Vijay Singh caught in doping controversy after "admitting using banned deer antler spray"

Golf legend Vijay Singh caught in doping controversy after 'admitting using banned deer antler spray'

By
Derek Lawrenson

PUBLISHED:

09:09 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:09 GMT, 30 January 2013

Three-time major champion Vijay Singh is under investigation by the United States Tour after being linked to a banned substance.

Sports Illustrated claims that the
formidable Fijian, who has won more tournaments in his forties than any
golfer in history, has been using a deer antler spray containing IGF-1,
which the American magazine describes as a ‘natural anabolic hormone
that stimulates muscle growth.’

Deer-antler spray is banned by the major pro sports, including the PGA Tour and the NFL.

Vijay Singh

Under investigation: Vijay Singh has been linked with controversial supplements

The US Tour has repeatedly warned players against using sprays made by a company called SWATS – Sports with Alternatives to Steroids.

In 2011, former Open Champion Mark Calcavecchia was told to stop promoting the product.

According to Sports Illustrated, Singh paid $9,000 for the deer antler spray, an oscillating 'beam ray' lightbulb, stickers bearing holograms of a pyramid and power additives in November. He is quoted as saying that he uses the spray ‘every couple of hours….every day.’

Singh. a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, said he sleeps with the 'beam ray' on and has put stickers, which SWATS term chips, on his ankles, waist and shoulders.

Vijay uses the SWATS products to boost muscle growth

Different strokes: Vijay uses the SWATS products to boost muscle growth

‘I’m looking forward to some change in my body, Singh told the magazine. ‘It’s really hard to feel the difference if you’ve only been doing it for a couple of months.’ US Tour vice-president Ty Votaw admitted the tour are looking into the report.

Singh, who is scheduled to play in the Phoenix Open starting on Thursday, has been battling a number of injuries over the past few years. He turns 50 next month and is looking forward to a lucrative career on the Senior Tour. Like every player, he is subjected to the tour’s random drug-testing programme. Results are not announced unless a player tests positive.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who will be taking part in the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Sunday, was also mentioned in the report. He denied any use of the spray when asked about it on Tuesday.

The PGA Tour has said it will look into a report linking Vijay Singh with the use of a deer antler spray previously found to have contained a banned growth hormone.

The Fijian will still play in this week's Waste Management Open in Phoenix, but Tour vice-president Ty Votaw has said they will investigate the claims made in an article which appeared in Sports Illustrated.

'As we have just been made aware of the report we have not had a chance to review it in depth, but we will be looking into it,' Votaw told USA Today Sports.

QPR sign Yun Suk-young

QPR sign South Korean left-back Yun as Redknapp continues to strengthen

, before then going on to make his full international debut in October.

Yun has been linked to a number of clubs in recent times, including west London rivals Fulham, but has joined QPR on for an undisclosed fee from K-League side Chunnam Dragons.

The left-back has been granted a work permit and will be eligible to play for the Rs once he obtains a visa.

London calling: Yun arrives at Heathrow last week ahead of his move

London calling: Yun arrives at Heathrow last week ahead of his move

Yun joins fellow January acquisitions Loic Remy and Tal Ben Haim at Loftus Road, where he links up with countryman Park Ji-sung.

The defender may be the first of several signings before the transfer deadline tomorrow, with Peter Crouch, Christopher Samba and Etienne Capoue amongst those on QPR's radar.

Darren Bent Stoke City transfer target

Get Bent! Stoke favourites to sign 10m Villa striker after Lambert hauls him off at half-time

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:38 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:10 GMT, 30 January 2013

Stoke are leading the chase to sign Darren Bent after the striker was substituted at half-time during Aston Villa's 2-1 loss at home to Newcastle last night.

The England international has started just seven Premier League games this season with Villa boss Paul Lambert preferring to use Christian Benteke as a lone striker.

He was given a chance last night but Lambert was clearly not impressed.

Benched: Bent was ineffectual against Newcastle on Tuesday night

Benched: Bent was ineffectual against Newcastle on Tuesday night

Up to eight Premier League clubs are known to be monitoring Bent's situation but Villa, who fell into the bottom three after last night's defeat, do not want to sell to clubs near the foot of the table.

Stoke do not fall into that category and if they are prepared to meet Villa's 10million asking price then Bent could be theirs.

The 28-year-old's 75,000-a-week wage
demands could prove a stumbling block but with both Villa and Bent keen
to part ways a deal could be forced through before the transfer window
shuts tomorrow night.

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Out of favour: Lambert has preferred Benteke to Bent up front this season

Bent, who has 16 caps for England, cost
Villa 18m rising to 24m only two years ago but they are prepared to
cut their losses and let the former Sunderland and Tottenham man leave.

Stoke's pursuit of Bent has been stepped up as QPR attempt to lure Potters striker Peter Crouch back to Loftus Road.

Stoke boss Tony Pulis confirmed he received an inquiry from his QPR counterpart Harry Redknapp about Crouch.

'Harry has rung me up and asked me about the possibility,' Pulis said.

Wanted man: QPR are hoping to bring Crouch back to Loftus Road

Wanted man: QPR are hoping to bring Crouch back to Loftus Road

'I have spoken to Peter about it and
then it is up to Peter whether he wants to go. Peter is very happy here
and he has made that clear.

'The important thing for me is that if he does want to go, it has to be right for us and also we have to make sure we have someone who will come in and do the same job.

'To do all that over two days is going to be ever so difficult.'

Paul Lambert still has backing of Aston Villa

Players and fans still back me, insists Lambert despite another Villa loss

-2013.

He said: 'When you are looking for players and trying to find the secret ingredient for your team, it’s not always easy for players to come and fit in as they did in the first half.

'I was a little bit surprised myself if I’m honest. I don’t think we would have won the game without Sissoko. That’s how important I think that signing was.

'Sissoko really grabbed the game by the horns and that’s what we needed.

Consolation: Benteke halved the deficit for Villa

Consolation: Benteke halved the deficit for Villa

'With Demba Ba departing from a team that hasn’t been winning, it was a big blow for us and we really needed him for this game.'

Pardew added: 'We have worked really hard on integrating the new players into things.

'They are not here to save us, they are here to help us. That was my message to the established players.

'We had a nice night in the hotel the night before the game, a nice meeting, and you sensed there was a good feeling amongst them all.

'It was a terrific day for us because we were under a lot of pressure to win at Villa.'

Danny Graham to join Sunderland for 5.5m despite Newcastle links

Sunderland's 5.5m deal for Graham almost done… but will he want to join them after last night's abuse from the fans

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

11:02 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:32 GMT, 30 January 2013

Danny Graham will today complete his 5.5m transfer from Swansea to Sunderland after refusing to be deterred by the vicious abuse aimed at him from the Wearside club's fans during last night's 0-0 draw between the two sides.

Manager Martin O'Neill has targeted the Newcastle-supporting frontman to ease the goalscoring burden on Steven Fletcher after being replaced at Swansea by Michu.

But Sunderland's fans, still angry about his dismissal of the club during his time at Watford, booed him throughout, labelling him “scum” and “a w****r” and ensuring he can continue to expect such hostility even after his signing is confirmed.

Hostile: Graham was abused by Sunderland's fans last night, even though he will sign for them today

Hostile: Graham was abused by Sunderland's fans last night, even though he will sign for them today

'Put it this way. I would stay as far away from Sunderland as I could', Graham once responded when asked who he would support if Newcastle no longer existed. 'It would probably have to be Gateshead.'

It is this for which the striker, who wasted an injury-time chance to win the game for Swansea, has not been forgiven. Though the rivalry that exists between Newcastle and Sunderland has always been fierce, for a new signing to be so unwelcome is regardless unusual.

Frustrated: Danny Graham

Unwelcome: Danny Graham

Write caption here

Newcastle fan Lee Clark enjoyed a successful period at Sunderland after signing from their rivals – albeit before an acrimonious exit – but Graham's reception in many ways mirrors that experienced by Rafa Benitez at Chelsea.

Unwanted: Chelsea fans still do not accept Benitez

Unwanted: Chelsea fans still do not accept Benitez

The Spaniard was intensely booed upon his unveiling as Chelsea manager and has still not been accepted by the club's fans who continue to show their support for his predecessor Roberto Di Matteo, effectively making his job consistently more difficult.

Pep Guardiola wants Chico Flores at Bayern Munich

EXCLUSIVE: Pep plundering the Premier League… Swansea's Chico lined up to join Suarez at Bayern

By
Riath Al-samarrai

PUBLISHED:

11:39 GMT, 30 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:45 GMT, 30 January 2013

Pep Guardiola is considering a shock move to sign Swansea City defender Chico Flores when he takes over at Bayern Munich in the summer.

The former Barcelona boss is a huge fan of the eccentric centre-half and in 2008 signed him on loan from Cadiz for Barcelona B. He was keen to take Chico with him to the senior team when he was promoted later that year, but could not reach a deal with Cadiz.

Guardiola has stayed in contact with the 25-year-old and Sportsmail understands he spoke to him as recently as last week, with a source close to both parties claiming a bid could follow soon after he takes the reins at the Allianz Arena from Jupp Heynckes in July.

Case for the defence: Chico has been outstanding for Swansea this season

Case for the defence: Chico has been outstanding for Swansea this season

Should such an extraordinary deal materialise, it would cap a fine season for the Spaniard.

After some shaky early performances following his 2million summer move from Genoa, Chico has impressed immensely at the Liberty Stadium and his partnership with Ashley Williams has developed into one of the Premier League’s most effective. On the past four occasions in which they have both started, Swansea have kept a clean sheet.

Indeed, Chico was one of the best players on the pitch in last night’s 0-0 draw at Sunderland, having produced a man-of-the-match performance in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea last week.

Old acquaintances: Guardiola worked with Chico at Barcelona B

Old acquaintances: Guardiola worked with Chico at Barcelona B

The former Spain Under-21 international is also close to a full cap after national manager Vicente del Bosque watched him impress in the 0-0 draw at Everton on January 12.

Swansea’s position in any future negotiations will be strengthened by the fact Chico still has two years remaining on the deal he signed last summer.

But it would be close to impossible for the defender to turn down Guardiola, who he described as ‘a great man’ in an interview with Sportsmail last month.

Strong position: Chico still has two years left on his deal at Swansea

Strong position: Chico still has two years left on his deal at Swansea

Referring to the time he spent on loan at Barcelona B, during which they were promoted to the third tier of Spanish football, he said: ‘It was a wonderful education. All the memories I have from that time playing with Pep Guardiola are really positive.

‘Pep is very close to the players. He was and is a great but he is very modest, he behaves as one of us. It went well for me. Pep wanted to take me to the first team but Cadiz wanted too much money. That was it.

Mentor: The former Genoa man has the utmost respect for Guardiola

Mentor: The former Genoa man has the utmost respect for Guardiola

‘I still have a book that Pep gave me. It’s called Learning to Lose. He helped all the players there so much.

‘When you have the playing career he had, it creates so much respect. It is a very similar thing with (Michael) Laudrup (the Swansea manager).’

Fulham set to sign Urby Emanuelson on loan from AC Milan

Emanuelson checks into the Cottage for reunion with Fulham boss Jol

By
Simon Jones and Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

22:42 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:56 GMT, 30 January 2013

Fulham are in talks to sign AC Milan midfielder Urby Emanuelson on loan. The 26-year-old Dutch international can play left-back, midfield and as a winger.

The Dutch international has been increasingly on the sidelines at Milan this season, and has not found a settled position in the side.

Emanuelson is understood to be in London where he will undergo a medical and sign the contract until the end of the season.

Heading to Fulham: Urby Emanuelson looks set to sign for the Cottagers

Heading to Fulham: Urby Emanuelson looks set to sign for the Cottagers

Emanuelson all but confirmed the move when he tweeted: 'a strange day… Leaving Milano for London… Tomorrow we know more'

The 26-year-old played under Fulham boss Martin Jol at Ajax and has been capped 16 times by the Dutch national team.

He will become Fulham's second loan signing this month after Emmanuel Frimpong joined from Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Igor de Camargo has snubbed both Fulham and Everton by returning to Germany to join relegation threatened Hoffenheim.

No go: Igor de Camargo looks set to sign for Hoffenheim

No go: Igor de Camargo looks set to sign for Hoffenheim

Fulham were confident of signing striker De Camargo and negotiations were well advanced for a loan from Borussia Monchengladbach for the rest of the season with a view to a permanent deal.

Everton were also involved and offered better wages than Fulham but again wanted a loan with the option to buy at the end of the season for the 29-year-old Brazil-born Belgium international.

De Camargo left England on Tuesday to discuss a permanent transfer to Hoffenheim, who offered a two-and-half year permanent contract.

Hoffenheim sporting director Andreas Mueller said: 'We hope to have a stronger strikeforce with Igor up front.

'He can play an important role for us with his quality and Bundesliga experience.'

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich orders Rafa Benitez to deliver top-four finish

Abramovich gives up on cups and orders Benitez to deliver top-four finish

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

22:28 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:11 GMT, 30 January 2013

Roman Abramovich has written off Chelsea's chances of winning silverware this season and told Rafa Benitez to finish in the top four.

Chelsea's technical director Michael Emenalo met with Benitez at the club's training ground on Tuesday morning and passed on the message from their billionaire benefactor.

It means Chelsea – who started the season with the chance to win seven trophies – must finish strongly in the Barclays Premier League to guarantee Champions League football.

Mind the gap: Rafa Benitez is under instruction from Roman Abramovich to guide Chelsea to a top-four finish

Mind the gap: Rafa Benitez is under instruction from Roman Abramovich to guide Chelsea to a top-four finish

Although Abramovich and various Chelsea executives are furious with the manner of the team's performance in the 2-2 draw at Brentford in the FA Cup, finishing in the top four is all that counts.

Benitez met Emenalo before training on Tuesday for the latest inquest into Chelsea's failing season. The interim Chelsea coach said: 'All I can say is what I know. I have had meetings. We were talking about the situation and it's clear for me the priority is the top four and progressing as much as we can in the other competitions.

'In the last 10 days, we had a fantastic game against Arsenal, not such a good game against Swansea, and 50:50 the other day against Brentford. 'We still have the FA Cup and the Europa League, and we can still finish in the top four.'

All smiles: Demba Ba in training on Tuesday as Fernando Torres (below) bears the brunt of a tough challenge

All smiles: Demba Ba in training on Tuesday as Fernando Torres (below) bears the brunt of a tough challenge

Fernando Torres

Chelsea began the campaign with the chance to win seven trophies, but the only competitions they can win now are the Europa League and to defend the FA Cup.

Although Benitez insists he still wants to win the Cups, he has been in left in no uncertain terms about the priority of the owner.

Chelsea finished sixth in the Barclays Premier League last season and only qualified for the Champions League as winners.

Despite increasing pressure from Abramovich over the club's results in recent weeks, Benitez is working with a squad restricted by injury, fatigue and the Africa Cup of Nations.

Benitez, who has the support of the majority of Chelsea players under difficult circumstances, takes the team to Reading this evening in the Premier League.

They will be without keeper Petr Cech again, who is out with a calf injury, and they will have to rely on error prone Ross Turnbull at the Madejski Stadium.

Benitez is short of attacking options and Chelsea confirmed that they had offered Didier Drogba the chance of an emotional return to the club.

Drogba began training at Cobham to keep fit after the end of the Chinese football season and he was offered a six month deal with the option of another year. Despite the temptation to relive the glory years, Drogba has opted to join Turkish club Galatasaray on an 18 month deal.

Benitez will rotate Fernando Torres and Demba Ba, who cannot play three games a week because of a chronic knee condition, to get them across the finishing line this season.

The Chelsea chief came under severe criticism from supporters on Sunday when he replaced Branislav Ivanovic with Cesar Azpilicueta when the team were losing at Griffin Park.

They forced a replay when Torres scored the equaliser, but it's clear that the players are being affected by the mood around the club.

The Chelsea chief added: 'I talk to the players, that's my way. Some managers like to put their arms around their shoulders.

'I talk to the players every day. I talk with the injured players in the physio room. 'With the players in training. Or with senior players, why this, why that, and what we need to improve and what the game-plan will be.'

Newcastle United fans pay homage to new French arrivals in Premier League match at Aston Villa

Vive la Revolu-TOON! Newcastle fans celebrate the new boys with French flags, berets and even a few onions

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

20:42 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:09 GMT, 30 January 2013

It's not the most likely of places for a modern-day French Revolution – but the locals seem to be willing to give it a chance.

Newcastle United fans who have made the journey to Aston Villa for tonight's crucial Barclays Premier League match have certainly embraced the influx of FIVE French or French-speaking players in the January transfer window.

They've turned up at Villa Park armed with their Gallic Tricolores, berets, moustaches and onions to herald the new arrivals.

French fancy: These travelling Newcastle United fans heralded the arrival of their five new French signings in the away end at Villa Park tonight

French fancy: These travelling Newcastle United fans heralded the arrival of their five new French signings in the away end at Villa Park tonight

Enough to make you weep: This fan wore a string of onions while waving a French Tricolore

Enough to make you weep: This fan wore a string of onions while waving a French Tricolore

Gallic flair: These lads certainly looked the part in their berets and cravates

Gallic flair: These lads certainly looked the part in their berets and cravates

It started on January 4, when Mathieu
Debuchy arrived in a 5m move from Lille, but Alan Pardew's French
resistance against the threat of relegation has continued.

In the space of four days from January 22, four more cross-channel imports joined The Toon.

They were Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa from
Montpellier, Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux, Massadio Haidara from Nancy
and Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse.

Pardew will hope they will prove the difference between Premier League survival and a drop into the Championship.

Flag day: This fan holds up a French flag before kick-off at Villa Park

Flag day: This fan holds up a French flag before kick-off at Villa Park

‘When you’re looking for players and
you’re trying to find the secret ingredient for your team, it’s not
always easy for them to come and fit as well as they did in the first
half,’ he said.

‘I was a little bit surprised if I’m
honest. Sissoko really grabbed the game by the horns and that’s what we
needed because with Demba Ba’s departure from a team that hasn’t been
winning, we really needed him for this game.

‘We worked really hard this week on integrating the players. They’re not here to save us, they’re here to help us.’

'Allez': These supporters had a message for the boys as they chased three crucial points

'Allez': These supporters had a message for the boys as they chased three crucial points

New colours: Many French flags were in evidence in the Newcastle end

New colours: Many French flags were in evidence in the Newcastle end

He continued: ‘In the second half we got nervous and the French lads ran out of legs and steam but we hung on and showed the other side.

‘We know what we’ve been missing. Sissoko was magnificent in the first half and I have to pay tribute to the captain and the other established players for giving the new boys the welcome they got.

‘They (Gouffran and Sissoko) are both in wheelchairs at the minute – they’ve got cramp!

‘We lost such an important game against Reading, we couldn’t really afford to lose tonight; we couldn’t afford to draw, once we’d gone 2-0 up.’

Everton"s 8.6m Leroy Fer deal in jeopardy

Everton's 8.6m Fer deal in jeopardy after medical reveals knee injury problems

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

22:27 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:56 GMT, 29 January 2013

Everton's bid to sign Leroy Fer has been plunged into doubt after a problem emerged following the midfielder's medical.

The Holland international had been on the brink of becoming David Moyes' first January signing after he flew in from Rotterdam on Monday night but significant doubts emerged yesterday following stringent tests at the club's Finch Farm training base.

It prompted Everton to enter into further negotiations with FC Twente over the structure of the 8.6million deal, given that Fer had serious knee injury last year, but the Dutch club are unhappy with what has been offered

On the rocks: Fer had flown in to complete his deal, which has hit a snag

On the rocks: Fer had flown in to complete his deal, which has hit a snag

Chairman Joop Munsterman said:
'Everton have demanded additional conditions for the transfer of Leroy.
They want to pay in separate instalments. We can't agree with that. We
need to buy a replacement.'

Everton remained tight-lipped over the
problem but there is no question that David Moyes is still eager to
bring the highly-rated Fer to Goodison Park, if negotiations can be
completed to their satisfaction.

Fer, who had travelled to Merseyside
with his girlfriend Xenia and agent, Rob Jansen, had been shown around
Finch Farm yesterday and had made a positive impression on all those
with whom he had dealings. He had also agreed a four-and-a-half year
contract.

So highly thought of is the
23-year-old in Holland that he is expected to star his country's next
friendly in midfield ahead of Wesley Sneijder and Rafa van der Vaart, as
Louis van Gaal picks a squad for the 2014 World Cup.

Moyes was reticent to talk about Fer
at his press conference yesterday afternoon but the most telling thing
he said was describing suggestions the 23-year-old was being brought in
to replace Marouane Fellaini as 'a load of tosh'.

Fellaini's future has been a source of great speculation but Moyes has no intentions of selling the influential Belgian.

Moyes, whose side face West Brom at
Goodison Park tonight, said: ‘I read something like that (about Fellaini
being sold) and that is the biggest load of tosh i have heard.

Down and out Fer's move could be off

Down and out Fer's move could be off

'That is nonsense whoever wrote or
said it. They are different types of players. No, that is not the reason
for bringing (Fer) in, that is for sure.’

Everton’s squad has been hit by
injuries to key figures in recent weeks and, aware that sustaining any
more would prove detrimental to what has been an encouraging season,
Moyes admitted freshening his group up during the window was vital.

Explaining why he moved for Fer, Moyes
said: 'I felt that we are in a really strong position and could we try
and strengthen that position and stay there if we can.

'I would hate to look back and think i
hadn't given that a go or made any attempt to do that. The squad needs
help. I think the squad has done brilliant to get where it has got but
it could do with one or two additions.'