O’Grady asked to quit Olympic role after EPO admission

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian Olympic Committee(AOC) has called on cyclist Stuart O’Grady to step down from its Athletes’ Commission after he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs at the 1998 Tour de France.

 O’Grady, who announced his retirement this week, told a newspaper on Wednesday that he had used the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO) before the notorious 1998 Tour, where he became only the second Australian to wear the yellow jersey.

 AOC secretary-general Craig Phillips contacted O’Grady by e-mail asking for his immediate resignation from the 10-member advisory body, the AOC said on Thursday.

 “Members of our London Olympic team, who elected Stuart to theAthletes’ Commission, are entitled to be angry knowing they had supported an athlete who had cheated,” AOC president John Coates said in a statement.

“Athletes’ Commission members are chosen for their qualities of integrity and leadership and by his admission Stuart does not deserve to be a member of that group.”

 A report by a French Senate inquiry released on Wednesday found the top three finishers at the 1998 tour – Italian Marco Pantani, Germany’s Jan Ullrich and American Bobby Julich – were among 18 riders who had tested positive for EPO.

The 1998 race was overshadowed by the scandal involving the Festina team, who were kicked off the race after a medical team member was arrested at the French border and customs officers seized banned substances.

O’Grady was listed by the French Senate report among 12 riders whose tests were said to be “suspicious” but he confirmed using EPO to the Adelaide Advertiser, insisting he had acted alone in sourcing it.

O’Grady announced his retirement after helping his GreenEdge team to a team time trial victory in this year’s Tour, saying he wanted to go out on a high despite being expected to race on until 2014.

The Australian team said it supported O’Grady “as a person and an advocate for a clean sport”.

“Like the majority of the riders in his generation, he was also exposed to the issues and wrongdoings of the sport and made some wrong choices in that environment,” the team said in a statement on its website (www.greenedgecycling.com).

“We would like to underline that in all of our interactions with Stuart, he has always been extremely clear about the right path for the sport and we believe that certain mistakes in the past shouldn’t be allowed to tarnish his entire career and his integrity as a person.”

Cycling Australia also declined to condemn O’Grady, blaming the era and the European “environment”.

“The late 1990’s was clearly a dark period in cycling’s international history,” the governing body said in a statement.

“(Australian) Athletes transitioning from the strict anti-doping regimes enforced under the domestic … programs were faced with a very different environment when they landed in Europe.”

Coates, though, said the “everybody else was doing it” line was no defense for using banned substances.

 “This was a shameful period for the sport of cycling which has been well documented, that is no excuse for the decision taken by Stuart O’Grady,” he added.

Soccer Star Pertamina Papua Followed 500 Participants

Pertamina talent Soccer Stars (PSS) of the 500 children aged under 14 and 16 years old, visited the town of Sorong, Papua. Hundreds of children are so excited to undergo the selection PSS held at Field Lanal, Sorong, Friday (05/7) morning.
They will compete for a share of eight players eligible Pertamina Soccer camp in September 2013, in Bandung, West Java. Previously, similar activities successfully conduct talent search in Malang, Balikpapan, Palembang and Makassar.
Not surprisingly, interest in Papua is so high. Because, Papua is known to be one of the best young players central Indonesia and subscriptions in the Indonesian national team squad. Among them, John Auri, Ronny Wabia, Boaz Salossa, Octavian Maniani to Ferinando Pahabol.
“We are very impressed with the seeds of Sorong incredible. Moreover, Pertamina pass many activities here such as marketing and exploration. Zest and zeal very large Papuan children to realize their ideals in the event Pertamina Soccer Star this time. Moreover, There are 5 young children who took part, “said Nugroho Saptiadi HR, Marketing Operations Manager Region VIII, Papua, on the Ground Lanal, Sorong.
“Having netted eight representatives of young footballers who qualify in the screening Sorong, will be gathered with representatives from other areas such as Malang, Balikpapan, Palembang and Jakarta to 48 players. From a total of 48 players, will be screened again to 24 players to be trained at Pertamina soccer, “said Saptiadi.
On this occasion, continued, also followed Julius Josel Omkarsba and Valen Maryar participants join Pertamina Soccer School in 2012. Details Soccer Star Pertamina filtering with a total of 500 participants, will be back netted 180 participants. Then continued filtered to 140. Furthermore, before the end of the screening with a total of eight players who will be brought to London, 40 participants will first show of skill.
“Not just a football school to prepare children who will qualify. But we will also prepare a formal school. We do not want to, just good at football but weak in formal education. Scholarships untu We will prepare them for three years,” said Saptiadi.
When training camp in Bandung 48 players will be coached by Pertamina Soccer School coaches comprising AC Milan Academy of local origin and the State University of Jakarta. In 2012, Pertamina Indonesia All Stars Team Challenge Team won the Milan Day Intessa San Paulo in Italy.
Indonesia became the first country which had won three times in a row winner. Additionally, two players from the selection held Pertamina entered in the U-14 national team in 2012 that Handika Bayangkara and Aziz. Arie as well as Sandy and M Alfian A squad took part into the National Student Team in Thailand.

Fast learner Quintana makes immediate Tour impact

PARIS (Reuters) – Watch and learn – that was the directive Nairo Quintana received when he was included in his Movistar team’sTour de France roster.

The diminutive, swarthy-faced Colombian climber did more than just that on his Tour debut, surpassing expectations with a brilliant three-week display to secure second place overall.

Quintana, 23, reached the Champs Elysees in Paris having won a stage and claimed both white and polka-dot jerseys for the best young rider and the best climber.

On Saturday, he won the 20th stage at the top of Semnoz after a final 11-km ascent – nothing intimidating for a rider who would descend 16 kilometers every day to go to school on a 20-kilo mountain bike.

“And I had to come back every evening,” he says with a smile.

 He caught the eye of Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue when, aged 20, he won the Tour de l’Avenir – the most prestigious young riders’ race.

Unzue was looking for Colombian riders for his Spain-based team.

“Finding a Colombian rider who climbs well is easy,” said Unzue, referring to the ‘Beetles’, the Colombian climbers of the 1980s.

“But finding one who climbs well and who is also a good time-trialist is more rare.”

Quintana, however, is not just a physically talented rider. He is also a clever one.

“The other thing that struck me is his character,” said Unzue.

“He’s got a lot of self-confidence and he analyses a race very well. When you listen to him debrief his day, you understand right away that he is not just a fast rider.”

Quintana showed during the Tour that he is a fast learner.

 Starting the race with the task of helping team leader Alejandro Valverde secure a podium finish, the Colombian found himself thrust into the role of leader after the Spaniard lost considerable time on a flat stage following a mechanical problem.

“Everybody in the team believed in me. Everyone helped me, especially psychologically, to achieve this. At 23, I was not prepared for that,” he said on Saturday, sobbing between sentences.

“When they asked me if I was up for it (after Valverde’s hopes were dashed), I said ‘yes, sure, I’m ready to be team leader but I hope you will forgive me if my legs don’t respond at some point’.”

 His legs responded well as Quintana finished second behind Tour champion Chris Froome of Britain in the stage finishing up the iconic Mont Ventoux, although he briefly lost consciousness after crossing the line.

That day, he probably attacked too early. On Saturday, he showed that he had learned his lesson, waiting for Froome to attack on the slopes of the Semnoz before countering him in the final kilometer to take the stage.

The win capped years of hard work, Quintana said, still shaking his head in disbelief.

“I worked very hard and I had the support of my parents, my team. A year ago, when I turned professional, it was difficult to imagine that I would be here today,” he said.

“As a kid I didn’t dream this could happen to me. I was taking things on a daily basis.”

Quintana has emulated compatriot Luis Herrera, who won the King of the Mountains title in 1985 and 1987, but he is setting his sights higher than the polka dot jersey.

“These performances give me a lot of confidence for the following years. In 2015 I could be gunning for yellow. I will continue to

Suitable price, Rodgers Release Suarez?

Liverpool manager, Brendan Rodgers gives the signal if they are ready to sell Luis Suarez if the incoming bid for Uruguayan striker was later deemed suitable.
Suarez ended last season with 10 penalties related controversial fight that he received due to bite Chelsea defender, Branislav Ivanovic. And this summer called relentless speculation the 26-year striker ready leave from Anfield.
Rodgers himself had no intention of removing Suarez insists, although he also does not preclude it. “Unless there is a bid that comes close to the value, then there’s no need to be considered – and we have not found it. So this time, he was back in the team and report to training at the right time, “he told The Daily Star.
But Rodgers insists if the priority is to defend Suarez on Merseyside. “He is a player who clearly had a lot of talk and speculation accompanying pause throughout the season. But the reality is he is very respected player in Liverpool, “added the former coach of Swansea.

Superbike racer Killed While Racing in Moscow

Pembalap Superbike Tewas Saat Balapan di Moskow

Moscow – Goeleven Team Kawasaki rider, Andrea Antonelli, was killed in an accident while following motor racing Supersport World Championship in Moscow Raceway, Sunday (21/7).
In the rain wet track conditions, driver asa Italy’s 25-year-old lost control of his bike on the first lap and his head struck a Honda motorcycle ditunggani compatriot Lorenzo Zanetti.
Antonelli was immediately rushed to a medical center in the circuit, but because the injury is so severe, it was decided not to take him by helicopter to a nearby hospital and he died after never unconscious.
The race was stopped and postponed to be held back on the evening of the day before finally canceled. The second World Superbike event was also canceled after Marco Melandri (BMW Motorrad Goldbet) won the race in the morning session.
Antonelli from Castiglione di Lago and has 14 times to reach the podium in the European Superstock 600 race and 1000, did start from second position in Moscow.
Antonelli became the second Italian rider who died on the track in the last two years after the MotoGP rider, Marco Simoncelli, who died in the accident at the Sepang circuit, Malaysia in 2011.
»(Yamaha rider, Massimo) Roccoli, was hit by Andrea, who had fallen. Zanetti the middle then drove 250km per hour was unable to avoid it, “said Dr. Massimo Corbascio which handles the Antonelli after the accident.
»He (Zanetti) said he hit the ‘green thing’ before he fell and injured. If a driver blows to his skull exposed by motot bike weighing 160kg with a speed of 250km per hour, what can we do?
»He went to accompany Marco Simoncelli. We have tried to resuscitate her, but there was nothing we could do. “

FIFA again bans Iraq from hosting friendlies

FIFA on Wednesday barred Iraq from hosting international football friendlies due to a massive surge in nationwide violence, barely three months after world football’s governing body gave Baghdad the go-ahead.

The Iraqi Football Association (IFA) was informed of the ban in a notification from FIFA, which cited a spike in unrest that has left more than 2,500 dead from April through June and at least 123 killed in the first three days of July alone.

“Today, we received a notification from FIFA to stop hosting any friendly matches in stadiums in Iraq at the current time, and until further notice, due to the wave of violence,” said Naim Saddam, an IFA official.

“This is regrettable.”

FIFA in March lifted a ban on Iraq hosting international football friendlies and the country promptly staged a match with neighbouring Syria in Baghdad’s Shaab stadium just days later, with the national side subsequently facing off with Liberia.

The initial friendly had marked a key step in Iraq’s re-emergence on the world stage after decades of conflict and sanctions.

But the country has been hit by a marked increase in violence since, with recent attacks also targeting football pitches and cafes where Iraqis were watching the sport on television.

In June alone, more than 60 people were killed in at least 10 bombings targeting pitches and cafes, according to an AFP tally.

NBA Roundup: Heat use amnesty waiver with Miller

The Miami Heat waived veteran guard Mike Miller through the NBA’s amnesty provision on Tuesday, a move that saves the two-time NBA champions $17 million in luxury tax fees.

Miller appeared in 59 regular-season games last season, and averaged 4.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 15.3 minutes.

The Heat still owe Miller $12.8 million over the next two seasons. Miller signed with the Heat in summer of 2010 but suffered through injuries to his thumbs and back that limited his playing time.

—Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drunken driving charge and will speak with young drivers as a condition of a settlement, according to News12 Long Island.

Kidd was arrested in Long Island on July 16, 2012, when he crashed his Cadillac SUV into a telephone pole. The 40-year-old was placed on interim probation pending his appearance at two Suffolk County schools regarding the dangers of drunken driving. After he speaks, News 12 Long Island reported that Kidd will be allowed to change his plea to driving while impaired, a lesser charge. His driver’s license remains suspended.

Kidd retired as an NBA player after last season and was hired to coach the Nets.

—Metta World Peace officially joined the New York Knicks on Tuesday, signing a contract with his hometown team.

The Knicks made the announcement and World Peace confirmed it by tweeting a picture of the signing. After World Peace was waived by the Los Angeles Lakers under the amnesty provision, he received a $1.7 million contract from the Knicks and the Lakers will play the remaining $7.7 million of his deal in LA.

—The Philadelphia 76ers claimed swingman James Anderson and center Tim Ohlbrecht off waivers from the Houston Rockets. the team announced Tuesday.

Selected No. 20 overall in the 2010 NBA Draft by San Antonio, Anderson played three seasons with the Spurs and Rockets, averaging 3.7 points and 1.5 rebounds in 116 games.

The 6-foot-11 Ohlbrecht is a native of Germany who spent time this past season in the D-League with Rio Grande Valley, averaging 13.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.63 blocks and 1.13 steals. Ohlbrecht also saw action in three games for the Rockets.

—Omri Casspi, the first Israeli-born athlete to play in the NBA, has joined the Houston Rockets on a two-year, $2 million deal.

The 6-foot-9 forward spent his first four NBA seasons split between the Sacramento Kings andCleveland Cavaliers. His best season came in his rookie year of 2009-10, when he averaged 10.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Casspi has averaged 7.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.0 assists over 256 career games.

—The Denver Nuggets continued to transform their front office Tuesday when they named Arturas Karnisovas as assistant general manager.

Karnisovas, 42, joins the Nuggets after five years with the Houston Rockets. He started with the team as an international scout in 2008, and was most recently the team’s director of scouting. Karnisovas will assist new general manager Tim Connelly and team president Josh Kroenke with day-to-day operations related to scouting and player personnel matters.

Vettel Praises New Pirelli Tires

Ban Pirelli (foto: Reuters)

SILVERSTONE – Leaders standings Formula One (F1), Sebastian Vettel became who fastest in last day tests new tires Pirelli in Silverstone. Red Bull driver record time of 1 minute 32.894 seconds.

Vettel down in the afternoon local time, to continue the task of Carlos Sainz Jr. who previously drove the Red Bull. German rider gobble trajectory approximately 78 laps. Vettel also admitted satisfied with the tires latest Pirelli.

“We had three days of testing with different drivers and different cars and use without failure. Not to mention the very hot conditions here, “said Vettel, as reported Yahoosport, Saturday (20/07/2013).

“Obviously, we are very limited on what we could do, but for me not so much difference with the tires. This quite nice get some laps, although good to to get the feeling them, “firmly Vettel.

Tire test of the riders that took place at Silverstone is part of Pirelli efforts are being unleashed their new tires. This new tire will be used at the Hungarian Grand Prix next weekend to the rest of the season.
(fir)