Pune, Rajkot get nod NEW DELHI, India (AP): The western cities of Pune and Rajkot will provide the franchises to fill in for the suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League over the next two years. The Board of Control for Cricket in India said the new teams will be temporary replacements after the Super Kings and Royals were suspended this year by a Supreme Court-appointed committee over corruption and spot-fixing. New Rising Consortium-owned Pune and mobile phone manufacturer Intex-owned Rajkot were selected in a reverse-bidding process in which bidders were asked to discount their annual revenue share of US$6 million. New Rising gave up that revenue entirely and also committed to pay US$2.4 million per year to the BCCI. Intex will pay US$1.5 million per year. McCullum stands by evidence DUNEDIN, New Zealand (AP): New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum says he stands by the evidence he gave at the perjury trial of former teammate Chris Cairns, although Cairns’ acquittal has raised questions over whether he was believed by a jury in London. McCullum was the prosecution’s leading witness in the trial of Cairns, the former New Zealand allrounder who was alleged to have lied in a libel action against Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi, who accused him of involvement in match-fixing. In evidence, McCullum said he was approached by Cairns in 2008 and encouraged to become involved in match-fixing. Cairns’ legal team sought to discredit McCullum’s evidence by pointing out he took three years to report the alleged approach, then changed elements of his story on later occasions. On the eve New Zealand’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Dunedin, McCullum faced the media yesterday for the first time since Cairns’ acquittal. Few questions at the conference related to the Test match; instead, McCullum was quizzed on his evidence and the fallout from the Cairns trial. Swansea sack Monk SWANSEA, Wales (AP): Swansea has fired manager Garry Monk after nearly two years in charge, following a dip in form that has seen the team win just one of their last eleven Premier League games. Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins says he made the decision because of “a drop of performance levels and run of results over the last three months.” Jenkins says “when you take into account the excellent campaign we had last season when we broke all club records in the Premier League, nobody foresaw the position we would be in at this moment in time.” Monk was with the club for more than 11 years, first as a defender and then manager since February 2014 when he replaced Michael Laudrup. Barcelona aiming for third Club World Cup title TOKYO, Japan (AP): Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez spearhead Barcelona’s attempt to win a third Club World Cup title when the European champions arrive in Japan next week. Luis Enrique’s squad will play their first game on December 17 in Yokohama, just five days after hosting Deportivo La Coruna in the Spanish league. The tournament begins on Thursday in Yokohama. Barcelona and Copa Libertadores winners River Plate are favourites to reach the December 20 final. Barcelona won the tournament in 2009 and 2011 and the Spanish league leaders are clear favourites to continue Europe’s domination. The tournament, which features the top clubs from FIFA’s six continental confederations plus the champion of the host country, returns to Japan for the first time since 2012. It was hosted in Morocco the previous two years.
GEELONG, Australia (CMC): West Indies opener Kraigg Brathwaite is hoping to continue his good form when he faces the rampaging Australians in the second Test of the ongoing series starting in Melbourne on Boxing Day. The 23-year-old made a boundary-studded 94 in the second innings of the first Test as the Windies lost at Hobart. It was a stand-out innings as he fell just short of what would have been a fifth Test century in the space of 18 months. He is looking to build on that and notch three figures when the two teams line up for the historic second Test at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground. “Playing in Australia is a dream come true. As a little boy growing up in Barbados, and when I went to Combermere School, you heard a lot about cricket and the huge significance of the Boxing Day Test match. Now I have the opportunity to play in the event. It is something I’m really looking forward to,” he said. “I’ve heard it’s a magnificent stadium and a lot about the history, and especially the West Indies’ rich history there as well. For me, this is one of the ‘big’ Test matches.” With West Indies sliding to defeat in Hobart, the right-handed Brathwaite launched an assault on Australia’s bowlers, hammering 13 fours and a six in a cameo 122-ball knock. Only bright spot The innings was the only bright spot for the tourists as they were dismissed for 148 to lose by an innings and 212 runs. “I played well in the second innings in Hobart and I felt I hit the ball really well. It’s all about getting a start here in Australia,” Brathwaite explained. “You have to give yourself a chance. You have to graft and dig in. I didn’t get a ‘start’ in the first innings, so I was determined to get a big score in the second innings. “I managed to get myself in and went on and played my shots. I was quite happy to get a score. I still want to keep working hard. It’s still about going out there and getting a start and going on.” Brathwaite’s four Test centuries have come in contrasting conditions. His maiden century was 129 against New Zealand in Trinidad in June 2014, followed by a career-best 212 against Bangladesh in St Vincent three months later. He then gathered a dogged 106 against South Africa in the Boxing Day Test last year while his fourth was 116 against England in Grenada in April. Despite the heavy loss in Hobart, Brathwaite said the mood in the camp remained upbeat as they prepared to face a Victoria XI at the Simonds Stadium in a two-day warm-up match tomorrow and Sunday. “We’ve had two sessions thus far, and the team spirit is quite good, and we just have to keep going from strength to strength,” Brathwaite said.
KINGSTON: Reigning All Jamaica and Caribbean men’s singles squash champion, Chris Binnie, has inked a sponsorship deal with Stoneleigh Coffee Roasters Company and will promote its Blue Mountain Coffee products in the international market. Under the three-year agreement, the top national and regional player will assume the role of brand ambassador for Stoneleigh Coffee, and will be featured in the company’s sales and marketing efforts overseas. Binnie will actively promote Stoneleigh’s products in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, among other places, as he travels to compete on the Professional Squash Association tour. The sponsorship comes as the high-flying player capped a banner year, which saw him win his sixth All Jamaica title in July and a record-breaking sixth Caribbean Championship in August. In addition, Binnie won his second international professional tournament in October and was ranked among the world’s top 100 squash players in November. A GRATEFUL BINNIE As he aims to move up to the top 75 by May 2016, Binnie expressed gratitude for the sponsorship, which will help to defray the expenses associated with competing on the professional circuit, including travel and accommodation costs, as well as coaching fees. “I am thrilled to have been chosen as a brand ambassador for Stoneleigh Coffee because I am proud to promote the best Jamaican brands in the international arena, and the sponsorship will go a far way in helping me to achieve my goals as a player,” said Binnie. In welcoming the player to his new role, Stephen Shirley, director, Stoneleigh Coffee Roasters Limited, said: “Our sponsorship deal with Chris is a win-win situation because we are bolstering the career of a top-performing Jamaican athlete, and we’re also getting a solid ambassador to promote our brands and products in international markets.”
With an investment of over US$20 million to date, Digicel has been a leading sponsor of Jamaican athletics for more than 14 years. Starting at the earliest level with the Digicel/MVP grassroots athletics programme, we have provided world-class training for promising young athletes. The programme, now in its third year, has awarded two students with four-year University scholarships valued at $1m each to date. Similarly, Digicel is proud to be partnering with key developmental meets islandwide to host the Digicel Grand Prix, which gives secondary level athletes an opportunity to put their skills on show. Based on feedback from the participating schools and fans on social media, this new and exciting initiative was well-received. Furthermore, over 40 students were awarded with scholarships valued at $20,000 each, while three schools received $1m each towards the development of their respective sports programmes. Digicel’s commitment to local athletics is also seen through our sponsorship of the top athletes in Jamaica and the world. This started as early as 2004 with the sponsorship of Usain Bolt, followed by Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in 2008. In 2013, we were happy to sign Alphanso Cunningham, who today continues to fly the Jamaican flag very high at the Paralympics. In ensuring that Jamaica continues to produce world-class athletes, we later had Javon Francis joining the Digicel family in 2014 and Michael O’Hara in 2015. Our support for these athletes has been unwavering over the years and today they continue to make Jamaica proud. As Jamaica’s 53-member delegation makes its way to the World Championships in Beijing, China, this summer, we are truly delighted to help bring this experience alive right here in Jamaica. Being a broadcast sponsor of the IAAF World Championships on TVJ and TVJSN, we are happy to be able to give our customers the full experience of the Games. Finally, we know that many of our customers are online and will be following the Games. As such, we will keep our social media family fully up-to-date with exclusive and real-time content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. With lots of great prizes and giveaways in the works, we invite our customers to come out and celebrate with us as we cheer on our athletes. Digicel, Proud Sponsor of Jamaican Athletics since 2001. “Digicel has been one of the main sponsors of the Jamaica Olympic Association and the Olympic team for many years. Though the Olympic Games include many sporting disciplines, athletics has undoubtedly been the most successful sports in which Jamaica has excelled through the incredible performances of our track and field athletes. The Digicel sponsorship has therefore contributed significantly to this success and we once again wish to record our appreciation for this successful partnership.” – The Hon Michael Fennell, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association
Rivoli United striker Cory Burke will not be signing for any of his club’s premier league rivals as he has already inked a 12-month loan deal with United Soccer League (USL) outfit Bethlehem Steel in Philadelphia, according to club vice president Ansel Smart. In a YouTube video, posted on the Premier Leagues Clubs Association’s Facebook page yesterday morning, Smart explained that the deal was signed last week. “This Club is Bethlehem Steel, a USL Club in Philadelphia. The contract was signed this week, a few days ago,” Smart said in the video. Burke is expected to leave for the United States in January. Smart said the deal is not a full transfer at this time. “It is a loan. We are looking for him to do good so we can transfer him next season,” he explained while describing the loan deal as an opportunity for Rivoli to once again put their name and players (Burke) on the international market.” Local premier league club Montego Bay United had expressed an interest in signing Burke, who has scored 12 goals in the current season. “We have an interest (in Burke). He is a top striker and we would love to have him. We expect that come January, a few of our players might leave, so we have to do some forward thinking,” Lincoln Whyte, a director of Montego Bay United told The Sunday Gleaner.
Inflation and the rising operational costs of the annual ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletic Championships have forced the school sports governing body to increase the cost of tickets for this year’s event.”The operational cost for Champs has increased many times. If you are to be practical it (ticket price) has to be increased,” Champs committee chairman Colleen Montague told The Gleaner at yesterday’s official opening of the McKenley/Wint track at Calabar High School in Kingston.Ticket prices for all categories of seating for the Champs, which will be held at the National Stadium from March 15-19, have gone up by $500.Season tickets for the grandstand moved to $8,500 and $9,000, while bleachers tickets for Saturday now cost $1,500 up from $1,000. Grandstand tickets for Tuesday through Thursday still cost $500.NOCHOICEMontague said that the rising costs of goods and services left the association with no choice.”The minimum wage has gone up and there is an increase for private security and inflation in every single area has been increased and, therefore, we can’t hold it for any longer. We have to push up the prices in all the categories if we are to host it at the same standards that we have in the past,” the Wolmer’s Girls’ School principal said.Montague also pointed out that ticket prices for the bleachers had not been increased in some time.”We have not increased the bleachers tickets for Saturday for the last seven years,” she said.While some have queried whether ticket prices would be prohibitive to students, Montague noted that the students were a primary consideration in arriving at ticket prices.”We have always been considering the students and their cost and making sure it’s affordable for students. There are systems that we put in place for the students. If they purchase through their schools, it’s $1,200 for students for Saturday bleachers,” Montague said.”The cost for bleachers on Saturday, there are special arrangements for our students and so it’s not priced for our students it’s priced for the adults who will be attending,” she added.Addressing the ever-controversial matter of availability of tickets, Montague said only 5,000 tickets were available for Saturday, which always proves to be the problematic day.”The demand has increased but the supply has remained the same because the Stadium is the same stadium last year and the year before. Those who are trying to get tickets have increased. The number of tickets remain the same. It’s only Saturday tickets that are an issue because the tickets are available every other day.
Today’s Games Group J of this year’s Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA/FLOW) Manning Cup football competition remains a wide open affair, with each team earning a sole point in yesterday’s double-header at Constant Spring Complex, courtesy of testy 1-1 draws between Kingston College (KC) and St Andrew Technical High School (STATHS), and Bridgeport High and Charlie Smith High. The feature game, which saw the highly touted Kingston College (KC) line up against a determined STATHS, ended 1-1. It got under way at 1 p.m., and STATHS showed no fear for the highly touted KC, going ahead from a Trimain Shaw header. However, Ludlow Bernard, the coach of KC, said: “It’s not a bad result, if we get seven points we will still get to the semi-finals.” Alrick Clarke, STATHS’ coach, felt his team should have won the game. “I am not happy with the result. I have scouted the KC team and felt we got enough chances in the game to beat them,” he said. In the feature game, Kemar James scored for Charlie Smith, while Kyle Ming netted a penalty for Bridgeport to tie the match and ensure an equal share of the points. Charlie Smith’s coach, Jerome Waite, said the concentration level of his team fell, which resulted in the penalty. “We didn’t press that ball and it resulted in a penalty. But that’s part of the game and these youngsters still have a lot to learn,” said Waite. Bridgeport’s coach, Garnett Lawrence, said his team showed determination. “We dug really deep, and I give thanks for that. I liked the game today, I liked the intensity today and I think we are getting to where we want to be,” he pointed out. Kingston College 1 STATHS 1 Charlie Smith 1 Bridgeport 1 Yesterday’s Results Haile Selassie vs St George’s College at 1 p.m. Wolmer’s Boys vs St Catherine High at 3 p.m. Both matches will be played at the Constant Spring Complex.
MADE TO PAY LONDON (AP): Manchester United benefited from a controversial red card and an equally debatable goal to beat 10-man West Ham 2-0 in the English Premier League yesterday, earning a sixth successive victory. Substitute Juan Mata gave United the lead before Zlatan Ibrahimovic secured victory from what clearly appeared to be an offside position, after referee Mike Dean had controversially dismissed Sofiane Feghouli in the opening stages. Despite their man-advantage, United struggled to break down the home side for long spells and required a number of strong saves from goalkeeper David de Gea to keep West Ham out. Feghouli, making his first Premier League start for West Ham, was sent off after just 15 minutes for a lunging challenge on Phil Jones, which replays showed to have been a harsh decision. Manuel Lanzini brought two strong saves from the United keeper before the break, while Michail Antonio was denied by the Spaniard when through one-on-one on the hour mark. But West Ham was made to pay just three minutes later with Mourinho’s alterations proving crucial as Marcus Rashford beat two defenders before setting up fellow substitute, Mata, to finish from close range. United wrapped up the victory when Ibrahimovic reacted first as the ball bounced off Ander Herrera to fire low and hard past Randolph from just inside the box, with replays showing the striker had been marginally offside. United had failed to make inroads until the 35th, when West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph produced one of the saves of the season, before Jesse Lingard produced an equally spectacular miss. Antonio Valencia was set up at the back post after good work from Ibrahmovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but was foiled by the sprawling Randolph, who prevented the ball from crossing his line by the narrowest of margins. The rebound fell to Lingard with the goal at his mercy, but he could only direct his effort onto the post from two yards out, with West Ham somehow escaping as the ball bounced into Randolph’s hands. United remain sixth in the table, but have now moved within five points of second-place Liverpool, which were held to a 2-2 draw at Sunderland earlier yesterday.
Telecommunication giants, Digicel handed over $4.2 million to Jamaica’s special Olympics team that will depart on Monday for the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria from March 14 to 25. Digicel were among several sponsors who had a meet and greet session with the athletes yesterday at the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) offices in St Andrew. Other sponsorship came from Sports Development Foundation ($2 million); Melbourne Cricket Club ($500,000); Jamdammers ($320,000); Unicef; Puma; US Embassy and Spanish Embassy. Special Olympics Jamaica executive director, Lorna Bell praised the sponsors for making it possible for the athletes to represent Jamaica at another world games. “We could not do it without our partners, some of which have been with us for 13 years. Unicef is a global partner of the movement and represented by Mark Connolly,” Bell said. ‘The athletes have been in training for the past two years, and I am expecting them to perform at their best. We will have representatives in floor hockey and speed skating. The speed skating team was in a one-week camp in Florida and we are expecting a medal from Romaine Austin,” she shared. The officials include: Glendon West, head of delegation; Pat Lue Chin, assistant head of delegation and team doctor; Jacqueline Bennett, coach of the roller skating team; and Donna Goldson and Richard Oates, coaches of the floor hockey team. Floor Hockey team – Dwight Brooks, David Clarke, Shequan Collins, Oshane Daley, Lamoy Givons, Vontroy Harrison, Renardo Howell, Lucan Jones, Omari Lobban, Sidney Manyan, Brandon Mattis, Ajornie Simpson, Andrew Thompson, David Thompson, Shamar Waite and Robert Weetom. Roller skating – Romaine Austin and Dave Oddman.
THE REVELATION The desire for a competitive edge is a part of human nature. From the history of the early Olympics, we learn that Olympians back then knew of the importance of testosterone and ate sheep testicles. Galen, a Greek physician, concocted a potion made of the rear hooves of an Abyssinian ass, ground up, boiled in oil, and flavoured with rose hips and rose petals, to improve performance. Mushrooms and seeds were so prevalent among Olympians that in 393 AD, the Olympics were banned. In 1806, the modern Olympics were restarted. Since that time, the authorities have been inundated with verbal reports of athletes using “performance enhancers” to gain an unfair advantage in competition. In the beginning, strychnine and cocaine seemed to be the drugs of choice. Then in 1930, Nazi doctors created anabolic steroids to increase aggression in troops. At the 1932 Olympics, the USA won 103 medals, and Germany won 20. At the 1936 Olympics, the USA won 56 medals and Germany won 89! During the Second World War, captured German scientists were now working in the USA and the USSR. At the 1952 Olympics, the USSR entered the Olympics for the first time. The medal haul that year saw the USA winning 76 medals, the USSR, won 71 and Hungary 42 medals. By the early 1960’s, anabolic steroids were more refined and began turning up in more sports. In 1964, Belgium was the host of the first conference in doping, and at the Tokyo Games that year (Tokyo), drug testing was introduced in cycling. In 1967, a British cyclist, Tom Simpson, collapsed and died in the Tour de France. Three tubes of amphetamine were found in his back pocket. That prompted the International Olympic Committee Medical Commission to develop a drug-testing programme where athletes who tested positive were punished. This was accompanied by a worldwide education programme. At the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Hans-Gunnar Liljenwall, a Swedish modern Pentathlete tested positive for alcohol and was stripped of his bronze medal. In 1971, the first list of banned substances was published, and this list consisted mainly of stimulants and narcotic analgesics. At the Pan American Games in Cali, Columbia, drug testing was introduced in athletics. The day following the announcement, one of the major participating countries announced that approximately half of their team developed a mystery illness and returned home. In 1972, the first comprehensive drug-testing programme was introduced during the Munich Olympics. In 1976, the first reliable test to detect anabolic steroids in urine was unveiled. Eleven athletes tested positive in those Games, eight were for anabolic steroids. At this Olympics, the East German women’s swim team won an unprecedented number of medals. Observers noted that these ladies all spoke with deep voices, had facial hair, and Adam’s apples. We have since discovered that in 1970, all athletes in East Germany had to take a blue pill that they were told were “vitamins”. After the unification of Germany in 1990, it was discovered that the “blue pill” was the anabolic steroid Turinabol, commonly called “OT” or T-bol”. In 1988, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson tested positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol. The top three finishers in that race event all tested positive for performance enhancers in their careers. In November 1999, the World Anti-Doping Agency was established, and in October of 2005, we saw the International Convention against Doping in Sports. This was followed by the implementation and enforcement of the World Anti-Doping Code. One hundred and eighty four countries, including Jamaica, signed. By the start of the 2008 Olympics, 64 countries, (including Jamaica) had not yet implemented the code! Since that time, the world has seen the BALCO scandal and the detailed report revealing state-sponsored doping in Russia. The implementation of athletes’ passport (where the blood indices of athletes are collected and stored) allows athletes who use substances, so far undetectable, to now be sanctioned if at some point in time these substances are detected, even though he/she never tested positive! Finally, the revelation that the athletes themselves have approved the storing of urine samples for 10 years, (so that as anti-doping agencies refine lab techniques that can detect previously undetectable performance enhancers) means that cheaters WILL eventually be exposed. No one can say that a woman never ran 100m in 10.49 seconds. What we can say is that prior to 2005, athletes could, (and some did) use illegal methods that assisted and was responsible for their athletic performances. We now have the rules and methods to detect those who cheat. Testing negative now will mean little until the ten years have passed and new and improved methods of detection did not find anything adverse. Therefore, let us begin a new era of athletics that would give hope to coming generations.