Tag Archives: questions

West Ham defender Daniel Potts leaves hospital after frightening head injury at Arsenal

West Ham defender Potts leaves hospital after frightening head injury at Arsenal

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

10:39 GMT, 24 January 2013

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UPDATED:

20:10 GMT, 24 January 2013

West Ham defender Daniel Potts has left hospital and returned home following the head injury he suffered in his side's 5-1 defeat at Arsenal last night.

Potts had replaced Jack Collison just after the hour mark at the Emirates Stadium, but suffered a nasty concussion following a heavy fall after an accidental aerial collision with Bacary Sagna.

The 18-year-old spent last night in hospital and underwent further scans and tests today, which came back positively.

Flat out: Daniel Potts was knocked unconcious following a clash of heads with Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna

Flat out: Daniel Potts was knocked unconcious following a clash of heads with Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna

Potts has expressed his gratitude for
the messages of support he has received and will undergo a period of
rest before being allowed to resume light training in the gym.

Potts received lengthy treatment from
medical staff, eventually being taken from the field on a stretcher, in a
neck brace, receiving gas and covered in an emergency blanket before
being transferred to a nearby hospital for observation.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter expressed backing for Potts, writing on Twitter: 'Best wishes & quick recovery to @DanPotts03. Concussion in football is a big issue that FIFA is taking very seriously.'

Unconscious: There were 12 minutes of injury time at the Emirates following the collision

Unconscious: There were 12 minutes of injury time at the Emirates following the collision

Danny Potts

Speaking after the match last night, Sam Allardyce
said: 'Potts was unable to give the correct answers to the questions the
doctor asked, which shows a concussion to the brain.

'They put him on the oxygen and strapped him, just to make sure there was no damage to the spine or the neck.

'He was out for a few seconds, maybe a minute, and was not fully conscious when he came off.

'We were concerned at how long it
took. They have to make sure they protect the spine the right way,
getting them on the stretcher – that is why it took the time it did.'

Out: Potts was released from hospital on Thursday

Out: Potts was released from hospital on Thursday

He added: 'Hopefully he will make a speedy
recovery. As he lost consciousness it is a minimum of two weeks, I
think, before he can play again.'

Jack Collison, who scored his first
goal since returning from lengthy injury, said losing
Potts would be a big blow.

'It's disappointing,' the midfielder
said. 'He's been magnificent for us these past few weeks. To get a
chance tonight at a place like this is what he's worked so hard for.

'We wish him a speedy recovery. I
think there was a clash, these things happen. You've got to say well
done to the medical team, they got in there and he's in the best hands.'

Daniel Potts in hospital after Bacary Sagna collision in West Ham v Arsenal match

Potts kept in hospital overnight as West Ham defender is left unconscious following nasty head collision

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

22:41 GMT, 23 January 2013

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UPDATED:

00:05 GMT, 24 January 2013

West Ham youngster Dan Potts is in hospital under observation after being knocked unconscious through a nasty clash with Bacary Sagna.

The 18-year-old lay motionless on the Emirates turf for 10 minutes as medical staff attempted to revive him, before taking him from the field on a stretcher.

Potts, son of former West Ham captain and current under-18 manager Steve, had only come off the substitutes' bench 11 minutes before banging his head into the Sagna's shoulder off the ball in the 73rd minute.

Flat out: Daniel Potts was knocked unconcious following a clash of heads with Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna

Flat out: Daniel Potts was knocked unconcious following a clash of heads with Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna

The left-back then fell awkwardly on the floor and was reportedly not making sense when speaking to those nearby.

The crowd watched silently as left-back Potts was strapped in a neck brace and applauded as he went down the tunnel. Sagna checked on him to offer warm words as he left the pitch.

West Ham club doctor Richard Weiler
went to the hospital with Potts, who starred in both FA Cup matches
against Manchester United, and manager Sam Allardyce said his defender
had at least recovered his senses.

Unconscious: There were 12 minutes of injury time at the Emirates after a collision involving Danny Potts

Unconscious: There were 12 minutes of injury time at the Emirates after a collision involving Dan Potts

Danny Potts

Allardyce said: 'Potts has gone
straight to hospital with concussion, he was unable to give the correct
answers to the questions. When you hit the floor like that it might be a
problem, he hit the floor as a dead weight.

'They have protected his neck. He was
out for a few seconds. He was not fully conscious when he came off. We
were concerned at how long it took.

On his side: Potts has gone straight to hospital with concussion, Sam Allardyce confirmed after the game

On his side: Potts has gone straight to hospital with concussion, Sam Allardyce confirmed after the game

'They have to make sure they protect
the spine the right way getting them on the stretcher; that's why it
took the time it did. Hopefully he will make a speedy recovery.'

Jack Collison, who scored his first
goal at the Emirates since returning from lengthy injury, said losing
Potts would be a big blow.

'It's disappointing,' the midfielder
said. 'He's been magnificent for us these past few weeks. To get a
chance tonight at a place like this is what he's worked so hard for.

'We wish him a speedy recovery. I
think there was a clash, these things happen. You've got to say well
done to the medical team, they got in there and he's in the best hands.'

Gareth Bale admits Micah Richards is his toughest opponent

Bale admits Richards is toughest opponent as well as admiration for Michelangelo (the Teenage Mutant Turtle)

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 19 December 2012

The list of right-backs that Gareth Bale has terrorised over the last few years is a very long one – certainly longer than the one the Welsh winger struggles against.

But despite featuring in the Champions League and being a major player at international level, you may need to guess, and then guess again to find out the Tottenham star's most feared opponent.

Cracking hat, Gareth: Bale took time out to answer fan questions on Twitter

Cracking hat, Gareth: Bale took time out to answer fan questions on Twitter

In fact if you have tried to check regular full-backs from international teams you have already looked too far, as Bale’s nemesis on the pitch is Manchester City's Micah Richards.

Richards has 13 international caps but has found himself controversially on the outside looking in to the England team in recent years, with Glen Johnson, Kyle Walker and Martin Kelly all selected ahead of the 24-year-old.

But Bale rates him as his toughest opponent, describing the defender as ‘physically so strong’.

No way past: Micah Richards shields the ball away from Gareth Bale in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium earlier this year

No way past: Micah Richards shields the ball away from Gareth Bale in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium earlier this year

The Tottenham star was grilled by fans on the club’s Twitter account where he also revealed that his best goal was not against Inter Milan, in the Champions League or even for the north London side.

International pride ranks high for the Welshman who claimed his favourite strike was the 89th minute winner against Scotland in a World Cup qualifier earlier this year.

Away from the sport, Bale admitted that if he was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle he would be the pizza loving Michelangelo, and that if he wasn’t a footballer he would have still tried to find use for his blistering pace by becoming a 400m athlete.

Singing in the rain: Bale celebrates his winning goal against Scotland

Singing in the rain: Bale celebrates his winning goal against Scotland

The 23-year-old also showed his admiration for golf, revealing his favourite golf course and reasonable handicap

‘Difficult one!! Celtic Manor, lots of variety there,' Bale said: ‘11 at the moment, not played for a while. The Ryder Cup was incredible. The Olympics was awesome as well.’

This year’s dramatic Ryder Cup was his sporting highlight of 2012 just ahead of the Olympics – despite the former Southampton player being
controversially ruled out with an injury from London 2012 before
featuring for Tottenham in pre-season.

Hairier than a bear Sandro (right) was in action for Tottenham's 1-0 win against Swansea in the Premier League last weekend

Hairier than a bear Sandro (right) was in action for Tottenham's 1-0 win against Swansea in the Premier League last weekend

The winger’s favourite question though related to Tottenham team-mate Sandro, when he was asked by a supporter who was hairier out of the Brazilian midfielder and a bear.

The Welshman had little doubt: ‘Haha! Definitely Sandro’

England cricket: Five key questions to answer

Five questions England must answer before tackling the challenges ahead

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 17 December 2012

After England's superb Test victory in India Sportsmail looks at the challenges ahead of Alastair Cook's side. Here are five pertinent questions.

Can England fit Monty Panesar into their side outside the subcontinent

Graeme Swann is still the No 1 spinner but Panesar has been superb, particularly in taking 11 wickets in Mumbai, and must be in contention for a regular place alongside Swann now. His fielding and batting will hold him back unless England take the plunge, put Matt Prior at six and go for five bowlers. Unlikely unless they fall behind in a series and need to gamble.

Has Nick Compton done enough to cement his place as opener alongside Alastair Cook

He impressed without producing that defining innings. Joe Root’s introduction will crank up the pressure but both could play in New Zealand in February. A top six of Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Root may be one attacking strokeplayer light when it comes to taking on the Aussies.

Opener Nick Compton impressed but did not produce a 'defining' innings

Opener Nick Compton impressed but did not produce a 'defining' innings

Do we need to be worried about Stuart Broad and Tim Bresnan

Vice-captain Broad’s heel injury has ruled him out of the two Twenty20 matches that conclude this leg of the tour and he must come to terms with being dropped from the Test side for the first time in four years. Bresnan has not looked the same since his elbow operation at the start of this year and didn’t take a wicket in his two Tests here.

Will the new two-coach system work

Neither Andy Flower nor new man Ashley Giles will be around for the Twenty20 matches in Pune on Thursday and Mumbai on Saturday, but Giles will start his new role as limited-overs coach when England return to India for the one-day series next month and how he works alongside team director Flower will be fascinating. England can be backed to make a success of it.

Compatible Can the dual system with team director Andy Flower (right) work

Compatible Can the dual system with team director Andy Flower (right) work

Has Kevin Pietersen been successfully ‘reintegrated’ into the England team

It looks that way. All within the camp confirm that Pietersen has been a model professional in the dressing room here and it is almost like the text saga of last summer never happened. England’s decision to add him to this squad, with Cook the driving force, has been thoroughly vindicated, with his series-defining innings at Mumbai an act of genius.

Picture dispute: We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Charles Sale: Portsmouth could face extinction after court date

Portsmouth's court date with destiny could end in extinction

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UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 7 December 2012

The most important date in the history of Portsmouth Football Club will be taking place in London's High Court on Thursday.

The future of the club could now depend on a Chancery Division judge agreeing with the Pompey Supporters' Trust – the preferred bidder – over their estimation of a fair market value for their Fratton Park ground.

Otherwise, administrator Trevor Birch believes he will have no other option than to liquidate Portsmouth, FA Cup winners four years ago, before the end of the season.

Court date with destiny: Portsmouth could face extinction

Court date with destiny: Portsmouth could face extinction

Birch can sell Pompey to the PST – even though former owner Balram Chainrai still has a mortgage on the stadium – provided there is a court ruling over the true value of the ramshackle Fratton Park.

The rival factions are millions apart in their valuations, however.

The trust price the ground at 2.75million but Chainrai's Portpin company wants to recoup the 18m allegedly owed to them – 12m of which is secured against the stadium.

Birch, an experienced football operator, has spent nine months looking for other buyers but no-one is prepared to pay more than the PST offer.

So if the judge is not convinced by the fans and their legal team during the scheduled two-day hearing, Portsmouth face extinction.

Chainrai is the only other possible option but Pompey do not believe the Football League would sanction him taking control because of unanswered questions from his previous regime.

Hart, Carroll and Bent prepare for swoosh

Nike's official disposal of their Umbro brand to the Iconix Group this week is expected to see Umbro's few remaining marquee endorsed players – Joe Hart, Andy Carroll and Darren Bent – have their contracts switched for them to start wearing the swoosh boots.

Talks are taking place with their agents. John Terry and Michael Owen, two long-term Umbro clients, are no longer under contract.

Nike, who will be launching their first England kit well in advance of the team wearing it for the first time against the Republic of Ireland in May, have kept on Umbro's Duncan Thomson to manage their relationship with the FA.

Swoosh! Joe Hart is likely to have his Umbro contract switched over to Nike

Swoosh! Joe Hart is likely to have his Umbro contract switched over to Nike

Easy for Jim to refuse

Quality all-round TV sports presenter Jim Rosenthal is in as much demand as ever four years on from ITV showing him the door after his 60th birthday. However, Rosenthal is no longer presenting the FA Cup draw after ITV, who produce the event, offered him a hugely reduced deal. 'It was an offer I found very easy to refuse,' said Rosenthal, who has been replaced by Mark Pougatch.

Sky protects asset Melvin

Andy Melvin, deputy head of Sky Sports, has been given a consultancy role following his retirement next year.

The move safeguards new rivals BT Sport making a move for Melvin.

There is plenty of animosity between BT and Sky following the unexpected defection of match director Grant Best from Isleworth to BT's Olympic Park headquarters.

Keith is pitch perfect

Twickenham's Keith Kent has been rewarded for his work on the permanent Desso pitch, which is looking good as new after four autumn internationals and the Varsity match in less than five weeks, with a clean sweep of three groundsman-of-the-year awards.

The immaculate surface at Twickenham is another reason the RFU wouldn't countenance the England World Cup group match against Wales in 2015 taking place at the Millennium Stadium, where the removable pitches can cut up badly.

Easy for Jim: TV broadcaster Jim Rosenthal turned down a cut-price deal for the FA Cup draw at ITV

Easy for Jim: TV broadcaster Jim Rosenthal turned down a cut-price deal for the FA Cup draw at ITV

City presence at Onuoha's mother's funeral

Quite rightly there was a presence from Manchester City, including club secretary Bernard Halford, Dennis Tueart and Jim Cassells, at the funeral of Dr Anthonia Onuoha, mother of former City defender Nedum, who now plays for QPR.

Dr Anthonia died of cancer 15 months after ex-City CEO Garry Cook mistakenly sent her an email mocking her brave fight against the disease.

The message was meant to be for Cook's City colleague Brian Marwood.

At the Match can't keep pace

Glossy business and sport publication At the Match perhaps shouldn't trumpet the 'cutting edge features' in their 'highly acclaimed' magazine when their latest edition – caught out by football's furious merry-go-round – has deposed manager Mark Hughes dominating the front cover talking about his vision for QPR.

A bit late: Mark Hughes was on the cover of At the Match magazine despite his sacking last month

A bit late: Mark Hughes was on the cover of At the Match magazine despite his sacking last month

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer closer to Bolton job

Man United legend Solskjaer in the frame for Bolton job after skipping talk in London

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UPDATED:

06:51 GMT, 12 October 2012

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mysteriously went to ground after emerging as Bolton’s first-choice to become their new manager.

Bolton chairman Phil Gartside was in London when Solskjaer pulled out of a speaking engagement at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge.

The Molde boss was due to appear on stage and face questions alongside David James and Paolo Di Canio, but was replaced at the last minute by Red Bull Salzburg sporting director Ralf Rangnick.

Bolton-bound Solskjaer is wanted by the Trotters

Bolton-bound Solskjaer is wanted by the Trotters

The official reason was that Solskjaer is recuperating from illness at home in Norway, but the former Manchester United striker is known to have been in England during the international break and was spotted at a United Under 21s game on Monday night.

The 39-year-old, who has also been linked with Blackburn, fits the profile of the young up-and-coming manager Gartside wants to succeed Owen Coyle.

However, Mick McCarthy remains in contention, along with Billy Davies, Roy Keane and Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton.

Bradley Wiggins "shocked" at scale of "damning" evidence against Lance Armstrong

Wiggins 'shocked' at scale of 'damning' evidence against fallen idol Armstrong

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UPDATED:

17:36 GMT, 11 October 2012

Bradley Wiggins says he is 'shocked at the scale of the evidence' against Lance Armstrong, who has been described by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as 'a serial drugs cheat'.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by USADA and banned from the sport for life after the organisation claimed, based partly on the evidence of 11 fellow cyclists, that he orchestrated 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.

The American denies all the allegations but Wiggins told Sky News: 'It's pretty damning stuff. It is pretty jaw-dropping the amount of people who have testified against him.

Cheat: Lance Armstrong was unmasked by USADA

Cheat: Lance Armstrong was unmasked by USADA

'It is certainly not a one-sided hatchet job, it is pretty damning. I am shocked at the scale of the evidence.

'I have been involved in pro cycling for a long time and I realise what it takes to train and win the Tour de France. I'm not surprised by it… I had a good idea what is going on.'

Cheating was said to be rife in cycling when Armstrong competed but Wiggins was not about to sympathise for the 41-year-old Texan.

Britain's first Tour de France winner continued: “Not really. My main concern is that I am standing here as the winner of the Tour de France after a summer where we have won how many Olympic gold medals I've lost count…

Shocked: Bradley Wiggins was amazed at the amount of evidence against Armstrong

Shocked: Bradley Wiggins was amazed at the amount of evidence against Armstrong

'We are the ones picking these pieces up. For me it is about moving forward and not looking back any more to what happened 10, 15 years ago.

'It always is (frustrating answering questions about drugs cheats). It is not something which sits easily. Everyone knows where we stand on that, it is about looking forward.

'We are one of the most successful sports for catching people. I don't think that is relevant to what we are doing today. What we are doing today is setting the example for our sport.'

Brendan Rodgers must teach Luis Suarez to earn real respect

Comment: Rodgers must teach Suarez how to earn real respect

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 8 October 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is not averse to taking on his players in public when he feels the time is right.

Just recently, for example, he suggested that winger Stewart Downing may not have the heart for a career at Anfield.

Rodgers may have a point. It is his job to make unemotional judgments on players, no matter who they are.

Taken a tumble: Luis Suarez went down in the box against Stoke

Taken a tumble: Luis Suarez went down in the box against Stoke

How odd, then, that the roguish Luis
Suarez continues to escape criticism. For if there is one player at
Liverpool who would appear to need a nudge in the right direction from
Rodgers then it is the Uruguayan.

After Suarez’s dreadful double dive
against Stoke City at Anfield on Sunday, Rodgers said he was tired of
answering questions about his player.

The problem, however, is not in the
questions but in the subject. Suarez does dive and, as well as costing
him his reputation, it is costing his team.

Referees no longer feel they can
trust him. They suspect his actions are rarely genuine. Hence the
25-year-old was denied a clear penalty at Norwich nine days ago and
another when he was shoved by Robert Huth on Sunday.

Suarez on the ground He must be
play-acting. That’s the thought process of many officials currently and
it is hard to blame them.

Dive: No Stoke defenders appeared to be near Suarez as he went down

Dive: No Stoke defenders appeared to be near Suarez as he went down

He seems incapable of changing his modus operandi on his own so it is now incumbent on his manager to help him.

On Monday evening Rodgers used the
Liverpool website to launch not so much a defence of Suarez but an
attack on his treatment by the media.

Rodgers’s loyalty is admirable in one sense and will certainly be appreciated by Suarez. Maybe that’s the long game.

Unfortunately, his words rather missed the point.

It is true that Huth’s fifth-minute
stamp on Suarez did not receive the same coverage as the South
American’s later theatrics. But that’s largely because Huth does not
have a track record of violence.

Suarez, on the other hand, does have history when it comes to acting.

If Rodgers wishes Suarez to be treated sympathetically then he must encourage him to earn it. This is called management.

Floored: Brendan Rodgers is furious about this 'stamp' by Robert Huth

Floored: Brendan Rodgers is furious about this 'stamp' by Robert Huth

Suarez is not the only culprit.
Play-acting continues to curse modern football. Players such as
Manchester United’s Ashley Young have contributed. On Sunday,
Tottenham’s Gareth Bale joined the club.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo
spoke out after seeing Eden Hazard fall to ground too often. ‘In England
you need to stay on your feet,’ said Di Matteo. ‘I wouldn’t want the
officials to have a prejudice.’

Rock and a hard place: Brendan Rodgers has jumped to the defence of his star striker

Rock and a hard place: Brendan Rodgers has jumped to the defence of his star striker

Wise words from the Chelsea boss but
for Suarez the tide may already be too strong to turn and what is
problematic for Rodgers is that he badly needs the Uruguayan this
season.

Liverpool’s squad is desperately thin
and it was clear against Stoke just how much Rodgers’s team rely on
Suarez and Steven Gerrard for impetus.

Suarez is a wholehearted and
committed footballer. So hard did he chase a lost cause in the final
minute on Sunday that he almost ended up over the hoardings and in the
front row of the Kop.

All that tends to be forgotten,
though, when the highlight reels show him constantly falling to earth.
It’s embarrassing and when he isn’t trying to protect his player,
Rodgers will know this.

Suarez – an experienced international
– should be a leader for the likes of Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and
18-year-old Spaniard Suso to follow.

Instead, he is the player the rest of
the Liverpool team often end up making excuses for. Forget Stewart
Downing, Anfield harbours greater problems.

London 2012: Training is a real stretch for Usain Bolt as fitness questions grow over sprint king

Loosening a tight Bolt… training is a real stretch as fitness questions grow over sprint king

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 25 July 2012

Olympics 2012

Not everything is as it appears in the well-manicured image presented by Usain Bolt Ltd.

Sure, the main man is a joker who loves to party into the small hours – and beyond – of the Jamaican morning. He is a chilled dude with a toothy smile and an appetite for chicken nuggets.

All that is real, but still aspects of Bolt's character jar. It is not his start-line nonchalance, exaggerated for showboating effect, that rankles – no, that is part of the fun. What rankles is that his minders build a high wall around him, keeping the world away and the cash registers ringing.

Enlarge

Pushing the limit: Bolt grimaces as his physio goes to work but coach Mills looks relaxed

Pushing the limit: Bolt grimaces as his physio goes to work but coach Mills looks relaxed

The secrecy invites questions. The absence of answers begets suspicion. That was the case when he failed to show for an open training session on Tuesday.

Was he injured

Was his participation in the Olympics in doubt

On Wednesday, as these exclusive pictures show, he was flat on his back. But before his rivals get carried away, he was smiling, too.

Pull the other one: Mills and Bolt succumb to a fit of the giggles

At the Jamaican's base in Birmingham
he was able to train – his programme included some starts – before
having a long stretching session. Bolt's coach, Glen Mills, shared a
joke with him and laughed loudly while the physio pushed and pulled the fastest legs in history.

The scene told us that Bolt looks likely to be on the start line for the 100 metres final a week on Sunday.

However, we do not know in exactly what condition. After his recent
defeat by training partner Yohan Blake at the Jamaican trials, and a
second unexpected trip to the German doctor Hans Muller-Wohlfahrt
earlier this month, some doubts must linger.

Down in London's Olympic Park the
question was not so much about Bolt's fitness as about the legality of
Jamaican sprinting. Innuendo suggested, one questioner said, that
testing there was not the most stringent on the planet.

Pull the other one: Mills and Bolt succumb to a fit of the giggles

Pull the other one: Mills and Bolt succumb to a fit of the giggles

David Howman, the World Anti-Doping
Agency boss, responded by saying he had visited the island last year.
'Satisfactory,' was his overall verdict. Well, it sounded an
unsatisfactory answer, given how dominant Jamaican sprinters – men and
woman – are.

Nor has every
one of their samples proved clean. No less than Bolt's chief rival and
the fastest man this year, Blake, tested positive for the stimulant
methyl-xanthine in 2009. It was a drug not yet on WADA's banned list
but, perhaps unreasonably, he was still suspended for three months.

So I
raised the subject of drugs with Mills, the influential guru to a
generation of Jamaican sprinters, including Bolt and Blake, and a devout
Christian.

'People will
say anything,' he said. 'Track and field may have contributed to that
kind of scepticism as unfortunately a number of outstanding athletes
have tested positive, even in the recent past.

'That casts doubt on everybody who runs fast. But drugs are not the
only thing that can make people run fast. Hard work and ability get the
job done.

Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning the men's 200m final

Challenge: Bolt wants to win a gold medal in London

'If you are
saying that Jamaicans, because they run fast, are on drugs then I see
that as a witch-hunt. Jamaicans would say those allegations are down to
a bad mind or some kind of envy.

'The thing about drugs is that I have a
distinct line between a person who inadvertently finds something in
their system, a stimulant or something, that is widespread in cough
syrup, supplements or whatever, as against somebody who is on a
deliberate drug programme, knowingly, willingly planned.

'That is a clear indication of a
person who is corrupt and I have no tolerance for that. I don't think
anybody should be banned for life, though. My Christian values speak of
forgiveness. They should be punished, yes; banned for life, no.' Bolt
is on record as saying he must win at least an Olympic title here in
London to be considered a legend, seeing multiple successes at major
championships as the true yardstick of such status.

In that attempt, he will face the American Justin Gatlin, who was
banned for four years after testing positive for testosterone, and whose
presence in the 100m final would serve as an emblem of the doping
menace. So how many in those eight lanes will be fuelled illegally

Mills said: 'I don't know. You can't ask me that. It is impossible to
guess. I would hope it is nought. Even WADA could not tell you. If they
knew, the athletes wouldn't be there.

'But I would love to see a clean sport. I could never feel good
winning anything having knowingly set out to cheat to win. No.'

The Open 2012: Bubba Watson relishing challenge

Open challenge at Royal Lytham is as taxing as food and drink to Bubba

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UPDATED:

23:50 GMT, 16 July 2012

The most important six inches in golf, as the legendary Bobby Jones often said, is the six inches between a player's ears.

Which begs the question: how on earth did Bubba Watson win the Masters It is not, perish the thought, that little goes on among the cells that make up Watson's brain.

Rather, there is so much action up there that it becomes difficult for him to concentrate on hitting a golf ball. We are talking neither burning philosophical questions nor important matters of state.

Busy boy: Bubba has plenty on his mind heading into The Open

Busy boy: Bubba has plenty on his mind heading into The Open

'You know, my head is always racing about something,' Watson said.
'I've got issues. I'm thinking about what meal I'm going to eat, what TV show I'm going to watch, what video game I'm going to play when I get home.'

The crazy mixed up guy. The wonder is that he can draw back the club never mind launch those 300 yard plus space balls with his butch pink driver.

'There's a lot of things going through my head, not just golf, so I've got to calm my mind down and focus on golf and try to get better. When I focus right, I play pretty good, and when I don’t focus right, I miss the cut pretty quick.'

To be fair, it is not all about his next meal, the Discovery Channel listings and reaching the final level on Mass Effect 2. He has come to the Open this summer without his wife and his baby boy Caleb whose recent adoption is chugging slowly through the usual legal treacle.

Learning curve: Watson picked up a great deal while playing with Woods and Mickleson at the US Open

Learning curve: Watson picked up a great deal while playing with Woods and Mickleson at the US Open

Since his fitting for the Green Jacket, however, he has begun to think more about the game he plays so well, if unconventionally. Two rounds in the company of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson at the US Open last month taught him that golf was not just about belting the bejesus out of a little white ball.

'I learned a lot about strategy from watching Tiger and Phil around the Olympic Club,' Watson explained. 'Golf is a tough game so you’ve just got to learn and process this information and move on.

'I saw where I went wrong, some things I could have did better. The game is still about execution. But around here it looks like we’re going to hit a lot of irons off of tees, try to play safer, smarter, whatever you want to call it, and just have a longer shot into some of these holes.'

Watson cited as an example the par 5 seventh at Royal Lytham which the big hitter from little ol' Bagdad in Florida, population 1500, could easily reach in two.

Double your money: Bubba is hoping to add to the Masters title he won this year

Double your money: Bubba is hoping to add to the Masters title he won this year

'I'm going to hit iron off that tee even though I could reach it if I hit it in the fairway with a driver. If I have a wedge as my third shot, I can eliminate big numbers.

'That doesn’t mean I'm going to be able to do that. That's my goal. But I might still hit it in the hay with an iron.'

As a famously swashbuckling player, safety first has always come last.

'As I said, I've got issues in my head. It's something I’ve never done. It’s just I have to learn that. I've done it in some places, but I have to really focus and concentrate more when it comes to that.'

It sounds as if he is going to have a lot on his mind this week.