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                           | pdf edition | Wednesday January 30 2013                                                      Sport
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Theo Walcott sparks Arsenal revival to
earn draw with Liverpool
Arsenal recovered from 2-0 down against Liverpool to grab a draw
at Emirates Stadium with goals by Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott
Page 2


Reading’s Adam Le Fondre hits late double
to stun Chelsea
Adam Le Fondre’s late double earned Reading a point and denied
Chelsea after goals from Juan Mata and Frank Lampard Page 3



Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney
doubles up to deflate Southampton
Wayne Rooney scored two first-half goals after nervy David de Gea
gave United the jitters and Southampton the lead Page 4




Six Nations 2013: How                        Ian McGeechan’s RFU                         Ray Lewis says                  British Basketball
Mark Jones seeks to                          review calls for FA-                         deer antler doping             optimistic that UK
put brave front on                           style national training                     allegations are ‘trick         Sport will restore its
Wales backs Page 5                           centre Page 6                                of the devil’ Page 8           funding Page 10

Rebecca Adlington                           Eufemiano Fuentes’                          Little Josh is one of           England women
‘announcement’                              court evidence forces                        five entrants yet to            confront closed minds
sparks retirement                            Spanish official to                          qualify for Grand               at World Cup defence
speculation Page 6                           resign Page 7                               National Page 9                 in India Page 11




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                                                                 Wednesday January 30 2013                22:32 GMT

                                                                        full-back through after all.
                                                                            Johnson crossed, Thomas Vermaelen made a hash of the
Theo Walcott sparks Arsenal revival to                                  attempted clearance and Daniel Sturridge forced Wojciech
earn draw with Liverpool                                                Szczesny to save. Aaron Ramsey, though, still could not
                                                                        clear and when Jordan Henderson passed to Suárez, his shot
David Hytner at the Emirates Stadium                                    deflected past Szczesny. The arrival of the Keystone Cops would
                                                                        have completed the scene; André Santos did not arrive until the
                                                                        37th minute, as a replacement for the injured Kieran Gibbs.
                                                                            The first half was wild, open and unpredictable. Panic
                                                                        bubbled beneath the surface. As a spectacle, it was gripping.
                                                                        Szczesny summed things up when he attempted to fox
                                                                        Sturridge with a Cruyff-turn on his own six-yard line, except
                                                                        that the Arsenal goalkeeper got it wrong and only a desperate
                                                                        foot-in spared him from an impossible explanation.
                                                                            Suárez was a menace; Liverpool looked dangerous on the
                                                                        counter, with Arsenal exposed. Yet the home team had their
                                                                        first-half chances. When they pressed on to the front foot and
                                                                        harnessed the vision of Jack Wilshere and the pace of Theo
                                                                        Walcott, they sparked anxiety in Liverpool ranks.Walcott
                                                                        almost equalised immediately when he took Wilshere’s ball and
Luis Suárez, right, celebrates after scoring for Liverpool after
                                                                        forced Pepe Reina to save; Olivier Giroud flickered and Walcott,
five minutes against Arsenal. Photograph: Ian Kington/AFP/
                                                                        again, drew the Liverpool goalkeeper into a stop, this one a
Getty Images
                                                                        full-length dive, after Daniel Agger’s brave challenge had halted
                                                                        Vermaelen.
    Arsenal do not start playing until they are behind. Theirs has          Liverpool had three presentable chances in the first half.
been a wacky, impossible-to-fathom brand of football in recent          Sturridge, released by Suárez’s crossfield ball, shot wastefully;
weeks and a sprint through the emotions seemingly comes as              Agger had a thumping header from Steven Gerrard’s corner
standard during their matches. Jeered off at half-time, Arsène          cleared off the line by Lukas Podolski and Henderson, played
Wenger’s players won back their home crowd with a stirring              through by Stewart Downing, found Szczesny out to meet
fightback that had Liverpool clinging on for a point at the final       him. Henderson checked, flighted a chip from 30 yards and
whistle.                                                                saw it drift just over the empty net. Szczesny seemed intent on
    For Liverpool, this had threatened to be a landmark victory,        confirming his maverick status.
a first triumph over a team in the top half of the Premier League           Liverpool’s travelling fans had unfurled pre-match banners
table and a balm for the horror of Sunday’s FA Cup exit at              in protest at the £62 ticket prices but it was tempting to wonder
League One Oldham Athletic. Two goals to the good, thanks               whether the entertainment value made it worth it. The Arsenal
to a combination of assured finishing and shocking Arsenal              support booed their team at the interval.
defending, Brendan Rodgers sensed a touchstone. His scathing                It would get worse for them before it got better, in the
critique of his young players at Oldham had been felt by the            shape of further comic defensive cuts. Henderson, in form and
dressing-room. The response shaped up in positive fashion.              preferred to Joe Allen, did not appear the favourite to power in
    This was the fifth time in succession that Arsenal had trailed      between Per Mertesacker and Santos but he did just that and he
in the league and yet they hauled themselves in dramatic                would argue that he earned the luck that followed.
fashion, with goals from Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott. They              Ramsey’s tackle on him saw the ball canon off Santos and
went agonisingly close to the winner that would have sparked a          wrong-foot Szczesny. Henderson read the situation and rolled
frenzy, although the defending of the substitute André Santos           into the empty net.
meant that Liverpool almost snatched it.                                    Liverpool had seen strong penalty appeals for handball
    For Arsenal, the talk of the lack of January signings – and the     against Vermaelen rejected on 50 minutes and yet, in breathless
prospect that nobody will arrive before the deadline – gave way         fashion, Arsenal rallied. In the space of five minutes, they not
to 90 minutes of adrenaline. Several of their players slumped           only restored parity, they were within a whisker of leading.
to the turf at the final whistle. Despite everything, it felt like an   Giroud’s header from Wilshere’s free-kick and Walcott’s
opportunity missed.                                                     thumping finish, after slick build-up and Giroud’s cushioned
    It is that time of the season when the margins have become          lay-off, rocked Liverpool and Walcott nearly floored them when
finer and for these teams, who have been infuriatingly                  he cracked just wide of the far post.
inconsistent, this fixture felt like a six-pointer in the fight for a       Rodgers swapped Sturridge for José Enrique, a defensive
Champions League finish. Liverpool entered it the angrier, after        change, as Liverpool sought to dig in. But Arsenal swept
the humiliation at Oldham, but the early lead that they took            forward. Santi Cazorla and Giroud, twice, went close before
owed everything to a catalogue of Arsenal blunders that had             Suárez almost punished Santos. The drama was unrelenting.
Wenger steaming in his sleeping bag coat.
    He would not have enjoyed seeing such errors over the
course of the game, let alone jammed into a matter of seconds.
The first mistake, ironically, was Liverpool’s, when Suárez
miskicked as he sought to find the overlapping Glen Johnson.
But Bacary Sagna trumped that when he fell over to allow the
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page 3 G24 Sport                                                               Wednesday January 30 2013                  22:32 GMT

                                                                      the striker’s straight pass had to be precise, flicked over half-
                                                                      hearted attempts to block from Mikele Leigertwood and Danny
Reading’s Adam Le Fondre hits late                                    Guthrie for Mata to dispatch first time across Adam Federici
double to stun Chelsea                                                and into the far corner. It was a rare flash of quality amid the
                                                                      plod, but it choked the boos that might otherwise have rung
Dominic Fifield at Madejski Stadium                                   out seconds later from the away support.Chelsea have not won
                                                                      any of the seven games Mata has failed to start this season,
                                                                      with the diminutive midfielder carrying the weight of this
                                                                      team’s expectation too often. Their lethargy could, of course,
                                                                      be explained by fatigue. This was the 41st game of a draining
                                                                      campaign that has taken them four times across Europe and
                                                                      once to Japan – with no reward to sweeten all the travelling
                                                                      – and the 20th of Benítez’s interim stewardship. It is hard to
                                                                      believe he has been at Stamford Bridge for only a little over two
                                                                      months given that draining schedule.
                                                                         It appears to have dulled them mentally as much as
                                                                      physically at times and, up to Mata’s sparkling intervention,
                                                                      this had been sluggish at best. The sight of Oscar and Torres
                                                                      cramping each other’s style as they attempted to conjure a
                                                                      rare shot on the edge of the area, with the ball dribbling away
Reading’s Adam Le Fondre celebrates after scoring the second
                                                                      from both, had rather summed it all up but, once their lead was
goal for his side against Chelsea.
                                                                      established, they could sense the locals’ vulnerability. Reading
Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images
                                                                      had to demonstrate more incision given their position, but that
Proper acceptance will always elude Rafael Benítez but, on            left them prone on the counter: Frank Lampard’s wonderfully
this evidence, so too might his ability to deliver that most          floated pass over the home back-line for Oscar to volley over the
demanded by Chelsea’s hierarchy. A two-goal lead was                  bar on the spin was a reminder that Chelsea can prosper on the
surrendered wastefully at Reading here, Adam Le Fondre’s              break.
equaliser coming deep into stoppage time when the visitors had           The home side’s principal threat had been built upon Jobi
felt so secure for so long. A chance to ease further away from        McAnuff’s gliding runs from deep, and the brawn of Pavel
fifth and even closer to Manchester City in second has been           Pogrebnyak in among opposing centre-halves. But there had
passed up. The European champions’ season remains as volatile         been no clear openings from which to test Ross Turnbull,
as ever.                                                              selected in the absence of the injured Petr Cech. Chelsea, in
    This should have been so comfortable, only for Benítez’s          contrast, were eking out clear chances as the Royals’ anxiety
world to implode late on. Le Fondre had scored with the home          grew. Lampard and Oscar might have provided a second,
side’s first real shot of any note three minutes from time to offer   combining in the box only for Ian Harte to deny Torres a tap-in.
hope but Chelsea merely retreated thereafter. He was ignored at       Yet, from Mata’s resultant corner, Lampard found space away
the back post, along with two other Reading players, to volley        from Stephen Kelly and thumped a header beyond Pogrebnyak
in the equaliser in the 94th minute. A run of four away league        on the goalline to register his 196th reward for the club. After all
wins has been shattered. It was Reading, who are becoming             that huff and puff, and even with a quarter of the game still to
accustomed to such late revivals in this arena, who departed          play, Chelsea felt secure.
delirious.                                                               That was a false dawn. They would be left to sweat as the
    This had been rendered an awkward foray into Berkshire by         Reading substitute, Hope Akpan, slipped a pass inside Gary
the Royals’ recent surge of form. A club that had felt destined       Cahill for Le Fondre to squeeze space from Branislav Ivanovic
for a swift return to the Championship for much of the first          and slap a shot inside Turnbull’s near-post. That was virtually
half of the campaign had stirred of late, winning five of their       the home side’s first attempt on target, but Benítez will have
previous six games in all competitions, to clamber to within          been infuriated by such sloppiness. His mood was darkened
sight of safety.                                                      further in stoppage time.
    An injection of new personnel on deadline day, with
Sheffield United’s Nick Blackman secured for £1.2m and interest
retained in Blackpool’s Thomas Ince even if an initial £6.5m
bid has been rebuffed, could swell their conviction. That, and




                                                                        *
the reality that Chelsea appear so leggy at present, rather drove
the home side on, only for their concentration to waver just as
Mark Halsey was preparing to blow for the break. The European
champions, even with aching limbs and brittle confidence,
retain a level of ruthlessness in their armoury.
    They were mustering one final attack deep into stoppage
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exchanging short-range passes, when Fernando Torres collected           services to switch suppliers and save
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behind Alex Pearce to the edge of the six-yard box. Even so,
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Wednesday January 30 2013                22:32 GMT

                                                                        The lead had been coming. Before and after Rooney’s
                                                                    second, United had piled up squandered chances. Kagawa hit
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney                                    Boruc’s right post from close range after Rooney dinked the ball
doubles up to deflate Southampton                                   through to him.
                                                                        A Van Persie cross-shot might have gone anywhere but went
Jamie Jackson at Old Trafford                                       for a goal kick and then the centre-forward’s run down the left
                                                                    ended with him turning the ball inside to an onrushing Evra
                                                                    who was squeezed out of possession. Finally in the first-half
                                                                    assault on Boruc’s goal Kagawa’s smooth swivel and lay-off to
                                                                    Van Persie found the striker in space but he smashed his shot
                                                                    over the bar.
                                                                        Ferguson had made four changes from the team that had
                                                                    trounced Fulham 4-1 here on Saturday. In came Nemanja Vidic,
                                                                    Danny Welbeck, Kagawa and Van Persie, for Rafael Da Silva,
                                                                    Nani, Ryan Giggs and Javier Hernández.
                                                                        Mauricio Pochettino, whose second game in charge of Saints
                                                                    this was following the ruthless sacking of his predecessor, Nigel
                                                                    Adkins, spent the half standing up in the technical area and
                                                                    could be pleased with his side’s start and how, after soaking up
                                                                    pressure, they threatened to score again.
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney smiles after scoring his
                                                                        A ball down the right from Jason Puncheon that found
first goal against Southampton to level the match after the
                                                                    Gaston Ramírez – who had earlier blasted a 20-yard free-kick
visitors took a shock lead. Photograph: Jon Super/AP
                                                                    over – and put him momentarily beyond United’s rear-guard
Manchester United put their foot down to accelerate away            offered a warning.
from Manchester City and again stretch their lead at the top            But then so at the other end had Welbeck’s shot which
of the Premier League to seven points with this victory. The        forced Boruc into a low save. At the break Southampton were
champions’ draw at Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night             fortunate to be trailing only by one.
meant a win here and United’s cushion would be restored to the          Pochettino made changes before sending out his side for
more comfortable margin they had enjoyed before dropping            the second half, replacing Puncheon and Ramírez with Steven
two points at Tottenham Hotspur 10 days ago.                        Davis and Adam Lallana as the manager hoped to find more
    On 75 minutes Robin van Persie thought he had made it 3-1       holes in United.
with a strike from Wayne Rooney’s cross delivered with the              In that quest the visitors began brightly and Rickie Lambert
outside of the England forward’s right boot. But this was ruled     had a shot saved by De Gea low to his right to begin the half.
offside, though the decision appeared marginal.                     Then, some close-quarter triangular passing routines were
    If the goal had stood a finish that included David De Gea       executed impressively by Morgan Schneiderlin, Lambert and
redeeming himself for Southampton’s opener with a fine save         Rodriguez as Southampton moved swiftly down their right.
from Rickie Lambert’s free-kick would have been less frantic.           Next, Welbeck conceded a corner under pressure from Clyne
    United were rocked almost instantly by the kind of howler all   which Schneiderlin took and when it was cleared a dawdling
managers detest. Addressing a run of league fixtures that began     Rooney was dispossessed and Saints won a second corner. Once
with this one and, Everton apart, included the lesser lights of     again Schneiderlin floated it in from the right and this time he
Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City, West Ham United,         found Lambert with a yard of turf to himself but the captain
Reading and Sunderland, Sir Alex Ferguson wrote: “Let’s not         failed to capitalise.
fool ourselves into believing that we are now entering a phase          As Southampton continued to plug away De Gea was
against the lower teams that will present us with easy pickings.    culpable for another nervy moment for United. A 25-yard free-
That would be a rubbish attitude.”                                  kick was hit more or less straight at him but the goalkeeper
    Rubbish might have been the manager’s description of the        spilled it as Southampton rushed in for the rebound and he was
start of the game. He had hardly been seated for two minutes        fortunate not to concede the equaliser.
when Michael Carrick’s poor back-pass was compounded by
David de Gea whose indecision meant he stuck out a tentative




                                                                      *
leg and failed to clear. Jay Rodriguez made it 1-0 from a tight
angle.
    Within five minutes United were level. Carrick, who
redeemed himself from blame for the goal to snap into
the tackle and zip around midfield, played a ball that hit a          The Guardian digital edition
Southampton player and fell to Shinji Kagawa. The Japan
                                                                      Read the Guardian on the web exactly the
forward slid a pass in behind the defence and Rooney slotted it
confidently past Artur Boruc.
                                                                      way it was printed.
    Now United swarmed all over the visitors and by 26 minutes        With award-winning Guardian
were ahead, Rooney again the scorer. When Van Persie swung a          photography accessible from anywhere in
free-kick in from the right that was precisely placed on Patrice      the world.
Evra’s head, the left-back glanced the ball back across goal and      guardian.co.uk/digitaledition
Rooney tucked it into the net.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                Wednesday January 30 2013                 22:32 GMT

                                                                           “I came through the ranks at Llanelli under Gareth Jenkins
                                                                       and Nigel,” he said. “They carried on the spirit of Carwyn
Six Nations 2013: How Mark Jones seeks                                 James, looking to attack space. I think the rules of the game are
to put brave front on Wales backs                                      weighted towards the defending teams. Playing in the wrong
                                                                       areas and showing an attacking intent can be detrimental if you
The Wales backs coach says his job is about                            do not get a line break: you can get turned over and concede
finding the balance between playing,                                   points. I believe in trying to score from every set-piece in a
                                                                       dangerous area, going for the jugular, but you have to utilise the
winning and going for the jugular
                                                                       strength of the players in your back division.”
Paul Rees                                                                  England are taking the view that a team is very often better
                                                                       off without the ball, other than from set-pieces, because of the
                                                                       danger of getting turned over or penalised at the breakdown
                                                                       but Jones disagrees. “My mindset is different,” he said. “Players
                                                                       should make the decision to play if they see something is on. I
                                                                       played on the wing and wanted the ball in my hand and in the
                                                                       modern game some of the most dangerous players are to be
                                                                       found out wide: Shane Williams has retired from international
                                                                       rugby, but the likes of George North, Chris Ashton, Alex
                                                                       Cuthbert and Bryan Habana are potent and it is crazy not to use
                                                                       them.
                                                                           “It is about finding the balance between playing and
                                                                       winning. I am not a romantic; I understand you have to be
                                                                       practical but I do favour an attacking style of rugby. Anyone
                                                                       who pays to watch something has to be able to leave feeling
Mark Jones, the Wales backs coach, says he favours an
                                                                       they have had value for money, whether it is the West End or
attacking style of rugby. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty
                                                                       watching Builth Wells against Hirwaun, whether they have paid
Images
                                                                       a fiver or £500. If you can produce an attractive brand of rugby
A casual visitor to Wales’s training base in the Vale of Glamorgan     that is successful, everyone is a winner.
could be forgiven for mistaking Mark Jones as one of the squad             “When Rob coached me in 2008, he was always straight
preparing for the Six Nations rather than a member of the              with me and I have learned from that. Players want the truth
management team. He looks younger than his 33 years and his            and if I was uncomfortable with something, I would always
rapid rise as a coach has mirrored that of his playing career.         ask, whether it was Rob about attack, Shaun Edwards regarding
    Capped at 21, Jones won 47 caps on the wing for Wales, a           defence or Warren Gatland about strategy. It is about being
total that would have been significantly greater but for a series      open to ideas: the players hold all the information because they
of knee injuries that eventually ended his career just before the      are the ones on the field and it is about prising it out of them.
start of the 2010-11 season. As he contemplated a career outside       They have the answers.”
rugby, he was asked by the then Scarlets’ director of rugby Nigel          Wales struggled to score tries in the autumn. After they lost
Davies to assist with coaching the backs. Within three weeks,          to Samoa, the visiting captain, David Lemi, said the men in red
Davies was happy to stand back.                                        had become predictable and easy to work out. Jones said his job
    Jones has made such an impression at the Scarlets that             was not to rewrite the attack book, but to tweak a few aspects.
when the Wales attack coach, Robert Howley, who is in overall          He has been working with Jamie Roberts on the big centre’s
charge while Warren Gatland takes a sabbatical,was looking             skills with Wales rare among the leading teams in not having a
for someone to take charge of the backs, his first call was to a       second first receiver in their back division.
former international team-mate under the reign of Graham                   “Jamie has played at full-back and understands where space
Henry and who was a member of the 2008 grand slam-winning              is on the field,” said Jones. “He can put in attacking kicks and
side.                                                                  there is a lot more to his repertoire than perhaps we have seen
    “It was a surprise,” said Jones, who will also be part of Wales’   in the last couple of seasons. I hope we will see that. There is
coaching team in Japan this summer. “Things have moved very            little opportunity for skill development because of the short
quickly for me as a coach. I would still like to be playing, but       time we have with the players and how Wales play is in place;
when I was told my career was over I did not know what I was           it would be counter-productive to try to change that in a short
going to do. My parents run a farm, but I do not think I would         space of time. I can, though, play devil’s advocate and if there is
have gone back to that. I would probably have learned a trade,         one thing I would like to see this Six Nations it is the use of the
using my hands, but when Nigel asked me if I was interested in         scrum as a means to attack. There is no better ball to use, but
being a coach, saying he felt I had the potential, I went for it.”     the set-piece has turned into a mess, detracting from the game
    Jones had experience of coaching. When he had                      itself. That has to change.”
reconstructive knee surgery in 2004 and was out for more than              Wales have lost their past seven Tests and their regions are
a season, he helped coach the backs at his local club, Builth          out of the two European tournaments, a contrast to Saturday’s
Wells, helping them win promotion. As a player – he scored 85          opponents, Ireland. “It is not about provincial and regional
tries in 164 matches on the wing for Llanelli and the Scarlets         form, as our opening game in Dublin last year showed,” said
– he was eager to learn, not afraid to challenge coaches, and in       Jones. “It is all about this week. When we went to Twickenham
an era when defences have come to dominate at the top level,           at the start of the 2008, no one expected us to do anything but
he is pushing his players to seek space rather than contact.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Wednesday January 30 2013                22:32 GMT

we won and that gave us momentum. We have a good chance
on the weekend and we are at home.”
                                                                    Ian McGeechan’s RFU review calls for
                                                                    FA-style national training centre
Rebecca Adlington ‘announcement’
sparks retirement speculation                                       • New hub should emulate St George’s Park
                                                                    complex
• Double gold medallist poised to call it a                         • Report says it must be up and running by
day                                                                 2016
• Mansfield athlete critical of British                             Robert Kitson
swimming
Press Association




                                                                    Sir Ian McGeechan’s review suggests a National Performance
                                                                    Centre could cash in on interest generated by the 2015 Rugby
                                                                    World Cup. Photograph: Ian Smith/Action Images
Rebecca Adlington won two gold medals at the Beijing Games
and two bronze at the London 2012 Games. Photograph: Paul          English rugby has been urged to establish a proper national
Childs/Action Images                                               training centre and appoint a head of international player
                                                                    development by 2016 to improve its chances of long-term
Rebecca Adlington is poised to make a “major announcement”
                                                                    success at Test level. An independent review conducted by
on Tuesday. There has been speculation the 23-year-old double
                                                                    Sir Ian McGeechan and the former UK Sport performance
Olympic gold medallist from Beijing will retire from the sport in
                                                                    director Peter Keen also described the Rugby Football
the wake of the London Games.
                                                                    Union’s organisational structure as too “complicated” and
    Adlington won a pair of bronze medals last summer, two of
                                                                    recommended changes to the professional rugby department
only three won by British swimmers, short of their target of
                                                                    headed by Rob Andrew.
five.
                                                                        The review was instigated in the wake of the RFU’s problems
    The Mansfield athlete has been critical of British Swimming
                                                                    in recent years and has concluded that more clarity is needed
in recent months, claiming she felt “insulted” by the governing
                                                                    to enhance elite performance at Twickenham. An International
body following the review into the under-performance in
                                                                    Performance Department, headed by the national head coach,
London.
                                                                    Stuart Lancaster, will be created, and a new head of elite player
    She has also hit out at the amount of time it was taking
                                                                    development is to be recruited to work with the senior and age-
to appoint a head coach following the departure of Dennis
                                                                    grade squads, as well as the sevens and women’s teams.
Pursley after the Games. The body is also without a national
                                                                        To make it work, the RFU has been strongly advised to
performance director after Michael Scott resigned after the
                                                                    develop a National Performance Centre along similar lines
review into London. PA
                                                                    to the Football Association’s St George’s Park complex near
                                                                    Burton-on-Trent. With England due to host the 2015 Rugby




  *
                                                                    World Cup, McGeechan and Keen believe the project should be
                                                                    up and running within 12 months of the end of the tournament
                                                                    to take advantage of any momentum.
                                                                        Andrew will remain employed by the RFU, with
  Eat right                                                         responsibility for re-negotiating the agreement between the
  Join the Guardian’s health and dieting                            clubs and the RFU, which expires in 2016. McGeechan believes
  club, Eat Right and we’ll design you a                            improved relationships between the two sides is “paramount”
                                                                    if the professional game in England is to develop fully, while
  personalised healthy eating plan from
                                                                    Keen admitted he had been “struck by the strong values and
  just £2.99 a week. Membership includes                            culture of rugby” he had encountered.
  shopping lists, menus, expert advice and                              - “What I have found compared favourably with some of
  24 hour support to help you achieve your                          the very best practise I have observed in elite sport,” Keen
  health and fitness goals.                                         added. “Although areas for change and improvement have been
                                                                    identified, momentum (is) already building towards the 2015
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Wednesday January 30 2013                22:32 GMT

World Cup. England Rugby needs accelerated evolution, not
revolution.”
    Meanwhile the England back-row forward Tom Wood, a
                                                                    Eufemiano Fuentes’ court evidence
likely starter when they tackle Scotland at Twickenham on           forces Spanish official to resign
Saturday, has warned that they cannot afford any complacency.
    “Because we beat the All Blacks and ran in some tries doesn’t   • Javier Gómez denies taking part in doping
mean it’s just going to happen again,” he said. “The Scots are      activities
something of an unknown quantity with new coaches, so we’ve
                                                                    • Wada learns on Friday if it has access to
got to be on our guard and ready for anything.
    “We’ve gone from targeting New Zealand to being the
                                                                    doctor’s blood bags
target. We have to deal with that. Scotland have already stated     Giles Tremlett in Madrid
they like nothing better than coming to Twickenham to spoil
our party. Just because we finished the game against New
Zealand scoring tries doesn’t mean we start against Scotland by
throwing the ball wide. The moment you become complacent
in this game you get undone.
    “We have to earn the right to go wide by grinding them in the
scrum and at the breakdown and everywhere else, earning the
right to go wide and make breaks. That only comes when the
opposition get tired and disjointed. That doesn’t come in the
first few minutes.”
    England probable Goode (Saracens); Ashton (Saracens),
Barritt (Saracens), Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Brown
(Harlequins); Farrell (Saracens), B Youngs (Leicester); Marler
(Harlequins), T Youngs (Leicester), Cole (Leicester), Launchbury
                                                                    Eufemiano Fuentes, pictured arriving at court, has denied
(London Wasps), Parling (Leicester), Wood (Northampton),
                                                                    involvement in doping. Photograph: Action Press/Rex
Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Morgan (Gloucester)
                                                                    Features
    Replacements Hartley (Northampton), M Vunipola
(Saracens), Wilson (Bath), Lawes (Northampton), Haskell             Shock waves from the Eufemiano Fuentes court case reached
(London Wasps), Care (Harlequins), Flood (Leicester), Strettle      Spain’s own sports establishment as he revealed that a senior
(Saracens)                                                          government sports official had been among his clients.
                                                                        The doctor named Javier Gómez, head of Spain’s
                                                                    Professional Cyclists Association and now a senior government
                                                                    sports administrator, as a former client, forcing Gómez to offer
                                                                    his resignation.
                                                                        “He was a patient of mine,” said Fuentes. “I know perfectly
                                                                    well what his area of activity has been. I have read in the press
                                                                    that he has been appointed president of the [government’s]
                                                                    youth sports foundation.”
                                                                        Gómez offered his resignation from the non-paying position
                                                                    immediately but said his involvement with Fuentes had




  *
                                                                    nothing to do with doping. “It is well known that I was part of
                                                                    the Kelme team from 1996 to 2002,” Gómez, a former rider,
                                                                    said. “Fuentes had a contract as the team doctor.”
                                                                        While he had been obliged to see Fuentes while he was in
                                                                    the team, Gómez denied having taken part in any activities
                                                                    banned by anti-doping rules. “Throughout my career I have
  Fantasy League Classic                                            always been publicly opposed to doping and have proposed

  Manage a squad of 16 players                                      anti-doping schemes to improve the fight against this damaging
                                                                    element in our sport.”
  and a budget of £75 million.                                          It was not clear whether the government had accepted

  £75,000 worth of prizes to be                                     Gómez’s resignation. The head of the Spanish government’s
                                                                    sports council, Miguel Cardenal, said Gómez had made the offer
  won in weekly, monthly and                                        to avoid damaging the youth foundation. The government’s
  overall competitions. Beat your                                   sports authorities have sent their own prosecutor to the
                                                                    doctor’s trial in Madrid where, along with five others, he is
  nearest and dearest in a friends                                  accused of crimes against public health.
  league.                                                               The World Anti-Doping Agency will hear on Friday whether
                                                                    its petition to be allowed access to the main evidence against
  guardian.co.uk/fantasyleague                                      Fuentes – some 200 bags of blood found in freezers and fridges
                                                                    at his family apartment and clinic – will be approved by the
                                                                    judge.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                              Wednesday January 30 2013                  22:32 GMT

    On Wednesday Fuentes said he knew the name of each
athlete who had deposited blood with him, though the judge
then turned down a request by lawyers representing Italian
                                                                     Ray Lewis says deer antler doping
cycling authorities that Fuentes be forced to name them.             allegations are ‘trick of the devil’
Fuentes has also said that, apart from cyclists, his clients had
included tennis players, boxers, soccer players and track and        Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis dismisses
field athletes — though he did not name any. Eyewitnesses            allegations about banned substance IGF-1
report having seen senior soccer players visit the Madrid clinic
                                                                     which is produced using deer antler velvet
where blood transfusions were carried out.
    Fuentes said he did not know why eight of the blood              Paolo Bandini in New Orleans
samples contained traces of the banned performance drug EPO
and suggested that it must have been left over from previous
treatments carried out on the athletes.
    Fuentes’ sister Yolanda, who was team doctor to the
Comunidad Valenciana cycling team, said she had no idea that
her brother carried out transfusions — in which athletes re-
injected blood that had been extracted and frozen.
    “I didn’t have the faintest idea,” she said. “He always kept
me out of these matters. I only found out about it when the
police searches were carried out.”
    Those searches happened in 2007, but the case only came
to trial earlier this week — with Fuentes claiming that he had
simply been carrying out treatments designed to stop athletes
suffering signs of anaemia.
                                                                     Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis faces questions about drug
    “I have never carried out a blood transfusion,” she added,
                                                                     allegations at a Super Bowl XLVII press conference in New
claiming that her brother was a “great and prestigious doctor”.
                                                                     Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA
She insisted that none of the cyclists had, to her knowledge,
been to see her brother at his clinic or in the Madrid hotel rooms   Ray Lewis has once again rejected allegations of doping,
where transfusions were often carried out.                           describing reports that he had discussed taking a banned
    José Ignacio Labarta, a member of the Comunidad                  substance as “embarrassing” and “the trick of the devil”.
Valenciana team’s management, named in court two cyclists                The Baltimore Ravens linebacker, who will play the final
who had been to see Fuentes – the two-times Giro d’Italia            game of his 17-year career at Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday, was
winner Ivan Basso and a former runner-up in the same                 accused in a Sports Illustrated article tinyurl.com/alw5hd9 this
competition, José Enrique Gutiérrez. On previous days                week of having discussed the use of a prohibited substance,
defendants in court have named as patients the cyclists Roberto      IGF-1, during a conversation with the founder of a controversial
Heras, Unai Osa and Jesús Manzano – who is also prosecuting          supplements supplier – Sports with Alternatives to Steroids.
Fuentes, claiming he damaged his health.                                 Lewis sought to dismiss those claims on Tuesday gu.com/
                                                                     p/3ddmb , telling reporters at Super Bowl Media Day that the
                                                                     story was “not worthy of the press”, but a day later the subject
                                                                     was raised again at his team’s interview session.
                                                                         “I’m going to say it very clearly again, I think it’s one of the
                                                                     most embarrassing things we can do on this type of stage,”
                                                                     Lewis said during a meandering opening dialogue. “You give
                                                                     somebody the ability to come into our world … our world is a




  *
                                                                     very secret society and we try to protect our world as much as
                                                                     we can. When you let cowards come in and do things like that,
                                                                     to try to disturb something . . . the reason why I’m smiling is
                                                                     because it’s so funny of a story because I’ve never, ever took
                                                                     what he says or whatever I was supposed to do.
                                                                         “It’s just sad, once again, that someone could have so much
  Are you getting the best deal on                                   attention on a stage this big where the dreams are really real. I
                                                                     don’t need it. My team-mates don’t need it. The [San Francisco]
  your mortgage?                                                     49ers don’t need it. Nobody needs it because it really just shows
  Compare over 8500 mortgages                                        you how people really plan things and try to attack people

  online to find the best deal for                                   from the outside. It’s just foolish, very foolish. The guy has no
                                                                     credibility. He’s been sued four or five times over the same B.S.”
  you.                                                                   Asked at this stage if the allegations had angered him, Lewis

  guardian.co.uk/money/                                              replied: “Never angry. I’m too blessed to be stressed . . . You can
                                                                     use the word agitated.”
  compareandbuy                                                          Later in the press conference, Lewis was asked whether he
                                                                     feared that the whole affair had been a distraction for his team.
                                                                     “It’s not. It’s a joke, if you know me,” said Lewis. “I tell [my
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                Wednesday January 30 2013                 22:32 GMT

team-mates] all the time, ‘Don’t let people from the outside           there,” Nigel Twiston-Davies, Little Josh’s trainer, said on
ever come and try to disturb what’s inside. That’s the trick           Wednesday.
of the devil. The trick of the devil is to kill, steal and destroy.       “The rules are there, I’m not going to make a noise about it
That’s what he comes to do. He comes to distract you from              but it’s a shame as a sixth in the RSA Chase is as good as a fourth
everything you’re trying to do.”                                       anywhere else. Any four-runner race will qualify you, so it
    The Ravens’ head coach John Harbaugh, said he was                  doesn’t make much sense, but there you go.”
unconcerned by the report. “Ray is honest, Ray is straight                Twiston-Davies has won the National twice, with Earth
forward,” said Harbaugh. “He’s told us in the past, he’s               Summit in 1998 and Bindaree four years later, and has four
never taken any of that stuff, ever. I believe Ray. I trust Ray        entries in this year’s race, but only Little Josh and Imperial
completely. We have a relationship. I know this man, and               Commander, the 2010 Gold Cup winner, are likely to make
I know what he’s all about. It’s too bad that this has to be           the final field and the latter is a doubtful runner. “Imperial
something that gets so much play.”                                     Commander is far from certain to run,” he said, “and it would
    Lewis’s team-mates agreed that it would not be a distraction.      be nice to get Major Malarkey in but he might need to win over
“I think Ray [Lewis] does a great job of handling those kinds of       the weekend, so we’re really relying on Little Josh.”
things,” said quarterback Joe Flacco. “All of us just kind of take        Another of the five horses that have yet to qualify is
his lead and don’t really worry about it.”                             Ninetieth Minute, the winner of the Coral Cup at the Festival in
                                                                       2009 and one of 32 Irish-trained entries for this year’s National.
                                                                       “He’ll run in a race on 7 February in a race that won’t qualify
Little Josh is one of five entrants yet to                             him but he has two opportunities after that which could qualify
qualify for Grand National                                             him,” Tom Taaffe, Ninetieth Minute’s trainer, said.
                                                                          “Rules are rules and the rules are there, so we’ll have to meet
                                                                       the qualifications to have a chance. It’s up to me to get there
• Trainer Twiston-Davies pins hopes on                                 and, if I don’t, I don’t.”
Newbury race                                                              The weights for the Grand National, which are likely to
• Treadwell banned for taking wrong                                    be headed by Tidal Bay, the winner of the Lexus Chase in
course at Leicester                                                    December, will be published on 12 February.
                                                                          Liam Treadwell, who won the National on Mon Mome in
Greg Wood
                                                                       2009, was banned for 12 days by the stewards at Leicester on
                                                                       Wednesday for taking the wrong course on Special Robon in
                                                                       a novice handicap chase. Special Robon was leading the race
                                                                       when Treadwell steered him to the left of the fourth-last fence,
                                                                       instead of bypassing the third-last, which was dolled off.
                                                                          “I must apologise to all connections,” Treadwell said
                                                                       afterwards. “It was a poor bit of riding in the heat of the
                                                                       moment. I’m not going to make any excuses.”
                                                                          William’s Wishes, unbeaten in five starts over fences, will
                                                                       not run again this season after injuring a hind leg. “We could try
                                                                       to get him back,” Evan Williams, his trainer, said, “but we are
                                                                       better off waiting and having another go next year.”



Little Josh, landing over Becher’s Brook last April, won over
the National fences in December but is not qualified for the big
race itself. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty




                                                                         *
The Grand National at Aintree on 6 April is on course to attract
a maximum field of 40 runners after 84 horses were entered
for the race, an increase of two on the initial entry last year.
However, five of the entries have yet to meet the British
Horseracing Authority’s strict conditions to qualify for a run in
                                                                         Mystified by mortgages?
the National, including Little Josh, a winner over the big spruce
fences in the Grand Sefton Chase two months ago.                         Perplexes by pensions? Confused
    It might seem strange that a winner over Aintree’s unique            about your consumer rights?
obstacles is not officially qualified to run in the National but the     Our experts are on hand to answer
Grand Sefton is staged over two miles five and a half furlongs,
while the National is restricted to horses that have finished in
                                                                         all kinds of financial and legal
the first four in a steeplechase over at least three miles. That         questions, so you don’t need to be
is an achievement that has proved beyond Little Josh to date,            baffled any more. Read their advice,
although he finished sixth in the Grade One RSA Chase over
                                                                         or put a question to them, at
three miles at the Cheltenham Festival in 2010.
    “He’s got to be in the first four, so he’s going to [the Aon         guardian.co.uk/money
Chase at] Newbury and hopefully he will be in the first four
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                             Wednesday January 30 2013               22:32 GMT

                                                                         “We’ve gone from the backwaters of the game to playing
                                                                     the very best in the world in six short years. We feel there is
British Basketball optimistic that UK                                more than enough to demonstrate that this sport is worthy of
Sport will restore its funding                                       investment. The choice is pretty stark: one which is showing
                                                                     promise or one which is something of a cliff edge.”
• Sport’s representatives contest loss of                                Sports that have had funding cuts have been urged to use
entire £8.5m budget                                                  grassroots cash from Sport England to develop athletes capable
                                                                     of competing for medals. But those from team sports argue that
• ‘Golden generation will miss out if we
                                                                     approach is virtually impossible without investment in the elite
lose all our funding’                                                programme.
Owen Gibson                                                              The Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, the most high-profile
                                                                     British basketball player, has written to the prime minister to
                                                                     protest against the loss of funding. “I, along with other people
                                                                     involved in the game, have put too much in and care too greatly
                                                                     to let this happen,” said Deng.
                                                                         “The sport of basketball is a pathway that teaches so many
                                                                     valuable lessons on and off the court,” he said. “How are we
                                                                     supposed to motivate these kids to carry along their journey
                                                                     when there’s now nothing at the end? No Team GB, no Olympic
                                                                     dream, no goal.”
                                                                         The UK Sport presentations are not formal appeals, but the
                                                                     agency’s board has said it will announce to the public and the
                                                                     sports on Friday whether it plans to make any changes to its
                                                                     funding awards as a result of their appeals.
                                                                         British Volleyball saw its funding cut from £3.5m to
Luol Deng, Britain’s most high-profile basketball player, has
                                                                     £400,000, enough to fund a single beach volleyball team, while
written to the prime minister to protest against cuts to his
                                                                     wrestling had its money cut entirely. Wrestling endured a series
sport’s funding. Photograph: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
                                                                     of controversies in the run up to the Games over its selection
British Basketball is hopeful of convincing UK Sport to reinstate    policy, and then underperformed in London. Other sports
its funding for the Rio 2016 Olympics after a meeting in London      that failed to secure any funding, including table tennis and
to plead its case.                                                   handball, have opted not to appeal.
    Representatives from five Olympic and Paralympic sports,
including basketball, met the funding agency on Wednesday
in an effort to contest cuts ahead of the Rio Games. All will
discover their fate by the end of the week.
    Although UK Sport, funded by the lottery and the exchequer,
will invest a record £347m over the next four years in Olympic
and Paralympic sport, several sports have had their funding
cut altogether or seriously reduced under its “no compromise”
criteria.
    Basketball, which has waged a high-profile campaign after
losing all of its £8.5m funding, was given 40 minutes to present
its case for a reprieve to the UK Sport board – a courtesy also
extended to officials from volleyball, wheelchair fencing,




                                                                       *
triathlon, and wrestling, who had their own 40 minutes each.
Representatives from triathlon, a sport which actually received
an increase of £200,000 over four years to £5.5m, feel the rise
is too modest a reward for two medals in London – gold for
Alistair Brownlee and bronze for his brother Jonny – and given
the fast-growing nature of the sport.
    The “no compromise” approach, which helped Team GB                 Follow the ups and downs of
to fourth in the medal table in Beijing and third in London,
will remorselessly channel funding only to those sports with
                                                                       the housing market
a genuine chance of winning a medal in 2016 or 2020. Sports            and get details of the latest
that fielded teams or competitors in London thanks to being
awarded “home nation places” have been particularly hard hit.
                                                                       mortgage deals in our Property
    “The panel were engaged and receptive,” said Roger                 section.
Moreland, British Basketball chairman. “We’ve been partners            guardian.co.uk/money
together for six years. We presented a robust case. It’s a sport
that really is on the up and has such a big talent pool at the 16
to 25 level. There is a golden generation that will miss out if we
lose all our funding.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk

				
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