Beijing triumph in Ji Zhe's jersey retirement

Beijing Ducks embraced the jersey retirement of deceased former captain Ji Zhe with a 112-104 home victory over Guangzhou Loong Lions while reigning champions Guangdong Southeast Tigers sailed past Zhejiang Lions 112-97 for 11th straight win of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league on Tuesday.Ji Zhes family and Beijing Ducks held a ceremony on Dec 10, 2019 for the player, who passed away last Thursday. (Photos: Xinhua)The three-time CBA winner Ji, who joined Beijing in 2007, had his No. 51 jersey retired. He died of lung cancer last Thursday at the age of 33.Andrew Nicholson and Keifer Sykes pocketed all 15 points for Guangzhou in the first quarter but fell 26-15 behind in front of Beijings better ball movement. They cut the deficit within 10 points several times afterward but failed to turn the tide.Ekpe Udoh led Beijings attack with 26 points. Jeremy Lin and Zhai Xiaochuan added 22 and 16 respectively. Nicholson finished a game-best 42 points for Guangzhou.Ji Zhes retired jersey is hanging on Wukesong Stadium.Du Runwang scored four points from the top-off as Guangdong built a 31-18 lead after the first quarter, and they never looked back, sitting atop the table with a record of 14-1.Sonny Weems led Guangdongs scoreboard with 32 points. Marshon Brooks added 25. Yi Jianlian registered a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds.Jeremy Lin of Beijing Ducks celebrates during the match against Guangdong.Jamaal Franklin contributed 42 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, and 10 steals, becoming the third player in CBA history to achieve a quadruple-double.But his stunning display could not save Shanxi Loongs from a 114-110 loss to second-placed Xinjiang Flying Tigers at home.Tight contention between the top three teams lasted until the final minute with the score at 108-all.Abudushalamus three-pointer moved Xinjiang ahead before grabbing an offensive rebound. A pair of free throws from Kyranbek Makan sealed the deal for Xinjiang.Else...

CAS verdict on Sun Yang not expected before January

GENEVA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said on Tuesday that its verdict over the case brought by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) against Chinese swimmer Sun Yang is not expected before mid-January 2020.File photo: VCGIn a media release, CAS said that all parties are currently preparing a written transcript of proceedings, including a full translation of Sun Yangs testimony at a public hearing held in Montreux, Switzerland, on November 15, which the CAS panel will reference when deliberating and preparing the verdict.The courtroom debate on November 15 was marred by poor interpretation of the testimony of Sun Yang and his witnesses. Lawyers of both parties had to constantly repeat their questions and even interrupt the witnesses testimonies as a result of incomplete and inaccurate interpretation between Chinese and English.CAS emphasized in its release that although the parties at court were allowed to use a language other than English, CAS was not able to hire external interpreters for reasons of independence and neutrality, and that the choice and cost of interpretation service was down to the relevant parties.Sun refused to complete a doping test conducted by the international testing company IDTM on September 4, 2018, saying the Doping Control Officer and her assistants lacked sufficient authorization and credentials.His case was later heard by swimmings world governing body FINA, who decided on January 3 this year that the swimmer was not guilty of anti-doping rule violations. WADA disagreed and appealed the decision, and asked the court to ban Sun for between two and eight years.At Suns request, last months hearing, which dragged on for nearly 11 hours and was attended by around 200 people, was only the second public hearing in the history of CAS. Sun said he wanted it to be public to let the world know what happened on September 4 and to prove his innocence, and also called on international sporting or...

Russia will appeal WADA ban: officials

A woman walks into the head office for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on November 9, 2015. (Photo: CGTN)Russia says it will appeal against the four-year global sporting ban imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).The decision means Russia wont be able to compete under its own flag at next years Olympics in Tokyo.Wide-ranging sanctions recommended by WADAs review committee last month were endorsed by WADA.Craig Reedie, the president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, addressing the media at a news conference, defended the decision. "Russia was afforded every opportunity to get its house in order and to join the global anti-doping community for the good of its athletes and for the good of the sport, but it chose instead a different route."Russian officials are also prevented from attending international sporting events and the mens football team wont be allowed to play under the Russian flag at the 2022 World Cup.Doping data manipulation is an illicit way to try to improve medal chances and Russia will now be shut out on the world stage after being found to be "non-compliant:"However, for many Russian politicians, this was a political move.The head of Russias Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, admitted it was a "predictable, disappointing" decision and MP Svetlana Zhurova saying that while this is "a major blow for Russian sport, its just a continuation of attempts to push Russia out of the global sports arena."And for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, it is a decision that must be appealed against.The Court of Arbitration for Sport has overturned doping bans for some Russian athletes in the past.But the man at the top of the Russian anti-doping agency thinks Russia will not win the case this time around.Yuri Ganus says two things are critical for the country to move forward."Its crucial for us to change approach: the terrible, old-schoo...

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Patriots jolted by Chiefs, 49ers down Saints

New England receiver NKeal Harry is denied a touchdown after wrongly being ruled out of bounds in the Patriots loss to the Chiefs. (Photo: AFP)Tom Brady and the New England Patriots slid to a second straight defeat on Sunday, falling 23-16 to the Kansas City Chiefs in a game marred by a series of officiating blunders.The reigning Super Bowl champions launched a spirited fightback after trailing 23-7 in the third quarter but lost crucial momentum after multiple calls went against them at Foxborough.The most glaring officiating error occurred early in the fourth quarter when NKeal Harry was wrongly adjudged to have been forced out of bounds as he dived into the corner for a touchdown.Replays clearly showed Harry was in-bounds and the Patriots should have been awarded a touchdown -- but with coach Bill Belichick already out of challenges, the call was allowed to stand.With the drive eventually ending in a Patriots field goal, the hosts turned around 23-16 instead of potentially cutting the Chiefs lead to 23-20 with most of the fourth quarter remaining.The officiating crew had also blown an earlier call, mistakenly whistling the play dead after failing to spot a Travis Kelce fumble, denying the Patriots a potential defensive touchdown.The Patriots -- who had been booed off the field at halftime after trailing 20-7 -- had one last attempt for a game-tying score, but Bradys pass to Julian Edelman in the endzone was batted away by Bashaud Breeland.Patriots coach Belichick refused to be drawn on the officiating performance following the loss.Asked what officials had said after disallowing Harrys touchdown, Belichick replied: "Youll have to talk to them about that. Im not going to speak for them.""I was proud of the way our guys competed tonight," he added. "They battled for 60 minutes. It wasnt always perfect, and theres certainly things we could have done better. But we were competitive right the way down to ...

Hot Water: Pressure to move Tokyo Olympics open-water venue

In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, athletes dive into the water at the start line during a womens triathlon test event at Odaiba Marine Park, a venue for marathon swimming and triathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in Tokyo. (Photo: AP)The IOC moved next year’s Tokyo Olympic marathons and race walks out of the Japanese capital to avoid the stifling heat and humidity.Now some swimmers and an 11,000-member coaching body are asking that something similar should be done with the distance-swimming venue in Tokyo Bay.Known as the “Odaiba Marine Park,” the water temperatures there were near danger levels in test events this summer for open-water swimming and triathlon. E. coli levels also plague the urban venue, and athletes have complained about the odors coming from the small inlet.“Here’s the reality,” Catherine Kase, who coaches open water for the United States Olympic team, said in an email to the Associated Press. “If a marathoner faints or passes out, they may get a few bumps and bruises. If the same thing happens to an open-water swimmer, the result could be lethal.”Tokyo’s heat again is the main problem.Water temperatures in the venue this summer were very warm, climbing one day to 30.5 Celsius (86.9 Fahrenheit). That’s barely under the limit of 31C (87.8F) set by swimming’s world governing body FINA. The temperatures were consistently in the 29C-30C (84F-86F) range.FINA rules specify that the race will be shortened or canceled if temperatures go over the limit.FINA rules read: “All open-water swims’ alternative plans should be made in case environmental factors make the swim unsafe forcing it to be canceled or curtailed.”Kase added. “We would like to push for a viable back-up plan. The straightforward answer is that we are not comfortable with the Odaiba venue.”Kase noted that US swimmers are advised against participating if temperatures exceed 29.45C (85F). She also said US swimmers can still choose to swim “and will likely feel pressure to do so” at big eve...

Messi’s hometown offers emotional trip to his childhood

A boy pops a wheelie as he rides his bicycle past a mural featuring Lionel Messi in La Bajada, Rosario, Argentina. Soccer wasnt always Messis favorite activity. When he was a child in the modest neighborhood of La Bajada in his hometown, he spent his time bicycling with friends, building forts out of branches and stones, playing hide and seek — and occasionally stealing lemons from a neighbor to make juice. (Photo: AP)Soccer wasn’t always Lionel Messi’s favorite activity.When he was a child in the modest neighborhood of La Bajada in his Argentine hometown of Rosario, he spent his time bicycling with friends, building forts out of branches and stones, playing hide and seek — and occasionally stealing lemons from a neighbor to make juice.Those stories and others are the focus of a new tour being offered by Rosario to celebrate their 32-year-old hometown hero, an international sports superstar who just won an unprecedented sixth Golden Ball as world soccer’s player of the year.The tour put together by Rosario’s city hall is free of charge and available in an app translated into several languages, guiding fans through 10 stops.Few houses are higher than two stories in La Bajada, a middle-class neighborhood in the city that is 186 miles (300 kilometers) northwest of Buenos Aires.Halfway down Israel street stands a gray house, closed off by shut curtains and protected by railings. There is no sign outside indicating it was Messi’s home, and no one lives there now, though it still belongs to his family.The neighbors aren’t so shy about the Messi connection, however. Colorful paintings dedicated to the soccer star stand in front of houses and there are sidewalks colored in the blue and white of Argentina’s national team with Messi’s jersey number, 10, painted in black.Messi’s neighbors and friends are often willing to share stories with visitors.“Leo was normal and ordinary like other people here,” Diego Vallejos, one of Messi’s childhood friends, told The Associa...

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Solskjaer demands life ban for 'monkey chant' spectator

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer demanded a life ban from all soccer grounds for the spectator who allegedly aimed racist monkey chants at his teams Brazilian midfielder Fred on Saturday.File photo: VCGUniteds 2-1 Premier League derby win over neighbors and defending champions Manchester City was overshadowed by a series of ugly incidents at the Etihad.Solskjaer said both Fred and teammate Jesse Lingard had been "affected" by the alleged abuse. However, the Norwegian insisted it is the individual concerned rather than City as a club who should bear the brunt of any sanctions."Why dont we educate him instead? Its not Citys fault, its his. Nothing to do with Man City as a football club," said the United boss."Hes been caught on camera and he should never be allowed into a football ground again, its unacceptable."City pledged to take a zero tolerance approach against supporters found to have subjected United players to racist abuse.Fred was hit by objects thrown from the crowd as he prepared to take a corner in the second half while footage on social media appeared to show a City fan mimicking a monkey at the Brazilian."Manchester City FC are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures during the second half of the match against Manchester United this evening," City said in a statement."Officials from the club are working with Greater Manchester Police [GMP] in order to help them identify any individuals concerned and assist with their enquiries."The club are also working with GMP regarding an instance of objects being thrown onto the field of play. The club operates a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life."The incident comes after Englands Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in October was twice halted ...

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