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                           | pdf edition | Wednesday August 15 2012                                                       Sport
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Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba ‘devastated’
after announcing retirement
The Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba has retired from football,
five months after surviving an on-pitch cardiac arrest Page 2



Kevin Pietersen has apologised for
‘provocative texts’, ECB confirms
The ECB has received an apology from Kevin Pietersen and an
admission that he did send ‘provocative’ texts Page 2



Rio Ferdinand has ‘choc ice’ disciplinary
case held in secret
Rio Ferdinand’s disciplinary case with the FA regarding his ‘choc
ice’ reference has already taken place in secret Page 3




Portsmouth on brink of                       McLaren confident Lewis                      Pedroia denies rift             Royal Mail under growing
liquidation as Chainrai                      Hamilton will sign for                       between Red Sox players         pressure over Paralympics
withdraws bid for club                       another Formula One year                     and manager Bobby               commemorative stamps
Page 3                                       Page 5                                       Valentine Page 6                Page 7

Olympic 100m semi-                           Royal Mail’s Olympic                         Andrew Strauss: no              Sale Sharks sign
finalist Adam Gemili to                      postbox-painting inspires                    guarantees that Kevin           Australian Cameron
run 200m in Birmingham                       public copycat campaign                      Pietersen has England           Shepherd and Newcastle’s
Page 4                                       Page 5                                       future Page 6                   Corne Uys Page 8




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Wednesday August 15 2012                14:15 GMT

                                                                   incredible. I am blessed to have the support of my family and
                                                                   friends at this time.”
Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba ‘devastated’                                   The Bolton chairman Phil Gartside said: “To have Fabrice
after announcing retirement                                        here and with us is truly amazing and we are all very thankful
                                                                   for that. We are all hugely disappointed that Fabrice will be
• Muamba survived cardiac arrest during                            unable to return to his playing career but we have to be guided
game in March                                                      by the medical recommendations and the best interests of
                                                                   Fabrice.
• Cardiologists advised him not to resume
                                                                       “The most important thing is that Fabrice and his family
playing career                                                     have the rest of their lives ahead of them.”
Guardian staff                                                         Bolton’s manager Owen Coyle said: “We have spoken with
                                                                   Fab and he knows we will always support him in whatever he
                                                                   wants to do and that we will always be here for him.
                                                                       “He is obviously massively disappointed that he won’t
                                                                   be able to carry on his career, but everyone has seen what a
                                                                   fighter and strong person he is in mind and body. We know
                                                                   that he will go on to achieve great things and within all this
                                                                   disappointment, the most important thing is that he is here,
                                                                   alive, today.”



                                                                   Kevin Pietersen has apologised for
                                                                   ‘provocative texts’, ECB confirms

Fabrice Muamba reacts after being introduced to the Bolton         • ECB says Pietersen has said sorry for his
fans following his release from hospital. Photograph: Michael      behaviour
Regan/Getty Images
                                                                   • Talks to take place to see if it is ‘possible
Bolton’s midfielder Fabrice Muamba has announced his               to regain trust’
retirement from football, five months after he survived a
cardiac arrest during an FA Cup tie.                               Andy Wilson
   Muamba’s heart stopped for 78 minutes after he collapsed
on the pitch at White Hart Lane during Bolton’s match against
Spurs in March. His life was saved gu.com/p/373d6 by the
intervention of medics from both teams and an off-duty heart
specialist, before he spent time recovering in an east London
hospital.
   The 24-year-old had hoped to resume his career, but
Bolton said that Muamba’s decision to retire was “made on
the recommendation of his medical team, following extensive
consultations with leading cardiologists both in the United
Kingdom and Europe.”
   Muamba, who carried the Olympic flame in July as the
torch relay made its way from Greenwich to Waltham Forest,
said: “Since suffering my heart attack and being discharged        Kevin Pietersen Photograph: Tom Hevezi/AP
from hospital, I have remained utterly positive in the belief I
                                                                   The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed that it has
could one day resume my playing career and play for Bolton
                                                                   received an apology from Kevin Pietersen and an admission
Wanderers once again.
                                                                   that he sent “provocative” text messages to South Africa
   “As part of my ongoing recovery, last week I travelled
                                                                   players during the second Test at Headingley.
to Belgium to seek further medical advice from a leading
                                                                       But England’s managing director, Hugh Morris, stressed
cardiologist. But the news I received was obviously not what I
                                                                   that further talks need to take place before he can return to the
had hoped it would be and it means I am now announcing my
                                                                   team.
retirement from professional football.
                                                                       With England’s 15-man squad for their defence of the
   “Football has been my life since I was a teenage boy and it
                                                                   World Twenty20 title due to be announced on Saturday, that
has given me so many opportunities. Above all else, I love the
                                                                   still leaves a major question over whether Pietersen will be
game and count myself very lucky to have been able to play at
                                                                   included.
the highest level.
                                                                       Pietersen was quoted as saying: “I did send what you might
   “While the news is devastating, I have much to be thankful
                                                                   call provocative texts to my close friends in the SA team. The
for. I thank God that I am alive and I pay tribute once again to
                                                                   texts were meant as banter between close friends. I need to rein
the members of the medical team who never gave up on me.
                                                                   myself in sometimes.
   “I would also like to thank everyone who has supported
                                                                       “I apologise to Straussy and the team for the inappropriate
me throughout my career, and the Bolton fans who have been
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                    guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                               Wednesday August 15 2012                14:15 GMT

remarks at the press conference and for the texts. I truly didn’t    responding to another Twitter user describing Cole as a “choc
mean to cause upset or tension particularly with important           ice”, meaning black on the outside and white on the inside.
games at stake.”                                                        Ferdinand responded: “I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic.
    Morris responded: “We are in receipt of Kevin’s apology but      Hahahahahaha!!’
further discussions need to take place to establish whether             He later deleted the tweet and claimed on Twitter that it was
it is possible to regain the trust and mutual respect required       slang for someone being ‘fake’, but the FA charged him with
to ensure all parties are able to focus on playing cricket and       making improper comments which included a reference to
to maintain the unity of purpose that has served us so well in       ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.
recent years.”                                                          Ferdinand, who appears to have lost his England career
    “A successful conclusion to this process is in everyone’s        as a direct result of the Terry affair, denied the offence and
best interests and is required for Kevin Pietersen’s potential       requested a personal hearing to put across his side of the story.
selection in all forms of the game to be considered.
    “At the moment we have an important Test match to focus
on and therefore ECB will make no further comment until such         Portsmouth on brink of liquidation as
time as is appropriate.”                                             Chainrai withdraws bid for club
    England trail 1-0 in the three-match series and will lose
top spot in the world rankings if they fail to win the final Test,
which begins at Lord’s on Thursday.
                                                                     • Crisis grows as former owner attacks
                                                                     ‘negative’ fans
                                                                     •Way now clear for Supporters Trust
Rio Ferdinand has ‘choc ice’ disciplinary                            Guardian staff
case held in secret

• United man’s hearing with FA took place
last Friday
• Relates to defender’s Twitter criticism of
Ashley Cole
Daniel Taylor




                                                                     Plymouth fans collected donations to help Portsmouth ahead
                                                                     of their Capital One Cup match at Home Park on Tuesday.
                                                                     Photograph: Adam Holt/Action Images
                                                                     Portsmouth are on the brink of liquidation after the club’s
                                                                     former owner Balram Chainrai dramatically withdrew his
                                                                     takeover bid, blaming “negative criticism” from fans – and
                                                                     claiming the club had “suddenly received additional huge
                                                                     claims from former players and management”.
Rio Ferdinand has denied an FA charge of making improper                 Chainrai had been expected to complete the deal this week
comments on his Twitter site in relation to Ashley Cole.             after the club’s administrator, Trevor Birch of PKF, successfully
Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images                     offloaded the last remaining senior players from Portsmouth’s
Rio Ferdinand’s disciplinary case with the Football Association      wage bill.
has taken place in secret and the defender is now waiting to             However, hours after the makeshift new team were beaten
hear whether his “choc ice” reference to Ashley Cole will lead to    3-0 in the Capital One Cup by Plymouth – whose fans held a
punishment.                                                          collection to help Portsmouth’s cause – Chainrai announced his
   The Guardian can reveal Ferdinand’s hearing took place in         company, Portpin, had pulled out.
Manchester last Friday and, after three days of deliberations,           The decision means the club’s last chance of survival appears
the FA is likely to announce the verdict either on Wednesday         to be an alternative bid by the Pompey Supporters Trust.
afternoon or on Thursday.                                                Chainrai said in a statement released to Sky Sports News:
   Ferdinand is charged with making improper comments                “Portpin Ltd regrets to announce that it is withdrawing its bid
on his Twitter site two days after Cole gave key evidence on         for Portsmouth Football Club. Unfortunately, our efforts to save
behalf of his Chelsea team-mate John Terry during his trial at       the club once more from extinction have hit a wall of rejection
Westminster magistrates’ court.                                      and lacking co-operation from the administrator and other
   Terry was subsequently acquitted of racially abusing Anton        interested parties.
Ferdinand, Rio’s younger brother, when Chelsea played at                 “We are not the ones who have caused the club to collapse
QPR last October, and the Manchester United player had been          and we are not the ones to choose PKF as administrators.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page 4 G24 Sport                                                                Wednesday August 15 2012                14:15 GMT

    “As history has recorded, we sold the club over a year
ago after saving it from liquidation and unfortunately found
ourselves again fighting to try and save the club from another
                                                                      Olympic 100m semi-finalist Adam
liquidation. Through this administration process over the last        Gemili to run 200m in Birmingham
six months we have always had the club’s best interest in mind
– unlike many parties who were involved in the process.               • British 18-year-old sprinter to race longer
    “We repeatedly encouraged the administrator to find a new,        distance
willing and able buyer to take over the club – unfortunately he
                                                                      • Race is on 26 August at Aviva
was unsuccessful in this job and couldn’t find a buyer despite
his promises.
                                                                      Birmingham Grand Prix
    “Later he approached us to be his safety net to save the club     Press Association
as he couldn’t find a buyer. We agreed in the effort to avoid
liquidation of the club.”
    Chainrai’s statement goes on to list his specific grievances,
including heavy criticism of the administrators and their fees,
“the negative criticism and lack of support for our takeover by
the fans of this club”, and, “the fact that suddenly the club has
received additional huge football creditors’ claims from former
players and management”.
    Chainrai also slams the Football League for deducting 10
points “for no reasonable reason” and questions the credibility
of the alternative bid from the Supporters Trust.
    He adds: “All of these facts have left us in a position that we
no longer want to fight this battle, we have zero support to save
the club therefore we formally withdraw our bid and our honest
                                                                      Great Britain’s Adam Gemili will run the 200m in Birmingham.
attempt at saving the club. We will sleep well knowing we did
                                                                      Photograph: John Sibley/Action Images
our utmost to save the club.
    “We welcome and will assist anyone, including the                 Great Britain’s teenaged sprinter Adam Gemili will race over
Supporters Trust, to try and save the club in the coming days.”       200m at the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix on 26 August, UK
    The trust, which has the backing of a £1.45m loan from the        Athletics has confirmed.
council, reacted positively to the news of Chainrai’s withdrawal,         The 18-year-old, who reached the semi-final of the 100m at
calling it potentially “the light at the end of the tunnel”.          the Olympics, will compete over the longer distance in his first
    A trust statement said: “We have today been advised that          Diamond League appearance on home soil at the Alexander
Balram Chainrai and his company Portpin have withdrawn their          Stadium.
offer to purchase Portsmouth Football Club for a third time,              The former footballer, who has only been training full-time
leaving the way clear for the Pompey Supporters Trust to be           since January, ran 10.06sec to finish third in his semi-final
able to take control of our club.                                     behind the silver medallist Yohan Blake and Tyson Gay at
    “We call on Mr Chainrai to do the decent thing and accept         London 2012, just missing out on a final spot.
the PST offer to purchase his charge on the club, and therefore           The world junior champion said: “The Olympics was an
walk away from Pompey, regaining some of the money he has             amazing experience for me. I never thought in my wildest
lost, and leaving the club in the hands of the people who will        dreams that in eight months I would go from playing non-
truly cherish it and ensure that it continues as both a business      league football to representing my country in the biggest
and a legacy for the future.                                          sporting event in the world.
    “SOS Pompey has campaigned for Mr Chainrai to finally                 “To compete in front of a capacity home crowd against the
leave Pompey and we hope that this latest news could be the           best athletes in the world gave me a real taste of what’s to come
light at the end of the tunnel, which ultimately returns the club     in the next few years. To walk out to the roars of 80,000 people
to the fans.                                                          cheering you on is something I’ll never forget.”
    “Portsmouth FC is the lifeblood of the fans and the city and          Gemili, who was also in the relay team which was
we ask all supporters of the club, the people of Portsmouth           disqualified at London 2012 for a baton handover error, will be
and football as a whole, to support the work of the Pompey            up against the Olympic finalists Ryan Bailey, Churandy Martina
Supporters Trust in their continued efforts to secure its future.     and Wallace Spearmon.
    “Pledges are still wanted and both these and donations can            “The Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix will give me another
be made via www.pompeytrust.com tinyurl.com/d5ytuwr . SOS             opportunity to race against some of the guys that I went up
Pompey intends to hold a peaceful demonstration of our pride          against in the Olympic Games, and this is something I am
in our manager and players before this Saturday’s game against        relishing,” said Gemili, who has a best 200m time of 20.61sec.
Bournemouth at 2.15pm at the gates of Fratton Park, and we ask            “There are going to be some 200m specialists out on the
all fans to join us in showing how much we appreciate the work        track, but I am keen to show that I can make that transition
of the manager and staff of our magnificent club.”                    from the 100m and compete against the best.
                                                                          “Make no mistake, it will be a fiercely contested race, but
                                                                      I’m more than capable of rising to the occasion and showing a
                                                                      glimpse of what is to come from me in the next few years.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page 5 G24 Sport                                                                  Wednesday August 15 2012              14:15 GMT


McLaren confident Lewis Hamilton will                                   Royal Mail’s Olympic postbox-painting
sign for another Formula One year                                       inspires public copycat campaign

• Managing director Jonathan Neale says                                 Man arrested in Hampshire for
deal extension is close                                                 spraypainting postbox gold while fans in
• ‘We are working very hard to find                                     Lincolnshire pay tribute to hockey team’s
common ground’                                                          bronze
Peter Mason                                                             Alexandra Topping




Lewis Hamilton is said to be close to signing a one-year                A postbox in Chorley being painted gold in honour of
extension to his existing contract with the McLaren team.               Bradley Wiggins winning the men’s road cycling time trial.
Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images                                    Photograph: Royal Mail/PA
Lewis Hamilton is close to signing a new contract with                  It started as a touching, light-hearted gesture of pride and
McLaren, according to the Formula One team’s managing                   congratulation, but Royal Mail’s decision to paint postboxes
director, Jonathan Neale.                                               gold in honour of medal-winning Olympians in their home
   Hamilton has been linked with various possible moves away            towns is in danger of veering out of control as members of the
from McLaren, including to Ferrari, but Neale has said he is            public begin taking matters into their own hands.
likely to stay on for at least another season. He also believes             A bar and restaurant owner was arrested in Lymington,
the Englishman can still win the drivers’ championship despite          Hampshire, after spraypainting a Royal Mail postbox in honour
being 47 points adrift of Fernando Alonso.                              of Ben Ainslie, who lives in the town. Rob Smith, 51, painted
   Neale said both McLaren and Hamilton were hopeful of                 the postbox in Lymington High Street on his way home from
reaching an agreement. “We are closer and of course we are              work at about 1.30am. He was arrested by police on suspicion of
in dialogue,” he told Sky Sports. “For obvious reasons I can’t          criminal damage and later released on bail.
speculate more at the moment. We are working very hard to                   Royal Mail decided Ainslie’s golden postbox would be placed
find a common ground.”                                                  in Cornwall where he grew up and learned to sail, much to the
   Hamilton is fourth behind Alonso but Neale believes that,            chagrin of Lymington residents.
with nine races to go, there is still enough time to chase down             “When they said they weren’t going to paint anything in
the Ferrari driver.                                                     Lymington, I just thought: this is madness,” Smith told the
   “Mathematically it is still possible with 25 points for a win        BBC. “He’s lived here for around 15 years. All of Lymington
and it doesn’t take much to switch those,” he said. “We have            believes that the Post Office made the wrong choice in painting
a quick car. It was in better shape than Ferrari at the last race.      one down in Cornwall. Give him two.”
Lewis is a fighter, he loves a challenge. He just needs a sniff of it       A Royal Mail spokeswoman, Val Bodden, said: “Royal Mail
and to feel that the team is behind him and pushing.                    has been delighted to mark the achievement of Team GB
   “And I think that, if he feels we are pushing and bringing in        athletes winning gold medals at London 2012.
the upgrades and dealing with the issues as they arise, then he             “Each of these gold medal winners had a postbox painted
will be fighting for the title at the end of the season.”               gold in the local community with which they have a close
                                                                        association. This could be where they were born, where they
                                                                        grew up or where they presently live and we looked at all these
                                                                        factors before reaching a considered choice.”
                                                                            Ainslie has expressed support for the self-proclaimed
                                                                        “passionate sportsman” Smith, calling him a “legend of
                                                                        Lymington”, while a Facebook campaign backing a golden
                                                                        postbox in Lymington has attracted more than 1,700
                                                                        supporters.
                                                                            When asked about the postbox at a homecoming event at the
                                                                        Royal Lymington Yacht Club, Ainslie said: “Obviously the police
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                Wednesday August 15 2012                14:15 GMT

didn’t really like it but it’s really nice the Olympics generated        Valentine replaced Terry Francona in December, who left the
that kind of excitement in the nation. To hear the stories of        Red Sox after the team missed last season’s playoffs following a
support around the nation made such a huge difference to us as       dramatic late-season collapse.
competitors, it was really very, very special.”                          “Last year wasn’t on Tito [Francona]. I know he took it
   Meanwhile in Doddington, Lincolnshire, hockey fans                hard,” Pedroia said.”We were 99.7% in the playoffs last year,
painted a postbox bronze in honour of the British women’s            and we weren’t in there. Anything can happen. Baseball’s a
hockey team, who beat New Zealand 3-1 in the third-place play-       crazy game.
off.                                                                     “We’re going to go out and play as hard as we can. We dug
   The GB midfielder Georgie Twigg comes from the town               ourselves this hole, and we’ve got to try to dig ourselves out of
and retweeted the picture of the postbox to her followers on         it. We’ve got to be professional.”
Twitter.                                                                 Pedroia confirmed that the players had a meeting last month
   A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “We understand the                 but denied he had any problems with the manager.
sentiment and congratulate the women’s hockey team on their              “I had one problem with Bobby earlier in the year and I went
achievement. However, we’d rather people left the painting of        into his office and talked to him like a man. He talked to me like
postboxes to us. We are liaising with our engineers to ensure        a man,” he said.
that it is repainted red as soon as possible.”                           “We’ve been great, had a great relationship. I’ll go out there
                                                                     and play for him any day of the week. I’m playing for all my
                                                                     team-mates.
Pedroia denies rift between Red Sox                                      “We had a meeting in New York. The coaches had a meeting.
players and manager Bobby Valentine                                  Bobby had a meeting. We all had a meeting. Basically, when I
                                                                     spoke, I said we all need to do better.
                                                                         “That includes the owners, Bobby, coaches and especially
The second baseman and vocal critic of                               the players.”
the under-fire manager insists that team’s
languishing season is fault of the players
Reuters
                                                                     Andrew Strauss: no guarantees that
                                                                     Kevin Pietersen has England future

                                                                     • Issues of ‘trust and mutual respect’ must
                                                                     be addressed
                                                                     • Strauss: ‘There’s a lot more to investigate
                                                                     in all of this’
                                                                     Press Association




Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine congratulates
Dustin Pedroia after scoring against the New York Yankees.
Photograph: Adam Hunger/Reuters
Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has denied reports
of a rift between the players and under-fire manager Bobby
Valentine, insisting that he and his team-mates were to blame
for Boston’s disappointing season.
    Despite boasting one of the highest payrolls in the league,
the Red Sox have failed to spark this season and with a 57-60        Andrew Strauss has said there can be no guarantees that Kevin
record, find themselves languishing 12 1/2 games behind bitter       Pietersen has an England future. Photograph: Pa Wire/PA
rivals and AL East leaders the New York Yankees.                     Wire/Press Association Images
    The 62-year-old Valentine has been under immense pressure        Kevin Pietersen’s future as an England player will depend on
in his first season at the club due to Boston’s poor form, leading   whether serious problems of “trust and mutual respect” can be
to reports that several players had complained about his             addressed, Andrew Strauss has said.
leadership at a meeting with team owners last month.                     Pietersen has apologised to his international team-mates
    “I don’t think Bobby should be fired,” Pedroia, considered       gu.com/p/39mfh after admitting in an England and Wales Cricket
one of the most vocal critics of Valentine, said in a post-game      Board statement that he had sent “provocative” text messages
interview given to a regional sports television network on           to members of the South Africa team.
Tuesday.                                                                 The 32-year-old has been dropped from the third Test due
    “We haven’t played well. That’s the bottom line. I’m not         to his initial silence to the matter and Strauss believes there are
going to blame anything on Bobby. It’s on the players.”              still many discussions that will have to take place to determine
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Wednesday August 15 2012                14:15 GMT

whether Pietersen has an international future.                         determined to ensure that they would be one vision and one
    “Who knows what’s going to happen in the future? It’s a bit        Games,” wrote Jowell.
of a process that we all have to go through,” Strauss said. “I’m           “The people of this country have demonstrated their
not willing to state one way or another whether it’s going to be       enthusiasm for the Paralympics through record ticket sales
possible or impossible on that matter.”                                and the prospect of the first ever sell-out Games. The stamps
    Strauss welcomed Pietersen’s admission of guilt and his            for Team GB’s gold medallists have been such an emblematic
subsequent apology but has been dismayed that the “trust               part of this nation’s celebrations during the Olympic Games. It
and mutual respect” within England’s dressing room has been            would be a shame if this important symbol was not offered to
disrupted.                                                             our Paralympian heroes as well.”
    “It’s a first step. But there’s a lot more to investigate in all       Critics have questioned the Royal Mail’s decision, arguing
of this. If there is a way forward the issues regarding trust and      Olympic and Paralympic athletes should receive equal
mutual respect have to be dealt with and it’s not just a one-way       treatment. “How are we going to inspire this generation
process and we need to deal with those behind closed doors.            and the future children of this generation if you exclude our
    “The England cricket team has been in the news for the             Paralympians from the full celebration of the UK’s sporting
wrong reasons and we all want to move forward but there are            achievements?” said one person commenting on the British
some issues regarding trust and mutual respect that don’t get          Paralympic Association tinyurl.com/crf5tou website.
dealt with overnight.                                                      “Are they somehow not good enough or perhaps not worthy
    “My personal point of view is that I prefer those issues to be     enough to have their individual achievements recognised?”
dealt with in private, away from the media and that’s certainly            Another wrote: “Royal Mail will be perfectly able to issue
the way I’ll be approaching it going forward.”                         personal stamps. May take a little longer due to the amount of
                                                                       golds our Paralympic athletes are expected to win, but that is no
                                                                       excuse.”
Royal Mail under growing pressure over                                     Royal Mail have defended the move saying it paid tribute to
Paralympics commemorative stamps                                       Paralympians, who will also be honoured with a gold post box
                                                                       in their home town.
                                                                           Tim Cowen of Royal Mail said: “We’re honoured to be
Firm is urged to honour Paralympics gold                               celebrating the achievements of ParalympicsGB. We will be
medalists with their own stamps as it did for                          doing more than any other postal administration in history to
London 2012 Olympians                                                  celebrate the Paralympic Games and Paralympic athletes. For
                                                                       the first time ever, all gold medal-winning Paralympic athletes
Alexandra Topping
                                                                       will be asked to appear on Royal Mail’s ParalympicsGB gold
                                                                       medal winners stamps.
                                                                           “The special issue of six stamps, featuring groups of gold
                                                                       medal winning Paralympians, will be issued on 27 September
                                                                       2012, in conjunction with the British Paralympic Association.”
                                                                           The British Paralympic Association has said it is “very
                                                                       pleased” with the plans in a statement on its website. It added
                                                                       that Royal Mail had also provided a £200,000 prize fund to be
                                                                       divided up equally between all the gold medallists.
                                                                           “This is not exactly the same as Team GB where each gold
                                                                       medal-winning performance is commemorated by a stamp, but
                                                                       this is for a very good reason,” the statement added.
                                                                           “In Beijing, ParalympicsGB won 42 gold medals over 10 days
                                                                       of competition, including nine in one day, and we are expecting
Critics say Royal Mail should issue stamps for all gold-medal          a similarly world-class level of performance from our athletes
winning Paralympians — as it did for Team GB Olympiains such           this time around. As a result, it is logistically and practically
as Mo Farah. Photograph: Royal Mail/PA                                 impossible for Royal Mail to produce an individual stamp for
Royal Mail is coming under increasing pressure to honour               every one of the gold medallists for ParalympicsGB.”
Paralympic gold medalists with their own stamps as it did for
London 2012 Olympians such as Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis.



                                                                         *
    The shadow Olympics minister, Tessa Jowell, has waded into
the row, urging Royal Mail to reconsider its decision to honour
every gold medal-winning performance in the Olympics with
its own stamp but only celebrate Paralympics winners in a set of
six stamps.                                                              Eat right
    In a letter to the chief executive of Royal Mail, Jowell accuses     Join the Guardian’s health and dieting
the postal administrators of veering away from the spirit of             club, Eat Right and we’ll design you a
integration of the Olympics and Paralympics in London 2012, a            personalised healthy eating plan from
key feature in its organisation.
                                                                         just £2.99 a week. Membership includes
    “From the moment that London won the right to host
the Olympics and Paralympics in Singapore, we were always
                                                                         shopping lists, menus, expert advice and
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                Wednesday August 15 2012                 14:15 GMT


Sale Sharks sign Australian Cameron                                  Kevin Pietersen’s apology could see his
Shepherd and Newcastle’s Corne Uys                                   return to England T20 squad

• Shepherd joins Sale after Northampton                              • Pietersen apologises for texts sent to
move collapsed                                                       South Africa players
• Uys returns to Premiership from relegated                          • Andrew Strauss interview underlines
Newcastle                                                            breach of team trust
Press Association                                                    Andy Wilson




Sale’s Director of Rugby Bryan Redpath has praised Cameron           Kevin Pietersen’s agology could pave the way for a dramatic
Shepherd’s ‘great pedigree’. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty         return to the England team for their defence of the world
Images                                                               Twenty20 title. Photograph: Paul Thomas/PA
Sale Sharks have given the Australian full-back Cameron              Kevin Pietersen has apologised over the texts he sent to South
Shepherd a route into the Premiership after his proposed move        Africa players during the second Test at Headingley in the hope
to Northampton collapsed on medical grounds.                         that it will clear the way for him to be considered for selection
   The 28-year-old struggled with groin and wrist injuries           again by England.
during the Super 15 season and Northampton were not                      But even as the batsman and his representatives were
convinced he could cope with the demands of the Premiership.         locked in delicate negotiations with the England and Wales
   Sale, who had invited Shepherd to train with them,                Cricket Board on Tuesday evening, an interview with Andrew
confirmed his signing on Wednesday, along with that of the           Strauss was being broadcast which underlined the extent to
outside centre Corne Uys from Newcastle.                             which Pietersen’s relationship with his team-mates has been
   The club’s director of rugby, Bryan Redpath, said: “Cameron       damaged.
has got great pedigree. We’re hoping to get him fully fit, so that       “I’m a big believer in not airing dirty laundry in public,” the
he can seize the opportunity to make a big impact for this club.”    England captain said in an excerpt from an interview with one
   Uys, 30, returns to the Premiership from relegated                of his predecessors, Nasser Hussain, that was recorded to be
Newcastle, who he joined in October last year from the Free          shown in full on Sky during the lunch interval of the first day of
State Cheetahs.                                                      his 100th Test.
   The Sharks chief executive Steve Diamond said: “We need               “It’s one of our core values in our team that what goes on in
depth among the backs to meet that challenge of the three            the dressing room stays in the dressing room. Any time anyone
major competitions in which we are involved, and Corne will          has fallen foul of that they have been disciplined – and rightly
get decent game time through the year.”                              so. It’s about mutual respect and trust, and that is a core issue
                                                                     that is central to resolving this.
                                                                         “I’ve always got on with Kevin,” Strauss had said earlier




  *
                                                                     in the interview. “I’ve tried to be honest with him; he’s been
                                                                     honest with me. That’s why this has all been a bit of a surprise
                                                                     to me.
                                                                         “I think the discontent that Kevin had with the board
  Fantasy League Classic                                             over his contract situation was one that the players didn’t get
  Manage a squad of 16 players and a budget                          involved in – and I didn’t really get involved in, if I’m honest.
                                                                         “But over the last week I have had to get involved
  of £75 million. £75,000 worth of prizes to
                                                                     because there have been issues a little bit more central to his
  be won in weekly, monthly and overall                              relationship with the other players and our ability to perform
  competitions. Beat your nearest and                                out in the middle.”
  dearest in a friends league.                                           Pietersen was asked late last week, after South Africa’s
  guardian.co.uk/fantasyleague                                       manager had confirmed that he had been texting members
                                                                     of the opposition at Headingley, to deny reports that they
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                Wednesday August 15 2012                14:15 GMT

contained derogatory comments about Strauss.
    He declined to do so and was omitted for the third Test
which starts at Lord’s on Thursday. England made clear that a
                                                                     James Harris grabs six Australia A
comeback – possibly as early as the one-day matches against          wickets for England Lions
South Africa that follow the Lord’s Test, before the team head
for Sri Lanka at the end of September to defend their title as       • Australia A 308-9 v England Lions
world Twenty20 champions – necessitated either the denial or
                                                                     Paul Weaver at Edgbaston
an apology.
    So the talks that had begun before last Sunday’s squad
announcement have continued and Pietersen on Monday
offered his apology. Nobody from the players’ camp or ECB was
prepared to confirm it publicly, though Alec Stewart, executive
director of Pietersen’s county, Surrey, told BBC radio it had been
made, adding that Pietersen “had had no confirmation back”.
    That was perhaps because of the mistrust that has developed
over who has been leaking what to whom, or perhaps because
of a desire from the ECB not to fuel the suspicion that the
Pietersen saga has dominated the buildup to England’s most
important Test of the summer.
    But there are hopes that an agreement could be reached
in time for Pietersen to be included in the 15-man squad for
the world Twenty20 that has to be announced by Saturday              Australia A’s Phil Hughes became James Harris’s third victim
– the third day of the Test that England must win to avoid           of the day when he was caught by Joe Root in the covers.
being displaced by South Africa from the top of the world Test       Photograph: Dean Lewins/EPA
rankings.
                                                                     James Harris once considered going on an eight-year
    News of the apology emerged after Stuart Broad made a
                                                                     architecture course but his bowling suggests he would be much
statement denying any involvement in the spoof KP Genius
                                                                     happier working with a wrecking ball.
Twitter account which had been run by his friend Richard
                                                                         England’s selectors Geoff Miller and James Whitaker were
Bailey. “I met with the managing director, England Cricket,
                                                                     here yesterday as Harris emerged as the pick of England’s
Hugh Morris this morning and assured him that I did not play
                                                                     seamers with figures of six for 102 as the England Lions had
any role in the creation of this account or provide Mr Bailey
                                                                     marginally the better of their opening day against Australia A.
with any information regarding Kevin Pietersen or the England
                                                                         Harris is only 22 yet is already in his sixth season for he was
team,” Broad said.
                                                                     16 when he made his first-class debut for Glamorgan. But it is
    Morris was said to be “fully satisfied that [Broad] acted in a
                                                                     his time out of the game that is driving the player now, for he
professional manner at all times”.
                                                                     missed the first part of the season following a double hernia
    Strauss, though, will hardly be relishing the prospect
                                                                     operation in the winter, when he also lost out on a Lions tour.
of dredging through the issues again at his captain’s press
                                                                     “It was hugely frustrating,” he said last night. “I felt I was on
conference at Lord’s on Wednesday lunchtime.
                                                                     an upward curve at the time. I could mentally handle missing
                                                                     the winter but then to miss the first six or seven weeks of the
                                                                     season was hard to take because I felt it shouldn’t have carried
                                                                     on that long.”
                                                                         The ball moved about a little in the morning session, after
                                                                     the Australians had chosen to bat, and Harris’s first two wickets,
                                                                     Michael Klinger and Liam Davis, were both lbw to balls that
                                                                     nipped back. He picked up his third when Phil Hughes thrashed
                                                                     a delivery straight to Joe Root in the covers. Then he pitched
                                                                     the ball up to bowl Joe Burns and Nathan Coulter-Nile before
                                                                     having Tim Paine caught behind. “I was very happy with that




  *
                                                                     but I will probably go home in a weird mood because I didn’t
                                                                     feel I bowled at my best today,” he said.
                                                                         “The other boys bowled fantastically well but the wickets
                                                                     seemed to fall at my end. We’re very happy to lose the toss and
  Are you getting the best deal on                                   have the opposition 300-odd for nine.”
                                                                         Glamorgan will struggle to hold on to Harris, who looks set
  your mortgage?                                                     for the first division next season. He said: “It’s not something I
  Compare over 8500 mortgages                                        really want to think about too much during the season.
  online to find the best deal for you.                                  “It maybe something to reflect upon in the winter. I may
                                                                     have to take a tough choice if I feel it’s something that might
  guardian.co.uk/money/
                                                                     hold me back. Playing for England is a big goal of mine and
  compareandbuy                                                      hopefully I can achieve it over the next couple of years.”
                                                                         With just three Test players to Australia’s five, England – who
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                              Wednesday August 15 2012                 14:15 GMT

won the opening match in this series – are the less experienced     of the British Olympic Association, after Lord Moynihan
team. But yesterday would have been even better if they had         announced he would step down a year early in November.
not dropped three catches in the slips. Samit Patel (twice, at          UK Sport hailed the success of Britain’s Olympians, who
second slip) and James Tredwell (at first) were the culprits and    exceeded its pre-Games target of at least 48 medals and at least
Chris Woakes was the unlucky bowler on two occasions.               fourth place in the medal table. After they had won their last
    Tredwell, though, made amends with the ball. He bowled          medal, in the modern pentathlon on Sunday, the count stood
with accuracy to pick up three wickets for 35 runs, although the    at 65 – the exact number that Keen privately predicted before
first and most prized of them, Ed Cowan, was well forward and       the Games. They finished behind only the USA and China in the
possibly outside the line when given lbw. Cowan was furious         medal table.
with the decision.                                                      In public UK Sport would say before the Games only that
                                                                    it hoped to win between 40 and 70 medals and finish at least
                                                                    fourth in the medal table. It set 48 as the baseline. “We knew
UK Sport ready to beat London 2012                                  top four was a possibility; we knew we could challenge the
medal haul at Rio Olympics                                          Russians,” said Baroness Campbell, the chair of UK Sport. “We
                                                                    can truly say this is the most successful Olympic team ever and
                                                                    the high performance system here is clearly working. Our no
• Funding body believes an even bigger                              compromise approach clearly is working. We’re proud of the
tally is possible                                                   athletes and we’re proud of the sports.”
• UK government wants Lord Coe to head                                  In Beijing athletes won 47 medals in 12 sports. Officials took
Team GB in 2016                                                     heart from the fact that Britain won medals across 17 sports
                                                                    in London and that the sports that have delivered the lion’s
Owen Gibson
                                                                    share of medals over recent years – cycling, rowing, sailing
                                                                    – continued to succeed.
                                                                        The government this week promised to maintain investment
                                                                    in elite sport at roughly the same level for the Rio cycle, by
                                                                    putting £508m into UK Sport over the next four years.
                                                                        UK Sport is reviewing funding levels for every sport. As
                                                                    revealed by the Guardian in June, sports that qualified for
                                                                    London only because they were awarded home nation places
                                                                    are likely to see their funding cut altogether unless they can
                                                                    prove they will qualify for Rio, perform creditably and be in
                                                                    with a good chance of a medal by 2020. The vulnerable sports
                                                                    include synchronised swimming, beach volleyball, basketball,
                                                                    table tennis, handball, indoor volleyball, water polo, rhythmic
                                                                    gymnastics and weightlifting. “We will not be able to fund
Lord Coe, Chairman of the London Organising Committee               every sport,” said Nicholl. “Our aim is to make sure that we
of the Olympic Games is the preferred candidate to lead the         invest in every sport with medal potential. That for us is an
British team into the 2016 Games. Photograph: Pascal Le             absolute minimum. The starting point for handball and other
Segretain/Getty Images                                              sports with host nation places is to demonstrate they can
                                                                    qualify by right for the Olympics. If they can’t be there, we can’t
Great Britain are on course to win more medals in Rio in four
                                                                    invest in them.
years’ time than they did in London, according to the funding
                                                                        “A sport like handball has been able to raise its profile like
body that underpinned the nation’s best Olympic performance
                                                                    never before. It should be able to attract interest from the
in more than a century.
                                                                    general public and corporate sponsors. Every sport must be
   No host nation has managed to avoid a drop off in its
                                                                    responsible for growing itself to the point where it can get a
performance at the Games that followed but UK Sport’s chief
                                                                    medal. We’d love to see it come through to a position in future
executive, Liz Nicholl, said there was “no reason” why Team GB
                                                                    where they could qualify by right.”
could not better its London medal haul of 65 in Brazil.
                                                                        Every sport must submit a revised business plan by October
   Peter Keen, the former UK Sport performance director who
                                                                    in light of their performance at the London Games and the
devised its “no compromise” strategy, also said it was “game
                                                                    UK Sport board will decide how to allocate its funds on 12
on” to improve on the London medal tally in 2016.
                                                                    December.
   “More medals is entirely possible,” said Nicholl. “That is
                                                                        Ministers, keen to create a more joined-up approach across
something we would want to commit to. If the system gets
                                                                    British sport and replicate the success at the elite end in
better, there’s no reason why we can’t get more medals.”
                                                                    community sport, hope Coe will consider becoming the BOA
   Keen said: “There are so many things we can improve,
                                                                    chairman after the Paralympics.
whether that’s governance or coaching. If we apply the
                                                                        The move would be compatible with a portfolio of other
knowledge we’ve got, there’s no reason we can’t get more
                                                                    business and sporting interests and wouldnot necessarily
medals. It’s absolutely game on.”
                                                                    preclude him also running to be president of the International
   If ministers get their way, it could be that Lord Coe, who
                                                                    Association of Athletics Federations when that job becomes
delivered London’s successful Games, will lead the most
                                                                    vacant in 2015.
successful British team in 104 years into the next one. Ministers
                                                                        Coe has agreed to become a part-time “legacy ambassador”
are understood to be keen that Coe becomes the next chairman
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page 11 G24 Sport                                                   Wednesday August 15 2012   14:15 GMT

to the coalition government, but ministers are keen for him to
take on the BOA role. They also hope to persuade Sir Keith Mills,
the deputy chairman at Locog, to take on a dual role as chair of
UK Sport and Sport England.
    Plans to merge the two bodies have been put on ice, but a
joint chairman could be an option to try to get the two bodies
to work more closely together and maximise their commercial
income.




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                            guardian.co.uk

				
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