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									G24
                           | pdf edition | Wednesday February 27 2013                                                     Sport
                                                                                                                          Downloaded 22:47 GMT




Chelsea ease past Middlesbrough to reach
FA Cup quarter-finals
Ramires and Victor Moses found the net as Chelsea ended
Middlesbrough’s early resistance to win 2-0 at the Riverside
Stadium Page 2


David Beckham plays his part as PSG beat
Marseille in French Cup
David Beckham proved on his full debut for PSG that he can be a
valuable addition to the team as the league leaders beat Marseille in
the French Cup Page 3


Tom Maynard drugs revelation ‘wasn’t a
surprise’, says Mark Ramprakash
The former England batsman said there had been rumours about
Tom Maynard’s behaviour before the inquest into his death Page 4




Grid-irons: you are                          Ireland’s Cian Healy                         Becky James’s father            Nicky Henderson says
duly sentenced to a                          wins appeal to play                          calls for medal parity          Simonsig will match
prison-sponsored                             against France Page 6                        for women at Glasgow            Overturn in the Arkle
stadium Page 5                                                                            Games Page 8                    Trophy Page 10
                                             Ilhan Mansiz: from
Mo Farah asked by US                         World Cup hero to                            Twenty20 cricket                LeBron James says he
newsreader: ‘Haven’t                         Olympic pairs figure                         at Olympic Games                has a faster 40-yard
you run before?’                            skater? Page 7                              would be ‘ideal for US’         dash than Manti Te’o
Page 6                                                                                    Page 9                          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 February 27 2013                22:47 GMT

                                                                            Even more encouragingly from the Boro manager’s
                                                                        viewpoint his players were beginning to break slickly, with one
Chelsea ease past Middlesbrough to                                      counter-attack ending with Scott McDonald directing a header
reach FA Cup quarter-finals                                             from Nicky Bailey’s cross a yard wide. Benítez cannot have been
                                                                        overjoyed that McDonald had lost Ferreira with consummate
Louise Taylor at the Riverside Stadium                                  ease to leave himself effectively unmarked.
                                                                            Soon afterwards Bikey hobbled off, perhaps having injured
                                                                        himself in the act of catching Torres with a boot up the
                                                                        backside, but Seb Hines’s introduction failed to interrupt Boro’s
                                                                        improvement. Or Chelsea’s regression.
                                                                            Indeed Boro’s team might well have taken the lead when
                                                                        Mustapha Carayol deceived Ferreira courtesy of a nifty switch
                                                                        of feet before unleashing a venomous shot from the edge of
                                                                        the area which Petr Cech could only parry. Happily for Chelsea,
                                                                        John Terry was on hand to clear the rebound before any home
                                                                        player could pounce.
                                                                            Not only had Boro enjoyed the better openings but,
                                                                        amazingly, the goalkeeper Steele was not required to make
                                                                        a significant save throughout the entire first half. Almost
                                                                        imperceptibly players such as Rhys Williams, Grant Leadbitter
The Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, left, tries to bustle past
                                                                        and Faris Haroun had relaxed into a passing groove sufficiently
Middlesbrough’s Stephen McManus. Photograph: Stu Forster/
                                                                        incisive to prompt the odd Chelsea counterpart to remember
Getty Images
                                                                        their names.
For a while it seemed as if Rafael Benítez’s players feared                 Few neutrals would have believed that Boro had lost seven
Middlesbrough’s home was armed with hidden tripwires                    of their past nine Championship games, winning only one
destined to leave them lying flat on their faces in this FA Cup         during a dismal sequence which threatens their promotion
fifth-round match.                                                      hopes.
    Eventually though an initially tentative Chelsea had the                Mowbray’s team tend to struggle during Jonathan
measure of Tony Mowbray’s impressive team, booking a                    Woodgate’s regular injury absences but despite being without
quarter-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford as it           their key defender and best player, they looked reasonably
became clear that the only genuine Hazard on the pitch was the          assured.
visitors’ very own Eden.                                                    Or at least they did until the 51st minute when Oscar crossed,
    The influential second–half substitute – who says Benítez           and after finding his path to goal blocked, Benayoun nudged the
cannot do anything right? – helped create the second goal for           ball back to Ramires.
Victor Moses after Ramires fired a half-volley via Fernando                 The midfielder’s half volley from the edge of the area was
Torres and beyond Jason Steele in the Middlesbrough goal.               helped on its journey into the back of the net by a deflection off
    They played highlights of Middlesbrough’s 2006 3-0 Premier          Torres’s shoulder.
League win against Chelsea throughout the stadium concourses                Hazard’s introduction was to prove inspired, unsettling
before kick-off. Seven years on José Mourinho is managing Real          Boro’s composure. He helped created his side’s second goal by
Madrid and Steve McClaren, the man who out-witted him that              playing a one-two with Oscar which culminated in his feint and
day, has just left FC Twente by “mutual consent”.                       square pass to Moses, who shot Chelsea into the sixth round.
    Boro’s hopes of repeating that feat in an FA Cup context were           Any creative tensions between Benítez and his players will
bolstered by the Chelsea team-sheet. While Nathan Ake made              fade into insignificance next to renewal of the Spaniard’s old
his first start for the visitors, Paulo Ferreira began a game for the   acquaintance with Sir Alex Ferguson.
first time this season.
    With Demba Ba on the bench, Torres was deployed as
Chelsea’s lone striker and George Friend, Boro’s left-back,




                                                                          *
would have presumably been quick to dispute suggestions that
the Spaniard has lost his speed. Yet despite being out-paced
by Torres on several occasions Friend, a £100,000 signing
from Doncaster Rovers last summer, seemed well up for the
challenge, making one splendid sliding tackle on the £50m
forward which may have prevented a goal.
                                                                          From Beirut to Big Brother,
    André Bikey did even better to block Oscar’s shot following           Murdoch to Millionaire,
Victor Moses’s cross but with Bikey and his fellow centre-half            discuss the hot topics in the media
Stephen McManus taking turns to thwart Torres, Chelsea’s
early monopoly of possession was not producing the amount of
                                                                          on not one, but two blogs Organ
chances that might have been expected.                                    Grinder and Greenslade
    Ake and Ramires began well, comfortably controlling                   blogs.guardian.co.uk/organgrinder/
midfield, but gradually Mowbray’s players began condensing
                                                                          blogs.guardian.co.uk/greenslade/
the space around them, curbing that deep-lying pair’s room for
manoeuvre.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                              Wednesday February 27 2013                 22:47 GMT

                                                                      is to be expected given they have spent £250m on new players,
                                                                      from Ibrahimovic to Thiago Silva, Ezequiel Lavezzi to Lucas
David Beckham plays his part as PSG                                   Moura. Yet Beckham has still added stardust to the collective,
beat Marseille in French Cup                                          with any notion he has merely been recruited to bolster shirt
                                                                      sales too simplistic given the financial clout this club’s Qatari
• Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Marseille                                   owners boast. This club have agreed a four-year deal with the
• Ibrahimovic 34 64pen                                                Qatar Tourism Authority worth a reported £560m, while talk
                                                                      of bidding £40m for Wayne Rooney can hardly be deemed
Dominic Fifield at the Parc des Princes                               outlandish given they can compete for any talent they choose.
                                                                          Yet, while the figures transform the club’s reputation,
                                                                      Beckham still raises their global standing. His profile adds to
                                                                      theirs but, already, there are signs he will be as considerable an
                                                                      asset on the pitch. The Pirlo role suits his style, camped at the
                                                                      base of midfield and distributing neatly.
                                                                          It was his pass that opened up the left side of Marseille’s
                                                                      defence for Kévin Gameiro to chase and cross for Ibrahimovic
                                                                      on the quarter-hour mark, and Le Spice Boy’s quickly taken
                                                                      free-kick moments later that sent Jérémy Ménez through on
                                                                      goal while visiting players still disputed the award.
                                                                          The miss that followed was wasteful, but Beckham’s
                                                                      involvement was tidy, reassuring, even metronomic.
                                                                          The surprise was Marseille, as on Sunday, had not sought
David Beckham started his first game for Paris St-Germain             to disrupt his rhythm. Surely the temptation must have been
in the French Cup game against Joey Barton’s Marseille.               there for Joey Barton or Jacques-Alaixys Romao to snap into a
Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images                          challenge and suffocate his supply line, yet it took 25 minutes
                                                                      for the other Englishman on the turf to crunch his compatriot.
The third home Classique of Paris St-Germain’s campaign had
                                                                      By the time Romao did likewise shortly afterwards, prompting
entered its latter stages, the hosts assured and their bitter
                                                                      a melee with Beckham hovering on the periphery, the Parisians
rivals distinctly rattled, when Jordan Ayew ploughed into
                                                                      led courtesy of Ibrahimovic’s neatly taken goal. The Swede,
French football’s latest star attraction and finally left him
                                                                      who was told by Barton that he has a big nose after one
rattled. David Beckham picked himself out of the tangle of
                                                                      challenge tinyurl.com/agf54qf , has been banned for PSG’s next
bodies on the byline and eye-balled the Marseille substitute
                                                                      two Champions League games following his dismissal in the
as team-mates and rivals squared up all around. The flash of
                                                                      last-16 tie at Valencia, starting with next week’s return in Paris.
yellow that followed felt harsh but, as the locals whooped their
                                                                      He will be missed.
appreciation at the show of temper, Beckham will hardly care.
                                                                          It was Ibrahimovic who won the penalty from Jérémy
    Four weeks into his latest eye-catching career move and the
                                                                      Morel near the byline from which the hosts doubled their lead
former England captain, at 37, has already been christened “La
                                                                      just after the hour-mark, the striker’s spot-kick dispatched
Bonne Pioche” in Paris, his displays as a substitute on Sunday
                                                                      with ease, as the visitors sensed the occasion was veering
against these opponents and again here suggesting he is every
                                                                      away. Beckham trotted over to his team-mates late to enjoy
bit the “bargain” PSG had hoped. The board summoning the
                                                                      the celebrations, the strain of his first lengthy outing since 1
home side’s No8 from the fray here went up four minutes from
                                                                      December in the Major League Soccer cup final starting to show.
time, Beckham retreating to the bench while his name was
                                                                      Yet he was still capable of tearing back to dispossess Mathieu
chorused around the virages. He had revelled in his Andrea Pirlo
                                                                      Valbuena as Marseille threatened to counter-attack, and still
role, all clever passing and reassurance until Marseille lost their
                                                                      instructing Blaise Matuidi at his side as PSG strained to retain
rag. This swansong to a glittering career feels encouraging. PSG,
                                                                      solidity. There is clear value in his presence. At a money-flushed
after this win, are into the quarter-finals of the French Cup.
                                                                      club crammed with superstars, he will surely prove to be that
    That debut on Sunday in the league meeting had been a
                                                                      bargain.
bonus, a 16-minute cameo made all the more tantalising by his
involvement in the build-up to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s stoppage
time goal to confirm a satisfying victory. This re-match was
always likely to have been the opportunity to grant the 37-year-
old a start. “His attitude, physical condition and hunger are
excellent,” Carlo Ancelotti had noted in the build-up. Beckham
is keen to impress and has already made a habit of being the last
to depart his new club’s base, Camp des Loges, after training
each day. He had even offered a hint of French – albeit only a
brief “Merci et au revoir” – to the autograph hunters waiting in
                                                                        *
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They are French football’s outstanding team at present, which
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page 4 G24 Sport                                                              Wednesday February 27 2013                  22:47 GMT

                                                                      Tom’s body. I think that has caused us to pause and think a bit.
                                                                      But while Tom’s case is shocking I don’t think it is evidence of a
Tom Maynard drugs revelation ‘wasn’t a                                widespread problem.
surprise’, says Mark Ramprakash                                           “The levels shown in the inquest are ones which, had Tom
                                                                      been tested last summer, there is little doubt he would have
• Ramprakash: ‘There had been rumours                                 failed a drug test. As chance had it, he wasn’t selected for a test,
before the inquest’                                                   which is a random process. I think we can be fairly confident
                                                                      he was unusual in terms of the extent of his apparent addiction
• ‘If testing all year round will help, it must
                                                                      to recreational drugs, and reasonably confident there are not a
be a good thing’                                                      lot of players out there who have got similar problems. We’re
Andy Wilson                                                           not complacent but I would say the problems in cricket are
                                                                      reflective of the problems in society as a whole.”
                                                                          Ramprakash offered qualified backing to the proposals from
                                                                      the PCA and the England and Wales Cricket Board for players
                                                                      to be tested for recreational drugs out of competition, as had
                                                                      originally been suggested by Surrey in their internal report into
                                                                      Maynard’s death.
                                                                          “I suppose the big issue now is whether we widen that scope
                                                                      and look for testing out of cricket,” he added. “There are still
                                                                      some discussions needed to thrash that out – should cricketers
                                                                      be treated any differently to people from other walks of life?
                                                                      We’re trying to learn the lessons of this tragedy and if we can
                                                                      help people more by testing them all year round, that must be a
                                                                      good thing.”
                                                                          Surrey refused to provide any further details from their
Mark Ramprakash said Tom Maynard’s ‘tragic passing should
                                                                      report other than the five conclusions that they released after
be used in a positive way to educate young cricketers’.
                                                                      the inquest on Tuesday, but stressed that they had “gone above
Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
                                                                      and beyond the due diligence that would have been required
Mark Ramprakash has admitted that the revelation that his             of us” in their investigation into the circumstances leading to
former Surrey team-mate Tom Maynard had been taking drugs             Maynard’s death. It was conducted by Richard Gould, the chief
before his death last summer “wasn’t a complete surprise”.            executive, “with full oversight” from Lord Grabiner and Robert
    Ramprakash followed Rory Hamilton-Brown and Jade                  Elliott, two senior lawyers who are on the county’s board.
Dernbach, the two players who appeared at Tuesday’s inquest,
by stressing that he had no knowledge or suspicions that
Maynard was a regular cocaine user, as the 23-year-old’s post-
mortem had revealed.
    But the former England batsman told Sky Sports News: “I
suppose there had been rumours before the inquest made it
official regarding Tom’s behaviour and perhaps what he’d been
up to, so it wasn’t a complete surprise.
    “I’m not an expert, I have to say. I did share a dressing room
a little bit with Tom last season and didn’t really see any signs
of that. Of course there is a bit of an age gap. I was away doing
other things and there was a core of young players who did




                                                                        *
things together – played cricket hard, and socialised together.”
    In an interview with the Daily Telegraph shortly after his
retirement last summer, which came only weeks after the
death of Maynard, Ramprakash had said: “If young players
show promise they’re on to quite good salaries quite quickly.
Young players now are rewarded very, very quickly from the
age of 19, 20, 21 on the back of a few good innings. So how that        The Guardian digital edition
translates into their lifestyles, well, it can be very tempting for
young men, if they’re earning a few quid, to go out and enjoy
                                                                        Read the Guardian on the web
themselves. You have to get the balance right.”                         exactly the way it was printed.
    Angus Porter, the chief executive of the Professional
Cricketers’ Association, suggested his organisation had been
                                                                        With award-winning Guardian
braced for evidence that Maynard had been taking drugs after            photography accessible from
receiving “an early warning of the pathologist’s findings”,             anywhere in the world.
but insisted that the level of the player’s abuse – described as
“regular and habitual” at the inquest – had still come as a shock.      guardian.co.uk/digitaledition
    “We didn’t know any of the detail,” he said. “I think we were
all shocked at the level of drugs and alcohol that were found in
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Wednesday February 27 2013                22:47 GMT

                                                                     people in their custody and a whole series of incidents that
                                                                     really draw into question their ability to successfully manage
Grid-irons: you are duly sentenced to a                              a prison facility.” A US judge described one GEO facility for
prison-sponsored stadium                                             teenaged prisoners as “a cesspool of unconstitutional and
                                                                     inhuman acts and conditions” and “a picture of such horror as
The private prison corporation GEO Group’s                           should be unrealised anywhere in the civilised world”.
purchase of naming rights to the home of                                 But it’s not only the activists and judges. The move has set
                                                                     marketing folks a-wonderin’ why a firm like GEO has parted
Florida Atlantic Owls represents a new low
                                                                     with $6m for the rights. After all, most stadium sponsors
in the dysfunctional relationship between                            purchase these tie-ups in order to sell their product to the
sport and communities                                                consumer – either the consumer who attends the stadium or
Marina Hyde                                                          the one watching at home. But GEO’s “consumer” is effectively
                                                                     government – it angles for government contracts. Indeed, it is
                                                                     specifically angling for the spoils of a potential privatisation
                                                                     of Florida’s state prisons. So either this is a typical attempt to
                                                                     affect consumer choice by reaching out to future criminals –
                                                                     because really, nothing says “Go Owls!” like choosing to commit
                                                                     your felony somewhere within the catchment of one of GEO’s
                                                                     facilities. Or we’ve officially moved into the era where firms are
                                                                     openly co-opting sport to lobby government.
                                                                         All this, of course, has happened in That America. But do
                                                                     assume that it could be replicated over here, and probably
                                                                     in a heartbeat. GEO already provides all kinds of private
                                                                     prison and detention services to the UK government, and
                                                                     runs immigration centres in Dungavel in Scotland and
                                                                     Harmondsworth in west London. (Just over a fortnight ago, an
The GEO Group Stadium sounds like the sort of ballpark               84-year-old Canadian man who complained of heart pain while
Escape From New York’s Snake Plissken might stroll past.             being detained was the seventh to die at Harmondsworth since
Photograph: Corbis                                                   2001 gu.com/p/3ev4x .) To visit the firm’s website is to dive into
If you’ve been paying attention to the movies all these years,       a wonderland of euphemisms. It works in the “custody sector”.
you will already be aware that the so-called society of the          Its facilities feature “leading-edge custodial technology”.
future will have dispensed with wars. Death games, however,              Already, the days where the Reebok seemed a futuristically
will be big news. In whichever dystopia you and your children        mercenary name for Bolton Wanderers’ ground are long gone.
find yourselves after the Great Plot Device Wars, athletes will      The latest “new low” was the confirmation, a few months back,
essentially be prisoners pitted against each other to make           that cuddly payday loans firm Wonga would be sponsoring
money for some kind of evil mega-corporation, or to distract         Newcastle. (Though its name adorns the club strip, the
the populace from the fact that they are effectively enslaved by     company insisted on restoring the name St James’ Park to the
said evil mega-corporation.                                          Toon stadium, which I think we were supposed to think was
    Every so often, scientists believe some sort of tear opens       classy.) Football’s business brains seemed immensely relaxed
up in the spacetime continuum, causing part of this future           about the whole deal, which was big of them, considering that
to arrive in our present. And the other day, it seems, was one       exploiting people on low incomes is pretty much their job.
of those moments. How else to explain the fact that naming               It all feels like just another chapter in big-time sport’s
rights to a Florida football stadium have been sold to a private     increasingly arse-about-tit relationship with the communities it
prison corporation? The 30,000-seat Florida Atlantic University      affects to serve. The ultimate illustration of that dysfunctional
stadium, home to the Florida Atlantic Owls, will now carry the       relationship, of course, came during Hurricane Katrina, and
name GEO Group Stadium, which is quite the firm to watch in          was summarised best by the radical US sportswriter Dave
the increasingly competitive arena of for-profit incarceration.      Zirin. A city which had failed to find money to maintain the
    If that sounds to you like the sort of ballpark Snake Plissken   levees meant to defend its poorest inhabitants had nonetheless
might stroll past in the forthcoming movie Escape From               always come up with the cash to construct and nurture the
The Premier League, you are strongly urged to get with the           Superdome. Now people who could never have afforded a ticket
programme. Urged by GEO, that is, which is massively affronted       at the stadium were herded into it for their very survival, with
that its move should be seen as anything other than straight-up      Jesse Jackson likening the rapidly-worsening conditions in the
philanthropy.                                                        structure to the hull of a slave ship. Paraphrasing Chris Rock,
    And yet, there are always the sneerers, as Tony Blair used to    Zirin pointed out that trickle-down economics does not always
call them. “It’s like calling something Blackwater Stadium,” one     trickle down.
prominent activist against private prisons told the New York             Ah well. Progress is the realisations of utopias, as someone
Times, making reference to the private military contractor that      who never got to take their seat in a private-prison-sponsored
has since rebranded to Academi after years of its activities being   stadium once said. And let’s face it, there’d be a neat
misunderstood in places from Afghanistan to Iraq to various          narrative symmetry if, when the seemingly endless Olympic
CIA black sites. “This is a company whose record is marred by        Stadium saga finally draws to a close, the naming rights were
human rights abuses, by lawsuits, by unnecessary deaths of           immediately sold to a certain private security firm by the name

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                      guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                            Wednesday February 27 2013                22:47 GMT

of G4S.

                                                                     Ireland’s Cian Healy wins appeal to play
Mo Farah asked by US newsreader:                                     against France
‘Haven’t you run before?’
                                                                     • Prop was suspended for stamp on
Double Olympic gold medallist left                                   England’s Dan Cole
bemused by questions after winning the                               • Healy argued that three-week ban
New Orleans half-marathon in record time                             breached regulations
                                                                     Paul Rees
Shiv Malik

Mo Farah’s stunning double gold medal success at the 2012
Olympics made the athlete – and his “Mobot” victory sign – a
global phenomenon: everywhere, it seems, apart from one TV
station in New Orleans.
    After winning the city’s Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon on
Sunday, Farah was asked by WSDU tinyurl.com/7cmdmg5
presenter LaTonya Norton if he had ever run before gu.com/
p/3e3yh .
    In the two-minute interview following the race, Farah was at
first bemused when the presenter asked: “Now haven’t you run
before?” Norton repeated the question again, asking, “Haven’t
you run before? This isn’t your first time?”
    Farah broke into a smile and replied that he had run a half-
marathon before, but that this was his first time running in New     Cian Healy, centre, has seen his appeal against a three week
Orleans.                                                             ban for stamping upheld Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty
    Norton, a reporter at the TV station since 2006, then            Images
congratulated Farah for winning the half-marathon and getting        The Six Nations committee has been forced into a humiliating
“off to a great start” in his attempt to run longer distances. “Do   climbdown over the three-week ban it imposed on the Ireland
you have any other races coming up?” she added.                      prop Cian Healy gu.com/p/3dnc9 this month for stamping on the
    Not once during the interview did Norton note Farah’s            England front-row Dan Cole, because it breached regulations.
5,000 metres and 10,000m gold medal success at the London                The 25-year-old’s suspension was designed so it officially
Olympics, only ever referring to him as the male winner of that      started after a round of RaboDirect matches that fell on a rest
Sunday’s half-marathon.                                              weekend for the Six Nations, ensuring he missed Ireland’s Tests
    After his success in London last summer, Farah’s Mobot went      against Scotland last Sunday and France next week. Ireland
viral and was even copied in homage by 100m sprint champion          appealed against the ban, which was handed out by a three-man
Usain Bolt during the Games.                                         panel made up of representatives from the Welsh, Italian and
    A source from Farah’s agency said they believed it was a “a      French unions, and on Wednesday succeeded in arguing that
case of not knowing who they were talking to.”                       it breached disciplinary regulations. Healy will be free to play
    A producer at WSDU said that the recording had been taken        against France, meaning he will effectively have missed one
out of context. The Hearst-owned news station said that Norton       match having been cited for stamping on Cole’s ankle during
“knew he [Farah] was an Olympian”. Norton, the producer              the 12-6 defeat by England in Dublin gu.com/p/3dy26 .
explained, had been asking Farah not whether he had run at all,          An appeal panel, chaired by Scotland’s Lorne Crerar,
but whether this was his first time pounding the pavement in         accepted Healy’s central argument that by spreading a three-
New Orleans.                                                         week ban over four weeks, the original disciplinary committee
    However, in an official statement WSDU management issued         had flouted the essential principle of the disciplinary process
an apology: “We regret our unfortunate phrasing of questions         that bans are blanket.
posed to Mr Mo Farah following his impressive victory in this            The original panel was told that Healy would not ordinarily
past weekend’s Rock ‘n’ Roll half-marathon in New Orleans and        have played for Leinster against Treviso when the Six Nations
for not acknowledging his status as an Olympic champion.             was taking a break because Ireland would not have released
    “We express our sincere apology to Mr Farah and his many         him, which is why it started his ban at the beginning of the
fans who may have been offended by our error. We hope that Mr        following week.
Farah will have occasion to visit New Orleans again and that we          It did not have the discretion to do so because a ban
may have the opportunity to apologise in person.”                    automatically covers all tournaments and when Leinster
                                                                     announced their intention to play him against Treviso, the
                                                                     Six Nations’ order to stand him down formed the basis for the
                                                                     successful appeal because it could be argued that the prop’s ban
                                                                     was being applied to one tournament.
                                                                         The International Rugby Board cannot get involved because
                                                                     the disciplinary processes in the Six Nations and the Rugby
                                                                     Championship in the southern hemisphere are the preserves of
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page 7 G24 Sport                                                            Wednesday February 27 2013               22:47 GMT

the unions involved. It has the right to appeal during the tour     Dans tinyurl.com/cl7xfem , Turkey’s Dancing On Ice. Problems
windows in June and November if it feels that due process has       with the knee persisted but after falling for his dance partner
not been observed or a punishment has been too lenient, but         Olga Bestandigova, one of the professionals on the programme
that has not been extended to the tier-one tournaments.             who competed at the 2002 Winter Games, the pair formed a
    A move was made last year to put the IRB in charge of the       relationship that spurred them on to victory. Now they are
disciplinary process for all tournaments and Test matches, as it    loved up and training in America.
is in the World Cup. It would have appointed all citing officers        “It was Oli during the show who saw my potential,” Mansiz
and disciplinary panels, but the bid was defeated by the leading    says. “I always wanted to start a second sporting career after
unions.                                                             football but I never thought in my dreams it would be pairs
    The Healy farce may prompt a rethink, but there is no           skating.
pressure to change the way in which bans are measured,                  “We are not expecting to get a medal but to be a part of the
in weeks rather than matches, nor will football’s model of          Olympics will mean much more than winning. It is also about
different jurisdictions applying to domestic, European and          encouraging people that no matter what, at any age, you can
international tournaments be adopted, not least because the         reach your dreams by believing and working hard.”
most serious offences in rugby have maximum punishments                 What makes this surprising tale even more unlikely is that
measured in years rather than weeks.                                Mansiz’s left knee was torn to shreds by the crash six years
    Healy was given a five-week ban for stamping on Cole after      ago. Sustaining medial ligament damage and with cartilage
the original panel decided the offence was in the medium range      seemingly beyond repair, the fact that he and Bestandigova
in terms of intent. It was reduced to three because of mitigating   are now practising death star spirals, flying camels and double
factors, such as his previous good record, and that meant,          jumps on a rink in Arizona as they bid to qualify for Sochi next
under the rules, missing two Leinster matches he would not          year is some turnaround.
have played in and the international at Murrayfield.                    “I would be the first athlete to compete in the World Cup
                                                                    and the Winter Olympics,” says Mansiz, who is in the midst of
                                                                    a gruelling regime that involves six sessions of yoga, ballet and
Ilhan Mansiz: from World Cup hero to                                gym work every week, with plenty of time on the ice. “I had
Olympic pairs figure skater?                                        never even watched skating before I stepped on the ice for the
                                                                    first time when I was 32.
                                                                        “There are two ways to qualify for Sochi. First is in March
The scorer of Turkey’s most important goal                          during the world championships, which we are not taking part
has his heart set on success in a second                            in. Sixteen couples can qualify there and four more spots will be
sporting career at the Sochi Winter Games                           won in September at the Nebelhorn Trophy in Oberstdorf. We
                                                                    are planning to compete there to be one of the four best non-
James Riach
                                                                    qualified pairs.”
                                                                        Mansiz, 37, was part of the Turkey side who finished third
                                                                    in Japan and South Korea in 2002, when Hakan Sukur, Hasan
                                                                    Sas, Emre, Tugay and Umit Davala combined to great effect to
                                                                    make Turkey a surprise package, losing narrowly to eventual
                                                                    champions Brazil in the semi-finals.
                                                                        Sukur led the forward line on his own throughout the
                                                                    tournament with Mansiz accustomed to coming off the bench
                                                                    in the second half, making an impact when it mattered most.
                                                                    Turkey’s quarter-final with Senegal was goalless and edging
                                                                    towards a penalty shootout before Mansiz expertly steered
                                                                    Davala’s cross past Tony Sylva for a 94th-minute golden goal
                                                                    that sparked wild celebrations in Osaka. He then started the
                                                                    third-place play-off against South Korea and scored twice in a
Ilhan Mansiz and Olga Bestandigova plan to compete at the           3-2 victory gu.com/p/x5jxn .
2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Photograph: Corbis                       “It was my breakthrough at the World Cup. I was always
Scoring the most important goal in your country’s history           on the bench even though I was in better shape then Hakan
would be the zenith in the career of most professional athletes.    Sukur, and we were always trying to explain to the coach [Senol
Ilhan Mansiz did just that at the 2002 World Cup gu.com/p/x5thc     Gunes] to play with two forwards but he was afraid of it. When
, yet a greater challenge lies ahead of him on the road to the      I scored the goal I didn’t know it would be the most important
2014 Winter Olympics where he hopes to represent Turkey once        of my career but it was the most remarkable goal in Turkish
again, this time, quite remarkably, in pairs figure skating.        history.”
    A nomadic footballing journey began late for the former             Perhaps Mansiz’s penchant for extravagance should have
striker and included spells at Besiktas, the Japanese side Vissel   been noted in 2002. Not only did he score that crucial goal
Kobe and Hertha Berlin. It was cut short in 2007 when Mansiz        against Senegal but he produced one of the most sublime pieces
was knocked down by a car at a pedestrian crossing in Munich        of skill in World Cup history, impudently flicking the ball over
and suffered terrible knee injuries.                                the head of Brazil’s Roberto Carlos tinyurl.com/2qgw7v when he
    After surgery, eight months recovering and a brief attempt      was being shepherded out of play.
to extend playing, he was offered a place on the TV show Buzda          “The flick was a move I did a lot during practise but because

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                            Wednesday February 27 2013                22:47 GMT

it was the World Cup and Roberto Carlos, people keep it in their
minds. Almost anybody that recognises me asks about that flick
– most of the players got mad but we shook hands on the pitch
                                                                     Becky James’s father calls for medal
afterwards and Roberto Carlos told me it was a nice move – such      parity for women at Glasgow Games
a sportsman.”
    From such a high in South Korea, Mansiz was at a low             • Only two sprints for women cyclists at
ebb five years later. “It ended my career,” he says of the car       Commonwealth Games
accident. “I was on my usual morning run to the park, crossing
                                                                     • David James has backing of Tanni Grey-
the street I waited for the pedestrian signal. As it showed green
I started to run and halfway across a car accelerated and hit me
                                                                     Thompson
on my left side, right underneath the knee. It got twisted and       James Riach
I flew three metres up in the air and landed on my shoulder on
the car.”
    Bestandigova revealed in an interview that before she met
Mansiz she was dubious of being partnered on Buzda Dans
with a footballer: “As far as I know they are dumb as a candy
and they don’t know anything apart from kicking the ball and
running around the pitch,” she told Absolute Skating. Mansiz
admits the heavy schedule can be tough on the relationship
but after moving to America and committing to qualification,
everything so far is going to plan. They may not be the Turkish
Torvill and Dean, but reaching Sochi would represent a unique
achievement.
    “We have a lot of fun when we practise together. Of course
sometimes it gets too much with the busy schedule because we
                                                                     Becky James and her sister Rachel want to compete together
are doing everything together, but we survive,” Mansiz says. “It
                                                                     for Wales in the team sprint at the Commonwealth Games.
was a big step to move to the States but in five months we have
                                                                     Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA
got close to our best. The last 10% is always the hardest to reach
so we are working hard to be on course.”                             The father of Becky James, Great Britain’s double-gold winning
                                                                     track world champion, has called for women cyclists to have
                                                                     equal medal chances with men at next year’s Commonwealth
                                                                     Games in a bid to allow two of his daughters tinyurl.com/
                                                                     c4ue4j8 to compete together for Wales in the team sprint.
                                                                        Women will be able to participate in only two sprint events
                                                                     while men compete in four at Glasgow 2014, a move described
                                                                     as a “backwards step” by David James. He is lobbying for female
                                                                     events in the keirin and team sprint events, in addition to the
                                                                     500m time trial and single sprint.
                                                                        The introduction of a team sprint would open up the
                                                                     intriguing possibility of Becky James competing alongside
                                                                     her sister Rachel. Their father has written to Dame Tanni




  *
                                                                     Grey-Thompson in an attempt to gain support and the former
                                                                     Paralympic champion, and advocate of equality in sport, is in
                                                                     favour of the idea.
                                                                        James argues that a change in the event programme
                                                                     would have widespread support and claims that he has
                                                                     received correspondence from the Australian Olympic and
  Fantasy League Classic                                             Commonwealth track champion Anna Meares saying she is

  Manage a squad of 16 players                                       “aghast” at the lack of parity.
                                                                        He said: “Within a few months of Rachel starting we found
  and a budget of £75 million.                                       out that on the programme for the Commonwealth Games

  £75,000 worth of prizes to be                                      there are four men’s sprint events but only two for women – the
                                                                     500m time trial and the sprint. That didn’t stop Rachel and I’ve
  won in weekly, monthly and                                         started writing to people about it. I’ve written to Dame Tanni
  overall competitions. Beat your                                    Grey-Thompson and Harriet Harman.
                                                                        “It’s a backward step from the Olympics when we had
  nearest and dearest in a friends                                   equality and parity for women. Dame Tanni Grey has responded
  league.                                                            and she said she would look into it. I wrote to Anna Meares.
                                                                     Since 2010 we’ve built up communication. I started sending her
  guardian.co.uk/fantasyleague                                       emails and she was aghast that there wasn’t parity.”
                                                                        Speaking to the Guardian, Grey-Thompson said she is
                                                                     backing the campaign. “We can’t lose the momentum of where
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Wednesday February 27 2013                22:47 GMT

we are in sport. If it can’t be done for Glasgow then it has to be   Twenty20 tournament would cost the game financially, it
done for 2018,” she said. “I think at the Commonwealth Games,        would be considerably beneficial in the long term.
Olympics and Paralympics there should be equality in terms of            There would be serious complications in terms of national
the number of events. You look at the countries that are part        representation and logistics if cricket were to be played at the
of the Commonwealth and this would send out a really strong          Games but for teams such as the USA it would dramatically
message that women are of equal value to men.                        increase the sport’s popularity.
    “It’s the right thing to do, I don’t think we should still be        Manaf Mohamed, the general manager of operations at
justifying why there should be an equal number of events in          USACA, said: “We definitely would like something like that to
this day and age. Everyone says the Olympics is the women’s          happen, to be part of the Olympic Games and the T20 format
Games and then we’re still saying after ‘oh if you don’t mind,       – that would be ideal for the United States. We are associate
can we have a bit of equality’.”                                     members of the ICC, right now we are ranked 26th and in the
    A Glasgow 2014 spokesman said: “Glasgow 2014 has a strong        World Cricket League Division Three.
commitment to women’s sport and has worked with sport                    “ I would definitely say it would be popular, it would give
stakeholders and the Commonwealth Games Federation over              cricket exposure to the population at large. Everybody wants to
a number of years since the Games were awarded to Glasgow.           get into the Olympics and everybody looks at the Olympics. It
This work has seen some positive inclusions as part of the sport     would give it a real boost. We said we would definitely like to be
programme, including events for women’s boxing and shooting.         part of it but it all depends on the ICC lobbying from the top to
    “The sport programme for Glasgow 2014 was finalised and          the IOC.”
approved by the Commonwealth Games Federation in 2012 and                There are concerns from the ICC that any competition would
all planning is proceeding for delivering on our commitment to       fall in the northern hemisphere summer and clash with the
the identified medal events.”                                        cricket season. In 2011 the IOC’s president, Jacques Rogge, said:
                                                                     “We would welcome an application. It’s an important, popular
                                                                     sport and very powerful on television. It’s a sport with a great
Twenty20 cricket at Olympic Games                                    tradition where mostly you have a respect of the ethics.”
would be ‘ideal for US’                                                  An IOC spokesman said on Wednesday: “The IOC would
                                                                     welcome an application from the ICC, as it would from any
                                                                     recognised federation interested in being included on the
• MCC backs move to included T20 at 2024                             Olympic programme.”
Olympics                                                                 However, with a furore surrounding the London 2012 Team
• Move ‘would expose cricket to the US                               GB football team over concerns from Scotland and Wales that
population’                                                          involvement would threaten their own international futures,
                                                                     similar worries may emerge. There are also issues regarding
James Riach
                                                                     West Indies, who instead of a collective Caribbean side would
                                                                     be represented by the individual islands, and India, who are
                                                                     extremely protective of the Indian Premier League.
                                                                         The MCC said in a statement that “a great deal of effort may
                                                                     be needed to lobby for the inclusion of cricket in the Olympic
                                                                     Games of 2024. The committee accepts that there would be a
                                                                     short-term loss in income but is impressed with the potential
                                                                     boost for the game worldwide.
                                                                         “The committee advocates Twenty20 cricket as the format
                                                                     to be played at the Olympics, thereby providing the ‘pinnacle’
                                                                     of that form of the sport.”




Jacques Rogge, the IOC president, has said that cricket is an
‘important, popular sport and very powerful on television’.




                                                                       *
Photograph: Handout/Getty Images
The United States Cricket Association said that the introduction
of the Twenty20 game to the Olympics would be a “real
boost” for the sport in the US, after the MCC world committee
confirmed on Wednesday it would lobby for the short format of          Are you getting the best deal on
the game to be played at the 2024 Games.
    With rugby sevens and golf joining the Olympic programme
                                                                       your mortgage?
at Rio 2016, the International Cricket Council is in the midst of      Compare over 8500 mortgages
a feasibility study to assess the potential of Twenty20 at 2024,       online to find the best deal for you.
and is considering approaching the International Olympic
                                                                       guardian.co.uk/money/
Committee to promote its participation. After meeting in
Auckland this week the MCC world committee, which acts as a            compareandbuy
complementary body to the ICC, decided that while an Olympic
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                               Wednesday February 27 2013                22:47 GMT

                                                                        failing to impress in victory at Sandown last time.
                                                                            Simonsig, meanwhile, will complete his preparation at
Nicky Henderson says Simonsig will                                      Newbury on Sunday morning, when he will have a racecourse
match Overturn in the Arkle Trophy                                      gallop with Grandouet, Megalypos and possibly another,
                                                                        unnamed Festival candidate. Henderson reported that
• Trainer confident over Cheltenham                                     Simonsig, who has been working with Sprinter Sacre at home,
Festival clash                                                          recently impressed him to the extent that he wished he had
                                                                        aimed him at this season’s Champion Hurdle.
• Watering of track on hold with rain
                                                                            Henderson, who also gave six high-profile horses a
forecast next week                                                      racecourse gallop at Kempton on Saturday, has been criticised
Chris Cook at Cheltenham                                                by some for taking that route instead of running his better
                                                                        charges in actual races. Defending himself, he said of the horses
                                                                        concerned: “They’ve missed races, don’t forget and, at the time,
                                                                        we told you why they were missing races. They were either off
                                                                        [below peak health], the ground was bottomless, or a couple of
                                                                        dirty throats …
                                                                            “With that in mind, you need to just whack something in, a
                                                                        little bit more aggressive than what you can do at home. They
                                                                        tend to be laid back about it at home and an away day helps
                                                                        them, just puts that little bit of adrenaline in.”
                                                                            While Henderson has many fine chances of Festival glory,
                                                                        other trainers here struck a downbeat note. “If we have a
                                                                        winner, we’ll be thrilled to bits,” said Jonjo O’Neill, who
                                                                        nonetheless described Taquin Du Seuil as “the horse they’ll all
                                                                        have to beat” in the Neptune. He may run Sunnyhillboy in the
Nicky Henderson believes Simonsig will cope with the front-
                                                                        Gold Cup, in the hope that it could be a better prep-run for the
running Overturn at the Cheltenham Festival. Photograph:
                                                                        Grand National than asking him to give weight away in a big-
Tom Jenkins for the Guardian
                                                                        field handicap.
This year’s eagerly awaited Arkle Trophy is still almost two                Alan King appeared weighed down with woe as he confirmed
weeks away and Simonsig and Overturn are, one hopes, settled            that Bensalem would have to miss the Festival for a second
happily in their boxes, but their trainers are already rushing the      successive year, the latest in a long line of talented horses from
starter. One day after Donald McCain told journalists that the          the yard to suffer a season-ending injury. He named Meister
pace of his Overturn would “make it difficult” for his grey rival,      Eckhart in the Coral Cup and Godsmejudge in the National Hunt
Nicky Henderson spoke up for Simonsig at a pre-Festival media           Chase as his best chances.
event here.                                                                 The going here is currently soft, good to soft in places, the
    Henderson fielded the second-favourite, Tetlami, when               course having dried out very slowly during the recent cold
Overturn was last seen, winning easily and unchallenged                 weather. Temperatures are expected to rise next week, said
in Scotland this month. But the Lambourn trainer insisted:              Simon Claisse, clerk of the course, but rain is forecast from the
“Tetlami chasing Overturn round Musselburgh and Simonsig                Thursday before the Festival, with 15-18mm forecast before the
[doing the same] round Cheltenham is two very, very, very               meeting begins on 12 March. If that forecast is accurate, Claisse
different things.                                                       said, he would not artificially irrigate the course. It will take
    “Tetlami was shaking his head after three fences and saying:        only a small amount of rain to make the course very testing
‘I can’t go that fast.’ But Simonsig can.”                              once more, as there has been 1,000mm since April and the
    Indeed, Henderson feels that he has another Arkle entry,            water table remains high.
Captain Conan, who could cope with the relentless gallop
Overturn is expected to set. “They’re capable of going with him,
they’re capable of jumping the first with him if we want to. We




                                                                          *
don’t want to. But they can go along with him. He’s not going to
burn them off.
    “[Overturn] has been second in a Champion Hurdle but
Simonsig would be placed in a Champion Hurdle. He’d be
placed in this year’s Champion Hurdle. We know how the race is
going to pan out, unless Donald’s got a devious plan under his
                                                                          Mystified by mortgages?
hat, but I can’t see that he’s going to sit and wait at the start for     Perplexes by pensions? Confused
us to make the running.                                                   about your consumer rights?
    “What happens up here,” he said, gesturing to the run-in,             Our experts are on hand to answer
“that’s what’s going to keep everyone guessing, including me.”
    Victory for Captain Conan would be one of the less likely
                                                                          all kinds of financial and legal
outcomes, if only because Henderson is leaning towards                    questions, so you don’t need to be
running him in the half-mile longer Jewson Chase, two days                baffled any more. Read their advice,
after the Arkle. Nevertheless, he reported that the horse is
working “like a two-miler” and would do better than when
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         guardian.co.uk

								
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