Tag Archives: athletes

Sir Alex Ferguson gets away with tantrums because we let him – Patrick Collins

Why do we keep letting Sir Alex and his manager pals get away with endless self-indulgent tantrums and spats

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UPDATED:

22:21 GMT, 29 December 2012

It was a depressing tantrum; a foot-stamping, arm-waving, finger-jabbing eruption of self-indulgence, with more than a hint of the bully about it.

Sir Alex Ferguson behaved quite outrageously at Old Trafford on Boxing Day. He may be incomparably accomplished but for a man on the eve of his 71st birthday he can sometimes seem distressingly immature.

Yet nobody was unduly surprised by the performance, since Ferguson has form in this department. Just as nobody was especially amazed by Mike Dean's decision not to report Sir Alex to the Football Association.

Blast from the hairdryer: Sir Alex Ferguson shouts at assistant referee Andy Garrett at Old Trafford on Saturday

Ferguson and Andy Garratt share a joke

Up to your old tricks, Sir Alex All eyes were on Ferguson during Manchester United's 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday after his Boxing Day outburst (below), but while he shouted at assistant referee Andy Garrett at Old Trafford (left), he also showed his gentler side by sharing a joke with the official (right)

Ferguson's ref rant

Of course, he should not have tolerated such a show of crass dissent during the United-Newcastle game, since it demeaned his own authority and diminished the status of officials at every level.

But clearly he felt he had little option. For Dean is merely a football referee, while Ferguson is a member of an altogether happier, wealthier, more prestigious profession. He is a football manager.

Once again, 2012 was the year of the manager, confirming a trend which has developed down the decades. the man in the dugout is now more famous, and considerably more powerful, than almost any of the young athletes in his care.

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29/12/12

Patrick Collins: So this is how football gets into the spirit of Christmas!
22/12/12

Patrick Collins: How Fergie's bedtime habits set standards at Old Trafford
15/12/12

Patrick Collins: The anti-Wenger mob should be careful what they wish for
15/12/12

Patrick Collins: England's sensational miracle workers have everyone believing again
08/12/12

Patrick Collins: Captain Cook must stand the test of time before he can join the greats
08/12/12

Patrick Collins: Football's silent majority must set the tone, not the bigots who just want to be noticed
01/12/12

Patrick Collins: Richie McCaw, Dan Carter… your boys took one hell of a beating!
01/12/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

But the manager is different. As the public face of his club, he is the man who pulls the strings and sets the tone. As such, he enjoys considerable influence and he can become tetchy when he feels his powers being mocked or challenged.

If Ferguson's outburst was wearily familiar, then his subsequent spat with Newcastle's Alan Pardew was still more predictable. Now Pardew is rarely regarded as one of football's intellectuals. Certainly, his short-term memory is as faulty as the rest of his trade.

He correctly suggested that Ferguson should have been sent to the stands but naturally he overlooked the opening match of the season, when he pushed over a linesman. 'It was comical,' Pardew chuckled at the time. 'He just happened to be right in front of me.'

Ferguson has reminded him of the incident, and his arrogant description of Newcastle as 'a wee club in the north-east' has ensured that the dreary squabble has a long way to run. Yet, for most of them, squabbling and self-protection is a way of life. At tImes, they make politicians appear almost altruistic.

Thus, Harry Redknapp takes over at QPR from the expensive disaster that was Mark Hughes and promptly damns the previous regime. 'I don't want to spend the owners' money, really,' says Redknapp. 'I've got to be honest with you. I don't want to see the owners have their pants taken down like they have in the past. a lot of agents have made an awful lot of money out of them.'

Now, it is true that Rangers spent an extraordinary 6.8million on agents in the year ending September 2012. It may also be true that some of those agents were more talented footballers than the players they represented. Yet nobody mentioned that in Redknapp's three-and-a-half years as Tottenham manager, the club spent the thick end of 25m on agents' fees. Hughes will surely rectify that omission and another feud will gain pace.

Power games: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is another who loves a tiff where possible

Power games: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is another who loves a tiff where possible

Mancini at Norwich

Mancini at Norwich

Roberto Mancini is another manager with a healthy respect for self-protection. Sometimes this takes the form of a juvenile jibe at an official, like last week's 'maybe the referee ate too much for Christmas'. Sometimes it may be a theatrical clash with the opposition – Moyes, Ferguson, Wenger, Lambert and Martinez have all served as sparring partners.

Yet most managers seem to enjoy a tiff and we in the media are all too often at pains to publicise their differences. Consider the recent League Cup tie between Leeds and Chelsea. On this entire strife-torn, recession-ridden planet, could anything be less important than wondering if Neil Warnock will shake the hand of Rafa Benitez But wonder we did. and great was the rejoicing when peace broke out.

You see, these are people of consequence and as such we weigh their pronouncements – the nonsense along with the profound. We inflate their successes and vilify their shortcomings. We may occasionally marvel at a compensation system in which failure is rewarded as lavishly as success but we say nothing.

You see, they are the masters now. They set their own terms and make their own rules. And if the leader of their pack should indulge himself with the odd touchline tantrum, then he can anticipate no serious penalty. For he knows that football managers are the new aristocracy of professional sport. Such is the status quo. Expect no changes in 2013.

Time for a sit-down protest

The dying days of 2012 have produced a most unlikely hero. I give you Paul Weir, Sunderland's head of safety and security.

Most of our major football clubs have a serious problem with selfish spectators who insist on standing in areas designed for seats, thereby blocking the view and ruining the match for countless fans.

But Sunderland have done something about the problem. They have ejected 38 people, suspended season tickets and taped up the seats of persistent offenders.

Sit down! Sunderland are cracking down on supporters who persistently stand at matches

Sit down! Sunderland are cracking down on supporters who persistently stand at matches

Mr Weir said: 'We have a duty of care to all our supporters, including elderly and disabled fans who have contacted us, very concerned that their enjoyment on a match day is being compromised because people around them stand throughout the game.'

Inevitably, some of the standing blockheads are mightily miffed by this action and one of the Sunderland message boards was awash with schemes for demonstrating their displeasure at Saturday's game.

But others opted for sanity. I cherished the brutal Wearside common sense of the man who wrote: 'Daft t***s will probably stage a sit-down protest'.

Past his bedtime: Phil 'The Power' Taylor

Past his bedtime: Phil 'The Power' Taylor

Power failure hits Phil

From time to time, usually by people who ought to know better, Phil 'The Power' Taylor is described as 'Britain's greatest-ever sportsman'. This apparently derives from the fact that he has won a version of the darts world title on 15 occasions, thus elevating himself high above the likes of Bannister, Coe, Matthews, Finney, Moore, Botham, Redgrave, Wiggins and others.

I recalled the absurdly recurring claim when I heard about Taylor's struggle to stay awake for the evening sessions of the latest world event. At 52, he complained, starting matches at 10 o'clock at night was far too tiring.

'The late nights are difficult,' confessed 'The Power'. 'I would love to be on at 8pm. That would be perfect for me. I can go back, put on my slippers on and go to bed early.'

He then posed the question: 'Has Roger Federer ever played at 11.30pm at night in a last-32 match' Well, I imagine he has because Federer is a superb athlete who excels in a cruelly demanding and utterly authentic sport.

Had he hankered after early nights and slippers, then he would have taken up a pot-bellied pub game. Britain's 'greatest-ever sportsman' could suggest one.

Pulis: A clarification

Last week I referred to a published report that the Stoke manager, Tony Pulis, had officially complained about the suspension of Marouane Fellaini for head-butting Ryan Shawcross. The report, widely circulated across the media, said Pulis believed the three-match ban was too lenient and that a Stoke player would have received something far more punitive.

Tony Pulis has assured me that the report was a complete invention and that he had made no such complaint. I am pleased to accept his assurance and thank him for clarifying the situation.

Sportsmail"s Magnificent Seven, including Louis Smith and Tom Daley, come together for the final time

Thanks for being MAGNIFICENT! Sportsmail pays tribute to the seven athletes we have followed from 2005 to the 2012 Olympics

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UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 28 December 2012

Seven years ago, Sportsmail began following seven young athletes as they set out on their journeys to try to reach the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games in London.

Three of the original seven made it to the Games but two called time on their sporting careers before the start of this year. Their replacements, however, were both part of Team GB and Paralympics GB last summer.

It has been an enlightening experience, punctuated by extremes of success and disappointment, watching the development of these athletes' careers since 2005.

Recently, Sportsmail's Magnificent Seven met up for the final time and shared memories of their experiences.

Then and now: From left, Gemma Howell, Tom Daley, Louise Watkin, Sportsmail's Andy Hooper, Emily Pidgeon, Shanaze Reade and Louis Smith met up for one final time recently

Then and now: From left, Gemma Howell, Tom Daley, Louise Watkin, Sportsmail's Andy Hooper, Emily Pidgeon, Shanaze Reade and Louis Smith met up for one final time recently

As they were: The original Magnificent Seven lined up at Lord's, from left, Tom Daley, Louis Smith, Jean-Rene Badrick, Emily Pidgeon, Giles Scott, Rachael Latham and Shanaze Reade

As they were: The original Magnificent Seven lined up at Lord's, from left, Tom Daley, Louis Smith, Jean-Rene Badrick, Emily Pidgeon, Giles Scott, Rachael Latham and Shanaze Reade

Tom Daley, Diving, 18, from Plymouth

The youngest of the Magnificent Seven has become a superstar. Daley was selected for the Beijing Games aged just 14 after becoming a British and European champion in the 10-metre platform.

He added the world title in 2009, two Commonwealth golds (in the individual event and synchronised 10m platform) in 2010 and then won an emotional Olympic bronze medal in London, despite intense pressure and expectation and the passing of his father, Rob, in May 2011.

'When I look at some of the photos from 2005 I'm so small! It's crazy how much I've changed since then and what I've achieved in that time.

'Life's changed, too. In fact, it's stacked up to a whole new level since London. Going out anywhere, there are so many people who stop you and say, “Congratulations”.

'It's nice to feel appreciated and respected but it does feel weird that seven years of training were geared towards London 2012 and now it's been and gone.

Superstar: Tom Daley won a bronze medal in the men's 10m platform at the London Games

Superstar: Tom Daley won a bronze medal in the men's 10m platform at the London Games

In the spotlight: Daley (right) presented the Young Sports Personality of the Year award to Josef Craig (centre)

In the spotlight: Daley (right) presented the Young Sports Personality of the Year award to Josef Craig (centre)

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN…

The Magnificent Seven series originated in 2005 through Sportsmail selecting seven talented athletes to follow through to London 2012.

The National Lottery joined as partner in 2006 to promote their funding into the seven chosen athletes, along with over 1,200 other competitors, on their journey to the London 2012 Games.

National Lottery funding, originating directly from the Lottery-playing public across the UK, enables elite athletes to benefit from the world-class coaching, facilities and medical support, giving them every possible chance to succeed during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As the nation's attention moves from the London 2012 Games to Rio 2016, The National Lottery will continue to invest in sports facilities, support staff and coaching, providing opportunities for future generations to succeed on an elite level.

No-one has contributed more to our athletes than National Lottery players, with more than 1,200 athletes having benefited from world-class coaching and support. www.national-lottery.co.uk/London2012

'I think 2012 changed the face of British sport but there was a bit of a crash after the Olympics when I thought, “I can't believe it's all over.” I'm slowly, gradually, building my way back up there.

'After the Games, I went on holiday with my family and then got two golds at the World Junior Championships: one in the 10-metre event and one in the 3m synchro with Jack Laugher. Then I went to Dubai with my friends and have been back at school catching up on my maths and Spanish A-levels. I want to get three A*s rather than three As.

'Rio in four years' time does seem a long way away, but there are also World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games in between, so there's plenty to look forward to.

'I think in total I might make maybe four or five Olympic Games – depending on how diving moves on – but we'll get to Rio first. It's outdoors, which the Chinese don't like, and I love diving outdoors.'

Louise Watkin, Paralympic Swimming, 20, from Redhill (replaced Rachael Latham)

Latham, who was born with Erbs Palsy, which limits the use of her left arm, made two swimming finals at the Paralympic Games in Beijing.

She retired in 2010 due to injury but went on to become a Channel 4 presenter and was a Sportsmail columnist during the London Paralympics. Watkin, who has upper limb deficiency, won two Paralympic silvers and two bronzes in London.

Dazzling: Louise Watkin won four medals in the London Paralympic Games

Dazzling: Louise Watkin won four medals in the London Paralympic Games

'The Paralympics were amazing. I didn't want them to end. You could hear the crowd when you were under water in the Aquatics Centre. I came away with two medals from the individual events and two in the relays. It went brilliantly.

'In the past four years, the Paralympics has moved on so much. People are still talking about it now. It's nice so many people have got the Paralympics bug. 'I hope there will be more integration in the future. Come and watch us at the World Championships next year. Then hopefully I'll get my gold in Rio!'

Giles Scott, Sailing, 25, from Huntingdon

Scott was a world youth champion in the Laser class when he joined us in 2005 and became world champion in the Finn in 2011. The one major disappointment was missing out on London 2012.

Scott competes in the same class as Ben Ainslie and GB could only send one sailor. With Ainslie now retired, Rio 2016 cannot come soon enough.

Disappointed: Giles Scott missed out on the London Games as he was in the same division as gold medal winner Ben Ainslie

Disappointed: Giles Scott missed out on the London Games as he was in the same division as gold medal winner Ben Ainslie

Who they are

'I wouldn't call it bad luck, being in the same division as Ben. If I had performed at the right regatta it would have led to me being selected to go to the Olympics.

'I was unsure whether to watch the Olympics and some of it was hard, but I got into it and was probably as addicted as everyone else by the end. Since then I have joined an America's Cup team (Team Korea) and moved away from the UK. I wanted to broaden my horizons so I don't mess up for Rio like I did this time around.'

Emily Pidgeon, Athletics, 23, from Cheltenham

Pidgeon was an outstanding junior 5,000 metres runner but has struggled with injuries and found it difficult on the senior circuit. She still hopes her best years are to come.

Her boyfriend, GB runner Andrew Osagie, was in the fastest 800m race in history, the Olympic final in London.

'It has been an amazing journey. It's scary how quickly it's gone. I always thought I'd be there in London, so it's been up and down.

'When I realised I wasn't going to be
able to compete, it wasn't that I didn't want anything to do with the
Olympics but I just knew I'd find it hard to go and watch.

A first: Emily Pidgeon ran around the Olympic Park stadium before anyone else

A first: Emily Pidgeon ran around the Olympic Park stadium before anyone else

'But because I got injured in May I had dealt with that by the time the Olympics came round.

'I was determined to enjoy the experience and I'm so glad I did. I was there to watch Andrew in his heat and his final. I think there's a reason I was injured and I hope Rio will be my time.'

Gemma Howell, Judo, 22, from Telford (replaced Jean-Rene Badrick)

Badrick, then 16, won bronze at the European Youth Olympics but retired in 2010 through injury. Howell replaced him, battled back from serious injury and was selected for London.

She was disqualified in her first-round fight against world champion Gevrise Emane.

'It was the worst and best week of my life. I was devastated. When I came off the mat I wanted to get out of there as quickly as possible but then I thought, “I just have to use this going forward to Rio.”

Devastated: Gemma Howell was disqualified in her first round bout at the 2012 Olympics

Devastated: Gemma Howell was disqualified in her first round bout at the 2012 Olympics

'I was more nervous than I'd ever been. I have dreamed since I was little of being Olympic champion and I was a bit overwhelmed. Hopefully I can just get on with the job next time around.

'I've started a sport and exercise science degree at Bath University. My brain hurts after four years out of education. But while I want an Olympic medal more than anything, it's education and judo going forward.'

Louis Smith, Gymnastics, 23, Peterborough

In 2006, Smith won the Commonwealth pommel horse title aged 16 and has not looked back. He won Britain's first individual Olympic gymnastics medal for 100 years with a bronze in Beijing and went one better with silver in London.

He also won a bronze in the men's team event. Since the Games he has won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. 'No one would ever have thought we could have got that bronze in the team event. I didn't even think we could do it. It was a big statement to the rest of the world.

'It was really hard to come back again for my individual event. Winning the bronze was such a high and then you've got to come back down again for the event that was most important for me, and the one everyone expected me to do well in. It was tough but I'm glad I finished it the way I did.

Enjoying it Smith posed for Sportsmail on the back of a real 'pommel horse'

Enjoying it Smith posed for Sportsmail on the back of a real 'pommel horse'

Proud: Smith put in a sterling performance on the pommel horse to take silver home

Proud: Smith put in a sterling performance on the pommel horse to take silver home

A different route: Smith recently won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

A different route: Smith recently won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing

'There are about seven different paths I could take now: fashion, property, sport. Do I carry on to Rio The Commonwealths When do I call it quits It's about making the right and the best decision, not necessarily the one everyone wants me to make.

'I want to start my own fashion range. It's something I've wanted to do for a while, although I won't be keeping any clothes I've worn on Strictly. They love their glitz and glam and shiny stuff!

'Magnificent Seven has been remarkable in so many different ways. It's been fantastic and we've done some funky stuff along the way.

'I never want to go on a horse again after that photoshoot when I pretended it was a pommel horse! I was scared stiff. I did it, although I probably wouldn't do it now!'

Shanaze Reade, BMX Cycling, 24, from Crewe

Reade went to Beijing as a world champion but crashed out in the final after deciding she would not settle for silver. Reade regained her BMX world title in 2010 and has also won two world championship golds on the track, but that Olympic medal still eludes her. Reade finished sixth in the BMX final in London.

'It was quite hard, mentally, after the Games. Everyone in British cycling did so well and I was tipped to get a medal but, again, I didn't fulfil my potential. I can definitely see what went wrong. It's about staying injury-free moving forward and just getting on that good mental pathway of getting some success under my belt and getting my confidence back.

'I have “Team Reade”, a group of people who I trust and I know will push me, to help me do that, but first and foremost it comes down to me.

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

Crushed: Shanaze Reade finished sixth in the final of the Olympics BMX Cycling

'I'm at a crossroads now where I feel I want to be world champion again in BMX, hopefully in New Zealand next year, and win a BMX Olympic medal. But then I've been world champion on the track and I also want to get further in that because I've only ever done six- to eight-week blocks of training. I would like to do the Commonwealth Games, and BMX isn't in it, so we'll see.

'I went to Beijing on such a high. I hadn't lost a race for six or seven years so I thought, “Why should it be any different”

'Coming into London was the opposite. I had been injured, missed races, crashed out of finals. I had never really fulfilled what I was capable of doing on the day. Now I don't want to short-change myself any longer.'

Twitter highlights from 2012 with Usain Bolt, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Phelps and more

How Bolt, Rio, Phelps and the rest told the story of sport in 2012 using 140 characters

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UPDATED:

21:22 GMT, 24 December 2012

Ah Twitter. How did the sporting world manage before it had you

It's quite astounding how many sportsmen have managed to land themselves in hot water this year in only 140 characters. Joey Barton, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand – the list goes on.

But there are some sporting stars with a much better grasp of Twitter, and choose to use its powers for good rather than evil.

Top Twits: Sportsmen and women used Twitter to offer a brilliant insight into their life away from the track, field or pitch, with Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins and Lance Armstrong producing the most memorable

Top Twits: Sportsmen and women used Twitter to offer a brilliant insight into their life away from the track, field or pitch, with Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins and Lance Armstrong producing the most memorable

Top Twits: Sportsmen and women used Twitter to offer a brilliant insight into their life away from the track, field or pitch, with Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins and Lance Armstrong producing the most memorable

Top Twits: Sportsmen and women used Twitter to offer a brilliant insight into their life away from the track, field or pitch, with Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins and Lance Armstrong producing the most memorable

The Olympics saw a social media explosion as it became the most tweeted event 2012, with a staggering 150 million tweets being sent over the 16 days.

And the athletes involved were desperate to share their moments of joy with the fans, as well as with watching celebrities.

After Bradley Wiggins won time trial gold medal he posted a picture of himself celebrating next to St Paul's iconic dome in central London. Ever the life and soul of the party, the cyclist added: ‘Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages, Thank You everyone it’s been emotional X’

Others not directly involved just had to express their pride in the British team as they watched them storm to victory. Kevin Pietersen could barely contain his excitement as Mo Farah took his second gold of the games.

His tweet was simple, but said what most of those at home and in the stadium were screaming: 'Moooooooooooooo Mooooooooooooo Moooooooooooo #BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM'

The American athletes were thrilled to be given personal praise from Barack Obama himself.

Michael Phelps received congratulations from the President as he tweeted: 'Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record. You've made your country proud. –bo.'

Says what we're thinking: Kevin Pietersen summed up the nation's feelings as Mo Farah claimed gold

Says what we're thinking: Kevin Pietersen summed up the nation's feelings as Mo Farah claimed gold

Says what we're thinking: Kevin Pietersen summed up the nation's feelings as Mo Farah claimed gold

Phelps replied: 'Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the #USA!! The best country in the world!!'

Teen sensation Missy Franklin was also beside herself when she received a tweet of congratulations following her first gold medal in the 100m backstroke, but hers was from Justin Bieber, who tweeted: 'Heard @FranklinMissy is a fan of mine. Now I'm a fan of hers too. CONGRATS on winning GOLD! #muchlove.'

'I just died,' was Franklin’s simple response.

There were some more poignant moments over the 16 days.

As Michael Phelps bowed out of the Games for good he tweeted: 'Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened – Dr Seuss.'

Ryan Lochte joined his American team-mate in putting forward more philosophical thoughts, tweeting: 'Always reach for the moon cuz if u slip up u will still be a star!! #Jeah'

And of course, the Olympics wouldn’t be complete without a classic from Usain Bolt.

He had just become the first man to defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic titles and, never one to shy away from his own success, the Jamaican superstar tweeted: 'Thanks to all my real fans and people who believe in me. I am now a living legend that’s for sure.'

Later a picture was posted of him with three members of the women's Swedish handball team.

Behind the scenes: We were treated to celebrating dressing rooms

Behind the scenes: We saw celebrating dressing rooms and even the toilets at Buckingham Palace

Behind the scenes: We saw celebrating dressing rooms and even the toilets at Buckingham Palace

TOP 10 TWEETS OF THE YEAR

1. ‘Feels Good To Be Awesome.’ – Bubba Watson

2.
‘Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all
the messages, Thank You everyone it's been emotional X’ – Bradley
Wiggins

3. ‘Moooooooooooooo Mooooooooooooo Moooooooooooo #BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM’ – Kevin Pietersen

4. ‘Roger uv got the moves like jagger’ – Yuvraj Singh (after Roger Federer’s Wimbledon victory

5. ‘Loving
the lights on the stumps and bails at the BBL (Big Bash League). Remind
me of a pair of trainers I had as a kid.’ – Eoin Morgan

6. ’Andy
Murray did himself, his family and his nation proud today. Played like a
champ. His time will come for sure!’ – Rory McIlroy

7. ‘Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the #USA!! The best country in the world!!’ – Michael Phelps

8. ’OMFG I think it just hit me, I'm a CHAMPION!! I AM a CHAMPION!!’ – Lebron James, after the 2012 NBA Finals

9.
‘Coach, told me to go do a pool workout. So I went & did some Push
ups next to the pool. What! I aint getting this hair wet #mixedchick
#afro’ – Lolo Jones

10. ‘Where did it all go wrong They say it’s the
organiser’s fault, but I blame myself.’ – Twitter user impersonating
an unoccupied Olympic chair

Another athlete having fun on Twitter this year was Bubba Watson. After winning his first Major he told the world how he felt in quite simple terms, tweeting: 'Feels Good To Be Awesome.'

The golfer also managed to please an over-excitable fan, who tweeted at him: 'Hey Bubba, Please could You tweet me saying hi or something :3'

Watson responded with a brief 'hi' and the fan replied with: 'You have just made my day! Thank You!! :3'

But 2012 did see some darker moments on the social networking site, with many a careless comment resulting in a fine or worse.

Racism as an issue has been the ever-present spectre in sport this year, and Twitter was in no way immune.

Rio Ferdinand committed one of the most high-profile foul-ups when he re-tweeted a comment about Ashley Cole.

Cole had been appearing in court as part of John Terry’s defence against charges of racially aggravated abuse towards Anton Ferdinand, and a Twitter user labelled him a 'choc ice' – a slang term which refers to someone being black on the outside but white on the inside.

Ferdinand re-tweeted the comment, saying: 'I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!'

The comment drew criticism from many who felt it smacked of hypocrisy in an argument about racism. The Manchester United defender was fined 45,000 but suffered no harsher punishment.

The same cannot be said for Voula Papachristou and Michel Morganella, both of whom were sent home from the Olympics after tweeting offensive remarks.

Breaking news: After his collapse on the pitch at White Hart Lane, the world waited for news of Fabrice Muamba. It was provided through Twitter

Breaking news: After his collapse on the pitch at White Hart Lane, the world waited for news of Fabrice Muamba. It was provided through Twitter

Papachristou, a triple-jumper, was expelled from the Greek Olympic team after tweeting in reference to mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus: 'With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!'

The tweet was seen as xenophobic and against the ideals of the Olympic Games, as were the comments made by Michel Morganella, who labelled Koreans, 'retards' and said they could 'burn' after Switzerland's 2-1 defeat at the hands of South Korea.

Like Papachristou, the Swiss was immediately sent home.

Snooker ace Mark Allen also got himself into trouble with offensive tweets during the Haikou World Open, after he tweeted: 'Journey a nightmare. People are ignorant. Place stinks. Arena's rubbish, tables poor, food is horrendous. Other than that I love China.'

Though that particular tweet was removed, it was one in a number of less-than-flattering statements about the host country.

There were some downright uncomfortable moments too, such as when Lance Armstrong, ever defiant in the face of criticism, tweeted a picture of his seven Tour de France jerseys hanging on his wall.

The titles may have been stripped after doping allegations, but the disgraced cyclist didn’t seem to take that too seriously as he tweeted ‘Back in Austin and just layin’ around’ with the picture of him lying on a sofa beneath the jerseys.

There was also bewilderment when three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton revealed on Twitter that she had been working as an escort.

Hamilton competed in three Olympic Games for the US, in 1992, 1996 and 2000. The middle-distance runner lived in Wisconsin with her husband, but had been working for an escort service in Las Vegas.

'I do not expect people to understand,' tweeted the American. 'But the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression.'

Dad's the word: Gerard Pique and Dan Carter were two to take to Twitter to reveal good news to the world

Dad's the word: Gerard Pique and Dan Carter were two to take to Twitter to reveal good news to the world

Dad's the word: Gerard Pique and Dan Carter were two to take to Twitter to reveal good news to the world

Some athletes used Twitter for what could be called 'professional reasons' in 2012, but perhaps unadvisedly so.

As a rule of thumb it’s usually best
not to criticise your employers in public forums, but that didn’t stop
Australian fly-half Quade Cooper from labelling the environment in the
Wallabies as ‘toxic’ on Twitter.

Cooper spent a few months in limbo as
he waited to see what the long-term fall-out would be from his comments,
but all was forgiven in the end and he re-joined the national squad
earlier this month.

But there was some heart-warming tweeting amongst all the fraying tempers. Gerard Pique and Dan Carter both used Twitter to announce baby news this year, with Pique posting the picture of his first child’s sonogram.

'His first pic! #excited #cute,' tweeted the proud prospective papa.

All Black Carter announced that his wife Honor was expecting a baby in November, tweeting: 'Thought it was time to share our exciting news.. @honorcarter is 21 weeks pregnant! We are both very excited about being parents Babycarter.'

All in all the year has exemplified Twitter’s ubiquity in sport, and whether or not we see managers and agents start to ban their charges from using it remains to be seen.

It would be a shame for fans to lose the chance to interact with their idols in the way that 2012 has shown is possible. But with so many players making headlines for the wrong reasons, it may be an inevitable end result.

Shamed Victor Conte supplies supplements to Amir Khan

Shamed Conte supplies supplements to British light-welterweight Khan

|

UPDATED:

00:36 GMT, 23 December 2012

Amir Khan, back on the world title
trail following last week's win over Carlos Molina, has taken nutrional
supplements supplied by Victor Conte, the man jailed for his part in one
of the world's biggest doping scandals.

Conte, sentenced to four months in
prison in 2005 for distributing steroids, is chief executive of a
company called SNAC System Inc, which issued supplements to Khan in the
run-up to his career-saving victory over Molina.

Comeback: Amir Khan after beating American Carlos Molina

Comeback: Amir Khan after beating American Carlos Molina

The 62-year-old was introduced to Khan via the Bolton man's new trainer, Virgil Hunter. Conte told The Mail on Sunday: 'I provided Amir Khan with supplements during his training camp with Virgil Hunter and special pre-fight supplements.'

A spokesman for Khan said: 'Amir did take supplements from a company called SNAC, which I believe is Victor Conte's company.

'Everything he took was declared to USADA, who were regulating the drugs tests for the Molina fight. Everything was cleared by them.'

Conte founded the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative [BALCO], which was raided in 2003 after evidence emerged that Conte had been providing performance-enhancing drugs to elite athletes such as five-time Olympic sprint champion Marion Jones, Tim Montgomery and British runner Dwain Chambers.

Conte has since become an anti-doping advocate and has provided consultation for agencies including the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association [VADA], which caught Lamont Peterson earlier this year before he was due to fight Khan in a rematch.

Khan has stated several times his abhorrence towards drug use in boxing and is one of the few fighters to undergo random blood and urine testing.

The British light-welterweight is still bitter that his hopes of avenging a split-decision defeat by Peterson were scuppered when the American tested positive for a banned substance ahead of their proposed rematch.

Khan has said: 'There are a lot of fighters out there who might be taking [drugs]. Imagine me taking it – I'd be an animal. How many people are on this stuff You just don't know.'

Sports Personality of the Year 2012: Who will win?

Sports Personality of the Year: The shortlist is in… but who do our writers think will win

PUBLISHED:

12:13 GMT, 27 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

15:34 GMT, 27 November 2012

Names in the frame…

Nicola Adams (boxing)
Ben Ainslie (sailing)
Jessica Ennis (athletics)
Mo Farah (athletics)
Katherine Grainger (rowing)
Sir Chris Hoy (cycling)
Rory McIlroy (golf)
Andy Murray (tennis)
Ellie Simmonds (swimming)
Sarah Storey (cycling)
David Weir (athletics)
Bradley Wiggins (cycling)

Winner announced on Sunday, December 16

This year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award is as wide open as it has ever been following 12 months of remarkable achievement from our British athletes.

A stellar year for British sport has seen countless timeless moments created by our sporting stars at the London 2012 Olympic Games as well as some stunning winning performances from Brits in annual events such as the Tour de France and the US Open.

All 12 nominees are in with a genuine chance of winning and, as such, next month's vote promises to be the most hotly contested since the award's inauguration in 1954.

With the countdown to the showpiece on December 16 well under way, Sportsmail's panel of experts give their views on who they think should win the coveted award…

Last time out: Mark Cavendish (centre) collects the 2011 award ahead of second-placed Darren Clarke (left) and third-placed Mo Farah (right)

Last time out: Mark Cavendish (centre) collects the 2011 award ahead of second-placed Darren Clarke (left) and third-placed Mo Farah (right)

JONATHAN McEVOY

Bradley Wiggins

The greatest natural
extrovert in British Olympic sport since Daley Thompson. Both could
offend – Daley turned up in a tracksuit to accept his BBC award and then
swore live on air – but you can’t deny they are both personalities.

Even without his Olympic gold medal,
Wiggins would be the supreme candidate for becoming the first Briton to
win the Tour de France, and to do so clean.

Stellar year: Wiggins celebrates winning the Tour de France

Stellar year: Wiggins celebrates winning the Tour de France

Ben Ainslie, who has just retired
from Olympic competition, is the only Briton to have won four
consecutive individual gold medals and, therefore, my second choice.
Andy Murray is my third.

Charlotte Dujardin and Laura Trott,
two of only four women to claim two golds at one Games, are both unlucky
not to be on the list. So are triathlete Alistair Brownlee and sprint
cyclist Jason Kenny. Their omissions reinforce how 2012 was the year of
unsurpassed sporting achievement.

LAURA WILLIAMSON

David Weir

Until the Paralympic Games I would have voted for Bradley Wiggins or Mo Farah – but then the Weirwolf came along. I watched all of his races in London and still can’t comprehend the drive and mental toughness, never mind the physical toll, that took him to four gold medals.

His performances and personality –
particularly the change that occurred when he put on his red helmet,
ready to race – opened my eyes to the intense, challenging sport of
wheelchair racing. And I would hazard a guess I’m not the only one.

Weirwolf: David Weir won four gold medals at the Paralympic Games

Weirwolf: David Weir won four gold medals at the Paralympic Games

After the debacle of last year, when not a single woman made the shortlist, I was really pleased to see Nicola Adams made the final 12. Personality The woman defines the word. So too, though, do double gold medallist Laura Trott and Ian Poulter, the inspiration behind Europe’s Ryder Cup win. I was surprised Trott missed out, in particular.

MIKE DICKSON

Mo Farah

In this toughest ever ballot it has to be an individual who triumphed without the assistance of team-mates.

Therefore, as the most memorable face of
Britain’s greatest ever sports event, Mo Farah wins by a short head
from Andy Murray, whose historic triumphs give him second by a short
head from Bradley Wiggins.

Historic double: Farah won both the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012

Historic double: Farah won both the 5,000m and 10,000m at London 2012

Ben Ainslie, Katherine Grainger and Rory McIlroy would have made an outstanding triumvirate in any other year. Ian Poulter and Alastair Brownlee are ridiculously unlucky not to have made the shortlist.

CHARLES SALE

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins would be a worthy
winner even in this stellar year for Sports Personality. His Tour de
France success was even more of an achievement for a Briton than Andy
Murray’s first Grand Slam title at the US Open, which would have been
the landslide choice in almost every other year, as would Mo Farah’s
5,000m and 10,000m Olympic double.

The most glaring omission is golfer
Ian Poulter after his unbeaten heroics at Medinah brought that most
unlikely of Ryder Cup triumphs for Europe. And Laura Trott’s two cycling
gold medals should have been rewarded with a place in the final 12,
especially in this girl power year.

Unlucky: Laura Trott and Ian Poulter both missed out on nominations

Unlucky: Laura Trott and Ian Poulter both missed out on nominations

Unlucky: Laura Trott and Ian Poulter both missed out on nominations

PAUL NEWMAN

Bradley Wiggins

It’s the toughest decision ever faced in a Sports Personality of the Year competition but for me Bradley Wiggins just edges out Andy Murray as the No 1 choice.

What these two have on the other top quality runners in the field is that they both won Olympic Gold AND another major competition in their sport. Murray’s triumph over Roger Federer in the Olympics at Wimbledon followed by his first major title in New York makes him the runner-up for me but for Wiggins to win the Tour de France and then win Olympic Gold a few days afterwards, not to mention trying to help Mark Cavendish win his, makes him the winner.

After such a vintage year someone has to miss out but I think Ian Poulter is unlucky not to make the short-list after the Miracle of Medina.

Golden girl: Ennis

Golden girl: Ennis

Legend: Hoy

Legend: Hoy

Thumbs up: Grainger

Thumbs up: Grainger

CHRIS FOY

Andy Murray

The Scot should be recognised for his feat in ending the perennial wait for a British winner of a tennis Major title. While Bradley Wiggins was similarly ground-breaking in his Tour de France triumph, there was less of an all-consuming national obsession with that particular title.

Murray has had to carry the burden of the country’s desperation to anoint a successor to the legendary Fred Perry and he achieved the elusive target in the greatest era his sport has ever witnessed. Not only that, in the time of Federer and Nadal and Djokovic, he also rose to the challenge of claiming an Olympic gold in the iconic setting of Wimbledon’s Centre Court. For this double achievement, Murray deserves to shade the vote ahead of Wiggins and Month Farah.

Sealed with a kiss: Murray lifts the US Open title

Sealed with a kiss: Murray lifts the US Open title

What do you think

Tell us who you think should win and why by leaving a comment below…

One man who should have made the short-list is Ian Poulter. While Rory McIlroy made the cut for his individual feats as world No 1 and USPGA champion, it was Poulter who stood tall in the cauldron of an ‘away’ Ryder Cup, to spark a comeback success which gripped the nation.

Adam Gemili could fund coaching privately – exclusive

EXCLUSIVE: Rising British star Gemili ponders private route in bid for London stay

|

UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 25 November 2012

Fastest British teenager in history: Gemili

Fastest British teenager in history: Gemili

British sprinter Adam Gemili will consider funding his coaching privately to stay in London under the guidance of Michael Afilaka, who has lost his full-time coaching job as part of UK Athletics' restructuring programme.

The world junior 100 metres champion – the fastest British teenager in history, who reached the Olympic semi-finals this summer after training full-time for only seven months – is adamant he wants to continue working at Lee Valley in Enfield and carry on his education.

But the facility is set to offer Lottery-funded athletes only basic medical support after a radical shake-up which will see most services for elite athletes centralised at Loughborough University.

UK Athletics will announce this week there will be only eight full-time jobs. Gemili, 19, receives only around 13,800 a year in Lottery funding owing to his age and the fact he missed out on a place in the Olympic final by 0.04 sec.

Gemili, who learned of Afilaka's dismissal via Twitter while attending the IAAF's Centenary welcome dinner in Barcelona on Friday night, said: 'I'll still be training with him. I won't be moving up to Loughborough.'

Bradley Wiggins deserves Sports Personality award, says Laura Trott

Forget my Olympic golds, Wiggo deserves Sports Personality award, says Trott

|

UPDATED:

13:02 GMT, 10 November 2012

Laura Trott does not need long to think when asked to name a trio of contenders for Sports Personality of the Year.

Despite the raising of a rather uncouth finger outside a hospital this week, the 20-year-old’s choice is simple – and solitary.

'I haven't got a top three but I’ve got a top one,' she laughs. 'Bradley Wiggins.

On your bike: Laura Trott with young cyclist Georgie Savory at the Manchester Velodrome. Trott gave a group of aspiring athletes a masterclass in the sport

On your bike: Laura Trott with young cyclist Georgie Savory at the Manchester Velodrome. Trott gave a group of aspiring athletes a masterclass in the sport

'It’s just amazing what he’s done. Obviously winning the Tour de France and the Olympics within how many days – 10 days of each other

'No British rider has ever won the Tour de France so for him to do that was amazing. For him to win the Olympics straight after is just the best.'

Trott has her own claim to a mention on the annual list – having won two gold medals on her Olympic debut. She held a key role in the victorious team pursuit side which smashed the world record, and then pulled off a stunning solo win in the omnium.

'I don’t think I will be nominated – but I would like to,' she confesses. Given the remarkable success of female athletes this summer it seems impossible there will be a repeat of last year's male-only shortlist, though.

And Trott feels two names should definitely feature.

'I think Jess Ennis is another woman who should be nominated, and Ellie Simmonds as well.’

After a trip to Dubai with her boyfriend Jason Kenny in September, Trott took part in her first track session since the Games a couple of weeks ago.

'A bit of a shock to the system,’ she says, speaking at the Manchester Velodrome as part of a London 2012 legacy day.

Twenty-four hours earlier she had experienced a different kind of jolt – meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace. It was an encounter Trott labels her strangest amid a whirlwind of post-Olympics appearances.

'It was a bit random and a bit surreal almost,' she says. 'It was really nice. You never actually think that you're going to be able to meet her.

Golden girls: Dani King, Trott, and Joanna Rowsell after winning the team pursuit event in London

Golden girls: Dani King, Trott, and Joanna Rowsell after winning the team pursuit event in London

Golden girls: Dani King, Trott, and Joanna Rowsell after winning the team pursuit event in London

'She grabbed my medals and everything! All she said was, “What event did you compete in” So I said, “Track cycling”.

'She said she had found it really interesting at the Olympics because she hadn’t seen it before. She said she couldn't imagine how much the medals weighed and that’s when she took them.'

Trott makes her competitive return to the velodrome next weekend for the World Cup in Glasgow. She will be reunited with Dani King and Joanna Rowsell for the team pursuit, as well as riding the omnium.

She admits it will be peculiar to race in the venue named after her friend Sir Chris Hoy and is curiously reluctant to make any statements which could be interpreted as confident.

'What comes comes. We can’t guarantee that we’re going to win or anything.'

Of more certainty is Trott's move to the road for part of the 2013 season. She, King and Rowsell have all signed up to the DTPC Honda Pro Cycling team, which is being backed by Wiggins.

Flying the flag: Trott will not focus on road racing until after Rio 2016

Flying the flag: Trott will not focus on road racing until after Rio 2016

She has fond memories of past road experience and says she will 'pick and choose' which races to compete in – mindful of a desire to enter the Under 23 European Championships.

'It will be different because it's on the road but it will be with people that I know,' she says. 'I'd like to go back to the Czech Republic as that was my first major race when I was a junior.

'I really enjoyed it. It’s quite hilly and there’s a mix. There’s a time trial, there's a prologue. It’s like a tour but only a little one.

'I'll probably do Under 23 Euros during the year to get a few more qualification points. I’m not going to focus on the road until maybe after Rio.’

The Lance Armstrong case arrived not long after Britain's beautiful summer of cycling to display the ugly side of the sport’s recent history. The Glasgow World Cup will be the first time the country has hosted a major gathering since the revelations.

But Trott feels the saga, which shows no signs of ending soon, has failed to take away from all that was achieved cleanly in the Tour de France and London this year.

'That story’s completely different to the success and everything that’s happened over the summer,’ Trott says passionately. ‘I don’t think it is detracting from it.'

National Lottery funding was crucial to our athletes' stunning medal success at London 2012. Lottery funding is also improving local sports clubs and facilities for everyone to enjoy sport

BBC Sports Personality of the Year award increased to 12 candidates

BBC to list super 12 for Sports
Personality of the Year award

|

UPDATED:

13:57 GMT, 19 October 2012

The BBC's shortlist for the Sports
Personality of the Year award will be extended to 12 names in
recognition of the unprecedented achievements this summer.

A new selection format will also be
revealed on Friday, with Baroness Grey-Thompson, Denise Lewis and Sir
Steve Redgrave part of a 12-person panel given the task of picking the
candidates ahead of the public vote on December 16.

Sportsmail's head of sport, Lee Clayton, is one of three newspaper executives who have been choosen to take part in the process.

Favourite: Bradley Wiggins

In the running: Bradley Wiggins

The changes to the procedure are in part a response to the outcry caused when last year's version did not include any female nominees. Magazines Nuts and Zoo were two of the 27 publications which received a vote.

A BBC statement said: 'With an increased shortlist of 12, in recognition of the unprecedented success of UK athletes in 2012, this year's contest for the coveted title will be one of the most hotly contested in the show's history.'

The 2012 panel will be chaired by the BBC's director of sport Barbara Slater, and include Sir Steve Redgrave, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Denise Lewis, presenter Eleanor Oldroyd, the three newspaper sports editors, plus UK Sport chair Baroness Sue Campbell.

Golden girl: Ellie Simmonds

Golden girl: Ellie Simmonds

Slater said: 'This year's sports
personality of the year will be a celebration of what has been a truly
unique year for sport in the UK. We are incredibly proud to be hosting
the sporting grand finale for such a remarkable year.'

Bradley Wiggins, who became the first
Briton to win the Tour de France before taking the Olympic time-trial
crown, is the bookies' favourite with Andy Murray, who won Britain's
first Grand Slam title since 1936 at the US Open – as well as gold and
silver at London 2012 – in second.

In Redgrave's eyes, Wiggins has a winning pedigree. 'We have had tennis
players who have won Grand Slams,' he said. 'We have never had anybody
who has won the Tour de France.'

Make the Mo-st of it: It has been an incredible 12 months for British sport

Make the Mo-st of it: It has been an incredible 12 months for British sport

Redgrave revealed that his shortlist so far also includes three Paralympians – David Weir, Sarah Storey and Ellie Simmonds.

Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Clare Balding will host the show in front of a capacity crowd of 15,000 at the ExCeL Arena, making it the largest gathering in the award's 59-year history. Viewers will be asked to vote for the winner during the broadcast.

Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis are two others in contention and Ennis pipped Farah to the title of British Olympic Athlete of the Year. The heptathlon gold medallist claimed 48 per cent of the vote. Wheelchair racer Weir also collected 48 per cent of the vote en route to claiming the Paralympic award.

Lee Clayton, the Mail's head of sport, on his tough choices

Stars: Joanna Rowsell with cycling pal Dani King

Stars: Joanna Rowsell with cycling pal Dani King

I asked for some help from my followers on Twitter. Well it's not exactly easy, is it This year, 2012, is the year of
many sports personalities.

Simon Hudd, thankfully, offered this opinion in 140
characters. He Tweeted: 'shortlist: Wiggo, Murray, Farah, Ennis, Weir,
Ainslie, McllRoy, Hoy, Brownlee, Simmonds, Kenny, Trott'

There are plenty more he could have added, including the
delightful Joanna Rowsell.

I've got some time before gathering with my follow BBC
judges next month for a day of challenging debate and discussion, but what do
people like Denise Lewis and Sir Steve Redgrave know about sport…

It's an honour to be asked by the Beeb to be among their
12 nominated for the panel, including two other national sports editors, in a
revamped system.

I included only one female competitor in my list for
2011, but there are plenty of contenders this time.

I'm going to take my time, but if I had to vote now, I
would naturally look to Bradley Wiggins (great sideburns, lively on that bike
of his), Andy Murray (gold, silver and a Grand Slam… Well done, fella) and
Mighty, magnificent Mo (double gold and kick to destroy the mightiest Olympics
distance fields).

I saw David Weir win Paralympics gold in the 800m and was
left open mouthed by his sporting genius as the paralympians dazzled us. Forget
what they can't do, now we can all see what they CAN do.

But, right now, my vote would go to Jessica Ennis. Poster
girl, perfect start, golden finish. What more could we ask of her

In the year
of the Olympics, when London ruled the sporting world, the heptathlete from
Sheffield jumped, threw and chased her way into our hearts, under extreme
pressure.

I look forward to casting my vote and talking it through.
Let the debate begin.

Phillips Idowu Lottery funding renewed by UKA

Rio funds for Idowu as triple-jumper ends UKA feud despite London 2012 flop

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 15 October 2012

Phillips Idowu's spat with UK Athletics appears to be over after he was lavished with warm words and the tangible gift of 75,000.

The triple-jumper kept his top-bracket Lottery funding for 2013 on the day marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe was among several senior athletes removed from the programme in UKA’s ruthless push for success at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Idowu's inclusion on 'podium' funding — up to 26,000 in living expenses, plus coaching, training, competition, medical and scientific support worth another 50,000 — comes despite his rift with former head coach Charles van Commenee.

Bust-up: Phillips Idowu feuded with former UKA chief Charles van Commenee

Bust-up: Phillips Idowu feuded with former UKA chief Charles van Commenee

The pair fell out over the way Idowu withdrew from the European Team Championships last year, with the stand-off doing neither any credit.

Idowu, 33, then refused to come clean about his injury status as the London Olympics approached and failed to qualify for the final, but now Van Commenee has departed.

After meeting Idowu, new performance director Neil Black said: ‘We both feel really positive about the future. We are going to work together.’

Cash blow: Radcliffe has been removed from the list of athletes befitting from Lottery funding

Cash blow: Radcliffe has been removed from the list of athletes benefitting from Lottery funding

There can be no argument with Radcliffe’s treatment. She is 39 in December and has suffered a litany of injuries, the latest of which — to her left foot — kept her out of the Olympics. Her chances of making Rio are slim, but she said: ‘Retirement is definitely not in any plans. I’m not doing all this cross-training and getting this foot healthy and strong for nothing!’

With Black saying the emphasis is on Rio, the inclusion of well-travelled triple-jumper Yamile Aldama appears odd. The former Cuban and Sudanese competitor will be 44 by then.

Leap of faith: Garabarz is one of those whose funding will be boosted

Leap of faith: Garabarz is one of those whose funding will be boosted

Other big names to be axed are: veteran sprinters Mark Lewis-Francis and Marlon Devonish, European 400m hurdles champion Rhys Williams, Radcliffe’s fellow marathon runner Mara Yamauchi, former European 800m silver medallist Michael Rimmer, Commonwealth 1500m bronze medallist Steph Twell and former world 400m silver medallist Nicola Sanders.

Sprint prodigy Adam Gemili, 19, is added to the podium list. Robbie Grabarz, Olympic bronze-medal-winning high jumper, returns to full funding.

"Coach of coaches" Tyler to be given key UK Athletics post following Charles Van Commenee

'Coach of coaches' Tyler to be given key UK Athletics post after Van Commenee departure

|

UPDATED:

16:46 GMT, 12 September 2012


New role: Kevin Tyler (top), UK Athletics' Head of Coaching, is expected to have a key post in a reshuffle following the resignation of Charles Van Commenee (middle)

New role: Kevin Tyler (top), UK Athletics' Head of Coaching, is expected to have a key post in a reshuffle following the resignation of Charles Van Commenee (middle)

Canadian Kevin Tyler is expected to be given a key role when UK Athletics announce their new team to take over from head coach Charles van Commenee on Thursday.

The governing body are set to unveil a new structure that will differ from the current set-up under the Dutchman, who is stepping down in December.

Tyler, who has been UK Athletics' strategic head of coaching and development since 2008, has built a reputation as a 'coach of coaches' and worked closely with Van Commenee.

When he was appointed, UKA chief executive Niels de Vos described Tyler as 'an outstanding coach', adding: 'His real reputation is as a coach of coaches who makes things happen.'

Van Commenee confirmed on Tuesday he will step down as head coach, sticking to his promise to move on if the British track and field team failed to meet his own target of eight medals at the London Olympics.

British athletes won six medals in London, two short of the target, and although four were golds – two for Mo Farah plus Jessica Ennis and Greg Rutherford – Van Commenee has stuck to his word.

De Vos said UKA had been planning for life without Van Commenee for some time because they were always aware of the possibility he would leave after the Olympics.