Tag Archives: threat

Australian government investigation unearths widespread use of banned drugs in professional sport

Australia rocked as investigation unearths widespread use of banned drugs, links to match fixing and organised crime in professional sport

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 7 February 2013

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UPDATED:

02:26 GMT, 7 February 2013

Professional sport in Australia is set to be rocked to its core after an Australian Crime Commission (ACC) investigation uncovered widespread use of performance enhancing drugs in Australian sport as well as links to match fixing and organised crime.

A federal government press conference revealed that the ACC has conducted a 12-month investigation into the link between drugs and professional sport entitled 'Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport'.

'There are clear parallels between what has been discovered in Australia and the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong, which underlines the transnational threat posed by doping to professional sport, both from a “fair play” perspective and as a broader integrity issue,' said the report.

Painful viewing: NRL CEO David Smith speaks to media after a 12 month investigation into Australian sport uncovered the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime

Painful viewing: NRL CEO David Smith speaks to media after a 12 month investigation into Australian sport uncovered the possibility of match fixing, drugs in sport and links to organised crime

'The ACC has demonstrated through this project that the threat posed by the PIEDs (performance and image enhancing drugs) market and related criminal activities to the integrity of sport in Australia, and organised crime attempts to infiltrate the professional sports sector in this country, exhibits many of the characteristics identified in the USADA investigation of Armstrong's activities in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s.

'The difference is that the Australian threat is current, crosses sporting codes and is evolving.'

Legal constraints prevent the identification of any particular code, particular teams or particular athletes, but Minister for Justice Jason Clare emphasised that no code was immune.

The heads of the major sporting bodies were at the announcement of the report with Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, ARU CEO Bill Pulver and NRL CEO David Smith all voicing their shock at the outcomes of the report.

'These are serious matters that require immediate action and the development of a longer term plan,' a statement from COMPPS, which represents all the major sporting bodies, said.

'The integrity of sport as a whole, and our specific codes, is paramount. We have commenced taking action and will work closely with the government on a longer term plan.'

Harsh realities: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou leaves a press conference at Parliament House

Harsh realities: AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou leaves a press conference at Parliament House

As a result of the magnitude of the inquiry, the federal government has doubled ASADA's (Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) resources to tackle this issue.

Sports scientists are set to be at the centre of the ASADA investigations, while the ACC has confirmed that criminal offences have been disclosed by players during the course of their investigation.

'The ACC has identified specific high-performance staff, sports scientists and coaches within some codes who have condoned and/or orchestrated the administration of prohibited substances, and substances not yet approved for human consumption, to players,' said the report.

'In some cases, peptides and other substances were administered to players without them understanding the nature of the substances, and without the knowledge of the team doctor or club medical staff.'

Any athlete found to have breached World Anti-Doping Agency protocols faces a minimum two-year ban from professional sport.

The involvement of organised crime has also raised the spectre of match fixing with the government and all sporting codes moving to beef up integrity measures.

'The ACC has identified an increasing number of associations of concern between professional athletes and organised criminal identities in Australia,' added the report.

'The ACC's 2011 assessment of Threats to the Integrity of Professional Sport in Australia, noted that as the amount of money wagered on sports increases, associations with athletes or other individuals with the ability to influence a sporting contest, or provide inside information, will be increasingly sought after.'

England lose to India A by 53 runs

Giles' reign off to losing start as England slump to 53-run defeat in frosty conditions in first ODI warm-up against India A

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

11:52 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:23 GMT, 6 January 2013

Aside from the numbing cold, Ashley Giles will not remember much about his first match in charge of England’s one-day team, and nor will he wish to do so.

The new jobshare era alongside Andy Flower began in temperatures of a mere four degrees at a windswept Indian Air Force ground, and ended in a 54-run defeat with the tourists dismissed for 175 in 36 overs.

India A made 224 for four from a reduced 39 overs, and the victory target was adjusted to 229 under the Duckworth/Lewis system.

Class act: Ian bell made England's scoreline respectable

Class act: Ian bell made England's scoreline respectable

But England were never in the chase, with Ian Bell’s increasingly belligerent 91 bringing respectability rather than a genuine threat of victory. It served as a timely reminder of why the team Giles has stepped up to coach from Warwickshire have won only once in their last 17 matches in the 50-over format at international level when visiting this country.

Bell correctly pointed out afterwards that it was unlikely to have a huge effect on their chances in the first match of the series on Friday in Rajkot, but they will hope to do better tomorrow in the final warm-up against Delhi.

There was not even the compensation of knowing India are still in freefall, as they clinched a 10-run victory over Pakistan, albeit in the dead rubber of a series in which they already trailed 2-0.

That match, and India’s decision to drop Virender Sehwag for the series against England, were the main talking points in the Indian capital as Giles’s men slipped under one of the many radars around this military venue.

The only way... Kevin Pietersen (right) and Mushtaq Ahmed (left) warm their hands over an open flame

The only way… Kevin Pietersen (right) and Mushtaq Ahmed (left) warm their hands over an open flame

It will have been a learning experience, especially as this was England’s first match under the latest 50-over regulations, which include two bouncers allowed per over and only four fielders outside the 30-metre circle in non-powerplay overs. England overdid the head-high bombardment, while the pick of the bowlers was Jade Dernbach, against determined batting from Indian players keen to impress national selectors.

NEIL ADCOCK (1931-2013)

Former South Africa fast bowler Neil
Adcock has died aged 81 after a long battle with cancer. He played 26
Tests between 1953 and 1962 and was a Wisden cricketer of the year in
1961.

Eoin Morgan had inserted after winning the toss, taking the role of captain in place of Alastair Cook, whose absence through a heavy cold depleted a side already missing Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott and Jimmy Anderson.

A successful run chase probably required something from Kevin Pietersen, in his first one-day international since dual hundreds against Pakistan last winter.

He started brightly enough before chipping Shree Sreesanth to mid-on after making 19. Then, what had been 42 for one swiftly became 72 for six with the kind of collapse Giles will be keen to iron out. Bell had anchored the innings, but then began to play with his trademark fluency, getting support from Tim Bresnan and Steve Finn as he mustered some respectability.

‘It’s disappointing and we aimed to win but we were outplayed,’ said Bell.

‘With more wickets in hand we might have been able to knock it off. It would have been nice to get the full 50 (overs) in. We wanted to get going this morning so that was a bit frustrating.’

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

The BCCI has refused access to 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.

Celtic"s Anthony Stokes sent death threats on Twitter

Celtic's Stokes sent death threats on Twitter after allegedly attending benefit for Irish gangster

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UPDATED:

15:43 GMT, 3 December 2012

Celtic’s Anthony Stokes has been sent a death threat on twitter after it was claimed the striker attended a tribute in memory of a notorious Irish gangster.

Stokes, who is also an Irish international, was targeted by a user named @gonzo1690, who said he hoped that the Ulster Volunteer Force, a paramilitary group, would ‘put a bullet’ in his head.

The user tweeted: ‘Hope the UVF put a bullet in your head you f****** p****’.
In the same tweet, the user added: ‘If I ever see you you’re getting smashed ya ****.’

Threat: Anthony Stokes has been targeted on Twitter

Threat: Anthony Stokes has been targeted on Twitter

The 23-year-old is considering reporting the abuse and the death threat to police, tweeting in response to his followers: ‘Do I need to send this to the police or do they just pick up on it’

The attack on twitter came after claims that Stokes, a former Hibs and Arsenal forward, had attended a benefit event for murdered Irish gangster Alan Ryan, a senior figure within the Real IRA, in Dublin.

Ryan was killed last September, executed at close range outside his home.

Celtic fans were quick to unite in condemnation at the abuse. Tam Selleck CSC, wrote: ‘This coward @gonzo1690 just told Stokes he hopes the UVF put a bullet in his head. Won’t be smiling in court.’

Another tweeted: ‘Anybody placing bets on when @gonzo1690 will get a chap on his door from police’

Frankel finale at Ascot under threat due to rain

Rain threat to Frankel's grand finale: Racing world holds its breath ahead of Ascot spectacular

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UPDATED:

22:18 GMT, 19 October 2012

The team behind unbeaten Frankel will walk the course at Ascot on Saturday morning with fears that the world’s best racehorse may have to pull out of his 14th and final run in the 1.3million Qipco Champion Stakes.

Lord Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner Khaled Abdullah, said: ‘I will be guided by (trainer) Sir Henry Cecil. We would only pull out if we considered the ground unsafe.’

Wonder horse: Frankel storming to victory at Newbury earlier this year

Wonder horse: Frankel storming to victory at Newbury earlier this year

That stage had not been reached on Friday night but more rain had added heavy patches to the soft going and further showers were due.

Cecil concedes Frankel will be going into ‘no-man’s land’ if the ground is heavy in a race run in front of the Queen and a sell-out 32,000 crowd.

The concerns prompted a surge of support for Cirrus Des Aigles on Friday. An estimated 5m will be bet on Frankel, which could cost bookmakers 1m. Bookies say a Cirrus Des Aigles win might cost them twice as much.

Frankel

Frankel

Glory days: Tom Queally celebrates victory on board Frankel this year at York (left) and Newmarket (right)

Cecil has spoken about his excitement ahead of what could be a final race for his wonder horse.

Speaking to Radio 5 Live, he said: 'The adrenalin is going, we've got him so far unbeaten and I'd like him to win at Ascot. He's getting easier, he used to be difficult, used to pull a lot. He's growing up, he's like me a late developer.

One more race Sir Henry Cecil would dearly love Frankel to claim victory at Ascot

One more race Sir Henry Cecil would dearly love Frankel to claim victory at Ascot

'Because he's growing up he's easier to train so what I ask him to do he does it. “He's a better horse, he's an improving horse.

'It's been a great honour (to train Frankel), slightly nerve wracking.'

Marvin Sordell: Millwall supporter sends letter of apology over Facebook "threat"

Millwall supporter sends letter of apology to Sordell over Facebook 'threat'

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UPDATED:

15:58 GMT, 19 October 2012

The Millwall supporter accused of posting a sickening photo on Facebook which appeared to threaten the life of Marvin Sordell has written a grovelling letter of apology.

Sordell recently accused supporters at The Den of racially abusing him and three team-mates during Bolton's visit on October 6.

Soon after a mocked-up picture appeared on the social networking site which depicted a gun being pointed at the Trotters striker and blood splattered across his face and chest.

Disgraceful: This is the image posted on Facebook by the Millwall fan

Disgraceful: This is the image posted on Facebook by the Millwall fan

The picture carried the message: 'dont (sic) f*** with the millwall.'

In the letter the fan apologises for what he thought was a 'bit of fun', but has since realised the grave error of judgment made and offered his sincere apologies to the England Under 21 international and his family.

'I am sorry I have hurt and upset you and your family, I wasn't thinking at the time and it is now the most regretted thing I have ever done,' the teenager states in the letter.

'I did not see it as a death threat or racist abuse, all it meant to me was don't do anything to my club as I'm a loyal supporter.'

Sportsmail understands that Police are now investigating the matter.

Flashpoint: Sordell was in Serbia where England players were subjected to racist chanting

Flashpoint: Sordell was in Serbia where England players were subjected to racist chanting during the Under 21s Euro 2013 play-off

Sick Marvin Sordell picture posted on Facebook after racism claims against Millwall fans

Sick Sordell picture posted on Facebook after racism claims against Millwall fans

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UPDATED:

21:40 GMT, 16 October 2012

England Under 21 international Marvin Sordell has been the target of a sickening Facebook post that appears to threaten his life.

Sordell – who played for Stuart Pearce's side in Serbia last night – recently accused Millwall supporters of racially abusing him and three team-mates during Bolton's visit to The Den on October 6.

The allegations sparked fury among many Millwall supporters who feel there is no substance to Sordell's claim.

Fury: Marvin Sordell (right) was caught up in the trouble in Serbia on Tuesday

Fury: Marvin Sordell (right) was caught up in the trouble in Serbia on Tuesday

And the furore has sparked a worrying Facebook post that could easily be construed as a death threat on Sordell.

A member of the popular social-networking website under the name of Alex Hampson has uploaded a mocked up photograph of Sordell, depicting a gun being pointed towards the 21-year-old and blood splattered across his face and shirt.

The photograph, which appeared on Sordell's page just after 6pm on October 8, also has the message: 'dont (sic) f*** with the millwall.'

It is understood Sordell, who played for Great Britain during London 2012, is aware of the message.

Incident: Sordell (left) claimed he was racially abused with Bolton at Millwall

Incident: Sordell (left) claimed he was racially abused with Bolton at Millwall

The FA and Metropolitan Police both launched their own respective probes into Sordell's original allegations.

Sordell claimed Bolton team-mates Darren Pratley, Benik Afobe and Lee Chung-yong and himself were the victims of racial abuse at the Den.

The ex-Watford man tweeted on October 6: ‘It’s 2012 in England and people are still shouting racial abuse at a football game! Chungy, Pratts, Benik and I had all sorts of things said to us.

'The police were standing yards away and did nothing. Funniest thing is, if I had come on and scored and gave them some back, I would be the one who got fined.’

Millwall were quick to launch their own internal inquiry into the alleged incident, looking at CCTV and speaking to potential witnesses.

The Lions have vowed to hand lifetime bans to anyone found guilty of racial abuse.

Roger Federer death threat taken seriously in Shanghai

Federer death threat leaves organisers of Shanghai Masters on red alert

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UPDATED:

09:47 GMT, 5 October 2012

Security for the Shanghai Masters is being tightened after an online death threat against tennis legend Roger Federer.

Shanghai's Youth Daily quoted tournament official Yang Yibin as saying police were notified about the threat and that security will be increased for Federer for the tournament, which starts this weekend.

Security: A policeman is seen under a giant poster of Roger Federer in Shanghai

Security: A policeman is seen under a giant poster of Roger Federer in Shanghai

The report says the threat, posted last month on a Federer fan site by 'Blue Cat Polytheism Founder 07', vowed to assassinate the Swiss. It was accompanied by a gruesome image of a decapitated Federer.

An officer in the Internet security office of the Shanghai police on Friday said the threat is being investigated.

In a statement, the tournament said it is aware of the threat and has proper security in place.

Legend: Federer celebrates a win at the London Olympics in August

Legend: Federer celebrates a win at the London Olympics in August

'We are fully aware of the comments that have been made and we take all such issues seriously,' the statement said.

'The Shanghai Masters has security in place for our players and every precaution is taken to make sure players are kept safe and comfortable and allowed to do the job they are here for; to play tennis and provide their fans with the thrill of watching them in action.'

Chelsea were the luckiest team in history to win the Champions League, says Graeme Souness

Chelsea were luckiest team in history to win the Champions League, says Souness

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UPDATED:

12:35 GMT, 16 September 2012

If Chelsea's Champions League triumph last season was a Tale of the Unexpected, repeating it will be Mission Impossible if they persist with the same counter-attacking tactics, according to European Cup-winning captain and TV pundit Graeme Souness.

Chelsea begin their defence of the biggest prize in club football against Italian giants Juventus at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, 24 hours after Real Madrid face Manchester City in another big clash to underline why this year's Champions League looks the most competitive yet.

Euro kings: Chelsea beat Bayern in Munich

Euro kings: Chelsea beat Bayern in Munich

Beside the other normal suspects – Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal, Bayern Munich – are the new breed helped by Middle East petrodollars, Paris St Germain, and a new threat from the east, Zenit St Petersburg, who signed Brazil striker Hulk for 35million.

Souness, a Liverpool, Rangers and Scotland legend who went on to manage in five different countries, will be back in the Sky Sports studios after his eventful Champions League season last time around.

He controversially labelled Carlos Tevez 'a disgrace to football' after his non-appearance for City against Bayern and then hailed Barcelona's Lionel Messi as the best player of all time, surpassing Pele and Diego Maradona.

As Chelsea host Andrea Pirlo and the Italian champions, he claims their fans could not have enjoyed their two-leg win over Barcelona and victory against Bayern in the final until the very end, because of the backs-to-the-wall defending.

'Chelsea got away with it last season and they can't approach it the same way this time,' said Souness.

'It is impossible. Nobody in the history of football has ever had that much luck.

Negative: Chelsea had backs-to-the-wall approach

Negative: Chelsea had backs-to-the-wall approach

'Football is quite simple, you need to have the ball to enjoy it. Nobody enjoys watching their team rely on counter-attacking football because it means spending so much time on the back foot. Chelsea fans have enjoyed the memory of lifting the cup but they wouldn't have enjoyed the Barca and Bayern games while they were taking place.'

Roman Abramovich has spent big again this summer with 32m Belgium star Eden Hazard signed to increase the quota of sexy football. But no team have ever defended the Champions League trophy and Souness says Chelsea have no chance unless they get a lot more of the ball in the big games.

'Roberto Di Matteo can't plan to repeat last season. Fair play to him for playing to Chelsea's strengths, but I have concerns for Chelsea in all competitions this season because their get-out-of-jail-card, Didier Drogba, is playing his football in China.

'Even if Drogba hasn't been able to do it for 90 minutes in recent years, how often did he save them by popping up with the vital goal, like he did in the final

'I am hoping Fernando Torres can step up to the mark but they are some boots to fill, Drogba was the best centre-forward of his type anywhere. Torres is playing with a bit more confidence now, he seems to be one of those players who needs to be loved to produce his best. But will he ever get back to his Liverpool best I'm not sure.'

Didier Drogba: big boots to fill

Didier Drogba: big boots to fill

Last season was a mixed bag for English clubs with United and City failing to qualify from the group stages. Souness feels it will be different this time. He is certain United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will have been furious with himself for crashing out of a mediocre section 12 months ago, collecting just one point of out six against Basel.

'United have sometimes rested players for European games, keeping one eye on the Premier League. They came unstuck last time and Sir Alex will be thinking he can't afford to do it again,' said Souness.

'Manchester United can't go out of the European Cup to a Swiss team. It just can't happen. Privately, he would be very angry about that.

'It was an almighty blow and he will be asking if he could have picked stronger teams throughout the six group games.'

United start against one of Souness's former clubs, Galatasaray, and the Scot warns: 'There won't be any room for complacency. Gala have a wily old fox, Fatih Terim, as manager.'

champions league

City are in the Group of Death with the champions of Spain, Germany and Holland. Souness knew Mancini as a teenager when they were team-mates at Sampdoria and believes the Italian will be better equipped for the Champions League than a year ago, particularly as he can call on Tevez this time.

'I don't regret what I said about the Tevez situation, I believe I was correct at the time and I still hold that view now. If your manager tells you to do something, like warm up from the bench, you should do it. There has to be a boss in every business.

'There is no doubt about it, though, Carlos Tevez is a top player and City would not have needed to go to the last kick of the season to win the title if what happened in Munich hadn't happened.

'What is so likeable about Tevez is that when he is on the pitch, he appears to give everything. No doubt about it, he's an asset and it'll help City this season.

'I knew Mancini as a young man, very talented but a typical No 10, he only wanted to play when he got the ball. But it doesn't particularly surprise me he's become a top manager. I gave up a long time ago working out what makes a good manager.

'I think he took a year or so to work out how to get the best out of the squad. The City team are more adventurous now.

'Sure, they will make sure they are cautious in Madrid to assess the opposition. But, in general, they score more goals now.'

You can watch 15 live Champions League matches every week of the Group Stage on Sky Sports HD via the red button and online with Events Centre, skysports.com/eventscentre

Mikel Arteta blasts wasteful Arsenal team-mates after Stoke draw

Not good enough! Arteta blasts wasteful Arsenal team-mates after Stoke draw

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UPDATED:

15:21 GMT, 26 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta rued his side's inability to convert chances after they registered a goalless draw against Stoke – their second consecutive Barclays Premier League stalemate.

The Gunners dominated possession but, just like last week's match against Sunderland, could not make the most of it.

'It (two points from the first two games) is not good enough. We wanted the three points, but it is a hard place to come and try to get the points,' Arteta told Sky Sports 1.

Blocked out: Arsenal enjoyed much of the possession but couldn't break Stoke down

Blocked out: Arsenal enjoyed much of the possession but couldn't break Stoke down

'We had some really good chances but at the moment we are not taking them, the same thing happened last week.

“We are making them and conceding few chances to the opposition but we lost two points again today.”

Defensively, however, Arsenal looked solid and dealt with the physical threat of the hosts.
Arteta was keen to praise the backline and talk up the ability of the new signings Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski.

Heads up: The Gunners are finding life in front of goal without Robin van Persie difficult

Heads up: The Gunners are finding life in front of goal without Robin van Persie difficult

Heads up: The Gunners are finding life in front of goal without Robin van Persie difficult

'You know if you concede fouls and throw-ins they can put you in trouble because they get the ball in the box and are really organised at set pieces,' he said.

'We didn't concede many chances and were well organised. We need three, four, five games together and then we will see (how good they are).

'They have the quality.'

Plenty to ponder: Wenger's side have picked up two points from their opening two games

Plenty to ponder: Wenger's side have picked up two points from their opening two games

US PGA Championship: Alligator surprises players at Kiawah Island

Tiger v alligator at Kiawah Island – the monster course with extra bite

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UPDATED:

12:26 GMT, 9 August 2012

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island was already set up to give the world's top players one of the toughest tests they will ever face.

Well, the tough just got tougher.

If the likes of Tiger Woods, Rory McIroy
or Luke Donald find the water at this week's US PGA Championship,
they'll have more than a penalty stroke to worry about.

A true threat: An alligator made for an interesting water hazard on The Ocean Course in Kiawah, South Carolina

A true threat: An alligator made for an interesting water hazard on The Ocean Course in Kiawah, South Carolina

You stay there: Davis Love comes close to the alligator during a practice round on Wednesday

You stay there: Davis Love comes close to the alligator during a practice round on Wednesday

An alligator was spotted lurking in the waters at this long South Carolina track and the creature was not shy about coming up for a closer look.

United States Ryder Cup captain Davis Love, who will know the first eight names on his Ryder Cup team sheet after the tournament finishes on Sunday evening, had a good old stare but opted to back off. Good decision Davis.

Competition got underway on Thursday afternoon with Woods – the bookies' favourite – and McIroy among the early starters.

World No 1 Donald starts his bid for a first major win at 6.30pm UK time.

Woods has won three times already this year but his last major triumph was in 2008.

He said: 'I've played in three major championships this year (he was only 40th at The Masters), and I didn't win any of them – that's the goal.

'Things have progressed, but not winning a major championship doesn't feel very good.'

The final major of 2012 has been overshadowed by the Olympics and Woods admitted he fancies playing a part when golf returns at the next Games in Rio.

He will be 40 by then but added: 'Since we haven't done it in a very long time, it'll be something else to be able to represent our country like that in the Olympic Games.'

Keep an eye out: The alligators and the world's top golfers will undoubtedly have some run ins this weekend

Keep an eye out: The alligators and the world's top golfers will undoubtedly have some run ins this weekend