adebayor made his eagerly anticipated debut for Paraguayan side Olimpia on Sunday, coming on as a substitute for his former Manchester City teammate Roque Santa Cruz.

The 35-year-old Togolese striker was welcomed by hundreds of fans earlier this month when he arrived in Asuncion.

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Olimpia treasurer Miguel Brunote said at the time that Adebayor was commanding the biggest ever salary in Paraguayan football.

Adebayor, the 2008 African player of the year, was introduced at half-time of Olimpia's 1-1 draw with Cerro Porteno.

He had been without a club since the termination of his contract with Turkish club Kayserispor in December.

Adebayor'Read More – Source

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HATTA, United Arab Emirates: Australian Caleb Ewan sprinted to victory in the second stage of the UAE Tour on Monday (Feb 24), taking the overall lead in the process.

The 25-year-old, who also won two stages on the Tour Down Under earlier this year, edged out Irishman Sam Bennett on the up-hill climb at the finish to take the win at Hatta Dam for a second straight year.

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Ewan took the lead in the general classification as first-stage winner Pascal Ackermann fell away on the penultimate climb.

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome, racing for the first time since a horror crash during training at the Criterium du Dauphine last June, was dropped by the leaders eight kilometres from the finish.

Frenchman Arnaud Demare was third on the day after the 168km riRead More – Source

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HONG KONG (AFP) – China's badminton players have been cleared of the coronavirus and will play three tournaments in Europe during a "critical stage" of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, officials have said.

The Chinese Badminton Association said "no one is infected" and that the team would compete at the March 3-8 German Open, the March 11-15 All England Open and the March 17-22 Swiss Open.

"Since the outbreak of coronavirus, there has been close attention on whether the Chinese team could train and participate in tournaments," the CBA said on Saturday (Feb 22). "We would like to explain that members of the Chinese badminton team are healthy and that no one is infected or suspected of being infected."

Most of the team have been training in Britain since the previous week, and the others are still in Beijing applying for British visas.

Olympic men's singles champion Chen Long and Shi Yuqi, as well as veteran star Lin Dan, are listed as starters in Germany and at the All England, as well as women's world No. 1 Chen Yufei.

China has been the dominant force in badminton at recent Olympics, sweeping all five titles at London 2012 and winning the men's singles and doubles gold medals four years ago in Rio.

Covid-19, which has killed more than 2,400 people in China and infected at least 76,000, has forced a swathe of sports events in the country – including Olympic qualifiers – to be cancelled, moved or postponed.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee said it would send out information packs to assure athletes around the world that it is safe to come into contact with Chinese competitors.

The Badminton World Federation said "all relevant health, safety and logistical risks" around the ChineseRead More – Source

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MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) – Patrick Reed outlasted fellow American Bryson DeChambeau for a one-stroke victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship on Sunday (Feb 23).

Reed took the lead with a tap-in birdie at the 16th hole and went further ahead with another birdie at the 17th at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City.

Though he bogeyed the last after a wild drive, his cushion proved enough, with a four-under-par 67 sealing the deal.

Reed finished at 18-under 266 for his eighth PGA Tour victory, and his second at the World Golf Championships event, his previous one coming at Doral in Florida in 2014.

"I had to get up-and-down almost every hole on the front nine," Reed said in a greenside interview, explaining his gritty determination to hang in there until things turned around.

"This was the same attitude I bring every time I go to the golf course, something to prove to myself, that I deserve to be in this position, deserve to have a chance to win tournaments.

"And when I get in those positions, being able to deal with the nerves and the highs and lows that go on during a round. It definitely tested me today with the birdie barrage in front of me from Bryson and Jon (Rahm)."

Six players were bunched within one stroke of the lead halfway through the final round, before DeChambeau seemingly seized control with five birdies in six holes. But his charge petered out and a three-putt bogey at the 17th pretty much ended his chances.

He shot 65 for 17-under 267, with Spaniard JonRead More – Source

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LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Anthony Davis tallied 32 points and 13 rebounds and LeBron James recorded 29 points, nine assists and eight boards, and the Los Angeles Lakers weathered a career-high-tying 41-point effort by Jayson Tatum to beat the Boston Celtics, 114-112, on Sunday (Feb 23) at the Staples Center.

The historic rivals went back-and-forth throughout the day, and right down to the wire. The Celtics took a 110-108 lead with 1min 17sec left when Jaylen Brown, who scored 20 points, knocked down a three-pointer.

Missed shots on both ends set a final 37 seconds that took several minutes due to a handful of officiating reviews and a technical foul assessed to Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

James' fadeaway jumper with 30.4 seconds remaining gave Los Angeles the lead for good, with Davis making three free throws over the final 12 seconds to seal it.

Boston, playing without All-Star guard Kemba Walker for the second time since the All-Star break, fell behind 28-19 through the first quarter. The Celtics battled back behind Tatum, who matched a career high set on Jan 11 against New Orleans.

Eighteen of Tatum's 41 points came in the third quarter, which ended with the teams deadlocked at 87.

Dwight Howard, who scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench, keyed the Lakers early in the fourth quarter with six of the team's first eight points in the period.

Kyle Kuzma also scored in double figures off the bench for Los Angeles with 16 points. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope also came on inRead More – Source

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MUMBAI: Oman's Yousuf Abdulrahim Al Balushi has been banned from cricket for seven years due to match-fixing offences, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Monday.

Al Balushi was found guilty of breaching the ICC Anti-Corruption Code on four counts relating to Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers held in the United Arab Emirates last year.

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The 29-year-old admitted the charges and accepted the sanction imposed upon him, the world governing body said in a statement.

"This is a very serious offence where a player attempted but failed to get a team mate to engage in corrupt activity in high profile games and this is reflected in the severity of the sentence," said ICC General Manager, Integrity, Alex Marshall.

"Without Mr Balushi's admission of guilt and full cooperation throughout our investigation, the ban could have been significantly longer.

"The player has also indicated that he is willing to contribute to future integrity educationRead More – Source

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