Tag Archives: eyebrow

Maria Sharapova launches partnership with Porsche in sexy photoshoot

Gentlemen, start your engines! Sharapova launches Porsche partnership with stunning photoshoot

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

13:57 GMT, 22 April 2013

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UPDATED:

15:03 GMT, 22 April 2013

Now, we definitely don't subscribe to the old adage of women and the inability to drive, but there was more than a eyebrow or two raised when Porsche chose their first ever global endorser as Mario Sharapova, especially when statistics claims 88 per cent of 911 buyers are men.

The powerful Russian tennis star, known for her deafening grunt on the court, will front up campaigns for the German car maker for the next three years.

Wheely nice view: Maria Sharapova has launched a new partnership with car maker Porsche

Wheely nice view: Maria Sharapova has launched a new partnership with car maker Porsche

Wheely nice view: Maria Sharapova has launched a new partnership with car maker Porsche

'Maria is the perfect choice,' said Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller. 'Her profile and charisma are an ideal fit for Porsche.'

Porsche join the likes of Nike, Evian, Tag Heuer and Samsung in partnering up with one of the most marketable sportstars in the world, taking Sharapova's revenue for endorsements alone beyond 20million a year.

Blonde ambition: The deal will take Sharapova's earnings from endorsement beyond 20million a year

Blonde ambition: The deal will take Sharapova's earnings from endorsement beyond 20million a year

Write caption here

Blonde ambition: The deal will take Sharapova's earnings from endorsement beyond 20million a year

As well as her tennis and multitude of
other endorsements, the Russian is currently keeping the money rolling
in with her Sugarpova sweets, which have sold more than 1.5 million bags
in six months.

To celebrate the latest launch, Sharapova, who previously had a deal with Land Rover in 2006, posed with the stunning vehicles in Stuttgart, where it is manufactured.

The event coincides with her arrival for the defence of her Porsche Tennis Grand Prix crown, which takes place in the city this month.

Sweet spot: Sharapova has plenty of means of bring in extra cash beyond her work on the court

Sweet spot: Sharapova has plenty of means of bring in extra cash beyond her work on the court

Sweet spot: Sharapova has plenty of means of bring in extra cash beyond her work on the court

Sweet spot: Sharapova has plenty of means of bring in extra cash beyond her work on the court

Manchester derby: End coin-throwing now – Ian Ladyman

Time to tackle thug element! End the coin-throwing now, or expect some more serious damage

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UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 10 December 2012

During a lunch with Manchester City's former winger Mike Summerbee back in 2009, he offered the following recollection of life as a footballer in the North West in the 1960s.

'The United fans hated me,' he said. 'They really got stuck in to me. I went over to take a corner once in a derby at Old Trafford and the United fans threw coins at me.

'So I picked them all up and put them in my pocket. I got 4.50 from them that day. Which was nice.'

Shocking: striker Danny Welbeck remonstrates as United players, including Rio Ferdinand (right) are showered with coins (circled)

Shocking: Danny Welbeck remonstrates as United players,
including Rio Ferdinand (right) are showered with coins (circled)

So there we have it. No longer can we pretend that what we witnessed at City's Etihad Stadium on Sunday is a new problem. A meeting of Manchester's two football clubs has long since roused extreme passions.

It has, it appears, long since prompted people standing on the terraces or sitting in the stands to do things they really should not. What made it different this time was that somebody got hit.

Rio Ferdinand didn't have the opportunity to bend down and put the smattering of 2p coins into his pocket as he was too busy holding a hand to the blood gushing from his left eyebrow. It was going to happen eventually, of course. Some idiot was always going to hit the bullseye.

Struck down: Commentators have tried to apportion some of the blame on Ferdinand for his celebrations

Struck down: Commentators have tried to apportion some of the blame on Ferdinand for his celebrations

What matters now is not how loud
people shout about this but what football does. In the 12 hours or so
that followed the derby, there was certainly lots of shouting; lots of
pained, anxious voices.

Gordon
Taylor of the PFA called for the introduction of netting in front of
some fans and warned that football is in danger of edging back towards
the dark days of mass hooliganism in the 1980s.

Taylor's
first suggestion has some merit and is worthy of investigation. At Old
Trafford, for example, netting hangs behind one goal to protect
disabled spectators from the ball. It is almost invisible and there have
been few complaints.

Pitch invader: Ferdinand was also targeted by a fan who raced onto the field

Pitch invader: Ferdinand was also targeted by a fan who raced onto the field

Pitch invader: Ferdinand was also targeted by a fan who raced onto the field

His
other, rather more sweeping, statement is categorically untrue. Taylor
was still trundling along the wing for Bury in 1980 so maybe he wasn't
aware of exactly what used to happen on England's crumbling terraces.

To
summarise, it was tribal, unchecked, organised and often terrifying.
Minorities were not tolerated and violence was. For a while, the 1980s
English football scene was so ugly that many stopped going.

Our
modern game is barely recognisable from those dismal days and, given
the advances made on and off the field, there is no chance of us
returning there.

On
days like this, wild exaggeration doesn't help. Perspective does. There
were 13 arrests on Sunday. Greater Manchester Police are satisfied with
that. I would be, too. What happened on Sunday happens often. There is
no point pretending otherwise.

United front: Ferdinand was celebrating in front of the United fans and Rooney receives abuse (below)

United front: Ferdinand was celebrating in front of the United fans and Rooney receives abuse (below)

United front: Ferdinand was celebrating in front of the United fans and Rooney receives abuse (below)

Across
Europe, supporters throw missiles at each other and on to the field. In
Spain, the president of Real Madrid once forbade Luis Figo from taking
corners when he returned to former club Barcelona because he was
terrified of losing his prized asset to a smack on the head from a golf
ball.

According to
those among the visiting supporters on Sunday, City and United fans
hurled coins at each other throughout the game and, by all accounts, it
wasn't just Ferdinand's blood that was spilled.

Look
at the TV footage and you will see an object land behind Wayne Rooney
as he celebrates his second goal. Wind forward and you will see Rooney
standing among detritus as he prepares to take a corner.

Had
Ferdinand not been hit, these incidents would have appeared only as
footnotes in the coverage of a splendid Barclays Premier League game.
It's only when the blood starts to run that people get interested.

Clubs,
meanwhile, only scour the CCTV footage for the ones with the better
aim. Maybe, on reflection, it is this that needs to change. Maybe the
stance – from all clubs – needs to be stronger when it comes to those
supporters who have more money than sense and decide to start lobbing it
towards the pitch.

Once
the stewards begin to point out, and then throw out, everyone spotted
behaving this way then the message may begin to permeate the brains of
the idiots. Certainly to blame the players in this instance is quite
wrong. Footballers, and managers, need to understand their
responsibilities.

Ugly scenes: The fans directed abuse at each other as well as the players

Ugly scenes: The fans directed abuse at each other as well as the players

Ugly scenes: The fans directed abuse at each other as well as the players

There
have been times when they have crossed the line of what is right and
celebration has morphed into provocation, most notably when Emmanuel
Adebayor – then of City – sprinted the length of the field to
celebrate a goal on his knees in front of supporters of his previous
club Arsenal.

On
Sunday, however, United's players were quite within their rights to
celebrate in front of their own supporters. Goodness me, they had earned
it.

Former United
player Pat Crerand has been lampooned for the vigorous nature of his
comments on BBC 5 Live yesterday morning. Yet the core of his argument –
that Ferdinand did nothing wrong – was absolutely correct.

Ugly scenes: The fans directed abuse at each other as well as the players

Coin: The United defender was struck in the head

Those
who wish to deride our players over this should remember that a day out
at the football was never meant to be akin to a trip to the theatre.
Its visceral characteristics have always been part of football's unique
charm.

So, yes, let's
find the moron who wounded Ferdinand and, while we are at it, let's
view the footage and find his co-conspirators. Let's also look properly
at the issues surrounding safety netting and let's continue to remind
players and managers of what is acceptable.

Above
all, let's be vigilant. But let's not pretend we are sliding back
towards the age of Doc Marten boots and organised tear-ups outside
train stations. Because, quite simply, we are not. We remain better than
that.

Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles by UCI at last

Saddled with shame: Cycling's snivelling chief still in denial over culture of cheating that has infested his sport

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 22 October 2012

Cycling's world governing body are willing to accept that Lance Armstrong is a doping cheat. Hallelujah.

The UCI made it sound as radical a discovery as finding human life on Pluto rather than a belated admission from an organisation who — and we are being generous here — were complacent as the greatest fraud in sporting history unfolded before them.

Pat McQuaid, the snivelling, self-preserving president, said: ‘The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and the UCI will strip him of his seven Tours de France titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling. He deserves to be forgotten.’

Shamed: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his titles after the UCI endorsed the USADA sanctions

Shamed: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his titles after the UCI endorsed the USADA sanctions

In fact, he was stripped of those
titles, ranging from 1999 to 2005, by the US Anti-Doping Agency in
August. The UCI were merely ratifying USADA’s legitimate act.

McQuaid spoke in Geneva as though he
was shocked by USADA’s findings. Shocked He could only be shocked if he
was blind, wilfully perhaps, to accusations that have been prevalent
for a decade. During McQuaid’s seven-year presidency, former US Postal
rider Frankie Andreu told the New York Times that doping was taking
place during Armstrong’s first Tour de France victory in 1999.

Self-preserving: President Pat McQuaid spoke as if he was shocked

Self-preserving: President Pat McQuaid spoke as if he was shocked

Then Armstrong’s former team-mate
Floyd Landis sent McQuaid, among others, emails detailing the drug
culture two years ago. But 63-year-old Irishman McQuaid tore into the
whistle-blowers and brushed their accusations under the Axminster.

Even as late as last month, McQuaid’s
fire was turned on USADA for their handling of the investigation into
Armstrong. The UCI barely twitched an eyebrow at the accusations.

‘We thought USADA were better
prepared,’ sniffed McQuaid, chiding them for taking so long to compile
their dossier. In the end the report amounted to 200 pages with 800
pages of appendices. It was a thorough job that soon made McQuaid look
ridiculous.

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'

It also left him with no choice other than to display faux outrage on Monday.

He talked of the UCI ‘always having a
commitment to fight doping’, adding with a flourish: ‘If I have to
apologise now on behalf of the UCI what I will say is that I am sorry we
couldn’t catch every damn one of them red-handed and throw them out of
the sport.’

If he really possessed principle, he
would have resigned for having cried calumny against the accusers when
he should have launched an investigation.

Britain’s David Millar, a
self-confessed doper turned World Anti-Doping Agency activist, said:
‘The UCI always denied there was a problem and even now they are denying
they had knowledge of it, and that’s the next big step.’

McQuaid, a former teacher and road
cyclist, is the first paid UCI president. He took the job in 2005 at the
behest of Hein Verbruggen, his predecessor who is now honorary
president. The two men are said to be joined at the hip.

It is notable that the last
undoubtedly clean Tour victory until recent years, that of Greg LeMond
in 1990, came one year before Verbruggen took charge of the UCI. All
Armstrong’s wins came under his stewardship.

Not so magnificent seven: Armstrong's wins have been erased from the Tour de France record books

Not so magnificent seven: Armstrong's wins have been erased from the Tour de France record books

Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Oakley cut ties with Armstrong

Lance Armstrong has lost the support of another major sponsor after Oakley severed their ties with the disgraced cyclist.

The brand confirmed in a statement they were ending their relationship with the Texan in the wake of the announcement in Geneva.

Oakley have followed in the footsteps of Nike, Trek and Anheuser-Busch, brewers of Budweiser, who have all withdrawn their support for Armstrong.

An Oakley statement read: 'Based on UCI's decision today and the overwhelming evidence that USADA presented, Oakley has severed its long-standing relationship with Lance Armstrong, effective immediately.

'When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility. We are deeply saddened by the outcome, but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by racing clean, fair and honest.

'We believe the LIVESTRONG Foundation has been a positive force in the lives of many affected by cancer and, at this time, Oakley will continue to support its noble goals.'

Armstrong has stepped down from his position as chairman of his cancer charity.

But McQuaid blithely insisted the UCI
had no case to answer over alleged payments made to them by Armstrong
and associated companies, adding that a defamation action against
journalist Paul Kimmage, who made claims of hush-money changing hands,
would go ahead as planned.

Verbruggen is an honorary member of
the IOC, McQuaid is on the IOC’s evaluation committee for the 2020 Games
and cycling is an important Olympic sport. Yet the IOC have yet to
comment meaningfully on the Armstrong affair.

They say they will await the UCI’s
management committee meeting on Friday, when the issue of whether to
redistribute the Tour titles and the prize money will be resolved. Fine,
but the IOC should then act decisively.

Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, is a
man of integrity. But he is also a friend of Verbruggen, a personal
association that should not be allowed to interfere with what is right.

They would do well to heed the words
of the one hero of this tawdry episode, USADA chief executive Travis
Tygart, who said: ‘For cycling to move forward and for the world to
know what went on in cycling, it is essential that an independent and
meaningful Truth and Reconciliation Commission be established.

‘There are many more details of doping
that are hidden, many more doping doctors, and corrupt team directors
and the ‘omerta’ (within the peloton) has not yet been fully broken.
Sanctioning Lance Armstrong and the riders who came forward truthfully
should not be seen as penance for an era of pervasive doping. There must
be more action to combat the system that took over the sport.’

Away from Geneva, Armstrong lost
another sponsor, Oakley, who followed the lead set by Nike, Trek and
Budweiser brewers, Anheuser-Busch. In Armstrong’s home state of Texas,
insurance company SCA Promotions have demanded the return of a bonus
worth up to 5million paid after he won his sixth Tour in 2004.

And yet on his Twitter account, how was Armstrong styling himself on Monday night As the seven-time Tour winner, of course.

Ex-doper: David Millar (right) says there needs to be change

Ex-doper: David Millar (right) says there needs to be change

London 2012 Olympcis: Plymouth schoolgirl Saulius Meilutis wins swimming gold for Lithuania

Plymouth schoolgirl wins swimming gold… but it's for Lithuania

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UPDATED:

21:41 GMT, 30 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

After losing his wife and the mother of his three children, Saulius Meilutis decided to move his family from Lithuania to England for a better life.

He had two sons, both now at university, and a young daughter with a special gift for swimming.

That daughter is 15-year-old Ruta Meilutyte, and here in London she is taking the Olympics by storm. On Monday she set a new European record for the 100 metres breaststroke, swimming the fastest time in the world this year to secure her place in the final. /07/30/article-2181300-144C330C000005DC-453_634x395.jpg” width=”634″ height=”395″ alt=”Golden girl: Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte celebrates winning the women's 100m breaststroke ” class=”blkBorder” />

Golden girl: Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte celebrates winning the women's 100m breaststroke

But in her semi-final she was half a second quicker than Soni, the pre-Games favourite for gold and the Olympic champion over 200m four years ago, with a time of 1:05.21. Last night she was a fraction slower, touching in 1:05.47sec before dissolving in tears at the medal ceremony.

Prominent members of the American media were among the first to raise an eyebrow and draw comparisons with the 16-year-old Chinese swimming sensation, Ye Shiwen.

Even her English coach expressed his surprise a few hours before last night’s final.

John Rudd, the director of swimming at Plymouth College and the head coach at Plymouth Leander swimming club, told Sportsmail yesterday he expected her to swim 1:06. ‘When she swam 1:05 in the heat yesterday, I thought, “OK, we may have to re-evaluate what we are looking to achieve here”,’ he said.

Medal of honour: Meilutyte holds her gold medal

Medal of honour: Meilutyte holds her gold medal

‘It has no effect on Ruta. She didn’t know she had set a European record. She is just treating this like the Devon Championships. But she’s a major talent and hugely focused and professional for her age.’

She arrived in England with her family three years ago and was immediately enrolled at Plymouth College — the same school as British diving star Tom Daley.

Her father earns a modest salary as a carer, with her school fees covered by a sports scholarship from the school and a grant from the Lithuanian Olympic Federation.

Rudd is here in London as an official member of the Lithuanian coaching staff, so that he can remain at the side of his outstanding young athlete.

Plymouth College Olympians: Tom Daley with Ruta Meilutyte (right)

Plymouth College Olympians: Tom Daley with Ruta Meilutyte (right)

He is quick to dismiss talk of her performances being down to anything other than hard graft and ability. ‘Ruta has grown up in the last year,’ he said. ‘The physical change between 14 and 15 has, like with lots of kids, been significant. She’s filled out a lot since she won the Youth Olympics.

‘Hey look, there are some people about who don’t like getting beaten. Everyone has their good days and bad days, and if the Americans are having a bad day, I’m afraid that is hard luck.’

Rudd tells the story of an immensely gifted 15-year-old who simply lives for swimming and whose improvement is on a curve of improvement regarded as acceptable in coaching circles. Meilutyte is not obliterating world records and swimming faster than the men.

‘I have four Olympians in my group but Ruta has actually raised the bar in terms of professionalism,’ said Rudd. ‘Swimming is the most important thing in her life, and she doesn’t have that British trait of not being prepared to put the work in for what she wants.

Happy family: Meilutyte with her father, grandmother and two brothers

Happy family: Meilutyte with her father, grandmother and two brothers

‘She has a natural gift, but she is psychologically as well as physically strong. She is not fazed by any of this at all. She has a process mind. It’s like “sleep, eat, train, study”. She has friends but she doesn’t touch alcohol and she is the one who will be home by 10 o’clock.’

According to reports in Lithuania, her mother was killed when she was hit by a car when Ruta was just four years old.

‘Ruta cherishes every day of her life,’ said Rudd. ‘Her father has brought her up with the help of her grandmother, who is here after getting on a plane for the first time in her life.

‘They are humble people. There is no silver spoon in Ruta’s mouth. She has a fantastic sense of humour but she appreciates what she has and she works hard for what she achieves.’

Last night that hard work most certainly paid off. After a rival false-started, Meilutyte led from the start, turning in first place and holding off a late surge from Soni.

It was so close she had to check the scoreboard to see if she had won, and her face was a picture of stunned amazement when the one appeared alongside her name.

Even after Daley’s failure yesterday, Plymouth College still had an Olympic gold medal to cherish.

LONDON 2012: Alopecia spurred me on to gold – Joanna Rowsell

Courage of a golden girl: How cycling star became an inspiration to alopecia sufferers

After winning gold at the cycling world cup, millions of TV viewers watched as Joanna Rowsell threw off her helmet and stood proudly on the podium to collect her medal.

With her bald head uncovered, the 23-year-old Olympic hopeful had no idea she would become an overnight ‘poster girl’ for alopecia sufferers.

Indeed, after losing her long auburn locks aged just ten, she spent years covering her hair loss under hats and wigs.

Joanna Rowsell

Joanna Rowsell

Acceptance: Joanna Rowsell has had alopecia areata since she was 10. She currently only has a few patches of hair on her scalp and decided to opt for the occasional wig when she turned 20

Deterioration: At age 9 with her treasured long hair but one eyebrow missing, by age 11 the alopecia has fully set in and now, as an Olympic hopeful

Deterioration: At age 9 with her treasured long hair but one eyebrow missing, by age 11 the alopecia has fully set in and now, as an Olympic hopeful

But after finding her confidence through top-level cycling, she now feels at ease with her condition. In fact, she credits the alopecia for creating the determined and tough young woman she is today.

Speaking from her family home in Cheam, Surrey, and wearing her ‘every day’ wig, she said: ‘Now, I cannot imagine my life if I had not had alopecia. I don’t know what route I would have taken.

‘It scares me to think I would not have found cycling.

‘The alopecia made me very shy so I stayed in and intensely focused on my homework or that A* in an exam.

Triumph: Silver medalist Alison Shanks of New Zealand, gold medalist Joanna Rowsell of Great Britain and bronze medalist Amy Cure of Australia celebrates on the podium following the Women's Individual Pursuit Final during the UCI Track Cycling World Cup

Triumph: Silver medalist Alison Shanks of New Zealand, gold medalist Joanna Rowsell of Great Britain and bronze medalist Amy Cure of Australia celebrates on the podium following the Women's Individual Pursuit Final during the UCI Track Cycling World Cup

Record-breakers: Joanna with Danielle King (left) and Laura Trott (centre) following their win on Friday

Record-breakers: Joanna on the podium without a wig with Danielle King (left) and Laura Trott (centre) following their impressive win on Friday

‘Working hard was the only thing that
stopped me from worrying about the future, about whether I would get a
boyfriend or how I would face getting a job with strangers.

‘Then
cycling came along and I applied the same work ethic. I worked through
any worries I had about my hair and I focused solely on that. It made me
who I am.’

The first signs of the condition came
at the age of nine when the hair in one of Miss Rowsell’s eyebrows fell
out. Within months, she had developed bald patches on her scalp and she
began to lose eyelashes.

She said: ‘I was gutted. I had been a girl who loved having my long hair in plaits.

‘I remember crying one night to my parents and asking why it was happening. They said they would find someone to fix it.’

Determination: Joanna Rowsell of Great Britain cycles her way to victory in the Women's Individual Pursuit at the Olympic Velodrome on Saturday

Determination: Joanna cycles her way to victory in the Women's Individual Pursuit at the Olympic Velodrome on Saturday

Happy and healthy: Joanna, cycling world record holder and Olympic hopeful

Happy and healthy: Joanna, cycling world record holder and Olympic hopeful

Despite seeing numerous doctors, her
parents, bank worker Roger, 52, and school accounts manager Amanda, 52,
were told that the alopecia was incurable.

Alopecia occurs when the immune system
becomes confused and attacks the body’s hair follicles. This causes the
hair to fall out leaving bald patches that can eventually spread across
the entire head.

Miss Rowsell said: ‘It was hard being a
teenager and having alopecia. I didn’t bother with make-up or clothes
because I didn’t want to think about my appearance.’

She credits cycling with boosting her
confidence. At 15, she was scouted by the British cycling talent team
when they visited her school in Sutton, Surrey.

At the time she had no interest in
cycling and only owned an old push bike which was rusting in the back of
her parents’ garage. But they spotted raw talent and she began
training.

She went on to win golds in the team
pursuit at the World Championships in 2008 and 2009 and gold in the
European Track Championships in 2011.

Last weekend, she was part of the team
pursuit trio which won gold at the UCI World Cup with a record-breaking
time of three minutes, 18.148 seconds.

She then had her own win in the
individual pursuit against former world champion Alison Shanks from New
Zealand. And she was happy to go without her wig on the podium.

She said: ‘I literally only had time
to wipe the sweat off my face and jump on the podium. If I have time, I
will put on one of my wigs because everyone likes to look their best,
but I will also go without.’

She bought her first wig from Selfridges at the age of 20.

‘I suppose I
wanted to feel “normal” and attractive on nights out,’ she said.

‘I didn’t want to look silly, but it was
like being in disguise, I loved it. I chose a long black curly wig. Now
I have three, including a long blonde one. It is fun to experiment.’

Relaxed: Joanna (pictured with a wig left) has been pictured with her head both covered and uncovered

Relaxed: Joanna, left, pictured with a wig, but she doesn't always get time to put one up before the winners' photographs are taken

Alopecia

At the age of 16, her hair grew back – something she credited with her happiness from cycling. She was, she says, ‘over the moon’, but six months later she was devastated when it fell out and she had to go through the trauma of losing hair again. At 20, it grew back for a third time, but lasted one month.

It could not have come at a worse time, having just met her first and current boyfriend. She said: ‘I was so worried when it fell out again that he wasn’t going to like me, but he wasn’t bothered at all.’

Now, she is philosophical about her condition. She said: ‘Much worse things happen in life than losing your hair. I am happy and healthy. Now I want to focus on the things that matter – like getting that gold medal at the Olympics.’

For further information on alopecia visit Alopecia UK's website

Martin Samuel: Social lynch mob have hit their target

Social lynch mob have hit their target

Innocent until proven guilty. It's
just a catchphrase now. It's one of those things we say. We don't much
mean it. Allegedly is the same. Ever noticed how they use allegedly on
shows like Have I Got News For You It's a punchline.

They throw it in with a raised eyebrow and a cheeky grin.

Maybe that is what we should do here.

John Terry is innocent until proven guilty. Little pause for comic effect. Wink to the camera, wait for the laugh. Allegedly.

Flashpoint: Ferdinand and Terry clash at Loftus Road

Flashpoint: Ferdinand and Terry clash at Loftus Road

In the end, it came down to a shouting contest and the lords of Twitter, the frantic self-publicists in Westminster such as Damian Collins MP and the sages of the newsprint and airwaves shouted loudest.

They did not always shout with great understanding, or even logic, but they shouted to the rolling rhythm of a bandwagon that was hurtling towards its inevitable destination.

A social lynching, a friend of mine called the events of the last few days.

He's just one of those old-school hacks, and football's not even his thing any more; but his instincts were right, and he nailed this one.

If Terry was to be removed before his trial, it had to be a football decision.

If Fabio Capello, the England manager, thought that he divided the dressing room, or his presence would prove a distraction, then he had to act, as he did before the World Cup, the first time Terry was sacked.

Backing: Capello (right) and Terry

Backing: Capello (right) and Terry

Capello, however, remained staunchly behind his captain this time.

He was in Italy when the decision was taken, a manager paid 6million annually but not trusted to make selection calls.

His successor should be taking notes.

The next crisis for the England team – and there will be one, because there always is – should be dropped directly on the toes of the FA board, those wizards of governance.

The impossible job just got a little easier: for 6m, the FA now employ a man in a tracksuit, no more. Aggravation is on their watch. Good luck all.

The board will get their tummies tickled this morning, no doubt, and be widely praised for taking a firm line. The opposite is true.

The tough call would have been to resist, to say a man cannot lose his job without being given the chance to defend himself in due process and that however unfortunate the timing of Terry's trial, it remained a matter for the courts.

Emmanuel Frimpong, on loan to Wolves and one of the Twitter stormers, did not seem to understand this.

The FA were out of order, he said.

'If Anton Ferdinand was in the England team and was being charged for racism, would the FA wait'

As if the FA set court dates.

His words were reported as further evidence of the mood against Terry, rather than an argument with a bus-sized hole in its centre.

Trial by social media: Terry accused

Trial by social media: Terry accused

Like that of Jason Roberts, who compared Terry's situation to Rio Ferdinand's in 2003, left out of the England squad before his hearing for missing a drugs test.

The difference being there was no question of whether Ferdinand was guilty. He should have taken the test, he was absent. Case closed.

The FA knew the verdict in advance.

A comparison would be if Terry had racially abused Anton Ferdinand as he walked past, midway through a television interview, on camera, with utter certainty for all to see.

There would be no question of waiting for formal process then.

A decision could be made that night, without complaint.

Nobody here condones racism.

It is the fact Terry has pleaded not guilty and could be found so that is the awkward complication, because we shouldn't condone pre-judgment either.

Still, the FA say their action in no way suggests wrongdoing on Terry's part. Allegedly.

Terry will not play for Chelsea against Manchester United on Sunday.

He would not have played in last weekend's FA Cup match against Queens Park Rangers either, but was concerned it would be interpreted as a tactical injury to avoid a poisonous atmosphere and the handshake issue.

His knee injury, however, could be a serious one.

Terry spent Friday afternoon undergoing further tests, having consulted a specialist on Thursday, and his participation in England's next match with Holland on February 29 has to be doubtful.

This would leave him with the rest of the season to make a decision on whether to be available for England at Euro 2012.

He will not be rushed into making the call, but is very conflicted on the issue: upset at what he sees as a lack of support by the FA, but loyal towards Capello, who was known to be against the decision of the FA board, taken above his head.

Capello told Terry as recently as Thursday night that he would still be his captain next summer and remains convinced he is the best man for the job.

Failed in his role: Capello felt Steven Gerrard did not lead effectively

Failed in his role: Capello felt Steven Gerrard did not lead effectively

The idea he restored Terry to the role out of pity is laughable.

Capello believes English football is unique in seeking leadership from its captain and feels Steven Gerrard did not fulfil that role in 2010.

Even Terry's supposed mutiny in South Africa is now viewed benignly by Capello, who says he was the only player with the confidence to speak up about dissatisfaction in the camp.

It is not unthinkable, if Terry goes to Euro 2012, that the manager will continue to lean on him as Sir Clive Woodward did Lawrence Dallaglio, after he was replaced by Martin Johnson following a tabloid scandal.

Johnson came into his own on match days, but Dallaglio remained Woodward's man behind the scenes, his real World Cup captain.

It is now for Terry to decide whether he wishes to risk another social lynching purely by being part of Capello's squad.

Yet no doubt whenever anyone refers to the disgraced ex-captain, the shamed ex-captain, the dishonoured, twice-sacked pariah and former England captain they will be careful to remind all that he is, of course, innocent until proven guilty. Allegedly.

NHL player has "skull ripped open" after team-mate"s skate slashes forehead

'I thought it was a little cut': NHL player has 'skull ripped open' in horrific accident

An NHL player says he's lucky to be alive and soon possibly back on the ice after a team-mate's ice skate sliced up his head during team practice.

Edmonton Oilers' forward Taylor Hall's crash into a wall Tuesday triggered a multiple collision and a gruesome gash stretching from his left eyebrow to inches above his temple. Accompanying that line was a puffy black eye.

'I didn't feel too much pain. I thought it was just kind of a little cut,' Mr Hall told reporters Thursday after receiving 30 stitches.

Gruesome: Hockey player Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers shows off his new stitches after a teammate's ice skate landed on him during practice

Gruesome: Hockey player Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers shows off his new stitches after a teammate's ice skate landed on him during practice

'I knew right away when the blood was coming out pretty bad that it was serious and I just tried to get into the room as soon as possible and just slow the bleeding down,' he said.

'It doesn't look good that's for sure. I looked a lot better before. What can you do'

Not all of the players were wearing helmets during their practice session which Mr Hall says isn't unusual.

Slide: Mr Hall slid into one of his teammates carrying them both toward a wall during a routine practice session on the ice

Slide: Mr Hall slid into one of his teammates carrying them both toward a wall during a routine practice session on the ice

Collision: The two players launched straight into a third who was looping around the bend catching him off guard and being unable to stop

Collision: The two players launched straight into a third who was looping around the bend catching him off guard and being unable to stop

Sliced: Trying to not fall himself, Mr Hall's teammate accidentally placed one of his skates down on him once in the tangled pile

Sliced: Trying to not fall himself, Mr Hall's teammate accidentally placed one of his skates down on him once in the tangled pile

If anything he says his accident was unlucky for it happening after 'how many guys have not worn a helmet during warmup.'

According to the Calgary Herald, helmets are regulated on a team by team basis.

'We're going to talk about it,' the team's General Manager Steve Tambellini told the Edmonton Sun. 'It was a
bizarre happening, but it was a reminder that, whether practicing,
playing the game or in warmups, things can happen.'

Lucky: Mr Hall says he's lucky it was just a gash to his forehead and he didn't lose his eye

Lucky: Mr Hall says he's lucky it was just a gash to his forehead and he didn't lose his eye

Safety: Helmets are regulated according to a team's choice though the Oiler's general manager says they are now thinking more about their players' safety

Safety: Helmets are regulated according to a team's choice though the Oiler's general manager says they are now thinking more about their players' safety

Mr Hall thanked his immediate medical staff on hand including a plastic surgeon who stitched him right up, leaving him eager to get back on the ice.

While giving his head time to heal before placing a helmet back on it, he says he'll be ready for another game as soon as possible.

Watch the video here: