Tag Archives: treatment

Phillips Idowu is fit but nowhere to be seen – London 2012 Olympics

Where is Phillips Idowu is fit but still nowhere to be seen

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UPDATED:

22:20 GMT, 1 August 2012

Phillips Idowu is no longer injured, according to the information given to UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee by the British Olympic Association.

But where the triple jumper is and when he will join the British team at Stratford remain a mystery to the Dutchman, who said: 'We are talking about the invisible man.'

Snub: Idowu opted to arrange his own treatment for an injury rather than attend the Team GB training camp

Snub: Idowu opted to arrange his own treatment for an injury rather than attend the Team GB training camp

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

The BOA's medical adviser has seen the records of Idowu's recent private treatment for a nerve problem in his leg and back and is satisfied no fitness test is required.

But nobody has spoken to the 33-year-old – not even his coach Aston Moore, an employee of UK Athletics.

Perplexed: Van Commenee is unsure on the whereabouts of Idowu

Perplexed: Van Commenee is unsure on the whereabouts of Idowu

Van Commenee said: 'We shall support him when we see him as we always have for 12 years. I am perplexed that in the last two weeks before the Games he chose to turn his back on us. I find it bizarre, Aston finds it bizarre.'

Idowu's competition starts on Tuesday but he must register at the Athletes' Village at least 48 hours earlier. 'There will be a room ready for him,' said Van Commenee.

London 2012 Olympics: Niels de Vos backs Phillips Idowu to shine

De Vos dismisses Van Commenee's controversial Idowu deselection claims

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UPDATED:

01:55 GMT, 28 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

UK Athletics chief executive Niels de Vos expects Phillips Idowu to do 'very well' at the London Olympics, even though head coach Charles van Commenee said he does not know if the triple jumper will be fit.

Van Commenee also said he had considered deselecting the Beijing silver medallist, who has arranged his own medical treatment in London rather than attend the UKA training camp in Portugal, but De Vos feels that would be 'a nonsense'.

'I think what Charles was saying is actually once someone has been selected, the only thing you can do if you have concerns is to deselect them and clearly it would be a nonsense to deselect someone of Phillips' standing and ability,' De Vos told Sky Sports News.

Torch bearer: Idowu has vowed to be fit for the Games

Torch bearer: Idowu has vowed to be fit for the Games

'I think that was the point he was making and it perhaps did not come across in the right manner.

'I am very confident Phillips will be fit. There has been a kind of media furore over this which is a bit of a nonsense. It's manufactured by the media essentially.

'He is a very experienced athlete. He has won Olympic medals, world medals; he is preparing in the best way he sees and I am sure he will be there, and if he is ready, which I believe he will be, I think he will do very well. It's as simple as that.'

Idowu has not competed since June 1 and is undergoing treatment on a trapped nerve which is causing problems in his left hip and knee.

His agent said the 33-year-old was 'incredibly disappointed and surprised' that the British Olympic Association made public a request to see Idowu's medical records, a request which was complied with on Thursday.

Model performance: Idowu is one of the main attractions

Model performance: Idowu is one of the main attractions

'I believe they (the BOA) did ask to see them and that's absolutely fine,' De Vos added. 'Everyone is working together to make sure Phillips does the best he can.'

The BOA insisted yesterday they had a good working relationship with Idowu, but the former world champion does not speak to Van Commenee since a row over his withdrawal from the European Team Championships last year.

Van Commenee claimed that Idowu announced his withdrawal via Twitter, a medium he feels is for 'clowns and attention-seekers.' Idowu denied that was the case, called Van Commenee a blatant liar and demanded a public apology, which the Dutchman has no intention of making.

London 2012 Olympics: Phillips Idowu hands over medical details

Idowu receives BOA backing after medical team hand over injury and treatment details

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UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 26 July 2012

Olympics 2012

The British Olympic Association have pledged their support to the medical team preparing Phillips Idowu for his triple-jump gold medal bid after receiving the details they requested concerning his injury and continuing treatment.

On Tuesday morning the BOA announced they had asked for information from the Idowu camp ahead of London 2012, and that was provided after a wait of over 48 hours.

In a statement, the BOA said: 'Today, we have received from the medical professionals working with Phillips Idowu the information that has been requested with regard to his injury and ongoing treatment.

Fit in time Phillips Idowu (centre) opted to stay in London to receive treatment on a hip injury rather than travel to Monte Gordo

Fit in time Phillips Idowu (centre) opted to stay in London to receive treatment on a hip injury rather than travel to Monte Gordo

'This information will be kept confidential with the Team GB chief medical officer.

'We will continue to liaise with and
support the professionals who are working with Phillips to ensure he has
the support he needs in his treatment.'

Earlier, BOA chairman Lord Moynihan
dismissed talk of a rift with Idowu, whose agent had said on Tuesday
that the 33-year-old was 'incredibly disappointed and surprised' to be
asked to provide medical records.

All sides will hope the BOA statement draws a line under the episode, which has been an unwelcome distraction for the likes of UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee.

It rumbled on when the BOA this morning announced that Idowu had yet to comply with their request.

The BOA stressed they were expecting to receive the information imminently and duly it did arrive.

They claimed their only agenda was to give Idowu “maximum support” in his quest for glory in an event in which he won the 2009 world title and also claimed world silver last year.

Idowu has been struggling with a nerve problem in his hip and back in the build-up to the Games, and has elected to be treated by his own medical people rather than by those at UK Athletics.

Medal hope: Idowu - if fit- stands a real chance of winning gold for Team GB in triple jump

Medal hope: Idowu – if fit- stands a real chance of winning gold for Team GB in triple jump

Hit or miss: Idowu faces a races against time to be fit in time for the Games

Hit or miss: Idowu faces a races against time to be fit in time for the Games

That may be because he is not on speaking terms with Van Commenee. The pair fell out last year.

Prior to the BOA receiving the
information they had sought from Idowu, chef de mission Andy Hunt said: 'We know the relationship between the governing body and the athlete
isn't as strong as it could be.

'We're now in a Games environment,
Phillips comes under our duty of care and it's therefore important that
we ensure we give him every possible support, we assess his fitness and
ability to compete, and we give him as much support as we can to make
sure he can.'

Lord Moynihan was eager to stress that
there was 'no controversy between Phillips and the BOA' and said the
BOA only wanted to learn how Idowu was recovering.

He added: 'The BOA's relationship with Phillips is excellent.'

Hunt denied there was anything sinister behind the time Idowu was taking in providing medical details.

Idowu failed to travel to Portugal for
Team GB's warm-weather training camp this week and Van Commenee
admitted yesterday to having no idea if the Beijing silver medallist
would be fit for London 2012.

Hunt urged the athlete to submit himself to the 'care' of the BOA.

Idowu will need to be
competition-ready by the morning of August 7, when triple-jump
qualifying takes place, with the final scheduled for the evening of
August 9.

Hunt said this morning: 'I can imagine
no-one outside of Phillips more wants him to compete and win a medal
than us, so be really clear on that.

Sanctions: UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee, pictured with Dwayne Chambers (right), has said he will not exclude Idowu from the Games

Sanctions: UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee, pictured with Dwayne Chambers (right), has said he will not exclude Idowu from the Games

Sanctions: UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee, pictured with Dwayne Chambers (right), has said he will not exclude Idowu from the Games

'We really want Phillips to be here, to be successful. We want to see if we can help him, too.

'We've probably got the top medical experts in the team here, based at the Olympic Village, for us.'

Hunt refused to be drawn on the process for ruling Idowu in or out of the Games but admitted the BOA had that power.

He pointed out there was no-one
waiting in the wings to replace Idowu, saying: 'There isn't another
triple-jumper to replace Phillips that met the standard.

'So, this isn't a case of de-selecting one athlete to replace another.'

Van Commenee has told the BBC he will
not apologise to Idowu in their row. They have not spoken since Van
Commenee criticised Idowu for using Twitter to announce he was pulling
out of last year's European Team Championships.

'An apology has to mean something – I
am not going to apologise when I don't mean it,' said Van Commenee, who
confirmed he communicated with Idowu via his coach, Aston Moore.

'I have always been clear that
communication is always open at this end but Phillips wants a public
apology from me before he wants to speak to me and that is not going to
happen.

'I won't apologise for the sake of apologising.'

Will he be there Idowu has featured in numerous advertising campaigns ahead of the Games

Will he be there Idowu has featured in numerous advertising campaigns ahead of the Games

Harry Redknapp rejects foreign offers in favour of Premier League return

Redknapp rejects foreign offers in favour of Premier League return

PUBLISHED:

11:09 GMT, 22 July 2012

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UPDATED:

11:09 GMT, 22 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Harry Redknapp has declined a number of offers to manage abroad as he waits for another opportunity to manage in the Barclays Premier League.

Redknapp was axed by Tottenham despite finishing fourth for the second time in his four years at White Hart Lane.

The former West Ham and Portsmouth boss has been linked with job in China and Russia, but he is waiting for an English club to come knocking

Recent sighting: Redknapp was spotted in London

Recent sighting: Redknapp was spotted in London last week

Smith told ESPN: 'There have been offers for Harry, sizeable offers overseas. But he loves English football and he wants to see what happens next.

'It is ridiculous when you think about it, as he was a resounding success but Tottenham decided that was that,' Smith said.

'It is bizarre that the last time he was spotted it was playing golf.

'He finished fourth in the Premier League and ostensibly qualified for the Champions League and then he gets fired.

'He believed there was going to be a new deal for him at Tottenham.'

Harsh treatment: Redknapp led Spurs to fourth before being sacked

Harsh treatment: Redknapp led Spurs to fourth before being sacked

Robbie Keane and Shay Given dropped from Ireland squad

Keane and Given dropped from Ireland squad as Trapattoni puts faith in youth

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UPDATED:

14:21 GMT, 20 July 2012

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has dispensed with the services of his old guard for next month's friendly clash with Serbia.

The 73-year-old Italian has left thirty-somethings Shay Given, Richard Dunne, Damien Duff, Keith Andrews, Stephen Hunt and skipper Robbie Keane out of the 23-man party for the game in Belgrade on August 15.

However, their absence does not mean their international careers are over with Trapattoni keen to call upon some, if not all, of them once the World Cup qualifying campaign gets under way in Kazakhstan in September.

Taking a backseat: Robbie Keane (right) has been left out of the squad

Taking a backseat: Robbie Keane (right) has been left out of the squad

In the meantime, he will give some of his younger players – in particular Stoke's Marc Wilson, Everton's Seamus Coleman and Wigan midfielder James McCarthy, who asked not to be considered for the Euro 2012 finals as his father underwent cancer treatment – a chance to prove themselves at senior international level.

Trapattoni said: 'This friendly offers us a great opportunity to try out younger players ahead of our World Cup qualifying campaign.

'As a result, I have decided to leave some of our senior players out of the squad for this fixture.

'Serbia are a very good team with a great football heritage, and will provide us with a great test before our game against Kazakhstan in September.'

Trapattoni had informed his senior men in advance that they would not be involved, but revealed that Wolves defender Kevin Foley, who accused the manager of betrayal after he was deselected from the squad for the Euros during the pre-tournament training camp in Montecatini, had rejected an offer to return, although not necessarily permanently.

McCarthy, one of the men the Ireland boss believes could give his side greater versatility, is likely to start in Belgrade as the Republic attempt to return to the kind of form which took them to Poland and Ukraine, rather than that which they showed while they were there.

Trapattoni said: 'I am looking forward to working with each of these players next month.

Under fire: Giovanni Trapattoni (left) came in for criticism at Euro 2012

Under fire: Giovanni Trapattoni (left) came in for criticism at Euro 2012

'As we prepare for a new journey for this team, it is important that we remember our last campaign as we build for a brighter future.'

Ireland returned from the Euros without a point to their names after successive Group C defeats by Croatia and finalists Spain and Italy.

In each of the first two games, they suffered as a result of uncharacteristic defensive frailty, which saw them concede early goals from which they never recovered.

At the other end of the pitch, they managed only one strike themselves, defender Sean St Ledger's equaliser against the Croatians, as Keane and his fellow frontmen struggled for clear-cut chances.

Trapattoni was criticised for his reliance on his senior men during the tournament with Given and Keane in particular struggling to reach the standards they have set themselves throughout their senior international careers.

Ireland will once again find themselves in a tough group as they attempt to reach the World Cup finals for the first time since 2012 having been controversially denied a trip to South Africa two years ago in a play-off against France.

Germany will be the favourites to win Group C, which also includes Sweden, Austria and the Faroe Islands, as well as the Kazakhs.

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND SQUAD

Keiren Westwood (Sunderland), David
Forde (Millwall), Darren Randolph (Motherwell)

Marc Wilson (Stoke),
John O'Shea (Sunderland), Sean St Ledger (Leicester), Darren O'Dea
(Unattached), Stephen Ward (Wolves), Stephen Kelly (Fulham), Paul
McShane (Hull)

Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Darron Gibson (Everton), James
McCarthy (Wigan), Paul Green (Leeds), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Aiden
McGeady (Spartak Moscow), Andy Keogh (Millwall), James McClean
(Sunderland), Keith Treacy (Burnley)

Kevin Doyle (Wolves), Shane Long
and Simon Cox (both West Brom), Jon Walters (Stoke)

London 2012 Olympics: Caster Semenya – gender test nightmare behind me

Semenya ready to put controversial past behind her at last at 'special' London Games

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UPDATED:

08:15 GMT, 18 July 2012

Caster Semenya is looking forward to running in the London Olympics with the controversy that dogged her 2009 World Championships win behind her.

The South African, then aged just 18, stormed to victory in the 800 metres in Berlin but was then forced to undergo gender tests after exhibiting high levels of testosterone.

Semenya was left in limbo and has been unable to kick on from her time of one minute 55.45 seconds in that final, but is now back at the forefront of the event and looking ahead to this summer's Games with optimism.

Test: Caster Semenya (left) was scrutinised after winning the 800m in Berlin

Test: Caster Semenya (left) was scrutinised after winning the 800m in Berlin

'That is in the past,' she told national newspapers. 'You need to concentrate on the future. I don't have to entertain those things now. I can concentrate on my running, that's all.

'With each year I experience I become a more relaxed athlete. I also know what is important to listen to and what to ignore.

Relaxed: Semenya has founf form again

Relaxed: Semenya has founf form again

'I try to run my best always but sometimes I do not and I have to deal with negatives. People ask questions that can make you sad, but I must always stay positive.

'That's what I have to learn. I have to act professionally. But this is my first Olympics so London will be special for me.'

Nelson Mandela has been a major influence on Semenya's career and her fight for equal treatment and she paid tribute to the former South Africa president, who turns 94 today.

'The first time I met Mandela he was just looking at me as a little tiny girl,' she said. 'I was a little bit small but he said: “I believe in you, so you go out there and make me proud”. So I kept the spirit and the legacy.

'Everything I do, I do it for him. He made me believe in the dark days after my victory. He inspired me a lot and he continues to do so.'

Euro 2012: Theo Walcott trains with England

England boosted as Walcott heads to training ground ahead of Ukraine game

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UPDATED:

09:56 GMT, 18 June 2012

Theo Walcott travelled to England's training ground ahead of his team-mates on Monday morning as he battled to get himself fit for Tuesday's crunch European Championship clash against Ukraine.

Walcott left the team hotel in a car, which is understood to have been headed for the Hutnik Stadium, while the rest of the squad's outfield players boarded the team bus.

Manager Roy Hodgson revealed on Sunday that winger Walcott was a doubt for England's Group D decider after pulling out of training with a 'tightness in his hamstring'.

Hoping to be fit: Theo Walcott is struggling with a hamstring injury

Hoping to be fit: Theo Walcott is struggling with a hamstring injury

Crunch game: England manager Roy Hodgson leaves for training ahead of flying to Donetsk

Crunch game: England manager Roy Hodgson leaves for training ahead of flying to Donetsk

The Football Association were not commenting on the reasons behind Walcott's early departure this morning but it would appear likely he was undergoing treatment in a bid to get him fit enough to train.

The Arsenal winger did appear to tweak his hamstring during Friday's 3-2 win over Ukraine but was able to continue what was a game-changing display that saw him come off the bench to equalise and set up the winning goal.

Returning Roo: Wayne Rooney is available to play

Time to shine: Ashley Young leaves for training

Ready to go: Wayne Rooney is available for England and could line-up along side Ashley Young in the starting XI

Match winner: Danny Welbeck, who scored England's third goal against Sweden heads to training

Match winner: Danny Welbeck, who scored England's third goal against Sweden heads to training

That put him in contention to start on Tuesday but Hodgson hinted yesterday he would not take a chance with
Walcott unless he could be sure the 23-year-old would not break down
during the game.

Hodgson told BBC Radio Five Live:
'Whether he is a real contender for a starting position will depend upon
what the medical people can tell me and how much guarantee they can
give me that if I do start him he won't be leaving the field after five
minutes, forcing us to have 13 men rather than the 14 I would rather
count on.'

Left back: Ashley Cole

Heading to training: Glen Johnson

Wide boys: England full-backs Ashly Cole and Glen Johnson

Hoping to start: Andy Carroll scored the opener against Sweden will hope to keep his place in the starting XI

Hoping to start: Andy Carroll scored the opener against Sweden will hope to keep his place in the starting XI

Hodgson also confirmed the affected hamstring was the same one that forced Walcott to miss the climax to Arsenal's season.

With England training behind closed
doors this morning, it was impossible to glean whether Walcott played
any part, although he was expected to travel with the team to Donetsk
this afternoon.

Captain: Steven Gerrard

Leader: John Terry

Leaders: Captain Steven Gerrard and former skipper John Terry head to training

Hodgson's men were forced to conduct
today's final session before Tuesday's game in Krakow rather than at
the Donbass Arena, with the stadium's pitch having taken a battering
during the thunderstorm that briefly called a halt to France's 2-0 win
over Ukraine on Friday.

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David Luiz in frame to make Chelsea return for FA Cup final

The Final call! Chelsea defender Luiz in the frame for Wembley comeback

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UPDATED:

21:58 GMT, 30 April 2012

Chelsea are optimistic that David Luiz will be fit for the first half of their attempt to land a unique double.

The defender is working hard to return for Saturday's FA Cup final against Liverpool, and interim manager Roberto Di Matteo is increasingly confident the Brazilian will be available for the Wembley showdown.

Luiz has been sidelined since injuring a hamstring in the 5-1 semi-final win over Tottenham. He has received round-the-clock treatment on his injury in the hope of being passed fit to face Liverpool.

Early exit: Luiz was taken off on a stretcher at Wembley against Spurs

Early exit: Luiz was taken off on a stretcher at Wembley against Spurs

Early exit: Luiz was taken off on a stretcher at Wembley against Spurs

Di Matteo will give Luiz as much time as possible to prove his fitness. However, the Italian will take no chances with the defender since he will have to play a key role in the forthcoming Champions League final.

Luiz is likely to be Chelsea's only available central defender for the match against Bayern Munich on May 19, with John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic suspended and Gary Cahill a major doubt.

Cahill is undergoing intensive treatment on the hamstring injury that he sustained against Barcelona last week.

The club could look at alternative methods, such as the use of an oxygen chamber, to give Cahill the best possible chance of making the final.

Meanwhile, Petr Cech says he would play both Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba until the end of the season.

European adventure: Chelsea are Still battling it out on two fronts

European adventure: Chelsea are Still battling it out on two fronts

Drogba has been in fine form of late and Torres has scored seven in his last 11 games, including a hat-trick against QPR on Sunday.

'We know Fernando is strong at running behind the line and getting in between defenders, and with Drogba you can do everything – he's a target man, he can hold the ball,' Cech said.

'They are different strikers. With both, you know you will get goals. I'd pick both.

'I don't know if it would work or not but I am sure one day it will happen and there will be goals.'

Meanwhile, Kenny Dalglish wants his Liverpool players to take tonight's clash against Fulham seriously and not worry about getting injured for Saturday's final.

'The more careful you are then the better chance you have of getting injured,' Dalglish said.

Ronnie O"Sullivan rockets past tearful Peter Ebdon

Blast-off! Ronnie rockets past tearful Ebdon to book second-round spot

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UPDATED:

21:23 GMT, 24 April 2012

Time was when Ronnie O'Sullivan just couldn't stay out of the limelight. So far in this year's Betfred.com World Championship, the Rocket has been obscured by perfection, allegations and emotion.

Even Tuesday's smooth passage into the second round with a 10-4 victory over Peter Ebdon was overshadowed by controversy and tears surrounding his opponent.

Right on cue: O'Sullivan stays calm to book his place in the second round

Right on cue: O'Sullivan stays calm to book his place in the second round

An emotional Ebdon, who has adopted a vegan lifestyle based largely on organic bananas and organic dates, broke down after a concluding session in which he was banned by World Snooker from wearing a patch on his waistcoat advertising an alternative cancer treatment.

Ebdon's father Michael died from the disease last year and his son's attempt to spread the message about possible cures had received television viewer complaints on Monday.

Emotional: Ebdon lost out to The Rocket

Emotional: Ebdon lost out to The Rocket

'Obviously I've upset somebody somewhere but personally I think it's too important for people not to know,' said a visibly upset Ebdon.

'I'm trying to make people aware that there are alternative therapies.'

O'Sullivan, by contrast, was serene and phlegmatic. While others, notably Mark Allen and Mark Williams, have voiced opinions which have landed them in trouble – usually the Rocket's unhappy forte – the three-time world champion would not be drawn on anything.

His snooker was effective rather than spectacular and didn't remotely threaten the aesthetic beauty of Stephen Hendry's 147 break at the weekend.

Nor did he join in the banter when Ebdon, having twice failed to roll up to the reds, offered his cue to a spectator in mock surrender.

Eyes on the prize: O'Sullivan is gunning for a fourth world title

Eyes on the prize: O'Sullivan is gunning for a fourth world title

'I'm just pleased to be in the tournament, I've won a match,' said O'Sullivan, slipping into automatic quote mode, which is probably wise given the scalding water in which Allen and Williams have immersed themselves.

'Whatever happens now is a bonus for me. If I win, then great, but if I don't it's not the be-all-and-end-all. I'll just enjoy this one.'

Calm off the table, calm at it, not once across the two sessions of his match against Ebdon did O'Sullivan appear flustered by his opponent's pedestrian pace.

Slow players – and Ebdon is up there with the most deliberate of potters – can often sap Ronnie's will to win.

Sick: Trump was violently ill moments before entering the arena

Sick: Trump was violently ill moments before entering the arena

When the pair met here at the Crucible in 2005, O'Sullivan drew blood, so hard did he dig his nails into his own face at the frustration of Ebdon's slowness.

Having worked with sports psychologist Steve Peters, the man responsible for the all-conquering attitude of Great Britain's track cyclists, the 36-year-old no longer chides himself while he sits in his chair.

Sorry: Allen apologised for his 'cheating' outburst

Sorry: Allen apologised for his 'cheating' outburst

O'Sullivan added: 'I enjoyed the match, my attitude was good. It's been really good all season. Even though I've not been playing great I've not been beating myself up too much if things aren't going right for me. I'm definitely much better mentally. My game's not brilliant, but at least my mind is allowing me to give 110 per cent and get what I can out of matches.'

Indeed, the only colourful aside offered by the Rocket concerned his hair, impeccably coiffured following a mini-disaster on Monday – 'I saw my haircut on TV last night and thought, “What's going on with that” So I decided to do something about it.'

Last year's runner-up Judd Trump woke up feeling unwell and was violently ill moments before entering the arena to take on Dominic Dale.

Unsurprisingly he trailed 3-1 at the interval and did remarkably well to take a 5-4 lead into today's concluding frames before retiring to his hotel for the remainder of the day.

Allen last night apologised for his 'cheating' outburst against Cao Yupeng and Chinese players as a whole.

He said: 'I can appreciate that I overstepped the line. I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Cao Yupeng.'

Patrick Collins: Formula One should pull out of Bahrain

Formula One should forget the money and pull out of Bahrain

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UPDATED:

21:17 GMT, 14 April 2012

It was an agonising decision and the people in charge of Formula One gave the matter scrupulous thought; you might even say that they tortured themselves.

On the one hand there were infernal questions of ethics, decency and principle. On the other, there were shedloads of easy money.

Finally, they announced their decision: game, set and match to filthy lucre.

Supremo: Bernie Ecclestone is the most powerful figure in British motor racing

Supremo: Bernie Ecclestone is the most powerful figure in British motor racing

The Bahrain Grand Prix goes ahead next Sunday. Now, I have never been to Bahrain and, were I ever to go, I should make quite certain that my visit did not coincide with the Grand Prix, a noxious, raucous, polluting affront to the environment, masquerading as a sport.

Last year it was cancelled, following a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations which resulted in injuries and deaths. The months that followed brought still worse disturbances, most notably the arrests of 20 doctors who treated wounded demonstrators and were jailed for up to 15 years for their compassionate response.

With its cavalier attitude towards democratic standards and human rights, along with allegations of torture of prisoners, its callous ill-treatment of a hunger striker and its flagrant disregard for conventional, civilised values, Bahrain seemed a place best avoided.

But then, there is that matter of money. The place is awash with petrodollars, and motor racing has claimed its share. There are commercial agreements in place, huge sums are at stake, the kingdom has invested untold millions in advertising themselves through those screaming machines. Compensation could be crippling. And yet the danger of disruption was real and informed reports suggested that various teams were wavering.

Having his say: Sir Jackie Stewart wants the race to be staged in Bahrain

Having his say: Sir Jackie Stewart wants the race to be staged in Bahrain

Whereupon three distinctive voices were raised in favour of continuing with the race, no matter what those tiresome civil rights people might think.

Sir Jackie Stewart, that renowned champion of the underdog, asked: 'What about the sponsors Whether it's Mobil or Total or Shell, they're going to be seen by hundreds of millions of people… do you think it's correct not to get the exposure they have bought as a supplier'

And, while we were still chuckling at that cringing little effort, up piped John Yates. Yes, Yates of the Yard. He is currently employed by the Bahrain government to advise on police reform – no, really – and he announced that the whole affair was invented by the social media.

He conceded that the 'almost nightly skirmishes that take place in certain villages are a potential block on progress' but that, apparently, didn't signify too much. Why, he insisted that he felt safer in Bahrain than he did in London, the city for whose safety he was so recently responsible. You could not even begin to make it up.

Finally, Bernie Ecclestone, the commercial rights holder who stands to collect a race fee of some 25million, sent a wondrously unsubtle message to the teams. 'We can't say, “You've got to go'',' he said. 'Although they would be in breach of their agreement with us if they didn't go.'

Yates: Now employed by the Bahrain government

Yates: Now employed by the Bahrain government

These are powerful witnesses, so we should remind ourselves of their credentials. Stewart is a former world champion, a royal court jester and a bosom chum of the great “Sir” Fred Goodwin of RBS, the bank from which our Jackie reportedly trousered several million pounds as a 'global ambassador'.

Dear old Yates is blessed with both a sense of the ridiculous and a neck of pure brass. If I wanted an informed appraisal of London's finest restaurants, or was anxious to secure my daughter a post with the Met Police, then he might be my first port of call. Sadly, this is the fellow who, just last week, was accused of 'poor judgment' by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

As for Ecclestone, what can we say of that all-round good egg He is the jovial billionaire who described the action of the Spanish motor racing fans in blacking their faces to taunt Lewis Hamilton as 'a bit of a joke'. He is also the man who once remarked that Adolf Hitler was 'able to get things done'.

Now, the fact that this ghastly triumvirate is solidly behind the staging of the race does not necessarily mean that it should not go ahead as planned.

But I do suggest that when Stewart, Ecclestone and Yates of the Yard speak with a single voice, then the wisest place to be is on the other side of the argument. And when protesting passions run as high as they are running in Bahrain, then simple prudence would seem the wiser course.

Last year, cancellation was accepted as an appropriate reaction to the threat of disruption. With due regard to the tragic victims – Mobil and Total, Shell and Bernie – I suggest that the same course should be followed this week.

Filthy lucre should not always enjoy the last word. And the world would be no poorer for the loss of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

England could do worse than try again with Hoddle

Once upon a time, you could see the future. Tottenham were the team that everybody outside Manchester wanted to be.

Bright, inventive, even ‘swashbuckling’ in the eyes of their more romantic followers, they were
destined for something wonderful.

Probably not the title but quite certainly Europe; with the chance of a cavalier thrust at the FA Cup.

After which, they would hand over their manager to serve the national cause; the minklined,
platinum-plated conscription of Harry Redknapp.

Now here’s a funny thing: it hasn’t worked out like that.

Disappointing results: Harry Redknapp isn't quite such an overwhelming favourite to be the next England boss now

Disappointing results: Harry Redknapp isn't quite such an overwhelming favourite to be the next England boss now

Spurs have won just one of their last eight League games, the free-flowing torrent is reduced to a
trickle, Gareth Bale is no longer a genius and Harry has feet of clay.

The
lunatic fringe of the twitterati is booming that he was always
overrated and that Spurs should think seriously about keeping him, while
England should celebrate their narrow escape.

We
are witnessing the politics of the last result or, in Redknapp’s case,
the last eight results. Cursed with the attention span of lethargic
goldfish, his faithless friends have started to cast their net more
speculatively.

In a curious fashion, I believe they should have done this from the start. Redknapp has an elevated
idea
of the way the game should be played, he conjures outstanding
performances from unlikely players, he is one of those managers you want
to see succeed and his credit marks should not be
reduced by trite reappraisal. But he is not the designated answer to England’s prayers.

Could they go back Glenn Hoddle at a training session before the 1998 World Cup

Could they go back Glenn Hoddle at a training session before the 1998 World Cup

Before Redknapp’s coronation, the FA would be well-advised to ponder the claim of, say, Roy Hodgson. And, since the panel is composed of intelligent adults, they may well want to consider the virtues of a number of foreign candidates. This may enrage the Little Englander tendency but that is a price we should gladly pay.

Another possibility is more interesting. Glenn Hoddle produced the most impressive England side
since Sir Bobby Robson. A thoughtful, accomplished coach, he ultimately foundered on some
stridently quirky beliefs and practices, which disrupted his handling of the national team. If he has shed those distractions, then he could offer something important to the English cause.

Otherwise, Redknapp is the favourite and properly so. And he must remain favourite, even if Spurs
should succumb to an ordinary Chelsea team at Wembley on Sunday.

For his side are the product of a sharp and lively mind. England have acute need of such an asset.

PS…

The connections of Mario Balotelli would like it known that their man is sadly misunderstood. High-spirited, of course, prone to the odd laddish prank. In short, mercurial. Well, a week ago, the mercurial Mr Balotelli thrust a full set of studs into the shin of a fine professional named Alex Song.

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Seeing red: Mario Balotelli was sent off against Arsenal