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Tuesday October 16 2012

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									G24
                           | pdf edition | Tuesday October 16 2012                                                        Sport
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Benteke and Kompany break Scotland
resistance and push Levein to brink
Scotland survived for more than an hour but Christian Benteke and
Vicent Kompany scored the goals to all but end Scotland’s World
Cup hopes Page 2


UCI criticised for accepting cash donation
from Lance Armstrong
The International Cycling Union has been criticised for accepting
a cash donation from the disgraced Tour de France winner Lance
Armstrong Page 3


Counties and England enjoy record rush
for 2013 Ashes tickets
Nottinghashire sold 23,500 tickets in six hours to set next
summer’s Ashes series heading for a record-breaking sell-out
Page 3



Heather Watson                               NHL lockout: League                          Toyota throw down               Wycombe Wanderers
credits Laura Robson                         offers players deal for                      gauntlet to Audi in             mark 125th birthday
and painted nails for                        2 November season                            World Endurance                 with journey back to
her success Page 4                           start Page 6                                 Championship Page 7             the future Page 8

Beyoncé to perform                           Lance Armstrong                              Bryce Lawrence                  Corinne Barande-
at Super Bowl’s half-                       case: Levi Leipheimer                        retires from refereeing         Barbe plots defeat of
time show, sources say                       sacked after testifying                      and blames political            Frankel the ‘extra-
Page 5                                       to Usada Page 6                              pressure Page 7                 terrestre’ Page 10




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 2 G24 Sport                                                                  Tuesday October 16 2012               21:17 GMT

                                                                     Maloney’s menacing effort from 25 yards forced Thibaut
                                                                     Courtois to claw the ball out of the top-right corner of his goal.
Benteke and Kompany break Scotland                                   In the context of the opening exchanges, though, Maloney’s
resistance and push Levein to brink                                  attempt was noticeable solely for giving Courtois something
                                                                     meaningful to do. The visitors were undone time and again
Ewan Murray at the King Baudouin Stadium                             by the needless concession of the ball to Belgium in midfield.
                                                                     Given the pace with which Marc Wilmots’ team responded,
                                                                     this was a risky business. Not least where Levein’s future was
                                                                     concerned.
                                                                         Yet it was Scotland who again threatened from a free-kick
                                                                     before the interval. Kris Commons supplied the shot, which
                                                                     again had Courtois sprawling across his goal to save.
                                                                         The second period immediately looked to continue the
                                                                     flow of the first. Benteke headed against the top of McGregor’s
                                                                     crossbar with the goalkeeper stranded, four minutes after the
                                                                     restart.
                                                                         Belgium introduced Chelsea’s Eden Hazard during the break,
                                                                     doubtless in the hope he could summon the first goal which
                                                                     would fatally wound the Scots. His first attempt, a volley from
                                                                     20 yards, was desperately blocked by Caldwell.
Belgium’s Christian Benteke rises highest at the back post
                                                                         Thereafter, glimpses of Belgian frustration appeared. That
to thunder his header past Scotland’s goalkeeper Allan
                                                                     included in the stands, with McGregor’s booking for time-
McGregor. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters
                                                                     wasting when half an hour still remained linked to vociferous
Scotland have been halted on their supposed road to Rio within       complaints from the home support.
just four qualifying matches. Pressure will now intensify on the         Scotland almost intensified that annoyance, with their
nation’s football association to confirm the end of the line for     substitute Jamie Mackie narrowly beaten to the ball by Jan
Craig Levein.                                                        Vertonghen. That was to prove the final glimpse of Scottish
    This fully merited win for Belgium – they bombarded the          salvation.
visitors for long spells – leaves Scotland with just two points          Benteke headed Belgium in front, rising at the back post to
from their opening four Group A fixtures. In not progressing         meet a wonderful cross from Kevin de Bruyne. In the buildup,
to the World Cup, Scotland will have their run without a finals      Scotland had criminally switched off from a short-corner.
appearance extended to 18 years.                                         The advantage was doubled just two minutes later. Vincent
    Levein, who has never been embraced by the Scotland              Kompany, hardly renowned for such potency, lashed a shot
support, is on the brink. A banner unfurled after Belgium’s          past McGregor from the edge of the Scotland penalty area.
second goal that read “Strachan SOS” highlights a desire             The Tartan Army, who had displayed hints at optimism, were
from some punters to appoint the former Coventry and                 consigned to silence by the harsh reality that Scotland’s World
Middlesbrough manager.                                               Cup dream is over in all but name.
    The SFA have firmly backed their manager, but must
now work against popular opinion or bow to the inevitable
before March, when Scotland restart their now fruitless 2014




                                                                       *
campaign.
    This was no light Scottish assignment. Belgium are one
of the hottest young teams in international football, the
consequence of the kind of overhaul of their national game
which Scotland is slowly implementing. Belgium’s current
hunger is to end an absence from major tournaments dating
back to 2002; it must be recognised that they, too, have not           From Beirut to Big Brother,
been slow to dispense with managers during the intervening             Murdoch to Millionaire,
years.
    That home appetite was evident after just two minutes, with        discuss the hot topics in the
Scotland relying both on wastefulness and superb goalkeeping.          media on not one, but two blogs
Dries Mertens pounced after a Gary Caldwell error inside his
own penalty area – two superb blocks within seconds of each
                                                                       Organ Grinder and Greenslade
other from Allan McGregor prevented Belgium from earning the           blogs.guardian.co.uk/
early lead they craved.
    Albeit missed, tThose opportunities only served to intensify
                                                                       organgrinder/
an already cracking Brussels atmosphere. As McGregor again             blogs.guardian.co.uk/
produced acrobatics to deny Nacer Chadli, the Scots were
toiling to cope defensively. Christian Benteke was the next to
                                                                       greenslade/
be afforded a chance, with the striker failing to connect with the
ball when in front of a gaping goal.
    Brief Scotland respite arrived from a set play. Shaun
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Tuesday October 16 2012                21:17 GMT

                                                                   has ever seen”.
                                                                      Dick Pound, the former president of the World Anti-Doping
UCI criticised for accepting cash                                  Association, said the UCI could have made greater efforts to
donation from Lance Armstrong                                      have caught drug-taking cyclists.
                                                                      He said: “They could certainly have done things to ensure
• UCI has admitted accepting more than                             they caught more people. It’s generally acknowledged now that
$100,000                                                           for a governing body to promote its sport and to police it puts
                                                                   them in an impossible conflict. The UCI have always been in a
• Blood doping expert: Donation could be
                                                                   difficult position and their behaviour has not always been what
‘sinister’                                                         you would hope it to be.
Press Association                                                     “There was certainly generalised knowledge that there had
                                                                   been some payments from Armstrong to the UCI. It’s hard to
                                                                   think of the UCI as a charity and Lance somebody filled with
                                                                   [charitable] spirit.”



                                                                   Counties and England enjoy record rush
                                                                   for 2013 Ashes tickets

                                                                   • Nottinghamshire sell 23,500 tickets in six
                                                                   hours
                                                                   • Lancashire, Durham and Surrey also
                                                                   boosted by sales
Lance Armstrong donated more than $100,000 to the                  Andy Wilson
International Cycling Union in 2002. Photograph: Mike
Hutchings/Reuters
The International Cycling Union has been criticised for
accepting a cash donation from the disgraced Tour de France
winner Lance Armstrong.
   The UCI has admitted accepting a donation of more than
$100,000 (£62,000) from Armstrong in 2002, but has strongly
denied that it was connected to any cover-up of a positive test.
   Dr Michael Ashenden, acknowledged as the foremost expert
in blood doping and the man whose test caught Armstrong’s
US Postal team-mate Tyler Hamilton, told BBC Radio 5 Live’s
programme “Peddlers – Cycling’s Dirty Truth”: “The UCI
should never have accepted money from Armstrong under any
circumstances.                                                     Trent Bridge is a 22,000 sell-out for each of the first four days
   “But if they took money after they were aware there were        of the first Ashes Test. Photograph: Paul Gilham/Getty Images
grounds to suspect Armstrong had used EPO it takes on a really
                                                                   Next summer’s Ashes series is heading for a record-breaking
sinister complexion.”
                                                                   sell-out. Nottinghamshire, who will stage the first Test at Trent
   Ashenden said there was a worrying triangle involving
                                                                   Bridge from 10 July, put their 23,500 remaining tickets on
Armstrong, the UCI and a drug-testing laboratory in Lausanne.
                                                                   general sale on Monday morning, and they were snapped up
   He added: “We know Armstrong paid the UCI more than
                                                                   within six hours in the busiest and most lucrative day in the
$100,000 and around that time the UCI gave the Lausanne
                                                                   club’s history, ensuring a capacity 22,000 crowd for each of the
laboratory free use of a blood analyser worth $60-70,000.
                                                                   first four days.
   “That’s what I mean by a triangle; the laboratory then
                                                                       Lancashire had experienced a similar rush when they put
meets with Armstrong, all of this takes place at about the time
                                                                   tickets on general sale for the third Test of the series last week,
that Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton said under oath that
                                                                   with all 25,000 tickets for the redeveloped Old Trafford sold
Armstrong bragged he had managed to have a result covered
                                                                   for the second and third days, and only limited availability
up.”
                                                                   remaining for the first. Both Old Trafford and Trent Bridge will
   The UCI has denied any connection between the donation
                                                                   be staging their first Ashes Tests since they hosted memorable
and Armstrong’s alleged failed test and its president, Pat
                                                                   matches in the classic 2005 series, having missed out in 2009.
McQuaid, told the Daily Telegraph in 2010: “You have to
                                                                       Durham have also reported rapid sell-outs of all the tickets
consider that at the time, in 2002, no accusations against Lance
                                                                   that have so far been released for the first Ashes Test in the
Armstrong had been made. They’ve all come up since then. We
                                                                   north-east, and Surrey are already guaranteed to sell out The
accepted the donation to help develop the sport.”
                                                                   Oval for the last Test of the series later in August, with 26,500
   A report by Usada last week labelled Armstrong a “serial
                                                                   people having signed up for the public ballot of the tickets that
cheat” and a bully who enforced “the most sophisticated,
                                                                   remain after they go on sale, initially to members only, on 1
professionalised and successful doping programme that sport
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                  Tuesday October 16 2012               21:17 GMT

December.
    That will provide a timely boost to the finances of all four
counties, and to English cricket as a whole. The MCC is also
                                                                    Heather Watson credits Laura Robson
braced for a rush when their ticket application brochure is         and painted nails for her success
distributed to members at the end of the month for the ballot of
tickets for all major matches at Lord’s including the second Test   First British woman to win a WTA title
against Australia which starts on 18 July.                          in 24 years thanks rival Laura Robson for
    There is no evidence yet that England’s poor Test record in
                                                                    motivation – along with newly-painted nails
2012 which has cost them their place at the top of the official
world rankings, or the Kevin Pietersen saga, has eroded support     Sean Ingle
for the national team, at least when the Ashes are at stake.
    Pietersen took a major step back towards a recall on Tuesday
when he held meetings with the team director, Andy Flower,
and an unknown number of senior players as part of the
reintegration process set up by the England and Wales Cricket
Board.He had been due to arrive from South Africa on Monday
in a break from his commitments in the Champions League
Twenty20 with Delhi Daredevils, but his return was delayed by
24 hours because of a cancelled flight. Pietersen has to fly back
to Johannesburg on Wednesday before Delhi face Auckland in
their second Champions League match on Friday.
    If the talks go well and Flower judges that the team are
willing to welcome him back, England and Pietersen’s new era
could begin in the city previously known as New Bombay. The
                                                                    Heather Watson, the 20-year-old from Guernsey, celebrates
second of their three warm-up matches before the first Test
                                                                    after winning the Japan open tournament in Osaka.
is expected to be switched from the Bandra Kurla Complex
                                                                    Photograph: AP
Ground at the headquarters of the Mumbai Cricket Association
to the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.                             Amid the congratulatory jingle of text messages on Heather
    “The BKC ground does not have facilities like toilets for the   Watson’s phone after her victory in Osaka, two stood out. One
spectators,” explained Ravi Savant, the MCA president, also         was from the world No1, Victoria Azarenka. The other was from
suggesting in the Indian press that security would be a concern.    Laura Robson, her friend, rival and chief motivator. Well done,
“There are no catering facilities around the ground. And the        it said, before suggesting – as good mates do – a music track she
fence is not tall or strong enough to prevent the crowd from        would enjoy.
jumping on to the ground.”                                              Three weeks ago Robson reached a WTA singles final in
                                                                    Guangzhou. Naturally Watson had to go one better by becoming
                                                                    the first British woman to win a WTA title in 24 years. Almost
                                                                    subconsciously they have been driving each other, watching as
                                                                    their world rankings have been sliced in half with the passing of
                                                                    every calendar year. Now Watson believes their rivalry can push
                                                                    both players into the upper echelons of the sport.
                                                                        “We spur each other on,” she says. “It’s already a rivalry. Just
                                                                    because we’re competitive on the court doesn’t mean we can’t
                                                                    be friends off it. But when we see each other doing well we want
                                                                    to do even better.




  *
                                                                        “In the men’s game the top players win week in, week out,
                                                                    and that’s how it goes. In the women’s game it’s very different.
                                                                    Anybody on their day can come through and win. There’s a
                                                                    lot of opportunity for the younger players. Not so long ago,
                                                                    Angelique Kerber and Sara Errani were well down the rankings;
                                                                    now they’re top-10 players.”
  Compare and buy                                                       The foundations for Watson’s optimism are solid: she is
                                                                    the second-youngest player in the top 50, and the 18-year-old
  Use our free independent                                          Robson, ranked two places behind her in 52nd, is the youngest
  comparison services to switch                                     player in the top 100. And although Watson has always been a

  suppliers and save money on                                       player with plenty of dog and grit, she is now adding sharper
                                                                    claws to her game.
  all your household bills.                                             “I’m usually the one on the defensive, trying to scramble

  guardian.co.uk/money/                                             back,” she says. “But recently I’ve been stepping up and hitting
                                                                    the ball a lot harder and getting a lot more winners than I
  compareandbuy                                                     usually do. And my serve is turning into a weapon rather than
                                                                    a shot to start the point. I have to be more aggressive. The
                                                                    women’s game is just so boom-boom that if you don’t take your
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Tuesday October 16 2012             21:17 GMT

first opportunity your opponent will, so to get to the next level I
have to do that.
     “I’ve always been pretty ruthless. I’m not the type to give up
                                                                       Beyoncé to perform at Super Bowl’s
or give anything away. But I know I need to play further in the        half-time show, sources say
court, winning the point rather than waiting for the mistake. I
definitely did that last week.                                         Sources say Beyoncé – who also sang at
     “I’m not going to lie: some days on the practice court, I don’t   Super Bowl XLVI – will take the stage at New
want to be there. It’s tough. Everybody has those days, because
                                                                       Orleans stadium in early February
it’s so intense all the time. I am going to have bad days but I’ve
just got to get through it. I’ve always been strong mentally in        Associated Press
not giving up on the court but now I know when to take my
chances, when to step back a bit and I am learning how to play
the game better.”
     Watson’s eyes, which betrayed little sign of what she called
a “pretty hectic and emotional 48 hours” following her 3hr
11min singles final victory and the red-eye from Osaka, lit
up when describing how she got her nails painted with gold
crowns before the tournament. “I got them the day before my
first match because I really felt that I was going to win. And my
coach Mauricio [Hadad] was telling me the same thing. And it
worked!”
     But the steel behind Watson’s smiles was evident too as she
described her thought process while saving four match points.
“Finals have to be won,” she says. “They are never given to you.
                                                                       Beyonce’s performance at Super Bowl XLVI was seen by 114
But if you give me a little bit I’ll take a lot. As soon as she lost
                                                                       million people. Photograph: Matt Cardy/Getty Images
her first match point I thought, ‘I’m in here: I can get it back’.”
     Watson displayed similar single-mindedness when she               Beyoncé will take to the stage at half-time in this year’s Super
decided to join the Nick Bollettieri tennis academy in Florida         Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
aged just 12. “It was a choice I made myself,” she explains. “My          A source familiar with Super Bowl XLVII told the Associated
dad gave me the idea but I decided to do it. I love Guernsey but       Press that Beyoncé will perform at the show on February 3,
if I wanted to do anything in tennis I had to get away. I grew so      2013. The official announcement is expected Wednesday.
much as a person. I was so excited I packed months before I had           Beyoncé, whose hits include Crazy in Love, Irreplaceable
to go. My parents cried when they left me at the airport, but I        and Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), has won 16 Grammys. The
was already through security – I loved it.”                            31-year-old previously sang the national anthem at Super Bowl
     She now plans to have a three-week break before getting           XXXVIII in 2004 in her hometown of Houston when the New
into heavy training for 2013. “I have always believed I could          England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers.
win WTA events,” she says. “Now I’ve done it I will be very               Madonna performed at half-time at this year’s Super Bowl
disappointed if I don’t win a few more in the future.” And will        in February with guests CeeLo Green, Nicki Minaj, LMFAO and
Robson be chasing her all the way? “Definitely,” she says with a       MIA. The New York Giants beat the New Patriots in a thrilling
smile. “We are both great players.”                                    rematch of their contest four years earlier. Her performance was
                                                                       seen by 114 million people – a higher average than watched the
                                                                       game itself.
                                                                          If Beyoncé’s performance features collaborations with other
                                                                       artists, sources said there was a strong chance it will include
                                                                       husband-rapper Jay-Z and her Destiny’s Child bandmates Kelly
                                                                       Rowland and Michelle Williams.
                                                                          New Orleans last hosted a Super Bowl in 2002, making




  *
                                                                       next year’s game the first NFL championship in the city since
                                                                       hurricane Katrina in 2005.




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Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Tuesday October 16 2012               21:17 GMT

                                                                       last met last week in New York.

NHL lockout: League offers players deal
for 2 November season start                                            Lance Armstrong case: Levi Leipheimer
                                                                       sacked after testifying to Usada
Commissioner Gary Bettman says offer of
50-50 revenue split and full season made ‘in                           • Omega Pharma-QuickStep sack
spirit of getting a deal done’                                         Armstrong’s ex-team-mate
Associated Press                                                       • Leipheimer testified against Armstrong
                                                                       and admitted doping
                                                                       Press Association




NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, right, said he had offered
the NHLPA a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue ‘in the
spirit of getting a deal done’. Photograph: Chris Young/AP
                                                                       Levi Leipheimer, seen here after winning the 2006 Dauphiné
The NHL has made a new offer to its players’ association that
                                                                       Libéré, has been sacked by his Omega Pharma-QuickStep
proposes a 50-50 split of hockey-related revenue and a full
                                                                       team. Photograph: Patrick Gardin/AP
82-game season starting 2 November. The NHL locked out its
players on 15 September; the regular season was scheduled to           The American cyclist Levi Leipheimer has been sacked by
begin on 11 October.                                                   Omega Pharma-QuickStep after admitting to doping while a
    As talks between the league and the NHLPA resumed                  teammate of Lance Armstrong.
Tuesday in Toronto, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced                    Leipheimer was one of 11 riders who testified against
the offer, which is crafted for if nothing else a quick response       Armstrong to the United States Anti-Doping Agency, which has
from the head of the players’ association, Donald Fehr.                accused the United States Postal Service team of running “the
    “It was done,” Bettman said, “in the spirit of getting a deal      most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping
done.”                                                                 programme that sport has ever seen” gu.com/p/3b39b .
    Fehr told reporters that the proposal was for six years.               A statement issued by Omega Pharma-QuickStep tinyurl.
“Our hope,” he said, “after we review this is that there will be       com/cu6ans8 read: “Omega Pharma-QuickStep Cycling Team
a feeling on the players’ side that this will be a proposal from       announces that the contract with Mr Leipheimer has been
which we can negotiate and try and reach a conclusion.”                terminated, effective immediately.
    Asked if the new proposal was an improvement over                      “We commend the rider for his open co-operation with
previous offers made by the NHL, Fehr said: “In some respects I        Usada and contribution to cleaning up the sport of cycling.
think it is. In other respects I’m not sure. We have to look at it.”   However, in the light of the disclosures made by Mr Leipheimer
    A 2 November start date would extend the season well into          in his public statement on 10 October, the team has decided to
June, but would also preserve some of the marquee events,              terminate the contract. This decision has the full support of the
such as the 1 January Winter Classic in Michigan.                      team owner, the board represented by Mr Bessel Kok and team
    Bettman said the long-term deal on offer took steps to             manager, Mr Patrick Lefevere.”
guarantee the players will get full value from their existing              Leipheimer accepted a six-month ban from Usada and was
deals. In order to pull off the logistics of the schedule, each        last week placed on “non-active status”, effectively suspended,
team would have one additional game every five weeks, in               by his Belgian team. The 38-year-old was a team-mate of
order to get a full season in.                                         Armstrong’s at US Postal in 2000 and 2001, at Astana when the
    It is clearly the best offer or counteroffer that has been made    Texan made his comeback in 2009 and at Team RadioShack in
in the months of negotiations since last season ended and itis         2010.
now in the hands of Fehr and his team of executives. The union             Leipheimer joined Omega Pharma-QuickStep from
has requested time to look the proposal over.                          RadioShack for the 2012 season. He has finished in the Tour de
    “We’re focused on getting the puck dropped on 2 November           France top 10 four times, including a third place in 2007 while
and playing a full 82-game regular season and full playoffs,”          riding for Discovery Channel.
Bettman said. “That’s what this offer is all about.”                       Leipheimer’s departure from Omega Pharma-QuickStep
    This is the third lockout under Bettman’s watch, but unlike        could allow the Belgian squad to sign Britain’s Mark Cavendish,
the previous two, dialogue has remained steady. The two sides          if the 2011 world champion can negotiate an exit from Team
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page 7 G24 Sport                                                                Tuesday October 16 2012               21:17 GMT

Sky.                                                               Toyota at Monza.
                                                                       “What a day! It is a great achievement and it was a team
                                                                   effort so many thanks to my team-mates and the team,” he said
Toyota throw down gauntlet to Audi in                              afterwards. “I was so excited in the last few laps. I was getting
World Endurance Championship                                       the message from my engineer to push hard because I had to
                                                                   make a gap for our last pit stop, so it was quite challenging. I
                                                                   was pushing like crazy and finally we just made it.”
• Second win of year for Toyota in Six                                 The result keeps the second-placed No1 Audi squad top of
Hours of Fuji                                                      the drivers championship table, 16.5 points ahead of McNish
• Britain’s Allan McNish and Dane Tom                              and Kristensen, with one race remaining at Shangahi in two
Kristensen in third place                                          weeks’ time.
                                                                       Neel Jani and Nicolas Prost in the Rebellion Lola took the
Giles Richards
                                                                   top privateer spot in LMP1, which clinched the championship
                                                                   title for the team. While in LMP2, despite the clash with the
                                                                   Audi, second place behind the ADR Delta car was enough for
                                                                   the Starworks HPD of Stéphane Sarrazin, Ryan Dalziel and
                                                                   Enzo Potolicchio to win the class championship, rounding
                                                                   off an impressive year that has also seen the team win the Le
                                                                   Mans 24 and the 12 Hours of Sebring. Marc Lieb and Richard
                                                                   Lietz took the honours in GTE PRO with a dominant run for the
                                                                   Felbermayr-Proton Porsche team.



                                                                   Bryce Lawrence retires from refereeing
                                                                   and blames political pressure
Britain’s Allan McNish took third place in the Six Hours of
Fuji with Danish partner Tom Kristensen. Photograph: Mark
                                                                   • Controversial Kiwi says Australia and
Thompson/Getty Images                                              South Africa blocked him
Toyota took a home victory in the Six Hours of Fuji, the
                                                                   • Lawrence angered both nations at last
penultimate round of the World Endurance Championship.             year’s World Cup
It marked the team’s second win of the year after taking the       Paul Rees
chequered flag in Brazil, during the debut season for their
petrol-driven hybrid that has now more than proved it is
capable of taking the fight to the previously dominant Audis.
   By the close of the six hours in Japan it could not have been
closer and the Toyota TS030, driven by Alex Wurz, Nicolas
Lapierre and Kazuki Nakajima, beat the chasing diesel-hybrid
No1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro of André Lotterer, Benoît Tréluyer
and Marcel Fässler by just 11 seconds. Britain’s Allan McNish
with partner Tom Kristensen, in the sister No2 Audi, took third
place after losing time in an incident with the Starworks HPD.
   Strong on pace since its debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours
this year, the Toyota once again just had the legs on the Audi,
leading from the pole position it had won on Saturday but a
close-fought battle, with the two cars exchanging the lead,
nonetheless came down to the final laps. The No1 car had lost      The referee Bryce Lawrence stands between the Lions captain,
time in the fourth hour after a clash with the Aston Martin of     Paul O’Connell, left, and Gethin Jenkins during the first
Stefan Mücke, which necessitated a nose change for the Audi        against South Africa in 2009. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty
which was also then penalised with a drive-through penalty for     Images
the incident.                                                      Bryce Lawrence, the New Zealander who took charge of the
   With a 50-second deficit the No1 car pushed hard and            Lions’ first Test in South Africa in 2009 and penalised Phil
opted to forego a tyre change for its final stint, with the team   Vickery repeatedly, has retired from refereeing, claiming that
aware that the Toyota could not go as far on fuel and would        political pressure forced him out.
have to come in for a splash and dash at the end. It was not           Lawrence upset Australia at last year’s World Cup by the way
quite enough and Nakajima emerged just six seconds ahead of        he controlled their group match against Ireland, which they
Lotterer, who could not stay with the Toyota to the line.          lost, putting them on a collision course with the holders New
   The victory for Nakajima, who ran a huge three-hour triple      Zealand in the last four, and then angered South Africa by his
stint in the middle of the race, makes him the first Japanese      laissez-faire attitude in their quarter-final with the Wallabies.
winner of an FIA world championship race since 1992, when              “I went into the quarter-final knowing it was a massive
Hitoshi Ogawa won a World Sportscar Championship race in a         match and I didn’t want to overly influence the outcome,” said
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                    guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Tuesday October 16 2012              21:17 GMT

the 41-year-old Lawrence, who will become a high-performance
referee reviewer for the New Zealand Rugby Union. “The way
that transpired was I didn’t make decisions and, if I had my
                                                                      Wycombe Wanderers mark 125th
time again, I would just go out there and do what I normally do,      birthday with journey back to the future
which is just referee and back myself.
    “I had four really good [group] games at the World Cup and        After a summer purchase the original
then I had that. I had outside pressure from pretty senior people     supporter-owned club is in the hands of
from rugby countries behind the scenes that really created my
                                                                      its�fans once more
mindset of lacking confidence to deliver what I normally do.
There was some pretty nasty political stuff going on about that       David Conn
appointment with some people kicking up a massive stink. It
probably made me freeze on the biggest stage.”
    Lawrence, who refereed 25 Tests, received threats on social
media and was told to take a break from Test rugby. “I was told
I would be brought back in the middle of the year but they
dropped me because of pressure from unions like Australia and
South Africa behind the scenes and that is the reason for my
career change – all because of one game.”
    Lawrence said his career highlight was the first Test between
South Africa and the Lions in Durban. “This clash between two
heavyweights was my biggest appointment and probably my
best ever performance at this level,” he said. “I felt great going
into the game and certainly was well prepared. The match had a
huge atmosphere but throughout the 80 minutes I felt at peace
                                                                      Ambition pushed the Wycombe into private ownership and
and in the zone.
                                                                      debt but the League Two club has now returned to its roots
    “My performance got huge feedback from players and
                                                                      Photograph: Anthony Devlin/PA
rugby people. I felt proud that my peers recognised it as a top
international performance. My bosses at the IRB and NZRU              Three wins in the past three matches have lifted the mood, and
all agreed I’d had a good day at the office, which was very           the League Two position, of Wycombe Wanderers, in the 125th
satisfying.”                                                          year since the club was formed, by furniture trade workers,
    The Lions at the time felt that Lawrence had made the             in 1887. In June, just in time for the landmark anniversary,
wrong call in the scrum, where he penalised Vickery, one of the       Wycombe were bought from the previous businessman-owner,
tourist’s props, so often in the first half that Vickery’s opposite   Steve Hayes, by the supporters trust, thus restoring Wycombe
number Tendai “The Beast”Mtawarira become a hero in his               to ownership by the fans, its status for most of its history.
adopted country.                                                          When the deal with Hayes was signed, a sale that included
    Lawrence was criticised by South Africa last year for, in their   the cherished Adams Park stadium, Wycombe became the
view, allowing the flanker David Pocock to infringe continually       third club in the Football League now owned mutually by
at the breakdown. Pocock has not played for the Wallabies             their supporters, after Exeter City and AFC Wimbledon, two of
since injuring a knee at the start of the Rugby Championship in       Wycombe’s rivals in League Two.
August and is unlikely to be in the squad that tours Europe next          Wycombe is a unique story because, unlike the other English
month.                                                                professional clubs, almost all of which have been companies,
                                                                      owned by businessmen, since the 19th century, they were
                                                                      owned by their supporters until as recently as 2004. Non-
                                                                      league for most of their history, Wycombe were a traditional
                                                                      amateur club for almost 100 years, until shortly after they
                                                                      won promotion to the then Gola League, forerunner of the




  *
                                                                      Conference, in 1985.
                                                                          They established a structure then which served them well;
                                                                      not becoming a standard commercial company with shares,
                                                                      but instead being owned and run democratically by supporters.
  Fantasy League Classic                                              Fans who had a season ticket for three years became eligible to
                                                                      pay £1 for the right to become a member of the club, and they
  Manage a squad of 16 players and                                    voted to elect the board of directors every three years. No major
  a budget of £75 million. £75,000                                    changes could be made to the club’s constitution unless 75% of
  worth of prizes to be won in weekly,                                the members agreed.
                                                                          In 1990, Wycombe moved from their old Loakes Park
  monthly and overall competitions.                                   ground, whose pitch famously had an 11ft slope on it, to the
  Beat your nearest and dearest in a                                  new Adams Park stadium, named after a benefactor, Frank
  friends league.                                                     Adams, who provided money without asking to own the club.
  guardian.co.uk/fantasyleague                                        That same year Wycombe appointed Martin O’Neill as their
                                                                      manager and under his inspired leadership won their first
                                                                      promotion to the Football League in 1993, where they have
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                  Tuesday October 16 2012             21:17 GMT

remained ever since.                                                 After long negotiations with Hayes which were not always
   In part it was the ambition of the club’s directors to develop    happy, the trust and Hayes agreed a deal which appears fair to
higher than League One status, where Wycombe lasted                  both. Hayes wrote off around £4m of loans, sold the club and
for 10 years, which led to instability, the ripping up of that       the ground, leaving £1.5m owed to him, which the trust has 10
democratic structure and, ultimately, the reliance on Hayes          years to pay off.
and his funding. In 2004, the fans, proud of their democratic            In February Hayes was arrested by Metropolitan police
ownership, were told that the club had run up an overdraft and       officers as part of Operation Tuleta, an investigation into
£2.2m debts, including £321,000 in interest-free loans from the      suspected computer hacking, and he has been bailed until
directors. Given players’ wage inflation straining clubs in the      February. Hayes denies any wrongdoing and says the arrest had
lower divisions, the directors proposed finding new investors        nothing to do with his decision to sell. Last month a consortium
– and such businessmen would invest only if they had an              which involved the former Wasps player Ken Moss bought the
ownership stake.                                                     rugby club from Hayes for an undisclosed sum.
   Reluctantly, due to the financial hole in which the club              At Wycombe the supporters trust has separated the
had been sunk, enough supporters voted to allow the club to          ownership of Adams Park from the club, so that it can safeguard
become a company owned by a handful of shareholders. The             the ground’s future. On and off the field it has found running
supporter-members retained a 25% stake, and the right to             the club an immediate struggle. The 125th anniversary match
elect a director to the board, but many fans who had followed        against AFC Wimbledon on 22 September was planned as a
Wycombe for years resented that a sporting structure which           celebration but, after a limp 1-0 defeat, the trust-owned club
had served them so well had been undone.                             sacked the manager, Gary Waddock. Since then, under the
   Hayes, who made millions from an internet loans business          caretaker Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe have had a mini-revival,
which he sold to the credit card company MBNA in 2005,               beating Torquay United, Fleetwood, and crisis club Portsmouth
arrived as an investor after that. Over succeeding years he          in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, and the embattled mood has
increased his loans to Wycombe, and in 2008 he bought Wasps          lightened a little.
rugby union club, who had been Adams Park tenants since                  “We went into this with our eyes wide open,” says Cook.
2000. There, he enjoyed a partnership with the club’s most           “Wycombe supporters, like fans of all lower league football
distinguished player, Lawrence Dallaglio, and began to develop       clubs, are a dedicated, loyal and generous bunch of people.
expansion plans.                                                     We plan to break even next season, and we are on target. The
   In 2009 Hayes’s loans to Wycombe had increased to around          club has been returned to its fans, and it is challenging – but
£7m and he moved to take the club over completely, presenting        exciting.”
fans with an ultimatum which made him quite unpopular
despite the scale of his investment. Hayes offered to reduce
his debt by £3m in return for being granted 100% ownership of
the club. Were he to be turned down, he would withdraw his
financial support, which could have been calamitous for the
club.
   The deal was approved, with reluctance by many. Then
Hayes, as the outright owner of both Wycombe and Wasps,
advanced his ambitions for the clubs, unveiling proposals for a
new, 17,500-seat stadium. He presented the vision of MK Dons,
where league status was controversially claimed by moving
Wimbledon there, and whose new stadium was built with
enabling retail development, a project Hayes admires.
   Many Wycombe fans, says the supporters trust spokesman,
David Cook, are deeply attached to Adams Park and they were




                                                                       *
sceptical about the move. They questioned whether the football
club of High Wycombe, a relatively small Buckinghamshire
town, could happily occupy so large a stadium and suspected
the project was more for Wasps’ rugby future than Wycombe’s
credible good.
   Wycombe district council did admire Hayes’s ambition,
and was supportive of the plans, until the leader of the council       Are you getting the best deal on
changed, and in June last year, after two years’ work, the             your mortgage?
council rejected the proposed development. Hayes decided
quickly that he did not wish to stay involved if the aspiration of     Compare over 8500 mortgages
expansion had been dashed, and resolved to sell the club.              online to find the best deal for
   “I’ve always been someone who builds things,” Hayes told
the Guardian. “When the stadium was turned down, the club              you.
was left with just survival, and that isn’t me.”                       guardian.co.uk/money/
   The supporters trust, which merged in 2008 with the old
founding member company, began to develop plans to take
                                                                       compareandbuy
over, stay at Adams Park and try to run the club sustainably.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                  Tuesday October 16 2012               21:17 GMT

                                                                      Maybe he is still improving. Maybe he will be even better next
                                                                      year as a seven-year-old. Why not? It’s all been a dream.”
Corinne Barande-Barbe plots defeat of                                     Unfashionably bred and virtually a gift horse, Cirrus Des
Frankel the ‘extra-terrestre’                                         Aigles arrived in her care as a weak yearling in 2007 and suffered
                                                                      an early loss at his new home when gelded within months,
English champion racehorse is much                                    Barande-Barbe having discovered that one of his testicles had
admired by trainers in Chantilly but one of                           not fully descended and was causing him pain.
                                                                          But since making his debut the following year when fourth
them has hopes of ending his unbeaten run
                                                                      of 14 in a maiden race, Cirrus Des Aigles has improved steadily
Will Hayler at Chantilly                                              to the point where, according to the latest World Thoroughbred
                                                                      Rankings, he is officially the second-best racehorse anywhere
                                                                      on the planet.
                                                                          “I am not afraid of Frankel. Why should I be?” asked
                                                                      Barande-Barbe. “The better the field, the better my horse is.
                                                                      Frankel didn’t come to France, so we will have to go to his place.
                                                                          “It should be a good battle. The humble and the king-
                                                                      bred. That’s the magic side of racing. Nobody can be sure that
                                                                      they have the best horse until they are on the track. Frankel
                                                                      really is an extra-terrestre. Everybody thinks it is impossible to
                                                                      beat him, but unless you try you won’t find out.”
                                                                          As for the drugs test which saw France-Galop initially
                                                                      threaten to withdraw Barande-Barbe’s licence, the trainer is
                                                                      awaiting the outcome of an appeal against a fine she received
                                                                      for the positive sample, taken after the horse finished second at
Cirrus Des Aigles, the winner of 16 races and £3.8m in prize
                                                                      Longchamp in May. A separate police inquiry, instigated at the
money, takes on Frankel at Ascot on Saturday. Photograph:
                                                                      trainer’s request, also remains open.
Yoshua Arias/EPA
                                                                          “France-Galop have written a long letter to the laboratory
The lofty ambition of making British Champions Day a truly            that did the testing and we will wait to find out more,” she said.
global celebration of racing as yet remains largely unfulfilled as    “In my opinion, you first ask those questions before having an
Ascot prepares to stage the event for a second time on Saturday,      enquiry, but who knows?
but the excitement of seeing Frankel face what should be                  “I was upset because they tested the urine but not the
the stiffest challenge of his career has evidently crossed The        blood and I want to know how he came to give a test for such
Channel.                                                              a massive dose of anti-inflammatories. Did someone put
    “He is a very special horse, anyone can see that,” said the       something in his food or his water? We saw the video of him in
high-profile trainer Alain de Royer-Dupré while watching his          the racecourse stables and there were so many people coming
horses work on the gallops here on Tuesday. André Fabre,              and going that day. Was it someone who wanted to hurt him?
interrupted from minding his own business on the gallops next         The sort of dose he was given could have been toxic.
to Chantilly racecourse, was even more fulsome in his praise.             “It was a hard time and I still have so many questions. Did
    “It’s just like looking at a museum piece,” said Fabre, with      he receive it after the race or before? How did it get into his
the authority of a man who is soon to be confirmed as France’s        system? Why didn’t they test his blood? Was it contamination at
champion trainer for the 24th time. “He’s probably the best           the laboratory? All I want to do now is know the truth.”
horse ever bred. He has a combination of power and charm. He
seems to have a great personality. An extraordinary animal.”
    Both men will have runners in the supporting races on
Saturday but their less well-known neighbour Corinne Barande-




                                                                        *
Barbe has hope of beating Frankel with her top-class gelding
Cirrus Des Aigles. With little more than two dozen horses in her
team, Barande-Barbe shares with De Royer-Dupré and Fabre
little more than a postal address on the Chemin des Eglises, the
immaculate Chantilly gallops and her admiration of Frankel.             Mystified by mortgages?
    Classic success with the French Oaks winner Carling in the          Perplexes by pensions? Confused
mid-1990s failed to spark a stampede of owners to her door and
nor has the success of Cirrus Des Aigles, the details of whose 16
                                                                        about your consumer rights?
victories all seem to be etched upon his trainer’s mind and are         Our experts are on hand to answer
recited with glee.                                                      all kinds of financial and legal
    But instead of harbouring resentment about her status as
one of the sport’s smaller players or her ongoing battle with the
                                                                        questions, so you don’t need to be
French racing authorities over a positive drugs test produced by        baffled any more. Read their advice,
Cirrus Des Aigles earlier this year, Barande-Barbe seemed too           or put a question to them, at
busy enjoying herself.
                                                                        guardian.co.uk/money
    “I am a specialist at fairy tales,” she said, smiling. “I don’t
want this to end. I want Cirrus Des Aigles to go on forever.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk

								
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