Tag Archives: proceedings

Ashley Barnes charged by FA

Brighton's Barnes could see four-match ban extended after being charged for trip on referee

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

16:47 GMT, 13 March 2013

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UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 13 March 2013

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Brighton's Ashley Barnes has been charged by the Football Association for the apparent trip on referee Nigel Miller on March 9 at the Reebok Stadium.

Barnes appeared to make contact with Miller in the closing seconds of his side's 1-0 defeat by Bolton, an offence for which he was shown a red card.

His punishment was a four-game ban, one more than the standard three due to it being the striker's second dismissal of the season.

Scroll down to watch footage of the incident…

Marching orders: Barnes is dismissed by referee Nigel Miller

Marching orders: Barnes is dismissed by referee Nigel Miller

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season already and his protests (below) fell on deaf ears

But, having considered the evidence, the FA have opened proceedings which could lead to an enhanced punishment.

The FA have ruled that the incident displayed 'truly exceptional circumstances' and as such it has been referred to an independent three-man commission who can recommend a further ban if they feel it necessary.

A statement today read: 'The FA has
charged Brighton and Hove Albion's Ashley Barnes following his side's
game against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 9 March 2013.

'It is alleged that Barnes's
behaviour in relation to the match official, for which the player was
dismissed for violent conduct towards the end of the game, constituted
an offence whereby the standard punishment that would otherwise apply
was clearly insufficient.'

Close quarters: Miller and Barnes are just yards away from each other as Bolton clear

Close quarters: Miller and Barnes are just yards away from each other as Bolton clear

Trip: Barnes sticks out a boot as Miller sets off on a run

Trip: Barnes sticks out a boot as Miller sets off on a run

Whistle: Miller sticks up his hand as he stops the game

Whistle: Miller sticks up his hand as he stops the game

Barnes has been given until 6pm on Thursday to respond.

Speaking immediately after the match –
and before reviewing video evidence – Brighton manager Gus Poyet said:
'I would like to see it.

'Before I talk to him I'm going to have a look because if he's done something to the referee…let's wait and see.

'My way of managing this is I prefer
the player to calm down because if you go to the dressing room and you
ask them straight away then they will put their excuse in there and
blame somebody else.'

VIDEO: Watch Barnes's trip on referee Miller from 50 seconds in

Final moments of Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

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Craig Levein starts legal proceedings against SFA after "resigning" as Scotland manager

Levein starts legal proceedings against SFA after 'resigning' as Scotland manager

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 19 December 2012

Former Scotland manager Craig Levein has opened legal proceedings against the Scottish Football Association.

Levein was 'relieved of his duties' by the SFA on November 5 following a disappointing start to the World Cup qualifying campaign.

The SFA has confirmed Levein has now instructed his lawyers to serve a writ on the Association, who had offered to honour the remainder of his contract in full.

Action: Levin has opened legal proceedings against the SFA

Action: Levin has opened legal proceedings against the SFA

A statement from the SFA read: 'Regrettably, the Scottish FA has received notification from lawyers representing Craig Levein that their client has served a writ on the Association.

'This notification has been received despite the Scottish FA's offer to honour Craig's contract in full, an offer that was made immediately upon the Board's decision to relieve Craig of his duties on November 5, 2012.

Axed: Levein was shown the door in November

Axed: Levein was shown the door in November

'The Scottish FA has since received notification that Craig has chosen to resign, thereby foregoing the offer made to honour his contract in full.

'In the notification received, failure to make a proposal in lieu of compensation has been cited.

'It is the view of the Scottish FA that no such offer is required given Craig's decision to resign, especially since an offer of mediation was rejected by his legal representatives.

'We will make no further comment at this time.'

Levein had found himself under pressure after the Scots failed to record a single win from their opening four games of the current campaign.

Draws at home to Serbia and Macedonia, followed by defeats away to Wales and Belgium, left Scotland bottom of their group with little hope of booking their place at Brazil in 2014.

Those results ultimately sealed the fate of the former Hearts and Dundee United boss and his near-three-year tenure came to an end last month.

Under-21s boss Billy Stark was placed in interim charge while the SFA search for Levein's successor.

Portsmouth face 10 point deduction even if supporters trust save club

Pompey will still be docked 10 points if supporters group win fight to save club

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UPDATED:

17:13 GMT, 10 December 2012

Portsmouth still face a 10-point deduction should the Pompey Supporters' Trust (PST) win their battle to save the club this week.

The Football League today confirmed the sanction, to be imposed once the club comes out of administration, after receiving details of the PST's proposed takeover.

PST's bid hinges on administrators PKF gaining permission to sell Fratton Park, which is controlled by the club's former owner Balram Chainrai, at a High Court hearing which starts on Thursday.

In danger: Portsmouth will be docked 10 points even if the supporters trust saves the club

In danger: Portsmouth will be docked 10 points even if the supporters trust saves the club

The League is awaiting the outcome of that hearing, and for the trust to raise the remaining funds as set out in their business plan, before fully considering their application.

A statement from the League read: 'The Football League Board has received details of a proposal by Pompey Supporters' Trust and its partner investors to acquire the assets and certain liabilities of Portsmouth Football Club.

'Having considered the proposal in detail, the Board concluded that it had significant merit.

'However, two outstanding points will have to be resolved before the Board can fully consider PST's application to become the new owner of Portsmouth Football Club.

'They are the outcome of the current High Court proceedings relating to the ownership of Fratton Park and PST raising the remaining funding from supporters that is anticipated in its business plan.

'The Board also confirmed that ongoing membership of the League would be subject to a number of conditions that seek to ensure the sporting integrity of league football and the financial viability of the club going forward.

'It therefore reaffirmed its earlier decision that these conditions would include a deduction of 10 points (applicable at the point of transfer of share) and a range of other restrictions on playing budgets and future borrowing for the next four seasons.'

Pompey, who have been in administration since February, are currently one place and one point outside the npower League One relegation zone.

Arsene Wenger scoffs at AVB claim that Tottenham were in control

Wenger scoffs at AVB's claim that Tottenham were in control against Arsenal

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UPDATED:

00:21 GMT, 18 November 2012

Andre Villas-Boas refused to blame
Emmanuel Adebayor for Tottenham’s 5-2 defeat by Arsenal and instead
launched an impassioned – at times delusional – defence of his team.

The Spurs boss insisted his side were
in control for the whole game, claiming they dictated proceedings even
after Adebayor was sent off for a wild challenge on Santi Cazorla after
17 minutes.

‘We were very, very good from the first minute to the last
with 11 men and with 10 men,’ said Villas-Boas.

Rash: Emmanuel Adebayor lunged in and fouled Santi Cazorla

Rash: Emmanuel Adebayor lunged in and fouled Santi Cazorla

Fair cop: Andre Villas-Boas admitted the challenge deserved a red

Fair cop: Andre Villas-Boas admitted the challenge deserved a red

‘We feel it could have gone either way. We were in control from the first minute to the last, we’re proud of what we have done.

‘The feeling about the result is indifferent when we played so well and we took the risk in the second half to be so bold and play with three at the back.’

But his claims brought a guffaw from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

‘If our opponents are in control from the first to the last minute and we win 5-2 I don’t mind too much,’ quipped the Arsenal boss.

‘Tottenham made a good start, we were a bit nervous and they scored a goal where we made an adjustment. The turning point was the sending off. We came back and got what we wanted. It’s not always easy to win against 10 men.’

Villa-Boas would also not criticise Adebayor. He even praised his ‘strong and brave’ play. There were suggestions that the ex-Manchester City and Arsenal striker would struggle to remain calm in an incendiary derby atmosphere and he was sent off by referee Howard Webb after flying into Cazorla with his studs showing.

‘There is nothing to say about Adebayor,’ said Villas-Boas. ‘We understand it could have been any other player on any other day, this is football and challenges like this happen. I don’t think it being against a former club (was a factor).

‘I think Adebayor was in full control, he went for a challenge and in a London derby you want players to go for second balls. You want to be strong and brave.’

High jump: Per Mertesacker scored his first goal for Arsenal with a towering header

High jump: Per Mertesacker scored his first goal for Arsenal with a towering header

Wenger insisted Webb was right to dismiss Adebayor, who scored the opener before his departure.

‘Adebayor had a good start,’ he said. ‘He was lively but (the challenge) is not a yellow card, it’s red.’
Defeat is likely to prompt speculation over the reign of Villas-Boas
after successive league defeats by Wigan and Manchester City but he
remained defiant, saying: ‘When you play like this I don’t think it can
be that damaging a result.

‘When you’re poor I think it can be damaging.

‘For example, at Man City we had a good first half but not a good second half.

‘Here we felt that the circumstances
of the game fell Arsenal’s way. We had chances for 2-0 and 4-3. I
believe Arsenal were very efficient attacking but we had our chances,
too. I’m proud of the players.’

There were no reports of serious
crowd trouble despite problems at last year’s derby, when Adebayor and
Wenger were subjected to serious verbal abuse.

But a steward confirmed that ‘a few’ flags bearing the term ‘yid’ or ‘yiddo’ had been confiscated at the gates.

High-flyers: Olivier Giroud was praised by Walcott as Spurs tumbled to a heavy defeat

High-flyers: Olivier Giroud was praised by Walcott as Spurs tumbled to a heavy defeat

Kurtley Beale in the dock – Woeful Wallabies

It's looking woeful for Wallabies with Beale in the dock in latest episode of Aussie soap opera

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UPDATED:

22:37 GMT, 16 November 2012

In the dock: Beale trains at HQ on Friday

In the dock: Beale trains at HQ on Friday

A calamitous week for Australian rugby continued on Friday when playmaker Kurtley Beale was summoned to face an assault charge next February.

The embarrassment over Beale’s pending case follows David Campese denouncing head coach Robbie Deans and a poll of 12,000 Australians voting 75 per cent in favour of sacking the New Zealander.

Beale shrugged off the latest development about court proceedings after training at Twickenham.

‘I will need to speak to my lawyer, but all I’m doing is concentrating on this game,’ he said after insisting he had not heard about the court date.

The assault charge relates to an incident involving a hotel bouncer after the fly-half and colleague Quade Cooper were refused entry in the early hours of June 8 — a day before the Wallabies played Wales in Brisbane.

For the moment, the Australian Rugby Union has put on hold its own disciplinary inquiry into the late-night incident, pending the end of criminal proceedings.

Beale was far keener to talk about how he was going to give a revamped Wallaby back line ‘direction’ in a match the Australians are desperate to win after last weekend’s embarrassing 33-6 defeat by France.

The Wallabies claim they were caught out by the damp conditions in Paris after playing their previous games, in a stamina-sapping schedule, in the dry and warm of Brisbane, Rosario and Pretoria.

Beale is confident the return of wing Digby Ioane plus the decision to start the experienced Berrick Barnes at full back will give the Wallabies a winning edge.

Under pressure: Coach Robbie Deans (left)

Under pressure: Coach Robbie Deans (left) needs a result

‘We just need to get him (Digby) the ball so he can do his thing. He’s one of those who loves getting his hands on the ball.’

The Wallabies have also been comforted by the assured leadership of captain Nathan Sharpe, the veteran lock who thought he had played his last international match in last year’s World Cup.

However, the 34-year-old, who will be playing in his 113th international on Saturday, answered an SOS from Deans after injuries to James Horwill and Dan Vickerman.

‘Never say never,’ has become Sharpe’s mantra this year after agreeing to prolong a career. He might yet face the Lions next year.

SOS: Veteran lock Nathan Sharpe (second right) returns for Australia

SOS: Veteran lock Nathan Sharpe (second right) returns for Australia

‘It’s not under consideration at the moment,’ was how he rebuffed talk that he might play on in 2013.

‘We have a very big fish to fry first this weekend,’ he added.

Sharpe talked about a ‘siege mentality’ gripping the Wallabies camp this week after the defeat in Paris.

Such a thrashing, culminating in a penalty try when the scrum caved in, has re-ignited the fierce debate over the suitability of Deans, a New Zealander, being coach of a national team whose erratic form has prompted them to be nicknamed either ‘Woeful’ or the ‘Wobblies’.

Sharpe has also had to spend his time talking about the absent Cooper, who has a knee injury, claiming in Australia that the atmosphere in the camp was ‘toxic’.

All smiles: Beale will start at fly-half at Twickenham on Saturday

All smiles: Beale will start at fly-half at Twickenham on Saturday

‘This group gets on well and everyone is pulling for each other,’ Sharpe insisted this week and contends Cooper’s outburst is no longer an issue.

Sharpe believes the dips in form of the Wallabies have not been ‘across the park’ but in specific areas like the scrum last week when France dominated.

It will be Sharpe’s 12th match against England and he needs victory to make the score six wins and six defeats.

‘When you are playing Test match rugby for your country you are always under pressure. It’s nothing new for us,’ he said about an international schedule which will see the Wallabies play 15 games in 2012.

Ready to go: The Wallabies pose for their team photo at Twickenham on Saturday

Ready to go: The Wallabies pose for their team photo at Twickenham on Saturday

This latest match against England will be a test of character for his unpredictable team who drew 18-18 against New Zealand before the loss to France.

Sharpe wants to see Australia ‘outwill’ England, though he added they also needed a better method than last week against France.

‘It’s going to take more than character to win. Turning up and having a go won’t be good enough.

‘This English team is a good one and there is going to have to be a fair amount of exceptional play and some pretty tough rugby in between.’

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to four years in prison

Serie A rocked as Milan owner – and ex-Italian PM – Berlusconi handed four-year jail term

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UPDATED:

15:08 GMT, 26 October 2012

AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four years in prison after being found guilty of tax fraud.

The former Italian prime minister is now likely to appeal, with all cases in the country having to pass two levels of that before the verdicts are final.

Friday's conviction is the media mogul's first – other criminal probes and trials ended in acquittal or were thrown out when the statute of limitations expired.

Guilty: Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four Years in jail for tax fraud

Guilty: Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to four Years in jail for tax fraud

The 76-year-old media mogul was not in the courtroom for the verdict on the case stemming from dealings in his Mediaset business empire.

Berlusconi bought the club in 1986, saving it from bankruptcy and investing huge amounts in, first, the appointment of Arrigo Sacchi as manager, and then signing Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard.

Under his stewardship, Milan have won eight Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia, five Supercoppa Italiana, five Champions League trophies, five Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and one FIFA club World Cup.

MORE WOE FOR ITALIAN FOOTBALL AT NAPOLI

Napoli face the prospect of heavy sanctions after the Italian football federation (FIGC) confirmed it is investigating allegations of match-fixing at the Serie A club.

Former goalkeeper Matteo Gianello, now a free agent, has been accused of attempting to fix the outcome of Napoli's Serie A match at Sampdoria in 2010, with defenders Gianluca Grava and Paolo Cannavaro standing accused of failing to report the incident having been approached.

A statement on the federation's official website read: 'The FIGC can confirm that, following an investigation by the public prosecutor of Naples, the federal prosecutor will open disciplinary proceedings in relation to the Sampdoria-Napoli match of May 16, 2010.

Implicated: Paolo Cannavaro is one of two current Napoli players mentioned

Implicated: Paolo Cannavaro is one of two current Napoli players mentioned

'Matteo Gianello, Napoli's former player, and Silvio Giusti, Napoli's former coach, are accused of violating Article 7 (sections 1, 2 and 5) of the sporting code of justice.

'Between them, they are accused of attempting to alter the outcome of the match to secure a victory for Sampdoria in exchange for money.

'(They are) also accused of having approached colleagues Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava, from whom they received a refusal.

'But Cannavaro and Grava stand accused of violating Article 7 (section 7), in failing to disclose the approach to the federal prosecutor.'

Napoli have also been deferred as the club involved at the time, and could face a points deduction.

Lance Armstrong quote removed from walls of US Olympic Centre

Wiped from history: Armstrong quote removed from walls of US training centre as shamed cyclist is dropped by sponsors

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UPDATED:

11:48 GMT, 18 October 2012

Lance Armstrong's shamed name is being wiped from US sports history as a quote that covered the walls of the US Olympic Training Centre was removed.

The quote from Armstrong's read: 'I was sure to come under heavy attack from my adversaries, but what they didn’t know was how specifically and hard I had trained for this part of the race. It was time to show them.'

Armstrong's dramatic fall from grace has seen a number of his sponsors drop him and he resigned as chairman of his Livestrong cancer charity on Wednesday as the maelstrom over his drug cheating left him more isolated than ever.

First, his long-time sponsors Nike finally gave in to the damning evidence of the cyclist’s illicit behaviour, published last week by the US Anti-Doping Agency, and withdrew their backing.

Wiped from history: A Lance Armstrong quote being taken down from US Olympic Training Centre

Wiped from history: A Lance Armstrong quote being taken down from US Olympic Training Centre

Timeline of Armstrong's downfall…

May 2010: Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis launches allegations against the Texan.
May 2011: Forced to deny claims made by ex-team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance enhancing drugs together.
February 2012: 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: 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 dismissed.
August 24: Armstrong announces he will not fight doping charges filed against him but insists he is innocent. He is stripped of his titles and banned from cycling for life by USADA.
October 10: USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him, revealing 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.
October 17: Armstrong resigns as chairman of his cancer charity, Livestrong, on the same day that he is dropped by sponsor Nike.

Second, the International Olympic
Committee are considering stripping him of the bronze medal he won at
the 2000 Sydney Games, a course of action that would involve rewriting
their rule book to address cases more than eight years old.

Third, former England footballer Geoff Thomas, who was inspired by Armstrong to raise money for cancer charities through cycling, urged the Texan to come clean.

Fourth, sunglasses firm Oakley, another of Armstrong’s enduring commercial partners, said they were reviewing their involvement with the fallen idol.

Late on Wednesday, Trek Bicycle also terminated its contract with Armstrong.

'Trek is disappointed by the findings
and conclusions in the USADA report regarding Lance Armstrong,' a statement read. 'Given the
determinations of the report, Trek today is terminating our long-term
relationship with Lance Armstrong. Trek will continue to support the
Livestrong Foundation and its efforts to combat cancer.'

In a sign of his weakening position, Armstrong handed over the leadership of his charity to vice-chairman Jeff Garvey, saying: ‘This organisation, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart.

‘Today, therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.’

It would have been difficult for the tarnished Armstrong to act as its public face or to carry moral sway.

He added: ‘As my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organisation that has served 2.5million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change.

‘We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer.’

The foundation spent 20m on cancer programmes last year.

The biggest external blow to Armstrong’s stance of denying all wrongdoing was the split from Nike. They had issued a statement as recently as seven days ago stating their total belief in Armstrong’s honesty.

Frehs twist: Nike and Livestrong have distanced themselves from Lance Armstrong

Frehs twist: Nike and Livestrong have distanced themselves from Lance Armstrong

Backing: Armstrong had been a face of Nike since 1996

Backing: Armstrong had been a face of Nike since 1996

Nike Lance Armstrong 'LiveStrong' trainers

09 stages banner

Support: Nike Lance Armstrong 'LiveStrong' trainers (left) and charity banner (right)

What Armstrong 'earned' in deals…

According to Forbes, Armstrong has a net worth of $125m. Sports Illustrated data from 2004 and 2005 show Armstrong averaged $17m in endorsements a year at the peak of his career. His total worth in endorsements was worth $28m in 2007.
The controversy means Armstrong is forecast to lose $50m in endorsements over the next five years, in addition to the $7m he will have to pay back annually during that time for past winnings.
He earns $150,000 per speaking engagement and does about 20 a year – they should be interesting now. Livestrong has raised over $470m for cancer research and distributed 84m wristbands worldwide.

But on Wednesday the world’s biggest
sportswear manufacturer, who ‘vehemently deny’ paying bribes to the head
of cycling’s governing body, Hein Verbruggen, said: ‘Due to the
seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in
doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness
that we have terminated our contract with him.

‘Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives.’

Oakley were more equivocal, saying: ‘Oakley does not approve in any way the use of illegal substances for enhancing performance in sports.

‘Our policy with our athletes is to support them until proven guilty by the highest governing body of sport or court of law.

Suspicion: Lance Armstrong is checked up back in the 2003 Tour de France

Suspicion: Lance Armstrong is checked up back in the 2003 Tour de France

‘We are reviewing the extensive report from the USADA, as well as our relationship with Lance, and will await final decision-making by the International Cycling Union (UCI).’

The IOC are also awaiting the UCI’s next move, which is not expected before October 31, the deadline by which they must respond to USADA’s findings.

There is a mood among some at the IOC to find a way to wipe out Armstrong’s Sydney time trial medal — a mere detail among the seven Tour de France titles he has been stripped of by WADA — and also to call to account officials within the UCI if they are found to have tolerated or indulged doping.

There remains the option to expel
cycling from the Olympic programme altogether but soundings from within
the IOC suggested that is a most unlikely outcome given the sport’s
significance to the movement.

Pressure on the UCI to prove they have cleaned up their act will be exerted instead.

Big backers: Nike have long supported Armstrong - on the road and off it

Big backers: Nike were supporters of Armstrong – on the road and off it

As for Armstrong, he is being called on to break the habit of a lifetime by confessing all. For now at least, he fiercely maintains his innocence.

The Armstrong scandal had taken a new twist on
Tuesday with the allegation that Nike paid $500,000 to the former head
of cycling’s world governing body, Hein Verbruggen, to cover up a
positive drugs test.

The company issued a statement saying they ‘vehemently
deny’ that they ‘paid former UCI president Verbruggen $500,000 to
cover up a positive drug test’.

It followed a report in the New York
Daily News that Kathy LeMond, wife of three-time Tour winner Greg,
testified under oath in 2006 that she was told by Armstrong’s mechanic,
Julien Devries, about the alleged donation in July 2000.

Watch the astonishing Nike advert with Lance Armstrong…

It is alleged the payment was made by
Nike and Thom Weisel, an American financier who helped set up
Armstrong’s team, and that it was paid into a Swiss bank account
belonging to Verbruggen, president of the UCI from 1991-2005, and now
UCI honorary president and an honorary member of the IOC.

Mrs LeMond confirmed to Sportsmail that her testimony in 2006 followed a conversation with
Devries in July 2000. At the time, Devries was working for Armstrong,
but he had worked with, and been close to, LeMond, who retired in 1994.

Mrs LeMond said that Devries told her
in 2000 that the payment came after Armstrong tested positive for
corticosteroids at the 1999 Tour. ‘Everything else Julien told us has
turned out to be accurate,’ said Mrs LeMond.

Axed: Matthew White

Sacked: Armstrong's former team-mate Matthew
White was axed by Cycling Australia on Tuesday after admitting doping
between 2001 and 2003

She originally revealed her
conversation with Devries during a 2006 deposition in Texas after
Armstrong filed a lawsuit against SCA, an insurance company who withheld
a $5million bonus because of doping allegations in the book L.A.
Confidentiel.

The LeMonds — among the first
high-profile people to go public with their suspicions that Armstrong
doped — were called to testify by SCA. In the event, SCA paid the bonus,
though they have intimated in the last week that they will seek to
reclaim the money.

A UCI spokesman insisted
they would say nothing about the Armstrong case until 31 October, which
is the deadline for their response to USADA’s ‘Reasoned Decision’
against Armstrong and his team, US Postal.

FA threaten Serbia boycott after England players racially abused

Angry FA threaten Serbia boycott: 'We shouldn't play in such an abusive and violent place,' says Horne

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 17 October 2012

The Football Association have threatened to stop playing matches against Serbia in the wake of the disgraceful scenes of racism and violence that marred England Under 21s’ 1-0 win in Krusevac on Tuesday.

Danny Rose revealed he was subjected to abuse throughout the game.

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Fury: Danny Rose (right) is separated from Serbian player Milos Ninkovic by England colleague Craig Dawson

Fury: Danny Rose (right) is separated from Serbian player Milos Ninkovic by England colleague Craig Dawson

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FA general secretary Alex Horne said: ‘No football team should be asked to play in any environment where racial abuse, violence and threatening behaviour is prevalent. We must question the validity of sending a team to Serbia in the future.’

But the Serbian FA denied accusations of racism and tried to blame the English for the problems.

Incredibly, UEFA announced disciplinary
proceedings against both the FA and the Serbian FA, charging them over
the improper conduct of their players.

Seeing red: Rose is sent off by referee Huseyin Gocek after kicking a ball into the crowd

Seeing red: Rose is sent off by referee Huseyin Gocek after kicking a ball into the crowd

The Serbian FA have also been charged with alleged racist chanting by their fans. The cases will be discussed by UEFA on November 22.

But Horne’s comment has raised doubts that England will take a team to Serbia again.

Fracas: England and Serbia players clash after the final whistle

Fracas: England and Serbia players clash after the final whistle

That is a move that would almost certainly end football relations between the nations and land UEFA and FIFA with a problem when organising future qualifying schedules at all levels of the game.

England Under 21s’ black players were subjected to racist abuse during the Euro 2013 qualifier and were then attacked by Serbian players and officials during a melee at the final whistle.

Enraged: Marvin Sordell erupts next to the players' tunnel

Enraged: Marvin Sordell erupts next to the players' tunnel

Sunderland defender Rose was sent off when he expressed his frustration at the abuse by kicking the ball away.

In a statement on their website, the Serbian FA denied the scuffles were prompted by racism issues and accused Rose of inciting problems in the crowd.

Fist of fury: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic throws a punch

Fist of fury: Serbia goalkeeping coach Srdjan Maksimovic throws a punch

The statement read: ‘The FA of Serbia absolutely refuses (sic) and denies that there were any occurrences of racism before and during the match. Danny Rose behaved in an inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner towards the supporters and for that he was shown a red card.’

Rose said: ‘I remember getting slapped twice and then I got ushered away. That’s when I kicked the ball — and the referee sent me off.

‘As I went off, again there was monkey chanting, but the monkey chanting started long before I got sent off. In the second half I had two stones hit me on the head when I went to get the ball for a throw-in. Every time I touched the ball there was monkey chanting again. They have to be banned.’

Peacemaker: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica attempts to keep players apart

Peacemaker: Serbia assistant coach Dejan Govedarica attempts to keep players apart

UEFA were urged by the FA, the Government and Professional Footballers’ Association chairman Clarke Carlisle to throw the book at the Serbians, whose fans have faced several accusations of racial abuse in the past.

Horne added: ‘We call on UEFA to take the strongest possible action against the Serbian FA, their supporters and anyone found guilty of being involved in the numerous instances of violence and abuse. We must defend Danny Rose, who was sent off due to the frustration of being a target of racial abuse.’

Under attack: England coach Steve Wigley is thrown to the ground by Serbian players

Under attack: England coach Steve Wigley is thrown to the ground by Serbian players

Sports minister Hugh Robertson was shown a YouTube clip filmed at the game which appears to show monkey chants taking place.

Robertson, who has written to UEFA president Michel Platini urging tough action, said: ‘No young man, or indeed woman, representing his or her country should be subjected at a sports fixture to this sort of vile abuse.’

Video of the sickening monkey chants at the final whistle

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But Rio Ferdinand accused the FA of double standards in taking a tougher line against racism abroad than they do at home.

He tweeted: ‘Agreed, All jump on bandwagon when judging everyone else but all bottle merchants when it’s on home soil #DoubleStandards’.

The tweet was a reference to how Ferdinand believes he and his brother Anton were treated during the investigation into the racist comments aimed by John Terry at Anton during a game.

Serbia rap sheet

October 2000: Lazio’s Sinisa Mihajlovic, now Serbia’s coach, banned for two games for racially abusing Arsenal’s Patrick Vieira in Uefa Cup tie.

June 2007: Serbian FA fined 16,500 after England Under 21 players racially abused at European Championship.

July 2007: Partizan Belgrade kicked out of Uefa Cup after fans threw stones and fought with Zrinjski Mostar fans in Bosnia. Partizan also fined 25,000.

Sept 2009: French fan Brice Taton, 28, murdered by 30-strong group armed with iron bars and baseball bats ahead of Europa League match between Partizan and Toulouse. A Serbian court later jailed 14 men for a total of 240 years.

Oct 2010: Italy awarded 3-0 victory after Euro 2012 qualifier in Genoa against Serbia was abandoned after trouble from travelling hooligans. Game halted after six minutes, Serbs fined 104,000.

Kevin Pietersen exile: England get ready to welcome KP back into the fold

Flower gets ready to welcome KP back into England fold

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UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 2 October 2012

England team director Andy Flower is hopeful of a positive resolution to the Kevin Pietersen saga this week.

Pietersen has not played for England
since making 149 in the second Investec Test against South Africa in
August after a storm over his text messages to South Africa players
which allegedly contained 'derogatory' references to then England
captain Andrew Strauss.

Back in: England's Kevin Pietersen set for recall for India tour

Back in: England's Kevin Pietersen set for recall for India tour

That saw him miss out on their failed World Twenty20 title defence, the upcoming tour of India and a central contract for the new season, but Flower is optimistic an agreement has finally been reached.

'The situation is ongoing. I think it's nearing an end now – in a positive way, I hope,' he said.

'There's been a lot of formal communication between the ECB and Kevin, and there will be a press conference I would imagine in the next 36 hours which will enlighten you a little further.'

The expectation of an imminent reconciliation has even led to speculation Pietersen could be added to the party travelling to India later this month.

Flower did not rule out such an eventuality but would not be drawn on the specific details of Pietersen's likely return.

Talks: England coach Andy Flower

Talks: England coach Andy Flower

'We don't close doors to anyone,' he
said. 'If we get over that first stage first and get some of the formal
legal proceedings out of the way, then we'll get on to the cricket
thereafter.'

England's top order, shorn of Pietersen's presence, failed to produce the runs required in Sri Lanka as the reigning champions' participation in the World Twenty20 ended at the Super Eight stage with defeat by the hosts on Monday.

And Flower admitted: 'Last night was a quarter-final, effectively, and we weren't good enough to beat Sri Lanka on their home soil.

'There were little sparks of positive play but they were more streetwise than us and obviously deserved to win the game.

'It's sad that we're leaving this early, but that is the fact of life.'

Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad was keen to pick out the positives on offer despite England's failure to reach the last four of the tournament.

Another one bites the dust: Dananjaya took the wicket of England captain Broad

Disappointment: England were knocked out of World Twenty20 by Sri Lanka

Steven Finn's bowling, Luke Wright's much-improved batting and – against Sri Lanka – the strokeplay and know-how of Samit Patel all suggested England have the talent to do better.

Patel's maiden Twenty20 international half-century took England to within 19 runs of Sri Lanka's 169 for six in a final Super Eight match they had to win to progress to the knockout stages.

'The way Samit played the spin was very encouraging,' said Broad.

'He looked a class act out there, and if we could just have hung around and stayed with him we knew the last four or five overs can go for anything here – because the ball just flies away.

'He did really well. His big strength is the way he plays the spin and how he hits over the off-side; he made some really good spinners go for a few runs here.

'That's a huge positive for us, not just as a Twenty20 team but as an England cricket side for the future.'

John Terry FA hearing – I was treated unfairly

I'm the victim! FA treated me unfairly, claims defiant Terry as hearing draws to a close

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 26 September 2012

John Terry's defence team have accused the Football Association of unfair treatment of their client during his time as England captain.

They claim he was treated more harshly than Steven Gerrard, Andy Carroll and Wayne Rooney when they were embroiled in controversy.

Terry, who quit international football on Sunday, is expected to learn on Thursday the outcome of his FA disciplinary hearing over his alleged use of racist language towards Anton Ferdinand last October.

Back again: John Terry arrives at Wembley on Wednesday

Back again: John Terry arrives at Wembley on Wednesday

But Terry’s legal team, led by George Carter-Stephenson QC, asked former England manager Fabio Capello and his assistant Franco Baldini to provide written statements explaining how they handled players who were the subject of criminal proceedings or salacious headlines.

Capello resigned in the belief that it was wrong Terry should have been sacked as captain in February this year, arguing he should have been presumed innocent until proven guilty.

That, Capello explained to Terry’s defence lawyers, was a policy he applied to everyone during his time as national team manager.

Flashpoint: Ferdinand (left) refused to shake Terry's hand when Chelsea and QPR met in the Premier League at Loftus Road earlier this month

Flashpoint: Ferdinand (left) refused to shake Terry's hand when Chelsea and QPR met in the Premier League at Loftus Road earlier this month

During his 78-cap England career, Terry suffered the ignominy of being stripped of the captaincy twice.

Gerrard, now England captain, made four appearances under Capello while he awaited trial for affray in 2009. Carter-Stephenson is believed to have highlighted the inconsistency. Carroll pleaded guilty to assaulting a man in a nightclub in October 2010 and received a fine. A month later Capello handed him his first cap.

Terry’s legal team have also pointed out that Rooney’s place in the England side was never threatened despite tabloid revelations.

Backing: Fabio Capello provided a character statement for Terry

Backing: Fabio Capello provided a character statement for Terry