Tag Archives: conspiracy

Mohammad Asif arrives at Court of Arbitration for Sport

Asif arrives at Court of Arbitration for Sport ahead of appeal hearing over spot-fixing ban

after serving six months of a sentence for conspiracy to cheat at gambling and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments.

'I am reasonably optimistic of a favourable outcome in this appeal,' said Asif's barrister Ravi Sukul ahead of Thursday's hearing.

Optimistic: Asif's barrister is confident of overturning the appeal

Optimistic: Asif's barrister is confident of overturning the appeal

Optimistic: Asif's barrister is confident of overturning the appeal

Tiger Woods insists golf is too honest for Lance Armstrong-style controversy

Scandalous! Tiger sticks the boot in as 14-time major champ insists golf is too honest for Armstrong-style controversy

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UPDATED:

15:07 GMT, 24 October 2012

Tiger Woods knows just how far there is to tumble when a top sportsman falls from grace – but the American is convinced golf will never be hit by a Lance Armstrong-style scandal.

Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life for his part in a doping conspiracy which rocked the sport.

Cycling's reputation has been left in tatters but Woods insists, due to the culture of honesty within his own sport, there is no need to worry about golf going the same way.

Safe: Tiger Woods insists golf will never suffer a Lance Armstrong-style scandal

Safe: Tiger Woods insists golf will never suffer a Lance Armstrong-style scandal

'We just implemented testing probably three years ago I think it is,' said Woods. 'I know we don't do any blood work like some of the other sports do.

'Right now it's just urine samples, but that's certainly a positive step in the right direction to try and validate our sport.'

He added: 'This is a sport where we turn ourselves in on mistakes. A ball moves in the trees, guys call penalties on themselves. Golf is a different sport.

'I think that's one of the neat things about our great game, and I think with the testing, it's only enhanced that respectability throughout all of sport.'

Woods, a 14-time major winner, also made
headlines for all the wrong reasons but it was over his behaviour away
from the course when it was revealed in 2009 that he had a string of
affairs.

His wife Erin filed for divorce and Tiger lost several of his sponsors before undertaking a therapy programme.

High circles: Tiger played with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during the pro-am ahead of this week's CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur

High circles: Tiger played with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during the pro-am ahead of this week's CIMB Classic in Kuala Lumpur

Nike stayed with Woods despite the sex scandal but the American sports giant dropped Armstrong on the back of the drug revelations.

Rory McIlroy looks set to replace Woods as the main man with the company amid rumours of a 156million 10-year deal for the young Northern Irishman.

Woods never managed to get his hands on one of this year's majors and failed to win a match at the Ryder Cup but, with three PGA Tour wins to his name, he insists he is happy with 2012.

Speaking ahead of the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, he added: 'It's a really good year, no doubt, but winning a major championship just makes it a great year.

'The majors are such a different animal and different breed and we place so much emphasis on them.'

Disgraced: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France wins

Disgraced: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France wins

Happy with the progress he has made on the course and optimistic about what the future holds, it is off the course that still matters to him the most.

He trails the great Jack Nicklaus by four majors and, on 74 PGA Tour wins, is eight short of Sam Snead.

'Golf has always been a high priority in my life but family has been No 1, so that hasn't changed,' he said.

'I certainly want to break Jack's record and catch Snead's record, but being the best father I can possibly be to my two great kids, that is certainly number one in my life.'

Paul Lambert does not want to sell Darren Bent

Lambert says he does not want to sell Bent… but tells striker to fight his way into Villa side

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UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 19 October 2012

Paul Lambert says he has no desire to sell Darren Bent and has urged England’s forgotten striker to force his way back into his team.

Aston Villa’s 24million record signing has been a substitute in the club’s last two Premier League games, giving rise to rumours that Bent will ask to leave in January.

Conspiracy theorists also wonder if Lambert is trying to marginalise Villa’s high earners, with Shay Given, Alan Hutton and Steven Warnock also out of favour.

He certainly looks happy: Darren Bent (centre) training with Aston Villa

He certainly looks happy: Darren Bent (centre) training with Aston Villa

Villa, who play Fulham at Craven Cottage, have made the worst start to a top-flight campaign for 25 years and won just one of their last 17 League games.

Lambert said: ‘I understand people are frustrated when they don’t play but you always get a chance again — it’s up to you to take it.

‘Everyone’s in the same boat. I don’t think anyone should have a guaranteed place.

No rift: Paul Lambert says he does not want to sell Bent

No rift: Paul Lambert says he does not want to sell Bent

‘I’m sure he will bounce back. He won’t take this lying down. He’s missed only two games. It’s not a major worry for me.

‘I have to get results and I’ll pick a team that I think can get them.

‘I cannot stop people trying to get my players.

‘The only way to stop it is to answer the question when people ring. But I don’t see any reason for him not to be here.’

Villa owner Randy Lerner sold NFL side the Cleveland Browns for 650m this week but no change to the way he runs Villa is envisaged.

After spending more than 200m chasing Champions League qualification, Lerner wants Villa to be self-sustaining. But Lambert said he had been under no pressure to sell high earners.

‘Not once has either Paul Faulkner (chief executive) or the chairman said: “I need you to do x, y or z”. It’s up to me to make the decisions.’

Des Kelly: Really, what are these people who support Armstrong on?

Des Kelly: Really, what are these people who support Armstrong on

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UPDATED:

23:27 GMT, 12 October 2012

So who else knew There were too many people involved; too many mouths open and too much money was in play for this to remain a genuine secret for so long.

There must have been people in positions of power within the sport who had knowledge of what Lance Armstrong was up to long before this damning dossier was released.

Dragging the proof into the public domain was a difficult task, but only because it was hampered by what has all the appearances of an institutional cover-up, a co-ordinated conspiracy and the propagation of a huge lie that extends way beyond the disgraced rider’s circle of team-mates.

Disgraced: Lance Armstrong led 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme'

Disgraced: Lance Armstrong led 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme'

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Of course people knew. Armstrong’s team used to sing a song about the drug use, for heaven’s sake. His fellow rider at the US Postal Service team, David Zabriskie, revealed how he would adapt the words to Jimi Hendrix’s Purple Haze when they were in meetings or on the bus.

‘EPO all in my veins,
Lately things just don’t seem the same.
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why,
’Scuse me while I pass this guy.’

The bigger joke is that cycling tried to pretend the scandal wasn’t happening, or did they think it was too big a risk to bring Armstrong down

It is certainly difficult not to laugh at the idea that the Union Cycliste Internationale governing body once accepted 78,000 from Armstrong for the ‘development of drug-testing equipment’. Seriously, what were these people on Were they stupid

There were others prepared to ignore the obvious. After the coruscating United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation into Armstrong landed with an almighty thud, his key sponsor rushed out a statement in less time than it would have taken for the rider to empty a syringe into a vein.

It said: ‘Nike continues to support Lance.’

That’s right. Despite the extraordinary amount of evidence, despite the fact that former team-mates and colleagues provided more than 1,000 pages of detail on his doping, Armstrong’s commercial backers were still there, putting an arm around his shoulder.

In doing so, they gave a whole new meaning to their company’s advertising slogan: ‘Just Do It’.

This is how sport tries to protect itself, with shrugs, tacit acceptance, blanket denials and intimidation.

The head of USADA, Travis Tygart, received three death threats during the Armstrong probe, all currently being investigated by the FBI.

Two journalists at the vanguard of
exposing the culture of doping in cycling, and Armstrong in particular,
have been chased to court and harassed.

In one legal action, UCI president Pat
McQuaid and ‘honorary president’ Hein Verbruggen are seeking full-page
apologies from newspapers in Britain, France and Switzerland.

We got you: Nike, one of Armstrong's main sponsors released a statement confirming their support

We got you: Nike, one of Armstrong's main sponsors released a statement confirming their support

We got you: Nike, one of Armstrong's main sponsors released a statement confirming their support

This is the same Verbruggen, a current International Olympic Committee member, who said in May 2011: ‘Armstrong has never used doping. Never, never, never.’

The UCI should be issuing full-page apologies, not asking for them. They should be throwing open the doors and hidden files, not silencing their critics.

Were Armstrong’s ploys to avoid out-of-competition testing ignored Was he tipped off beforehand about testers’ visits

There is an oft-quoted statistic that Armstrong passed 500 tests. In fact, he was asked for blood on around 260 occasions — and it is known he returned positive results on more than one occasion. But the rider, his team and the authorities ‘explained’ them away at the time.

Armstrong is finished now. His reputation is done. But the UCI must be called to account, too.

How did the US agency gather such a comprehensive mass of evidence when the supposed governing body could not — or would not

There are two obvious views. The UCI
knew what was happening and yet failed to act. Or they did not know and
so they are incompetent. Either way, they must be considered unfit for
purpose and those in charge should have already handed in their
resignations.

Was Armstrong’s drug-taking vastly
different to most of the leading riders of his generation Yes, he
survived seemingly terminal cancer and then set about raising an
extraordinary amount of money to help fellow sufferers.

The people his foundation has helped will not care, but that cannot exonerate his behaviour in this scandal.

What is peculiar is the idea that this
has all come as a shock inside cycling. People outside the sport have a
right to be amazed, but Armstrong’s activities became common knowledge
in the peloton.

Pat Mcquaid, president of the Union Cycliste Internationale

Hein Verbruggen

In denial: UCI president Pat McQuaid and ‘honorary president’ Hein Verbruggen are seeking full-page apologies from newspapers in Britain, France and Switzerland

Yet everyone is talking about how the sport is ‘moving on’ and ‘looking forward, not back’. To listen to Team Sky chief David Brailsford, the man who boasted his outfit would be scrupulously clean and use a zero-tolerance policy on drugs, this was all a blinding revelation to him.

‘The more you read, the more the jaw drops,’ he said. ‘Armstrong was one of the first cyclists that maybe transcended the sport. It was an amazing thing, so to now find out what was behind it is disappointing.’

Brailsford says he only found out now.

But Canadian Michael Barry was at Team Sky. The same Barry that used to ride alongside Armstrong. The same Barry was named in the USADA report confessing to years of EPO and testosterone use within Armstrong’s team.

Barry claims he stopped doping in
2006, before he joined Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky in 2009. But since
he lied beforehand it’s up to you whether you believe him now.
Coincidentally, one month before the damning USADA report was issued,
Barry retired from Team Sky.

At least Britain’s Tour de France
champion, Wiggins, admitted that, while he was shocked by the scale of
evidence, he was not by the facts themselves. ‘I’m not surprised by it —
I had a good idea what is going on,’ he said.

It’s all a bit of a puzzle, isn’t it
Wiggins says he knew what Armstrong was up to. Ex- team-mate Barry
certainly knew. Brailsford says otherwise and insists that Barry lied to
him about past doping. Someone’s certainly gullible. As long as it’s
not you or me.

The Team Sky website was still
carrying an official statement about Barry’s retirement on Thursday,
saying: ‘He was a founding member of Team Sky when he signed at the end
of 2009, and over the last three seasons has set an example to the rest
of the squad with his positive attitude, unwavering commitment to the
cause, and wealth of cycling knowledge.’

Seventh heaven: Armstrong was considered one of the greatest sportsmen of his generation

Seventh heaven: Armstrong was considered one of the greatest sportsmen of his generation

There is no doubting his knowledge, but we might argue about the wisdom of using the word ‘positive’ in the circumstances.

Barry himself added: ‘Through my 14-year professional career I’ve been fortunate to race with many of the top teams. From my first coaches and club-mates, to Dave Brailsford and my Team Sky team-mates, I’ve had the opportunity to race and learn from many of the best.’

Ah yes. He learned a lot. He learned how to cheat. The page has disappeared now. This is all very uncomfortable for Sky and Brailsford. As was the recently terminated association with Dr Geert Leinders, a man with a murky past in cycling.

But history is being wiped away. We’re all ‘moving forward’, apparently. Yes, it’s better now. There’s nothing to see here any more, so move along. Can we believe that I think Hendrix had it right without any need to change his lyrics.

‘Purple haze all in my eyes
Don’t know if it’s day or night
You’ve got me blowin’, blowin’ my mind,
Is it tomorrow, or just the end of time’

Thou shalt not upset the FA

The Football Association plans to issue players with a ‘code of
conduct’. You will know this, since I believe it has already been on the
back pages at least three times this year.

Whenever anything awkward or untoward happens in the international camp,
someone at the FA mentions that football’s commandments will be brought
down from Mount Bernstein soon, as if that is going to make everything
suddenly clear.

How long does it take to tell players not to behave like, to coin a
phrase, ‘a bunch of t***s’ Monks in medieval times produced illuminated
manuscripts faster than this list of dos and don’ts . . .

Toe the line: Ashley Cole was the latest England player to land himself hot water with football authorities

Toe the line: Ashley Cole was the latest England player to land himself hot water with football authorities

Luckily, I have obtained an early leaked copy. It says:

Do not sleep with a team-mate’s partner or wife
Do not racially abuse another player
Do not sell on any perks you may receive as a result of your international call-up
Do not park in any disabled parking bay
Do not get drunk or abusive in public

The document is still being drafted, but the working title is ‘The Book of John’. I can’t think why.

Wronga: Newcastle's new sponsorship deal hasn't gone done well with the supporters

Wronga: Newcastle's new sponsorship deal hasn't gone done well with the supporters

Money talks.. and turns the air blue

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes the sponsorship money
provided by the company dubbed a legal loan shark, Wonga.com, can help
push the club into the top four. He intends to motivate the players by
demanding they give 4,214 per cent.

Ash, he's a top gun

Joe Hart offered up a ringing endorsement of Ashley Cole this week.

‘He was very welcoming to me and I’ve noticed he’s like that with a lot
of the young lads,’ said the England goalkeeper. ‘That’s the beauty of
him,’ he added.

Yes, Cole’s traditional ‘hello’ to youngsters is the stuff of legend. A
shot with an air rifle into the thigh of an intern at the training
ground makes them feel right at home.

Catch me if you can

I'll be part of a BBC 5 Live Fighting Talk special in front of a
sell-out crowd at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield at 11am on Saturday.

Afterwards, I will be embarrassing myself even more as Fighting Talk
faces the 606 team in a charity five-a-side match for BBC Children in
Need. If I’m still alive, The Press Pass is on talkSPORT on Sunday at
6pm..

South Africa threaten ECB with legal action over claims Kevin Pietersen was provoked to send texts

ECB hit by South Africa legal threat after cricket chief claims over KP 'provocation'

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UPDATED:

22:14 GMT, 7 October 2012

South Africa have reacted with fury to David Collier’s suggestion that they were responsible for the Kevin Pietersen text scandal and are considering legal action against the ECB.

Sportsmail can reveal that relations between England and South Africa have been plunged into crisis by the ECB’s chief executive’s ill-judged decision to go on the attack and shift the blame from Pietersen.

After Collier insisted Pietersen was only replying to texts, a senior member of Cricket South Africa told Sportsmail: ‘If these comments are accurate then this could be defamatory. This will be taken to board level and an explanation sought.

Rumbling on: The row over the KP texts just won't go away

Rumbling on: The row over the KP texts just won't go away

‘The suggestion from the ECB that there was a conspiracy to entrap one of their players is beyond absurd. Of course it could lead to legal action if no apology is given.’

Pietersen was dropped ahead of the third and final Test in the summer series after Sportsmail revealed that he had sent ‘provocative’ messages to South African players but Collier gave the affair a new twist when he claimed it was all the opposition’s fault.

Collier insists that Pietersen, who last week apologised over the texts, was only responding to missives sent to him by his ‘friends’ in the South African dressing room.

‘That is our understanding,’ said the chief executive. ‘It is a very thin line between fair and unfair. These were responses to messages from certain members of the South African team and I would not condone an England player doing it if it were the other way round.

‘I certainly think South Africa provoked the situation.’

Provoked: Collier (below, far right) claimed Pietersen was entrapped

Provoked: Collier (below, far right) claimed Pietersen was entrapped

Provoked: Collier (below, far right) claimed Pietersen was entrapped

It is a change of tack from the ECB that has enraged South Africa, who have insisted all along that none of their players have behaved improperly in a crisis that has left Pietersen’s relationship with them as strained as his situation with his own team-mates.

Pietersen has admitted making comments about his then captain Andrew Strauss in the messages.

‘There was definitely a policy that was happening but we shouldn’t blame the South Africans,’ said Collier — doing just that. ‘We should be above that.’

Cricket South Africa, who — after considerable thought — described the BlackBerry Messenger texts as ‘banter’ when Sportsmail first put their existence to them, reacted angrily.

‘That is rubbish. That is not the case at all. No-one tried to rile KP,’ said a spokesman.

Back in the fold: KP was dropped and spent time on the sidelines but is now being re-integrated into the team

Back in the fold: KP was dropped and spent time on the sidelines but is now being reintegrated into the team

Back in the fold: KP was dropped and spent time on the sidelines but is now being re-integrated into the team

Later came the threat of legal action against the ECB as the South Africans consider their next move.

‘This is a bleak day for cricket relations between England and South Africa,’ said the Cricket South Africa official.

‘Nobody here can quite believe what Collier is accusing us of. It is beyond ridiculous and it is beneath the dignity of English cricket.’

Collier did accept that Pietersen, who is now undergoing a ‘reintegration process’ with England players and management ahead of his proposed return for the Test tour of India which begins next month, should have reacted differently to the messages.

‘Those messages were of a nature that Kevin, with hindsight, should have refuted straight away and moved on,’ said Collier on the BBC’s Sportsweek programme.

‘They were trying to undermine a team and another team ethic. There are probably mixed feelings for South Africa now.

What next KP is expected to head to India for the four-match Test series

What next KP is expected to head to India for the four-match Test series

‘Certain feelings that maybe it had worked but others that they might have disrupted a player and we would have been unhappy had it been one of ours.’

No-one at the ECB has seen the messages as Pietersen and the South Africans have all insisted that they were immediately deleted.

Pietersen gave the ECB a ‘binding assurance’ that they were not derogatory to the Board in last week’s peace agreement and only if the texts should somehow emerge in the future will the situation change now.

Ryder Cup captain Olazabal hits back in Harrington "grudge" row

Ryder Cup captain Olazabal hits back in Harrington 'grudge' row

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UPDATED:

23:13 GMT, 24 August 2012

Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal woke up on Friday to find himself portrayed in some quarters as little more than a petty grudge bearer, with Padraig Harrington his hapless victim.

As anyone who knows Olazabal will tell you, the suggestion is as offensive as it is ludicrous, and no wonder the Spaniard reacted with justifiable anger.

'Anyone who thinks that I would let something that happened in 2003 interfere with my judgment is speaking a lot of B.S., and that is putting it mildly,' he said. 'I would be failing completely as a captain if that was the case.’

That will teach Olazabal to answer a question honestly.

Flashpoint: Jose Maria Olazabal and Padraig Harrington clash at the Seve Trophy in 2003

Flashpoint: Jose Maria Olazabal and Padraig Harrington clash at the Seve Trophy in 2003

Asked on Thursday what Harrington
needed to do at the Barclays FedEx play-off tournament in America to
force his way into the wildcard equation — the Irishman was leading at
the time following a first-round 64 — he replied: ‘A win, at least.’

Given that Harrington hasn’t won a
tournament of any note for four years, and is a long way removed from
the automatic placings, isn’t it entirely reasonable to ask him to prove
his nerve, given the wildcard opposition includes Ian Poulter and
Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, with a matchplay win to his name this season
and whose huge hitting would clearly be an asset on a bomber’s course
like Medinah

Apparently not.

Needing a victory: Padraig Harrington in second round action at The Barclays

Needing a victory: Padraig Harrington in second round action at The Barclays

According to the conspiracy
theorists, Olazabal’s comments were fuelled by what happened in 2003,
when he believed Harrington questioned his integrity during a singles
match at the Seve Trophy.

Honestly, would players like Graeme
McDowell talk about how desperate they are to play under Ollie if all he
did was bear grudges Even Harrington gave the theory short shrift. ‘I
know how he feels about the Ryder Cup and I am absolutely convinced the
only players Ollie wants on his team are the 12 best ones,’ he said.

The absurd nature of the debate was
put into sharp focus when Harrington went out and played horribly in the
second round, recording a score fully 11 shots worse than his opener to
go from one ahead to five behind.

This is how it has been for most of a
frustrating season for the Irishman and why Olazabal is perfectly
within his rights to place him a long way behind Poulter and Colsaerts
for a wildcard.

In the swing: Olazabal at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on Friday

In the swing: Olazabal at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles on Friday

Olazabal visited Medinah recently and
discovered a course that plays to all Colsaerts’s strengths. The
fairways have been widened to suit the bombers in the American team. The
other thing that counts in Colsaerts’s favour is that, if picked, he
would be the only rookie in the team.

‘Experience is often a factor with
wildcards but that is not the case this time round,’ argued Ollie. ‘One
thing we are not lacking is experience. I played the course last week
and there’s not much rough. It’s clearly been set up to help the long
hitters.’

The only long hitters in Europe’s team at present are Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia.

Colsaerts was in second-round action
on Friday at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles where,
following a solid opening round of 69, he showed signs of being a little
frayed around the edges.

On the march: Nicolas Colsaerts during the second round at Gleneagles

On the march: Nicolas Colsaerts during the second round at Gleneagles

The 29-year-old only arrived in
Scotland from America on Tuesday, following his seventh-place finish in
the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina. For 13 holes he was going
nowhere, and some way removed from the pace set by Englishmen Mark
Foster and Richard Finch.

But his ability to make lots of
birdies was evident over the final five holes, which he played in three
under to turn a mediocre day into a decidedly decent one. He ended up
with a 70 to be handily placed inside the top 10, just three shots off
the lead.

Over in New York, it was Tiger Woods
who must have been giving American captain Davis Love an anxious time as
he clutched his back on a number of occasions. It didn’t seem to affect
his golf, however, as he finished up only three behind the joint
leaders, American Nick Watney and Europe’s renaissance man, Garcia. Rory
McIlroy and Luke Donald are a distant eight adrift.

Luis Suarez reopens race row with Patrice Evra

Conspiracy! Suarez reopens Evra race row with attack on Manchester United

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UPDATED:

20:40 GMT, 17 July 2012

Luis Suarez has defied Liverpool's orders to reignite the row over his race ban last season after claiming he fell victim to a Manchester United conspiracy.

The Liverpool striker, who is currently back in Uruguay preparing for the Olympics, will have dismayed Anfield officials by going on record again about the incident with Patrice Evra last October.

In an interview with Uruguayan TV station RR Gol, Suarez revealed he has been ordered by Liverpool’s hierarchy not to speak over the furore, for which he received an eight-match ban.

Hitting out: Luis Suarez has reopened the infamous race row with Patrice Evra

Hitting out: Luis Suarez has reopened the infamous race row with Patrice Evra

Suarez caused a storm when he failed to shake hands with Evra before a Barclays Premier League game at Old Trafford on February 4.

But he said: 'It was a misunderstanding, what happened between me and Evra at Old Trafford when we were to shake hands. In fact, I think it was all arranged against me again, as it had happened with the punishment.

'I promised my wife, the manager and the directors that I was going to shake my hand with Evra. “Why not” I thought, because I had no problems with him. I had been punished because of him, but I had no problems with shaking hands.'

Flashpoint: The pair first clashed in October, after which Suarez was accused

Flashpoint: The pair first clashed in October, after which Suarez was accused

Suarez, who revealed that he had been left in tears following his trial last December, added: ‘The media in England showed the moment when I passed in front of him, but they didn’t see that he had his hand low before. Only the media in Uruguay and Spain showed that I wanted to shake his hand.

And again: When the pair met later in the season there was more ugly scenes

And again: When the pair met later in the season there was more ugly scenes

'The trial was so complicated for me. I had to go to Manchester in a taxi for the trial. I got up at seven in the morning and I came home at nine at night. I was exhausted, I was so tired. I wanted to cry, and kick all the things around me.

'I came home and I wanted to do all that, but I couldn't because my daughter was at home. There were really complicated days, and then things became harder after the punishment.'

He added: 'People at the club are sure that it was a way that Manchester United used to put me out of the team and stop Liverpool.

'But in England, Man United has this political power, and you have to respect that and shut your mouth.'

Euro 2012: Giovanni Trapattoni blasts Roy Keane

Trapattoni blasts Keane: 'Why would an intelligent man suggest dropping all 11 Ireland players'

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UPDATED:

18:25 GMT, 17 June 2012

Giovanni Trapattoni has taken another swipe at Roy Keane after the former Republic of Ireland skipper delivered a second damning assessment of his team.

Ireland head into Monday night's final Group C fixture against Italy with their hopes of reaching the Euro 2012 quarter-finals long gone after comprehensive defeats by Croatia and Spain.

Keane, who struck his first blow in his role as a television pundit after Thursday night's 4-0 drubbing by the reigning champions, was even more withering in his Sunday morning newspaper column, suggesting Trapattoni should make 11 changes for tomorrow's game because the team which played in midweek is not good enough.

Stay out of it: Trapattoni has blasted Keane for his outburst

Stay out of it: Trapattoni has blasted Keane for his outburst

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Trapattoni, who had his own say the following day, returned to the theme this evening when asked about the former Manchester United captain's latest verbal assault.

The 73-year-old said: 'He has been a great player and had great success. I don't know if he achieved the same results as coach or manager.

'I can ask him why I think for intelligent man, I can't understand it.'

Trapattoni them made a remark in Italian which was not translated, but proved to be less than complimentary.

The Ireland boss was clapped into his press conference in Poznan by Italian journalists who revere him, although perhaps not for his own spell in charge of their national side.

And inevitably, minds have returned to Euro 2004 when Denmark and Sweden draw 2-2 to dump the Italians out of the competition amid cries of foul play, and the conspiracy theorists are already in full flow.

Final flourish: The Irish are out after losing their two opening group games

Final flourish: The Irish are out after losing their two opening group games

Final flourish: The Irish are out after losing their two opening group games

Trapattoni said: 'When things like this go on, we are all ready to think that we Italians are masters at making these agreements.

'We are famous – in fact, infamous – for it. Everything is the same in other countries. These things have happened all over the place. Great scars were left by this.

'We need to play our own game and ask for commitment from players for the people who pay our wages and our supporters.

'We have worked well. We will not change our approach because we lost two games. It would undermine our honour.'

Trapattoni has named the same team which started against Croatia, meaning Kevin Doyle will replace Simon Cox, while Damien Duff will take over the captaincy on the occasion of his 100th cap.

Outburst: Keane claimed Ireland should drop all 11 players who faced Spain

Outburst: Keane claimed Ireland should drop all 11 players who faced Spain

The Ireland players will wear black armbands during the game to mark the 18th anniversary of the shootings of six men in Loughinisland, County Down, as the victims watched the national team play Italy at the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States.

Usual skipper Robbie Keane said: 'It's only right that we do wear the armbands in respect of everyone's families to let them know as a team and as a nation, that we are thinking of their families.'

Wayne Rooney"s dad cleared in betting scam

Over the Roon! Wayne's dad cleared over betting scam after investigation

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UPDATED:

16:03 GMT, 23 April 2012

Wayne Rooney's father will face no further action over allegations of a football match betting scam, his solicitor said today.

Wayne Snr was arrested when police swooped at his home in West Derby, Liverpool, last October.

No charges: Wayne Rooney's dad will face no further action over an alleged betting scam

No charges: Wayne Rooney's dad will face no further action over an alleged betting scam

Eight other people, including
Liverpool-born Motherwell midfielder Steve Jennings, 26, were also
arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud.

Merseyside Police said at the time
the arrests were the culmination of a joint operation with the Gambling
Commission into 'suspicious betting activity'.

But Anthony Barnfather, solicitor for
Mr Rooney Snr, confirmed that the police have told him that no further
action will be brought against his client.

Investigation: The allegation centered around a red card picked up by Steve Jennings

Investigation: The allegation centered around a red card picked up by Steve Jennings

Mr Barnfather said: 'Mr Rooney Snr has
always vigorously denied the allegations and maintained his innocence
throughout the investigation. He is delighted the matter has now
concluded.'

Jennings' solicitor Nick Melville had
on Saturday told the BBC: 'We've received information from Merseyside
Police that in relation to Mr Jennings there'll be no further action.

'Mr
Jennings stated from the outset that he's had no involvement whatsoever
with any criminal activity and this vindicates his stance throughout.'

Boost: Rooney featured against his former club Everton on Sunday, scoring twice

Boost: Rooney featured against his former club Everton on Sunday, scoring twice

Kirtsy Milczarek successfully appealing two-year ban

Milczarek free to return to racing after successfully appealing two-year ban

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UPDATED:

19:34 GMT, 10 April 2012

Leading female jockey Kirsty Milczarek is free to return to the sport after successfully appealing against a two-year ban originally imposed for passing information for reward and committing a corrupt or fraudulent practise in December.

Milczarek, who had enjoyed a successful 2011 season with 35 winners, had seen her world fall apart after being found guilty of involvement with a betting ring masterminded by owners Maurice Sines and James Crickmore.

The original verdicts came after one of the most extensive investigations by the BHA that centred on 10 races between January 17, 2009 and August 15, 2009 and involved five jockeys and seven other men.

Also banned for 12 year for their part in the conspiracy were fellow jockeys Paul Doe and Greg Fairley, who were found guilty of stopping horses running on their merit, while Jimmy Quinn is closing in on a comeback after being handed a six-month suspension for a lesser offence.

Successful: Milczarek

Successful: Milczarek

But, after hearing fresh evidence from Milczarek’s then boyfriend Kieren Fallon, the Appeal Board quashed the original ban on her.

The 14-year bans for Sines and Crickmore have been reduced to 13 years while one of their associates, Nick Gold, had his ban from racing reduced from seven to five years.

The Milczarek case had revolved around her ride on Obe Gold in August 2009 at Lingfield and her actions in removing the horse’s blindfold when it was in the starting stalls.

Investigations also focused on telephone records of contact between Milczarek and Sines and Crickmore.

At the original hearing, Milczarek’s claimed that she was being called as a conduit for Sines and Crickmore to reach Fallon, who was suspended from racing at the time and regularly drove her to the races.

While this explanation was dismissed by the original Panel, the Appeal Board, after hearing telephone evidence from Fallon via a phone link to Dubai, concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the Panel’s conclusion that Milczarek was party to the conspiracy.

Her solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, said: ‘She's very gratified. I think they may fast-track her licence application as obviously she has been banned for a period of time that she shouldn't have been. She was doing very well when all this happened.

‘The first decision, I always felt, was utterly bizarre. I could not understand how you could find someone guilty for effectively taking a blindfold off early.’

Responding to the Appeal panel decision, Paul Scotney, BHA Director of Integrity Services, Compliance and Licensing, said: ‘As was said at the time of the initial hearing, the scale and complexity of this case remains unprecedented in the history of BHA.

‘Consequently from the perspective of the BHA's Integrity and Compliance team, it is rewarding that the Appeal Board has endorsed the findings of the Disciplinary Panel regarding the activities of the individuals at the heart of the conspiracy.

‘Indeed, to quote the Appeal Board, they said “taken as a whole the BHA's case against Maurice Sines and James Crickmore was a strong one”, adding that “…this conspiracy and particularly the conduct of Sines and Crickmore struck at the heart of the integrity of racing.

‘We accept the decision of the Appeal Board to allow the appeal of Kirsty Milczarek. It is the role of the Appeal Board to consider such appeals and additional evidence when presented.

‘However, we stand by the original decision to include the race as one of the 10 under scrutiny on account of the extraordinary betting patterns and the pattern of communication around the race.’