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last updated: Thu, 02 Jun 2016 12:18:47 -0400

Water pollution in Rio ahead of the Olympic Games

Water pollution in Rio ahead of the Olympic GamesJust days ahead of the Olympic Games the waterways of Rio de Janeiro are as filthy as ever, contaminated with raw human sewage teeming with dangerous viruses and bacteria, according to a 16-month-long study commissioned by The Associated Press. The AP’s survey of the aquatic Olympic and Paralympic venues has revealed consistent and dangerously high levels of viruses from the pollution, a major black eye on Rio’s Olympic project that has set off alarm bells among sailors, rowers and open-water swimmers.


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Wash Post Sports
last updated: Sun, 13 Mar 2011 01:45:03 EST

NCAA basketball: Navy women beat American, earn first NCAA tournament bid
Navy seniors Angela Myers and Cassie Consedine were the first to embrace at center court following a 47-40 victory over American in the Patriot League final Saturday at Alumni Hall. Their improbable journey from the depths of the league standings four seasons ago to champions was complete, and ah...

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Sport | The Guardian
last updated: Sat, 16 Dec 2017 14:32:21 GMT2017-12-16T14:32:21Z

'Rugby saved my life': Memphis inner-city project tackles social change

Helped by Teach for America alumni, African-American high-school students in one of the most impoverished US cities are discovering a whole new ball game

“Rugby’s a game for gentlemen played by hoodlums,” says Calvin Gentry. “I play like a hoodlum.”

Related: Meet Phaidra Knight: free radical flanker in World Rugby Hall of Fame

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Arsenal v Newcastle, Chelsea v Southampton and more – live updates!

Arsenal 1-0 Newcastle

Alonso fizzes a free-kick beyond Fraser Forster. In the Championship, Bristol City are 2-0 up thanks to Joe Bryan.

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Petra Kvitova: ‘I’ll never forget the attack but I’m trying to love my new hand’
One year after a knife attack in her home, the two-times Wimbledon champion has lasting nerve damage and cannot feel two of her fingers – but has a new-found appreciation for life that she will take into the 2018 tennis season

The grisly details of the terrifying knife attack that turned Petra Kvitova’s life upside down almost exactly a year ago are barely comprehensible. Watching her on the practice courts at the Sparta Praha Tennis Club, it is almost impossible to detect the effects from injuries so severe some experts believed the two-times Wimbledon champion would never resume her career; she still suffers from nerve damage to her playing hand and cannot entirely clench her fist or feel two of her fingers.

Kvitova puts down her racket to take a break from back-to-back practice sessions on the indoor courts and makes her way upstairs to a small meeting room with her coach, Jiri Vanek, a kit bag slung over her athletic 6ft frame.

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Christian Benteke sinks Leicester to end Crystal Palace’s away drought

Christian Benteke blasted his way back into Roy Hodgson’s good books by scoring his first goal for seven months and creating another for Wilfried Zaha before Bakary Sako gave a suitably emphatic look to Crystal Palace’s first away win of the season. Palace had not even mustered a goal on their travels this season but they were worthy winners here, the south London side showing the zest and sharpness that was strangely absent from a Leicester team that came into the game in vibrant form.

Wilfried Ndidi being sent off following a piece of simulation in the second half seemed apt on a day when Leicester played like a poor imitation of their recent selves. Benteke, meanwhile, was far removed from the hapless figure who was lambasted by Palace fans and team-mates after defying orders and missing a late penalty against Bournemouth last Saturday.

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Carolina Panthers investigate workplace misconduct allegations against owner

  • 81-year-old Jerry Richardson founded NFL team in 1993
  • Erskine Bowles to oversee investigation by LA law firm

The Carolina Panthers say they have launched an internal investigation into workplace misconduct allegations against founder and owner Jerry Richardson.

The team announced on Friday that former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles is overseeing the investigation by a Los Angeles-based law firm.

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USA Gymnastics poised to lose key sponsors in wake of sex abuse scandal

  • Procter & Gamble to ‘evaluate’ whether to renew deal next year.
  • Kellogg’s, Under Armour and Hershey’s are also ready to move on.

USA Gymnastics is poised to lose four key sponsors in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal involving a former team doctor. Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Under Armour and Hershey’s reportedly no longer want to associate themselves with the troubled governing body.

Responding to a report on Thursday, USA Gymnastics confirmed that Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s had completed their sponsorship contracts. On Friday, ESPN reported that Under Armour and Hershey’s will not renew their deals with the organization.

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Pep Guardiola refuses to back down in José Mourinho row over ‘tactical fouls’
• I never tell my players to make fouls, says Manchester City manager
• Etihad club may enter January market for a central defender

Pep Guardiola has hit back at José Mourinho’s claim that Manchester City commit tactical fouls by insisting he never instructs his players to do this.

Mourinho made the assertion in the buildup to last Sunday’s derby, which City won 2-1. Guardiola, asked about the Manchester United manager’s comment, said: “I never sent a message to my players. You can ask any of my players – these players and my old players – if my message on the pitch was to make fouls. I don’t use this kind of message.

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Abdelhak ‘Appie’ Nouri: ‘We are with him 24/7, talking to him, praying for him’

Abdelhak Nouri was living his dream, playing for Ajax, when he collapsed on the pitch and suffered permanent brain damage. His family and friends talk eloquently about a warm and kind boy who had everything in front of him

On the first floor of a modern office block in Amsterdam, and in the shadows of the stadium where Abdelhak Nouri lived his dreams, the eldest of the Ajax midfielder’s six siblings delivers a brave and moving message. “Being angry doesn’t help,” Abderrahim Nouri says. “Being sad doesn’t help. Crying all day doesn’t help. Being positive helps. Praying for him helps. When I’m next to his bed, talking with him, saying good things to him, those things help.”

Speaking eloquently and emotively for more than an hour, Abderrahim has been reflecting on the tragic chain of events last summer that left his 20-year-old brother, who was one of the most talented young footballers in the Netherlands, with severe and permanent brain damage.

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Hearing the other team celebrate can be good, says Spurs’ Mauricio Pochettino
• Tottenham visit Manchester City after leaders vexed José Mourinho
• ‘Sometimes it’s good to listen. It’s good to feel the pain’

It is one of Mauricio Pochettino’s guiding principles and, as he prepared for a defining test at Manchester City on Saturday, the Tottenham Hotspur manager mentioned it on many occasions. Respect.

At times, it felt as though he was labouring the point as he talked of his respect for Pep Guardiola, the City manager, with whom he has clashed; for City, in general; and for Kyle Walker, the full-back who swapped Tottenham for the Etihad Stadium last summer.

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Chelsea’s Antonio Conte insists injury is only reason for David Luiz’s absence
• Conte: ‘I understand someone thinks I’m not telling the truth’
• Álvaro Morata back in squad for home game against Southampton

Antonio Conte says David Luiz’s continued absence from Chelsea’s team stems solely from inflammation off a knee, a “serious” injury from which no return date has been set.

The timing of the injury has been unfortunate, sustained after cracks had emerged in his relationship with the management. Conte was unimpressed with the defender’s stroppy reaction to being substituted in the home game against Roma in mid-October and his performance in the return at the Stadio Olimpico. The 30-year-old was left out of the match-day squad for the win over Manchester United, before succumbing to the knee complaint at the end of last month.

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Teenager jailed for trolling footballer Andy Woodward about abuse

Lewis Hawkins, 18, and his father, David Riches, were both sentenced to 12 months after tweets that left abuse survivor in tears

Two people are beginning 12-month prison sentences after a fake Twitter account, purporting to be that of a paedophile, was set up to “troll” Andy Woodward after he became the first former footballer to waive his anonymity and leave the sport facing a sexual abuse scandal involving hundreds of other victims.

Woodward, the former Crewe Alexandra, Bury and Sheffield United player whose case led to the Football Association commissioning an independent inquiry, was targeted by a bogus account using a photograph of the man who abused him in the 1980s and calling itself “The Nonce”.

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England’s Paul Farbrace admits Steve Smith ‘stirring’ has valid basis

• ‘We don’t have bowlers bowling 90mph-plus,’ says assistant coach at Ashes
• Michael Vaughan bemoans England’s lack of pace: ‘It is a disastrous day’

After inflicting one of England’s most chastening days of Ashes cricket in the field and pocketing a career-best score for himself, Steve Smith made light of his opponents and their lack of potency.

Speaking as he left the field on day three, with an unbeaten 230 to his name after batting through all three sessions, the Australia captain described himself as “good sore”, spoke of his love of scoring runs for his country and “thought Dawid Malan was the pick of the spinners”.

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Sharon Laws, former British cycling road race champion, dies aged 43

• ‘The cycling world lost a champion,’ says statement from family
• Laws announced she had cervical cancer in October 2016

The former Great Britain cyclist Sharon Laws has died aged 43 after being diagnosed with cervical cancer in October 2016.

Laws, British road race champion in 2012, was a professional racer for almost a decade, helping Nicole Cooke to Olympic gold in 2008.

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Everton v Swansea City: match preview

Five games without defeat have elevated Everton’s position and mood under Sam Allardyce and with Yannick Bolasie available for the first time in 12 months, the new manager’s options are improving too. How Paul Clement could do with a similar turnaround. Swansea remain bottom of the table following a lesson by Manchester City, although they are not the only team to suffer that fate this season, and have not won away in the league since August. Their recent home win over West Bromwich Albion, however, demonstrates there can be no complacency at Goodison Park. Andy Hunter

Kick-off Monday 8pm

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Bournemouth v Liverpool: match preview

For Jürgen Klopp, a trip to Bournemouth is a headache his Liverpool side could probably do without. After stuttering to draws at home to Everton and then West Bromwich Albion, they now face Eddie Howe’s side, who on home turf have a habit of giving the bigger sides a fright – if not worse – as in this fixture last season when Bournemouth came from 3-1 behind to take victory. Klopp could again make changes – Simon Mignolet may return in goal – while Howe, too, has said he will rotate owing to the hectic festive schedule. Ben Fisher

Kick-off Sunday 4.30pm

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West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United: match preview

West Bromwich Albion’s wait for a win has continued under Alan Pardew and will stand at a heady four months if unsuccessful against Manchester United. The vast amount of draws accrued are keeping their heads narrowly above water, just. United have to win to maintain hopes of another league title but the side’s performance may be affected before kick-off should Manchester City beat Tottenham on Saturday. Graham Searles

Kick-off Sunday 2.15pm

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Manchester United’s Eric Bailly to miss ‘two to three months’, says Mourinho
• Bailly picked up ankle injury on international duty with Ivory Coast
• Mourinho: ‘I don’t like a circus when you win or a sad place when you lose’

The Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will be out of action for “two to three months” because he needs surgery on an ankle injury.

United had hoped that Bailly might not need surgery to solve the persistent ankle problem that has plagued the defender since he picked up the injury with Ivory Coast in October. The 23-year-old has not played since United’s defeat against Chelsea on 5 November.

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'Tired' Phil Taylor beats Chris Dobey in World Darts Championship first round

• Retiring world champion wins 3-1 after tense opening exchanges
• Belgium’s Dmitri Van den Burgh knocks out England’s Stephen Bunting

Phil Taylor began his final tournament with a win against Chris Dobey in the first round of the world championship at Alexandra Palace in London on Friday night.

The 16-times world champion beat fellow Englishman Dobey 3-1 despite making an uncharacteristically nervy start. In the first set he went 2-1 behind before rallying to take the next two legs and the set against the throw.

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Six-try Ulster crush Harlequins to keep up European Champions Cup hopes
• John Cooney scores 27 points as 52-24 win consolidates second spot
• Joy Neville becomes first woman to referee European club fixture

Ulster stayed in the race for European Champions Cup qualification by delivering a six-try thumping of Harlequins.

Related: Exciting La Rochelle go to Wasps with growing reputation for creative artistry

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Why Blake Bortles and the Jaguars are a real Super Bowl threat (yes, really)

While the eyes of the NFL are trained on Sunday’s Patriots-Steelers showdown, the once-toothless Jaguars are quietly emerging as a contender in the AFC

The NFL is focused this week on Sunday afternoon’s Steelers-Patriots matchup set for Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The 11-2 Steelers versus the 10-3 Patriots, the winner likely earning home-field advantage throughout the AFC play-offs, where many think the two sides will inevitably meet again in the conference championship game. But amid the hype over Pittsburgh and New England, there is one team being completely overlooked, a team that in fact went through both the Steelers and Patriots to reach the Super Bowl two years ago: the Denver Broncos.

No, not the woeful 2017 Denver Broncos, a team that has hopelessly lost its way and is tied for the fifth-worst record in all of football. The 2015 Denver Broncos. The Super Bowl championship team that had the best defense in all of football, a defense that was so good it was able to paper over its suspect play at the quarterback position. That Broncos team may have been reincarnated in the form of the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars.

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The gifs that keep on giving: laughter, face football and two big clearances

Featuring two UFC fighters trying to pretend, a new form of badminton, fast fists, a very short game of pool and an exceedingly chamring basketball player

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The forgotten story of … the Colourful XI tragedy

Fifteen Dutch footballers were among 176 people who died in a 1989 plane crash. Edu Nandlal, one of the survivors, tells his story of the disaster

Edu Nandlal couldn’t sleep. Many of the other passengers on Surinam Airways flight 764 from Amsterdam Schiphol to Paramaribo Zanderij had decided to get some rest on the 12-hour journey. But this was the first time Nandlal had returned to Suriname since leaving for the Netherlands after the military coup in 1980. He wanted to see home as the plane approached.

Most were still sleeping when the flight began its descent, in the early hours of Wednesday 7 June 1989. Nandlal looked out of the window and saw lights from houses in the jungle shining. Then he felt something hit the plane. And then something else. “Shit,” he thought, “I’m dead.”

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The Fiver | Beyond standard repetition and into the realms of performance art

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For popular news agency Reuters Friday’s Arsène Wenger press conference, scheduled in theory so the Frenchman could look forward to Saturday’s game against Newcastle, revealed one thing that was particularly exciting. “Arsenal will not sell Alexis Sánchez and Mesut Özil during the January transfer window, manager Arsène Wenger has said,” they breathlessly reported. “When asked in a news conference on Friday if Sanchez and Özil would see out the season at Arsenal, Wenger said: ‘I can tell you a global answer – yes. They will all stay.’”

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The Joy of Six: Cup Winners' Cup memories

From Chelsea’s deep freeze to Robbie Fowler’s outrageous skill via a 1970s Milan v Leeds battle, we look at half-a-dozen memories from the Cup Winners’ Cup

When Gianfranco Zola came off the bench to smash home his winning goal in the 1998 final, it meant that no British team had won the Cup Winners’ Cup as many times as Chelsea. Twenty-seven years after they claimed the trophy for the first time, they doubled their tally , triumphing where Arsenal had unforgettably failed in 1995. They had a few scares on their way to the final and sailed dangerously close to the wind in their semi against Vicenza, only for Mark Hughes to wallop home a bouncing ball with time running out in the second leg.

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It's time to introduce a two-legged MLS Cup - with a twist

The single final is insufficient, and the two-leg final doesn’t reward the higher-seeded team for their regular-season performance. So why not combine the two?

Do US soccer leagues need their own Super Bowl, a week-long festival of the sport at a neutral site? Or should they reward the best regular-season team with home-field advantage for the final game?

Related: Didier Drogba fined but not suspended for Montreal Impact tantrum

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A Phil Taylor v Wayne Mardle classic, football in the snow and an agile jockey

This week’s roundup also includes a bit of Kevin Pressman penalty thwacking and some terrible rugby

1) The raucous PDC World Darts Championship is back again. In the competition’s first year at Alexandra Palace in 2008 the big favourite Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor was expected to ease through the rounds to a 12th title but came up against Wayne ‘Hawaii 501’ Mardle in the quarter-final. What ensued was an all-time classic that ended with a victorious Mardle on his haunches in tears of joy. On that night Taylor was magnanimous in defeat, with Mardle in the Sky studio last year he did not take so kindly to his former rival’s line of questioning. Still Taylor learned the art of darts needle from the master, Eric Bristow.

2) Those of you with phone apps, friends on social media or windows will have noticed there was a flurry of snow over the weekend. This means it’s time to revisit some football being played in the trademarked good ol’ days when nothing would stop those hearty men kicking leather around. There’s Aberdeen versus Rangers in 1955, when seeing the ball was not a straightforward task. More recently, the Welsh non-league side Risca FC faced Aberdare Town in snowy conditions on Friday. Alternatively, if you like to be knee-deep in the white stuff, then the snow World Cup is the one for you.

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Manchester City make history and Arsenal in 89 – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden returns as the panel talk Man City dominance, Liverpool’s toothless tendencies and how Arsenal’s 1989 title winners compare to the current crop

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

Max Rushden is back from his Australian jaunt as Barry Glendenning, Amy Lawrence and Jacob Steinberg join him for a Football Weekly Extra after midweek fixtures saw Pep Guardiola’s side stroll to a 4-0 win at Swansea, Liverpool’s fab four fail to score against a stubborn West Brom and another Wayne Rooney goal help Big Sam’s Everton revival to continue.

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Mitchell Marsh finally makes his mark for Australia after coming through 'bad place'

Marsh hits Ashes 181 not out against England in Perth but says during ‘shoulder rehab I thought I wouldn’t get back’

Mitchell Marsh has never hidden behind his all‑rounder status to shirk his primary responsibility. To play for Australia, he has always known, hinges on whether he can hold down the No6 spot with the bat. That means tons. But until Saturday, he hadn’t saluted. His reflexive response to the first question flung at him when leaving the field showed how heavy that weight had been, now lifted with this lavish triumph. “It’s only taken 22 Tests!”

Many judges were convinced this would never happen when he returned home from India in March needing shoulder surgery and sporting a batting average that gave ammunition to usual suspects who need little encouragement. With his surname, cries of nepotism are a given. Headlines followed that he was the worst No6, statistically, the game had ever seen.

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Ashes: Australia in control over England after Steve Smith double century – video report

Australia captain Steve Smith scored a magnificent double century at the Waca on Saturday to put his side within sight of an Ashes series win over England. Smith finished the day 229 not out with Mitchell Marsh also unbeaten on 181 in Perth. England could only manage one wicket all day and now trail by 146 runs

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Ashes: England collapse as Australia dictate day two – video report

England started the day in a good position, with both surviving batters from day one picking up centuries, but then contrived to lose their last six wickets for just 35 runs. Australia took control of the third test and ended the day on 203-3

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Arsène Wenger: Manchester City 'have petrol and ideas'– video

Arsène Wenger has used his press conference ahead of his Arsenal side's match against Newcastle to give an update on Jack Wilshere's future contract prospects and whether he thinks Manchester City can be caught this season

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Ashes: Dawid Malan century gives England strong start over Australia – video report

England were in trouble on day one of the third Ashes Test before Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow took control of proceedings in Perth. Malan made his maiden Test century and was 110 not out at stumps while Bairstow made an unbeaten 75. The tourists ended the day 305-4

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Chris Froome: 'I haven't done anything wrong' – video

Chris Froome claims he has 'not done anything wrong' after excessive levels of the asthma drug Salbutamol were found in his urine at this year's Vuelta a España. The Team Sky rider says he has never take 'more than the permissible dose' and that he hopes to be cleared of any wrongdoing

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'I could tell he was hurting': boxer Jeff Horn describes tough title defence – video

Jeff Horn talks about the moves that helped him retain his WBO welterweight championship with a gritty late stoppage win over Gary Corcoran in Brisbane on Wednesday night. Fighting for the first time since his famous upset over Manny Pacquiao in July, it was a lot closer than the 29-year-old would have liked his first world title defence to be. ‘I’d like to have an easy fight every once in a while,’ he joked. ‘I could see he was starting to really go down and I just knew I had to get a couple of good combinations out on him.’

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Chris Froome fails drugs test – video report

 Chris Froome, Britain's most successful road cyclist, failed a drugs test taken during his successful tilt at the Vuelta in September. His urine showed twice the acceptable level of salbutamol, an asthma medication. Team Sky claim the test coincided with a worsening of his asthma, and doctor's advice to increase his dosage.

Froome fights to save career after failed drugs test result

Q&A: how long could Froome be banned for and what happens next?

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Manchester City celebrations after derby win 'definitely not' excessive, says Guardiola – video

Pep Guardiola denies that Manchester City celebrated excessively following their derby win over city rivals Manchester United. Asked if his players had enjoyed the 2-1 victory at Old Trafford too much Guardiola replies ‘definitely not’. ‘I encourage players to celebrate victories,’ he adds

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Maradona statue unveiled in India becomes target of online ridicule – video

Another football icon honoured by a statue has attracted widespread attention and ridicule. A bronze sculpture of the Argentina great, Diego Maradona, was unveiled at a club in Kolkata, although the dubious likeness to the 1986 World Cup winner has been the subject of much online mockery. The 12-foot statue features the 1986 World Cup winner with a healthy head of hair, with one online commenter saying it looked more like ‘someone’s gran’ than Maradona.

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NFL Week 14: Buffalo Bills beat Indianapolis Colts in snowstorm – video highlights

The Buffalo Bills kept their play-off hopes alive with a win over the Indianapolis Colts in the snow on Sunday. LeSean McCoy had over 150 yards on the ground in the 13-7 overtime win which lifts the Bills to 7-6. Elsewhere on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles sealed the NFC East but may have lost quarterback Carson Wentz for the rest of the year after a suspected ACL injury

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England’s creeping dread materialises in day of Ashes flagellation at the Waca | Ali Martin
Flat is the word that summed up the bowlers as Australia highlighted what is required in these parts and what England so badly lack

Less than an hour into play on the third morning, after Steve Smith had chalked up his second century of the series, the brass section of the Barmy Army on the western hill here began playing the theme tune to the Great Escape.

Though Australia were three down and still 180 runs in arrears at this stage, it was pitch-perfect in its reflection of creeping English dread. This was already shaping up to be a day of flagellation at the hands of the mighty Australian captain, whose blade had looked so thick and utterly impenetrable while chipping off the eight runs he required for Test century No22.

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Steve Smith’s double ton has Australia motoring out of England’s Ashes sight

• Third Ashes Test, day three: England 403; Australia 549-4
• Steve Smith hits his highest Test score, unbeaten on 229

England have been this way before so a sense of foreboding is rife. In the 21st century a first-innings score in excess of 400 guarantees nothing and they know that better than most. A year ago, on their tour of India, England amassed 400 in Mumbai and 477 in Chennai. On both occasions they lost the match by an innings. The numbers are looking ominously similar here in Perth. Despite England’s 403, Australia led by 146 and they had six wickets in hand at the end of the third day.

On a sleeping pitch England tend to do a lot of fielding. Despite all the plans and funky fields, which sometimes look more of a hindrance than a help, they struggle even with the presence of their record-breaking bowlers. So it was here on the third day when, for the second time in history, England were tormented by a New South Welshman and a Marsh – or two.

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Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England third Test, day three – as it happened

Steve Smith’s epic 229 not out, and Mitchell Marsh’s storming unbeaten 181, gave Australia complete control of the Test on a desperate day for England

Related: Australia’s Mitchell Marsh admits after century: ‘I was in a pretty bad place’

Related: England’s Paul Farbrace admits Steve Smith ‘stirring’ has valid basis

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Chris Froome’s failed test a disaster for cycling, says former UCI president
• Pat McQuaid believes Briton will find it tough to avoid suspension
• Froome’s failed test will cause ‘irreparable damage’ to Team Sky

The former head of cycling’s world governing body said Chris Froome’s failed drug test was a disaster for the sport and claimed it would be very hard for the four-times Tour de France winner to avoid a ban.

Related: Team Sky and Chris Froome may find public will inflict a grim verdict | Richard Williams

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Team Sky and Chris Froome may find public will inflict a grim verdict | Richard Williams

BBC Sports Personality of the Year voting, and Sky corporate changes, could lead to Froome’s inhalation of salbutamol proving a puff too far

Chris Froome is an opportunist. All great riders have to be. It’s the faculty that allows them to spot the moment at which to strike. The first time we saw that in Froome was when he sensed a weakness in Bradley Wiggins on the ascent of La Toussuire during the Tour de France five years ago, and had to be ordered to cease his attack on his own team leader.

When Froome joined Team Sky, he was simply taking another opportunity. Born in Kenya to British-born parents and educated in South Africa, eight years ago he left behind the country of his birth, with its limited resources, to sign a contract that also helped him to win a place in Britain’s lottery-funded Olympic cycling team, run from the same building in Manchester as the professional team, with shared facilities and personnel.

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George Ford warns rugby union against football-style sacking culture
The Leicester fly-half says clubs must not panic during rough patches as Leicester prepare for Sunday’s crucial Champions Cup rematch with Munster

The east Midlands has again felt an icy December blast from Europe. A year after the end of Richard Cockerill’s long reign as the Leicester director of rugby was precipitated by a second heavy defeat to a side in what was then the Pro12, Jim Mallinder’s 10 years in charge of Northampton ended on Tuesday after the Saints were routed by Ospreys in front of an unusually small crowd at Franklin’s Gardens.

The Leicester fly-half George Ford is acutely aware rugby is in danger of heading football’s way when it comes to quick-fix solutions to faltering form. Ford’s father, Mike, was sacked by Bath two summers ago, and has been linked with the job at Northampton. “I feel very sorry for Jim Mallinder who did a great job at Northampton,” says the 24-year-old. “It is the way the game is going and there has been a fair bit of it going on in the last few years.

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Doctors optimistic Petra Kvitova will play tennis again after knife attack

• Kvitova ‘badly injured on my left hand’ in incident described as a burglary
• 26-year-old has tendons and nerves repaired in surgery on Tuesday evening

Petra Kvitova, a two-time Wimbledon champion, said she was “fortunate to be alive” on Tuesday after a man attacked her with a knife at her home, robbing her of around £155 and leaving her with potential career-threatening injuries.

Related: Petra Kvitova focused on tennis return following knife attack and surgery

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It’s fair enough for Sports Personality of the Year to ask some searching questions | Sean Ingle

Given sport’s bad reputational year, it is fine that the BBC is preparing to get Chris Froome to defend himself on what is normally a controversy-free programme

For more than 60 years the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year has served up a mildly diverting few hours of saccharine and froth. The formula is long established: laud Britain’s sporting heroes, relive their glories through stirring montages, and throw a threw softball questions for them to answer.

Usually it makes for an easily digestible, if unchallenging, three hours of viewing. On Sunday night, however, the BBC is expected to break with tradition by firmly questioning Chris Froome about his failed test at the Vuelta a España when he appears via video link from his training camp in Spain.

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Chris Froome fights to save career after failed drugs test result

• Froome found to have an excessive level of an asthma drug at Vuelta
• Team Sky have ‘utmost confidence’ he stayed within permissible dose
• Rider says he was following team doctor’s advice after asthma got worse

Britain’s most successful road cyclist Chris Froome is fighting to salvage his reputation after a failed drugs test during his victory in the Vuelta a España in September.

Following a joint investigation by the Guardian and Le Monde, which revealed that the 32-year-old had double the permitted levels of the asthma medication salbutamol in his body, the four-time Tour de France winner admitted that he had upped his dose of the drug during the race – but insisted he had not broken any rules.

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Lleyton Hewitt planning to make playing return at Australian Open

  • Hewitt, 36, officially retired from tennis after home grand slam in 2016
  • Says he is looking to get back into action with Sam Groth in men’s doubles

Former World No1 Lleyton Hewitt plans to come out of retirement and double up with Sam Groth at next month’s Australian Open.

Australia’s 36-year-old Davis Cup captain officially retired from tennis after his home grand slam in 2016, but returned to the court twice more last year in Davis Cup and at Wimbledon.

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Chris Froome's failed drug test – your questions answered

Sean and Martha, who broke the story about Chris Froome failing a drugs test, were online to discuss salbutamol, Sky and the state of British sport

We’ve got to go now to do some work - thanks for all the questions and apologies we couldn’t answer them all. Best, Sean and Martha

And, in case you missed them, here is a handy list of our pieces on the story over the last day or two:

markgreenwood asks:

Hi Martha, Sean. What should we think about the state of British sport? Is this story another example of why we’re only a small step away from the Russian/Armstrong approach? Or, by challenging an extra puff on an asthma inhaler does it show how British is scrupulously careful and leading the world in keeping sport clean?

I genuinely don't think there's anything on the scale of systemic doping in Russia going on in British sport but I think the recent duty of care scandals have shown we're increasingly adopting a win at all costs mantra in Olympic sport. We have to be cautious that doesn't stray into abuse of medicine.

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Original article: The new status quo

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