Tag Archives: backlash

Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy take a trip around Sydney

Strewth! Wozzilroy frolic 300m above the streets of Sydney on vertigo-inducing Tower Skywalk

Wozniacki suffered with some knee niggles which led to her losing the No 1 ranking, and a loss to Pervak will not have been the way that she would have preferred to finish off the year.

But she seemed to be in good spirits as she joined McIlroy on the Sydney Tower Skywalk. The pair took a stroll around the top of the building, which is over 300m tall.

It must have been a nerve-wracking experience for the Dane, as she tweeted: 'Really proud of myself, on top of the world in Sydney with @McIlroyRory! #afraidofhights'

The pair also made stop at the world-famous Sydney Opera House during their city trip.

The pair have denied that they are set to wed after Wozniacki was spotted wearing a diamond ring

Not engaged: The pair have denied that they are set to wed after Wozniacki was spotted wearing a diamond ring

They have denied engagement rumours after Wozniacki was spotted with a diamond studded ring on her left hand.

McIlroy recently revealed that he doesn’t know whether or not he will aim to play in the 2016 Olympics.

Golf has just been accepted back into the Olympic family, but the Northern Irishman is anticipating a backlash from whichever nation he chooses not to play for in Rio.

‘Play for one side or the other or not play at all because I may upset too many people,’ said McIlroy, in a BBC Northern Ireland documentary.

‘Those are the three options that I am considering very carefully.’

Matt Jarvis shows support for gay footballers in Attitude magazine interview

Coming out could help a gay footballer play better, suggests Jarvis as West Ham winger aims to tackle homophobia

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

21:54 GMT, 3 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:29 GMT, 3 January 2013

West Ham winger Matt Jarvis has insisted it is time a gay footballer felt comfortable enough to come out and believes that doing so could aid an individual's on-pitch performances.

Jarvis has followed the leads of David Beckham and Freddie Ljungberg to become only the third footballer to feature on the cover of the UK's bestselling gay magazine, Attitude, and is confident that homophobia would not be a significant problem.

'It's everyday life,' said Jarvis, who is married. 'It's not something that's going to be a shock.

Supportive: Jarvis believes gay footballers need no longer fear a backlash

Supportive: Jarvis believes gay footballers need no longer fear a backlash

'I'm sure there are many footballers who are gay, but when they decide to actually come out and say it, it is a different story. It's one that I'm sure they've thought about many times. But it's a hard thing for them to do.'

When asked if being out could improve a player's performance, Jarvis responded: 'I'd agree with that. Because you've always got something you're worried about at the back of your mind.

'If you can let that go and then just concentrate on your one goal, which is whichever sport you're doing to the best of your ability, I think that would help. Definitely.'

Record: Jarvis, at 10.75m, is West Ham's club record signing

Record: Jarvis, at 10.75m, is West Ham's club record signing

The first 1m black footballer Justin Fashanu famously came out in 1990
but became the victim of considerable abuse and killed himself eight
years later, and the only player to come out since is Anton Hysen of the
Swedish lower leagues.

Jarvis, however, believes a modern player would receive greater backing and acceptance if he decided to do the same.

'There'd be support everywhere within the football community, whether it be players, fans or within the PFA [Professional Footballers' Association],' Jarvis explained. 'There would definitely be groups of people who would be supportive and help them through it.'

Tragic: The loss of Justin Fashanu may have discouraged other gay footballers from coming out

Tragic: The loss of Justin Fashanu may have discouraged other gay footballers from coming out

Attitude's editor, Matthew Todd, however, believes football has a problem with homophobia and needs to tackle it in the same way it is racism.

'It's ridiculous that there are no openly gay players in professional football,' Todd said.

'There's rightly been a focus on ridding the beautiful game of racism, but there doesn't seem to be much effort to tackle homophobia.

Lion: Jarvis on international duty with England's senior side

Lion: Jarvis on international duty with England's senior side

'We know there are gay players – and fans who support the game religiously – so I hope this starts a discussion and is a small step in the right direction.'

David Moyes has promised Rafa Benitez a warm reception in the dug-out

Moyes relishing Rafa's visit but Chelsea boss can expect return to hostilities

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UPDATED:

00:22 GMT, 29 December 2012

David Moyes promised Rafa Benitez a warm welcome to the dug-out but was less sure of the reception awaiting him from irate Everton fans when Chelsea visit Goodison Park tomorrow.

Benitez is getting used to being booed by his own Chelsea followers since taking over but he can expect an even greater level of hostility when he takes a team to Goodison for the first time in over three years.

Welcome: Though they had a frosty relationship when Rafa Benitez (left) was a manager on Merseyside, David Moyes will give a warm welcome to the manager when he arrives at Goodison Park

Welcome: Though they had a frosty relationship when Rafa Benitez (left) was a manager on Merseyside, David Moyes will give a warm welcome to the manager when he arrives at Goodison Park

Vilified by Stamford Bridge patrons for some disparaging remarks about Chelsea as Liverpool manager, Benitez also managed to alienate Everton supporters during his Anfield tenure.

They were unhappy with his ‘small club’ jibe in 2007 — a comment which related to alleged defensive tactics — and it will surely return to haunt him when he emerges from the Goodison tunnel.

Asked yesterday whether Everton might be punching above their weight for a small club as they challenge for a Champions League place, Moyes grinned and said: ‘I’d better not answer that.’

Everton fans probably won't be as welcoming to the ex-Liverpool boss, however

Everton fans probably won't be as welcoming to the ex-Liverpool boss, however

The Everton manager was still smiling as he considered whether Benitez’s outburst might provoke a backlash from his club’s supporters and players.

‘Will it motivate us No, I don’t think it will have any effect whatsoever,’ he said wryly. ‘I think we have moved on as a team since he was last here.

‘There has been a lot of progress and that is why we have done so well over the past 12 months.’

Doubt: Darron Gibson (right) is hoping to be ready in time for the clash with Chelsea

Doubt: Darron Gibson (right) is hoping to be ready in time for the clash with Chelsea

Alex McLeish: I"ll win over Nottingham Forest fans with positive results

I'll banish negative reputation with positive results, insists McLeish after Forest fans' backlash against new boss

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UPDATED:

21:53 GMT, 28 December 2012

Alex McLeish mounted a sterling defence of his managerial methods as he countered criticism that his appointment is a backward step for Nottingham Forest.

The Scot returned to the game following an eight-month absence after his sacking by Aston Villa, struggling to shake off the perception that he was a negative coach.

Social networking sites were awash with opposition to his arrival but the former Rangers coach brushed aside suggestions that he would dismantle what Sean O'Driscoll had left behind.

I'm in charge: Alex McLeish poses with a Nottingham Forest shirt at the City Ground on Friday

I'm in charge: Alex McLeish poses with a Nottingham Forest shirt at the City Ground on Friday

'I am an organised coach,' said the erstwhile protege of Sir Alex Ferguson. 'I can't apologise for that. I think people might be confusing the issue.

'I could have nine positives on my CV and one negative and some people would point out the negative.

'Winning games will help get the fans behind me. It's not as if I'm Jose Mourinho walking in here and it's a unanimously popular decision.

'Some of the fans may not be with me but if we win games and play the kind of football that they produced against Leeds, there's no reason why we cannot get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet.

'The situation here is simple. If it ain't broke, why fix it We have a good bunch of players playing good football.

'What I've got to do is brainwash these guys into have winning mentalities.

Back on the training pitch: McLeish on Friday morning during his first session as Forest boss

Back on the training pitch: McLeish on Friday morning during his first session as Forest boss

'You don't do that by winning against Leeds, then losing the next game. That means winning against Leeds, then winning the game after that…and the one after that.

'I think there is a few players in our dressing-room who are capable of that.'

McLeish has agreed a one-year rolling contract with Forest and his assistant at Villa Park, Peter Grant, will be joining him at the City Ground.

His brief is to 'mount a very serious challenge' and, in fairness to the Scot, it was not his fault that O'Driscoll was making a decent fist of that before the axe fell on Boxing Day.

McLeish said that the job was a 'wonderful opportunity' but that he needed a break after an horrific end to his stay at Villa Park. A text reading 'Welcome back to the asylum' from Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy was received with a smile.

Unwanted reputation: The former Scotland boss is ready to prove certain disapproving fans wrong

Unwanted reputation: The former Scotland boss is ready to prove certain disapproving fans wrong

'It was a difficult job at Villa but one I met head on,' he said, 'It was great to get over the line despite the catalogue of horrors we had there.

'It had been draining. I was on a bit of a downer after leaving Birmingham.

'But I don't regret it. It's just that the glove maybe didn't fit.

'It wasn't easy at Villa. It's not easy to turn that club around overnight with a few changes. Paul (Lambert) is maybe finding that. It's been a roller-coaster for him.

'But that's in the past now as far as I'm concerned. I'm at Nottingham Forest now and I couldn't be more delighted with that.'

England warned about Australia backlash – Stuart Lancaster

Beware the backlash! Aussies will be hurting, warns England coach Lancaster

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UPDATED:

15:59 GMT, 12 November 2012

Stuart Lancaster warned England must be prepared for an Australian backlash in Saturday's Cook Cup showdown.

Hours after England opened their QBE autumn campaign with a 54-12 win against Fiji, the Wallabies crashed to a thumping 33-6 defeat to France in Paris.

Lancaster expects the wounded Wallabies to bounce back with a vengeance at Twickenham on Saturday.

Heavy load: Tom Wood stretches using a weight bar during the England training session

Heavy load: Tom Wood stretches using a weight bar during the England training session

'We recognise the challenge that is coming our way,' Lancaster said.

'There is bound to be a reaction from the weekend's performance against France. They are a side with character and resilience.

'I am sure if they have got a few players coming back as well they will be a different animal on Saturday. We need to make sure we are ready.'

Alex Goode lifts weights during the England training session

Alex Corbisiero performs pull ups

To the limits: England's players are put through their paces during a training session

Australia endured a welter of criticism for their performances in the Rugby Championship but responded to that by pushing New Zealand to the brink in Brisbane before departing for Europe.

Lancaster will prepare England to face that side, who drew 18-18 with the All Blacks, rather than the Wallaby outfit that folded in Paris.

'It was only a couple of weeks ago they
pushed the All Blacks and we are expecting that type of performance this
weekend,' Lancaster said.

Tough task: England will face an Australian side hurting after defeat to France

Tough task: England will face an Australian side hurting after defeat to France

'In this situation there is bound to be a reaction. They are a nation full of resilience in adversity and we need to be ready for it.'

Alex Corbisiero and Jonathan Joseph have both returned to the selection mix for England this week after recovering from knee and ankle injuries respectively.

Lancaster and the England coaches will decide tomorrow whether Corbisiero is ready for Test match action, after only his first start of the season yesterday.

Lift it: Chris Ashton joined his England team-mates in the gym after Saturday's victory

Lift it: Chris Ashton joined his England team-mates in the gym after Saturday's victory

Corbisiero played 62 minutes for London Irish in their LV= Cup win against Sale Sharks and Lancaster may look to give him another run at club level.

That would leave England with Joe Marler and Mako Vunipola as the loosehead options, with Corbisiero potentially returning to the squad for the tougher scrummaging battle South Africa are likely to pose.

Easy does it: England cruised to victory over Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday

Easy does it: England cruised to victory over Fiji at Twickenham on Saturday

'(Forwards coach) Graham (Rowntree) went to watch the game yesterday. He was pleased with how (Corbisiero) went but it was his first start in five months,' Lancaster said.

'We have got a decision to make and we will make it after training tomorrow. It is fair to say that is not a huge amount of time.

'Also, Mako did well for us in the game and what he has done in training has been impressive. He has been very accurate in everything he has done.'

Main men: Manu Tuilagi celebrates with Chris Robshaw as he scores their seventh try against Fiji

Main men: Manu Tuilagi celebrates with Chris Robshaw as he scores their seventh try against Fiji

Joseph, who was unavailable for the Fiji game with an ankle injury, trained with England today for the first time since the summer tour of South Africa.

Centre Manu Tuilagi (foot) and lock Geoff Parling (shoulder) both sat out training but Lancaster was confident they would be fit to face the Wallabies.

Roberto Di Matteo: Chelsea would back rule on sacking players guilty of racist abuse

Chelsea back rule to sack players guilty of racist abuse, insists Di Matteo despite leniency club showed to Terry

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UPDATED:

14:38 GMT, 26 October 2012

Roberto Di Matteo has vowed Chelsea would adhere to any rule change that would see players sacked for racist abuse, despite their refusal to kick John Terry out of the club.

Blues boss Di Matteo was coy about whether he fully endorsed the Professional Footballers' Association's six-point plan to combat racism, which has been drawn up in the wake of the Terry scandal.

But the Italian insisted Chelsea would follow it to the letter if it had the backing of the majority of clubs.

Giving orders: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (centre) takes training at Cobham on Friday

Giving orders: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo (centre) takes training at Cobham on Friday

He said: 'It's a difficult one. If the majority believe that we need a law like that then, as I said, we will obey it and support it.'

He added: 'If it will become a rule, we will play by the rules, as we have always done.

'As a club, we are against any kind of discrimination and, if it does go through then we will support it.'

Chelsea came under heavy fire for
merely fining Terry after he was found guilty by the Football
Association of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand just over a year ago.

The
various punishments meted out to the Blues captain prompted a backlash
among some black players towards both the club and the anti-racism
movement.

'Everybody has an opinion and we must respect that,' Di Matteo added. 'We behave the way we think is right for our club and that's how we're going to go forward.'

Some
players took direct action by refusing to wear T-shirts endorsing the
'Kick It Out' campaign during last week's fixtures, including Anton and
Rio Ferdinand.

It is the
turn of Chelsea's squad to sport them during the warm-up before Sunday's
Barclays Premier League game against Manchester United.

Di Matteo said: 'We are supporting the Kick It Out campaign.

Gesture: John Terry (centre) wore a 'Unite Against Racism' armband in Donestsk this week

Gesture: John Terry (centre) wore a 'Unite Against Racism' armband in Donestsk this week

'It's going to be an individual choice for our players. We're not going to force anybody to, or not to, wear it. But my personal opinion is that we should wear it and we should raise awareness about it and show the support for it.'

The last few days have heralded the first signs of peace breaking out between the Ferdinand brothers and Chelsea pair Terry and Ashley Cole.

Cole, who gave evidence in support of Terry at his criminal trial, was branded a 'choc ice' by United's Ferdinand in the wake of the not guilty verdict in those proceedings. There were fears the pair would not shake hands before Sunday's game but both appear prepared to do so.

Di Matteo said: 'I've always said that from our point of view, we'll play our part. I don't foresee any problems in that sense. I hope that all the players will shake hands.'

There have also been suggestions Ferdinand was prepared to offer his hand to former England defensive partner Terry at Stamford Bridge, even though the latter is still serving his racism ban.

Time to shake hands: Ashley Cole, pictured in training on Friday, is ready to end his feud with the Ferdinands

Time to shake hands: Ashley Cole, pictured in training on Friday, is ready to end his feud with the Ferdinands

Confirming Terry would be at the game, Di Matteo said he would endorse such a gesture, saying: 'I'm always for that, yes.'

However, that may not prevent Chelsea fans abusing Ferdinand, as they did during last season's 3-3 draw with United, which took place during the height of the feud between him and Terry.

Di Matteo said: 'Our fans have been very good, generally, very supportive of our team and respectful. I cannot comment on how every individual supporter in the stadium will react. But I'm sure they'll support our team and push them to a win.'

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson earlier welcomed this week's public declaration of peace from the Ferdinand family but acknowledged the racism issue would not disappear just because of a handshake on Sunday.

'Rio and Anton did the right thing,' he said. 'But the race issue is bubbling along. It's not just completely gone away. The awareness is getting stronger and the PFA are doing their best to support it.

Backing: Sir Alex Ferguson, pictured at Carrington on Friday, has welcomed Rio's calling of a truce with Terry

Backing: Sir Alex Ferguson, pictured at Carrington on Friday, has welcomed Rio's calling of a truce with Terry

'But the FA, UEFA and FIFA have got to do more. That is without question.

'As far as the actual game itself, I think we just need to carry on and concentrate on the football side.'

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers backed the PFA's proposal, and in particular the drive to increase the number of coaches and managers from ethnic minorities in the English game.

'Anything that promotes fair play in terms of jobs and work is very important,' he said.

'There is an awful lot of great work that has gone on in this country over the last 20-odd years and it has moved on a hell of a lot. But you can't become complacent with it and it is certainly something where we must keep ensuring that the standards are correct. For people to get work and jobs, it is the best candidate who should get it – no matter what religion, race or creed you are, you shouldn't be discriminated against.'

Asked if all his players would wear T-shirts supporting Kick It Out this weekend, Rodgers added: 'Yes. We obviously had our game with that (at home against Reading last weekend), and now it is Everton's game this weekend. But we will support that.'

Racism in football – PFA reveals six-point plan including Rooney rule

Six-point plan from PFA to rid football of racism with instant sackings and 'Rooney rule' to shortlist black bosses in bid to halt breakaway led by Ferdinand

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UPDATED:

10:56 GMT, 24 October 2012

The PFA have announced a six-point action plan to deal with racism in a bid to halt a breakaway group headed by Rio Ferdinand.

The Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor says the union wants tougher penalties for racist abuse. There has been a big backlash after John Terry was banned for four matches and fined 220,000 for racially abusing Rio's brother Anton Ferdinand.

It includes making racism a sackable offence and introducing a form of the 'Rooney rule' to boost the number of black managers.

It comes as the FA joined Government ministers and senior football figures in urging black players to get behind the Kick It Out campaign and abandon plans for a breakaway union.

Sportsmail revealed earlier this week that Ferdinand is heading a group of black players who are considering setting up a breakaway players' group – which has been referred to as the 'Black Players' Association'.

Centre of attention: John Terry was convicted of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Centre of attention: John Terry was convicted of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Taylor's response comes after Reading
striker Jason Roberts, a member of the PFA's management committee,
expressed frustration that his recommendations had not been acted on.

Taylor outlined the PFA's action plan in a statement, calling for:

Speeding up the process of dealing with reported racist abuse with close monitoring of any incidents.Consideration of stiffer penalties for racist abuse and to include an equality awareness programme for culprits and clubs involved.An English form of the 'Rooney rule' – introduced by the NFL in America in 2003 – to make sure qualified black coaches are on interview lists for job vacancies.The proportion of black coaches and managers to be monitored and any inequality or progress highlighted.Racial abuse to be considered gross misconduct in player and coach contracts (and therefore potentially a sackable offence).To not lose sight of other equality issues such as gender, sexual orientation, disability, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and Asians in football.

Stance: Rio Ferdinand

Stance: Anton Ferdinand

Kicking off: (clockwise from top left) Rio Ferdinand, Anton Ferdinand, Joleon Lescott and Jason Roberts all snubbed the Kick It Out t-shirt campaign in the Premier League last weekend

Stance: Jason Roberts

Stance: Joleon Lescott

Most of the points on the PFA action plan would have to be agreed by the FA and the leagues, such as disciplinary sanctions, courses and changes to contracts.

It is understood that neither the FA nor the Premier League are in favour of bringing in the Rooney Rule, where clubs would be obliged to have at least one candidate from ethnic minorities on shortlists for coaching jobs.

As Sportsmail revealed, a draft constitution for a new group exists, with players as high-profile as Manchester United defender Ferdinand supporting the initiative.

He was one of a number of black players who refused to wear the special Kick It Out anti-racism t-shirt before the Premier League matches last weekend.

It is understood that the players involved are determined to press ahead with plans for the BFA after becoming disillusioned with the game's governing bodies.

Taylor also called for unity in the wake of some players considering forming a breakaway organisation for black players.

He said: 'If they want their own particular select group who they feel they can influence everybody more than the whole PFA as a union together, I would say they are seriously mistaken.

'If we are not careful this will set us back years. It would not only set back the game, it would set back the anti-racist initiative.'

Roberts said he had pleaded with the PFA to beef up their equality department.

He told the Sportsmail: 'The equality department in the PFA needs to change and should have stronger leadership and more than just one or two staff. It doesn't have the resources or the manpower to tackle the job.

Plea: Gordan Taylor wants black players to stick with the Professional Footballers Association

Plea: Gordan Taylor wants black players to stick with the Professional Footballers Association

'These are the issues that I felt needed
to be raised. Detailed discussions and recommendations have been tabled
for a year now, across several meetings, without any progress being
made.'

FA chairman David Bernstein has announced that the governing body will review the sanctions for racist abuse following the John Terry case but insisted the Chelsea's captain's four-match ban was 'about right'.

Meanwhile, former West Brom and Arsenal defender Brendon Batson has called on black players not to form a breakaway group.

Batson, a former PFA administrator, told BBC Radio Five: 'I'd be really disappointed if there was a split and I don't think there would be any benefit.

'What we need to do is address the concerns of current black players, hear their voice and see if we can do something about it.

'We should be very proud of what has happened. Before you had National Front targeting black players and the volume of abuse at stadiums was horrendous.

'The campaign (Kick It Out) when it started off was not just a black issue, all the players supported the campaigns and other campaigns.

'It was a united front against racism and I think we need to harness the anger of the current players and let it be an instrument for change, but I don't think a split will help the situation.'

David James says anti-racism campaigns in football are causing unnecessary trouble

James starts backlash against anti-racism campaigns in wake of Terry case

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UPDATED:

18:52 GMT, 11 October 2012

David James has accused football’s anti-racism campaigners of making too much of the issue, insisting he no longer saw a problem in the game.

Former England goalkeeper James, one of the most high-profile black players of the last 20 years, claimed certain groups had 'an agenda to keep themselves in existence'.

Racism has been one of the biggest topics in football over the past year, with John Terry and Luis Suarez both banned by the Football Association for abusing opponents.

Criticism: David James says too much is being made of certain issues

Criticism: David James says too much is being made of certain issues

But, speaking at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge, James said: 'I think the organisations which have done so good on the terraces are still employed looking for stuff to be shouted about.

'And a lot of the issues that we’ve gone on about in the last season or so, it’s more about people driving the issue than the issue being a real focus.'

Asked to elaborate, James added: 'Well, some people get paid for doing certain jobs and certain jobs involve bringing stuff to public notice.

'The JT thing, it could’ve been dealt with quietly and done. He could’ve served a ban if he was going to serve a ban, rather than it being a six or eight-month thing.'

Pressed on whether he was criticising anti-racism groups, James said: 'I think that some people have an agenda to keep themselves in existence and, as a player, I don’t see the racism issue – anywhere, personally.

'Maybe people just don’t want to aim it at me – I don’t know. But I don’t see it.

'But you read about stuff that maybe you don’t need to read about all the time.'

James also disagreed with those who have
suggested there was institutional racism at the top of football because
of the lack of black managers in the game.

The 42-year-old, who hopes to embark on
his own career in management after completing his UEFA Pro-Licence,
said: 'I struggle with the racist issue in football because I don’t see
it, and that’s not because I’ve got my head in the sand.

Fuss: James says the John Terry case has gone on far too long

Fuss: James says the John Terry case has gone on far too long

'In the earlier days, yes, but the game’s changed.

'There are some wonderful organisations out there which have helped football become a much more enjoyable game for everyone.

'Stuff in the crowd being aimed at players – that’s gone, or pretty much gone. I don’t hear it any more.

Star names: Popular Italian and former referee Pierluigi Collina spoke at the summit

Star names: Popular Italian and former referee Pierluigi Collina spoke at the summit

'With regards to the playing side of things, I don’t look at myself as any different from the guy who gets changed next to me, and I’m not going to fly anyone’s flag in order to join some “gang”, which doesn’t need to be joined.

'If you want to go on a coaching course to become a manager then give yourself a chance.

'If you don’t want to go, and moan about not getting jobs, well, probably because you haven’t been on the course is the reason why you haven’t got a job.'

Lance Armstrong backed by Nike despite drugs revelations

Nike stand by Armstrong despite revelations that disgraced American was at centre of biggest drugs plot in history of sport

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UPDATED:

10:10 GMT, 11 October 2012

Nike are refusing to cut their ties with Lance Armstrong despite his role as ringleader in 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen'.

Armstrong's myth as a cycling hero has been blown to pieces by evidence exposing the seven-time Tour de France winner.

Despite the mounting backlash against the one-time icon, Armstrong's main sponsor Nike continue to back him.

After the latest revelations emerged, Nike re-released the same statement first issued in August. It reads: 'We are saddened that Lance Armstrong may no longer be able to participate in certain competitions and his titles appear to be impacted.

Scroll down for video

Support: Lance Armstrong continues to wear the Nike swoosh on his gear

Support: Lance Armstrong continues to wear the Nike swoosh on his gear

Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished

Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished

USADA's reasoned decision

Click here to read the reasoned decision from the USADA

'Lance has stated his innocence and has
been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support
Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance
created to serve cancer survivors.'

Nike, the world's biggest sportswear brand, have long sponsored Armstrong and his Livestrong charity that has raised money to help cancer survivors and research. Since 2004, Nike has helped Livestrong raise over $100million as well as creating the famous yellow wristbands that have been sold 84m times.

Trek Bicycle Corp also sponsor Arrmstrong and the US company confirmed it is monitoring developments. Trek also sells Livestrong branded bikes.

On Wednesday, the US Anti-Doping Agency released a 200-page report revealing in minute detail how Armstrong:

Surrounded himself with drug runners and doping doctorsBullied team-mates into using his methodsIntimidated witnessesRepeatedly lied to investigatorsPulled out of a race to avoid a test.

No fewer than 11 team-mates testified against him, leaving USADA with 'no doubt that Mr Armstrong's career (from 1998-2005) was fuelled from start to finish by doping'.

The report says: 'Armstrong and his handlers engaged in a massive and long-running scheme to use drugs, cover their tracks, intimidate witnesses, tarnish reputations, lie to hearing panels and the press and do whatever was necessary to conceal the truth.'

It adds that his goal to win the Tour de France 'led him to depend on EPO, testosterone and blood transfusions but also, more ruthlessly, to expect and require that his team-mates would likewise use drugs to support his goals'.

Lying again: Armstrong has a medical test before the 2002 Tour

Lying again: Armstrong has a medical test before the 2002 Tour

THE JOURNALISTS WHO REFUSED TO LET ARMSTRONG ESCAPE

Two journalists have campaigned for a decade to expose Armstrong as a drugs cheat. Sunday Times sportswriter David Walsh led the way, with the co-author of his book, L.A. Confidentiel, Pierre Ballester, as well as the former Tour de France rider and journalist Paul Kimmage.

Walsh discovered Armstrong was working with Dr Michele Ferrari, an Italian coach who was suspected of administering EPO.

Walsh tweeted: 'In the war on doping, this is a seminal moment. An untouchable is about to be exposed, one who believed he was protected by his own sport.'

Kimmage, the author of Rough Ride, about his own experiences with drugs as a professional cyclist in the 1980s, confronted Armstrong at his comeback in 2009.

In a heated exchange between the two, Kimmage, who has also written for the Daily Mail, repeated his earlier claim that Armstrong represented 'the cancer of doping'.

More recently, cycling's world governing body the UCI announced that they are suing Kimmage for his claims that they are 'corrupt'. Supporters of Kimmage have raised more than $50,000 to help him.

The dossier, described as 'jaw-dropping' by British Cycling performance director David Brailsford, was delivered to the headquarters of cycling's world governing body, the UCI. It is based on the sworn testimony of 26 people, including 15 cyclists who were involved in, or had knowledge of, the doping conspiracy. It also uses scientific evidence and bank records.

But the report has also been described as 'one-sided hatchet job,' the cyclist's lawyer have said.

'We have seen the press release from USADA touting the upcoming release today of its “reasoned decision,”' Armstrong lawyer Sean Breen said.

'(The) statement confirms the alleged “reasoned decision” from USADA will be a one-sided hatchet job – a taxpayer-funded tabloid piece rehashing old, disproved, unreliable allegations based largely on axe-grinders, serial perjurers, coerced testimony, sweetheart deals and threat-induced stories,'

Breen also said the agency was 'ignoring the 500-600 tests Lance Armstrong passed, ignoring all exculpatory evidence, and trying to justify the millions of dollars USADA has spent pursuing one, single athlete for years.'

He added: 'USADA has continued its government-funded witch hunt of only Mr Armstrong, a retired cyclist, in violation of its own rules and due process, in spite of USADA’s lack of jurisdiction, in blatant violation of the statute of limitations.'

Armstrong led the US Postal team from 1998, when he launched a comeback after recovering from cancer, to 2005, when he retired after winning a record seventh Tour. Travis Tygart, the head of USADA, said that during this period 'Armstrong acted as a ringleader and intimidated people who spoke out about doping'.

It amounted, said Tygart, to a 'doping conspiracy professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair advantage.

'The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service pro cycling team ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.'

The report also alleges that Armstrong paid more than $1million (625,000) to a Swiss bank account controlled by Dr Michele Ferrari, an Italian coach who has consistently been linked to doping and who stands accused by USADA of administering banned products.

USADA spent five months building a case
against Armstrong, his former team director and three doctors connected
to his former team, including Ferrari.

Shamed: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles

Shamed: Lance Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles

Five individuals connected to the team – the former director, Johan Bruyneel, Ferrari, two other doctors and Armstrong – were charged with doping offences in June and given until August 24 to respond. Armstrong opted not to contest the charges, instead releasing a statement that accused USADA of a 'witch-hunt'.

Brailsford said: It is shocking, it’s jaw dropping and it is very unpleasant, it’s not very palatable and anybody who says it is would be lying wouldn’t they’

‘You can see how the sport got lost in itself and got more and more extreme because it seemed to be systematic and everybody seemed to be doing it at the time – it completely and utterly lost its way and I think it lost its moral compass.'

He added: ‘Everybody has recalibrated and several teams like ourselves are hell-bent on doing it the right way and doing it clean. ‘The challenge is that it is understandable now for people to look at any results in cycling and question that.’

The 15 riders who testified to the agency include six active riders who have all been given reduced six-month bans for their co-operation. Tygart said: 'Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.'

Among the riders who testified were George Hincapie and Michael Barry. Hincapie is one of Armstrong's closest friends, and the only man who rode by his side for all seven Tour victories. Barry has ridden for Team Sky for the past three seasons. Both retired recently.

End of the road: Armstrong has been accused of being involved in a sophisticated doping programme

End of the road: Armstrong has been accused of being involved in a sophisticated doping programme

In a statement released on Wednesday night, Barry said that, when he turned professional with US Postal in 2002, he quickly realised that 'doping had become an epidemic problem in professional cycling'.

'After being encouraged by the team, pressured to perform and pushed to my physical limits, I crossed a line I promised myself and others I would not: I doped. It was a decision I deeply regret.'

Vande Velde, 36, described Wednesday as the 'most humbling moment' of his life and added: 'I was wrong to think I didn't have a choice – I did, and I chose wrong. Ironically, I never won while doping.'

The testimony of Hincapie, who also took the step of releasing a confessional statement, is arguably the most damning. While Armstrong has dismissed others who have spoken out, such as Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, pointing out that both were discredited after failing drug tests,

Hincapie has never failed a drug test, and, more to the point, never fell foul of Armstrong. Indeed, Armstrong has previously described Hincapie as his 'best bro in the peloton'.

On Wednesday, however, Hincapie admitted that, when approached two years ago by US government investigators, he admitted to more than just his own doping: 'I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did.'

Floyd Landis

Tyler Hamilton

Testifying: Armstrong's former team-mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton

The USADA report claims that in 2010,
while under federal investigation, Armstrong tried to persuade Hincapie
to remain in Europe 'to avoid or delay testifying'. In his evidence to
USADA, Hincapie revealed that, at a race in Spain in 2000, Armstrong
told him he 'had just taken testosterone'.

Hincapie then found out that drug
testers were waiting at their hotel. 'I texted Lance to warn him to
avoid the place. As a result, Lance dropped out of the race.'

The report recounts Armstrong's and
his team's use of drugs in eye-watering detail. It claims that, during
Armstrong's Tour victory in 2000 he, Hamilton and Kevin Livingston had a
blood transfusion.

'The whole process took less than 30
minutes,' said Hamilton. 'Kevin Livingston and I received our
transfusions in one room and Lance got his in an adjacent room with an
adjoining door. Each blood bag was placed on a hook for a picture frame
or taped to the wall and we lay on the bed and shivered while the chilly
blood re-entered our bodies.'

Tested: Lance Armstrong walks out of the doping control center during the 2002 Tour De France

Tested: Lance Armstrong walks out of the doping control center during the 2002 Tour De France

Confession: Michael Barry admitted to doping

Confession: Michael Barry admitted to doping

Armstrong's blood samples from his
third comeback, in 2009 and 2010, were also analysed by USADA. They
concluded there was a 'one in a million' chance that Armstrong was not
doping in these years.

The report also raises the
possibility that cycling's governing body, the UCI, helped to suppress a
positive test for Armstrong. During the 2001 Tour of Switzerland the
anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne detected a number of samples that
were 'suspicious for the presence of EPO'.

When the head of the lab reported
this to the UCI, 'he was told by the UCI's medical commission head that
at least one of these samples belonged to Mr Armstrong, but that there
was no way Mr Armstrong was using EPO'.

USADA requested the test results for
re-analysis, using more sophisticated techniques, but 'UCI denied that
request, stating that UCI had asked for Mr Armstrong's consent but that
he had refused'.

Apart from the doping charges, USADA
also accuses Armstrong of being 'engaged in an effort to procure false
affidavits from potential witnesses'. Through emails sent in August
2010, they claim Armstrong 'attempted to contact former team-mates and
others…and asked them to sign affidavits affirming that there was no
'systematic' doping on the US Postal cycling team.

'Such affidavits would be materially
false, as Mr Armstrong was well aware that systematic doping had
occurred on his teams. Consequently, Mr Armstrong's efforts constituted
an attempt to subvert the judicial system and procure false testimony.'

Armstrong has yet to respond to the USADA report, but in an interview last week he said: 'My conscience is perfectly clear.'

FULL STATEMENT FROM USADA

Today, we are sending the 'Reasoned Decision' in the Lance Armstrong case and supporting information to the Union Cycliste International (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), and the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). The evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.

The evidence of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team-run scheme is overwhelming and is in excess of 1,000 pages, and includes sworn testimony from 26 people, including 15 riders with knowledge of the US Postal Service Team (USPS Team) and its participants' doping activities.

The evidence also includes direct documentary evidence including financial payments, emails, scientific data and laboratory test results that further prove the use, possession and distribution of performance enhancing drugs by Lance Armstrong and confirm the disappointing truth about the deceptive activities of the USPS Team, a team that received tens of millions of American taxpayer dollars in funding.

Together these different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence reveal conclusive and undeniable proof that brings to the light of day for the first time this systemic, sustained and highly professionalised team-run doping conspiracy. All of the material will be made available later this afternoon on the USADA website at www.usada.org.

The USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices. A programme organised by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.

The evidence demonstrates that the 'code of silence' of performance enhancing drug use in the sport of cycling has been shattered, but there is more to do. From day one, we always hoped this investigation would bring to a close this troubling chapter in cycling's history and we hope the sport will use this tragedy to prevent it from ever happening again.

Of course, no-one wants to be chained to the past forever, and I would call on the UCI to act on its own recent suggestion for a meaningful truth and reconciliation programme. While we appreciate the arguments that weigh in favour of and against such a program, we believe that allowing individuals like the riders mentioned today to come forward and acknowledge the truth about their past doping may be the only way to truly dismantle the remaining system that allowed this 'EPO and blood doping era' to flourish. Hopefully, the sport can unshackle itself from the past, and once and for all continue to move forward to a better future.

Our mission is to protect clean athletes by preserving the integrity of competition not only for today's athletes but also the athletes of tomorrow. We have heard from many athletes who have faced an unfair dilemma – dope, or don't compete at the highest levels of the sport. Many of them abandoned their dreams and left sport because they refused to endanger their health and participate in doping. That is a tragic choice no athlete should have to make.

It took tremendous courage for the riders on the USPS Team and others to come forward and speak truthfully. It is not easy to admit your mistakes and accept your punishment. But that is what these riders have done for the good of the sport, and for the young riders who hope to one day reach their dreams without using dangerous drugs or methods.

These eleven (11) team-mates of Lance Armstrong, in alphabetical order, are Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

The riders who participated in the USPS Team doping conspiracy and truthfully assisted have been courageous in making the choice to stop perpetuating the sporting fraud, and they have suffered greatly. In addition to the public revelations, the active riders have been suspended and disqualified appropriately in line with the rules.

In some part, it would have been easier for them if it all would just go away; however, they love the sport, and they want to help young athletes have hope that they are not put in the position they were – to face the reality that in order to climb to the heights of their sport they had to sink to the depths of dangerous cheating.

I have personally talked with and heard these athletes' stories and firmly believe that, collectively, these athletes, if forgiven and embraced, have a chance to leave a legacy far greater for the good of the sport than anything they ever did on a bike.

Lance Armstrong was given the same opportunity to come forward and be part of the solution. He rejected it.

Instead he exercised his legal right not to contest the evidence and knowingly accepted the imposition of a ban from recognised competition for life and disqualification of his competitive results from 1998 forward.

The entire factual and legal basis on the outcome in his case and the other six active riders' cases will be provided in the materials made available online later today. Two other members of the USPS Team, Dr Michele Ferrari and Dr Garcia del Moral, also received lifetime bans for perpetrating this doping conspiracy.

Three other members of the USPS Team have chosen to contest the charges and take their cases to arbitration: Johan Bruyneel, the team director; Dr Pedro Celaya, a team doctor; and Jose 'Pepe' Marti, the team trainer. These three individuals will receive a full hearing before independent judges, where they will have the opportunity to present and confront the evidence, cross-examine witnesses and testify under oath in a public proceeding.

From day one in this case, as in every potential case, the USADA board of directors and professional staff did the job we are mandated to do for clean athletes and the integrity of sport. We focused solely on finding the truth without being influenced by celebrity or non-celebrity, threats, personal attacks or political pressure because that is what clean athletes deserve and demand.'

LANCE ARMSTRONG FACTFILE

1971: Born September 18, in Dallas.

1991: Signs with Subaru-Montgomery and becomes US national amateur champion.

1993: Crowned US national champion. Wins first stage in Tour de France but fails to finish. Beats Miguel Indurain to win world championship.

1994: Wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege spring classic.

1996: October 2 – Diagnosed with testicular cancer. The disease later spreads through his whole body. Founds Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer.

1997: Declared cancer-free after brain surgery and chemotherapy. Signs with US Postal Service team after being dropped by Cofidis.

1998: Wins Tours of Holland and Luxembourg.

1999: Claims first Tour de France title, winning four stages.

2000: Wins second Tour. Secures time-trial bronze in Sydney Olympics.

2001: Victorious in Tour of Switzerland.

July 29: Becomes only the fifth rider to win three Tour de France titles in a row.

2002: Wins Dauphine Libere and Midi Libre.

July 28: Becomes only the fourth person to win four successive Tour de France titles.

Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis

2003: Equals the record of five victories in the Tour de France, but is pushed to his limit by German Jan Ullrich, who finishes just 61 seconds off the pace.

2004: July 25 – Clinches record sixth Tour de France victory.

2005: July 24 – Wins his seventh Tour de France, two more than anyone else, before retiring.

September 6 – Claims he is considering coming out of retirement after being angered by drug allegations against him.

2008: September 9 – Announces he will return to professional cycling and will attempt to win his eighth Tour de France in 2009.

2009: March 23 – Suffers a broken right collarbone when he crashes out on stage one of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in Spain.

May – Appears in first Giro d'Italia, finishing 12th. Tour is somewhat marred by financial cloud over Armstrong's Astana team and the American is linked to a takeover.

June – Astana's financial issues are resolved and Armstrong is named in the Tour de France team, but with 2007 champion Alberto Contador of Spain as leader.

July – Contador and Armstrong endure a fractious relationship. Contador claims a second Tour title, while Armstrong finishes third. Armstrong announces he will launch his own squad in 2010, Team Radio Shack.

2010: January – Team Radio Shack make their debut at the Tour Down Under in Australia. Armstrong finishes 25th overall.

Lance Armstrong riding on the Champs Elysees

May – Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, launches allegations at the Texan.

June 28 – Announces that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last.

July – Finishes final Tour in 23rd place, 39 minutes and 20 seconds behind winner Contador.

2011: February 16 – Announces retirement for second time.

May – Forced to deny claims made by former team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance-enhancing drugs together.

2012: February 4 – An investigation into alleged doping by Armstrong is dropped by federal prosecutors in California.

June 13 – The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirm they have initiated legal proceedings over allegations of doping against Armstrong.

June 30 – The USADA confirm they will file formal doping charges against Armstrong.

July 9 – Armstrong files a lawsuit in a US federal court asking for a temporary restraining order against the agency. Armstrong also claims the USADA offered “corrupt inducements” to other cyclists to testify against him.

July 11 – Armstrong refiles lawsuit against the USADA after initial lawsuit was dismissed by a judge as being a “lengthy and bitter polemic”, designed to attract media attention and public sympathy.

August 20 – Armstrong's legal action against the USADA dismissed in court.

August 24 – Armstrong announces he will not fight the doping charges filed against him by the USADA, saying in a statement he is “finished with this nonsense” and insisting he is innocent. He is stripped of all his titles banned for life from cycling by USADA.

October 10 – USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him. The organisation say the US Postal Service team “ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”, with “conclusive and undeniable proof” of a team-run doping conspiracy.

VIDEO: USADA explains drug test procedures

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Tottenham players unhappy with Andre Villas-Boas

Spurs stars furious with Villas-Boas as manager faces squad backlash

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UPDATED:

08:25 GMT, 29 September 2012

Andre Villas-Boas is already under pressure at Tottenham after the squad reportedly held showdown talks with their Portuguese boss.

The Spurs players are unhappy with Villas-Boas' training and tactics, according to The Sun.

The manager has scrapped his gruelling double sessions after complaints his players were left too tired for their Premier League matches.

Sidelined Spurs players are reportedly unhappy with Ande Villas-Boas (right)

Sidelined Spurs players are reportedly unhappy with Ande Villas-Boas (right)

But the squad remains unhappy with Villas-Boas' negative style of football and would rather a return to previous boss Harry Redknapp's tactical approach.

Tottenham have made a steady if unspectacular start to their league campaign and are unbeaten since losing to Newcastle on the opening weekend.

They travel to Manchester United on Saturday night amid reports that some of the club's staff are also unhappy with Villas-Boas.

Tough times: Villas-Boas' training methods have been called into question

Tough times: Villas-Boas' training methods have been called into question

The 34-year-old, who only took over in July, axed chief scout Ian Broomfield earlier this month and is said to have had a bust-up with technical co-ordinator Tim Sherwood.

The former midfielder feels he has been sidelined and could be tempted to move to Blackburn Rovers after Steve Kean resigned on Friday.

The situation at White Hart Lane will be familiar to Chelsea fans after Villas-Boas caused disharmony among the squad during his tenure.