21 Aug 2019

Today's sports news: what you need to know

10:18 am on 21 August 2019

Latest - A case in which China's multiple world and Olympic swimming champion Sun Yang is accused of anti-doping violations will be held in public.

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

Sun Yang Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The World Anti-Doping Agency has appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against a decision by swimming's governing body FINA to clear Sun of wrongdoing during a random drug test last September.

Documents leaked to the media have revealed that Sun questioned the credentials of the testers before members of his entourage smashed the vials containing his blood samples with a hammer.

The 27-year-old has denied any wrongdoing.

Sun competed at last month's world championships in South Korea under the shadow of the WADA appeal and three rivals snubbed him after races, by either refusing to shake his hand or join him on the podium.

Sun's lawyers said last month that he wanted a public hearing to clear his name.


Tall Blacks thumped

The New Zealand men's basketball team has been hammered 122-88 by Canada in their latest World Cup warmup game in Sydney.

Jarrod Kenny of the Tall Blacks

Jarrod Kenny Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Tall Blacks were in front midway through the first quarter, but some deadly three-point shooting from the Canadians had them ahead by 19 at the first break.

The New Zealanders improved in the second half, before a late surge gave the Canadians an emphatic victory.

"I don't know if it was a step backwards, but it was a step up in terms of what we faced in Canada," said coach Paul Henare, "the athleticism they bring, the spacing and the intensity they play with took us by surprise and unfortunately we didn't react in the appropriate manner and allowed too many easy points."

Tai Webster top scored with 19 points for the Tall Blacks.

The two sides meet again tonight.

Medal assured for Kiwi sailors

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke have secured second place at least at the Tokyo Olympic Sailing Test event.

New Zealand sailors Peter Burling (R) and Blair Tuke (L).


The defending Olympic 49er champions hold a handy 13-point lead over Poland's Pawel Kolodzinski and Lukasz Przybytek ahead of today's medal race and can't be caught by Great Britain's Dylan Flether and Stuart Bithell in third.

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech will also be chasing some silverware in the 49erFX medal race, and currently sit in third only seven points off the leader.

Sam Meech is third in the Laser and Andy Maloney fourth in the Finn, but both of those fleets still have one more day of racing before their top-10 medal race.

Smith to miss third Test

Australia batsman Steve Smith has been ruled out of the third Ashes cricket test at Headingley due to the concussion he suffered at Lord's.

Steve Smith is struck on the head and felled by a Jofra Archer bouncer during the 2nd Ashes Test at Lord's 2019.


Smith, who made two centuries in the first test at Edgbaston, was struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the first innings at Lords and was replaced by 'concussion sub' Marnus Labuschagne for the second innings.

It was the first time a player in international cricket was substituted under the new concussion rules.

Initially, Smith passed a concussion test and was allowed to return to the field and complete his innings, but his condition worsened the following day.

Smith has scored 142, 144 and 92 in his three innings in the Ashes series and he is now ranked second in the ICC test batting rankings.

Labuschagne is the most likely option to replace Smith, having made 59 as Australia battled to a draw on Sunday, which retained their 1-0 lead in the series.


Changes to Warriors team

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney has recalled veteran hooker Issac Luke, experienced wing David Fusitu'a and rookie centre Patrick Herbert for Saturday's NRL game against the Cronulla Sharks in Sydney.

Luke returns from a three-match suspension while Fusitu'a makes his comeback from a hamstring injury which has kept him out of the club's last five matches.

Herbert hasn't played at NRL level for almost two months as he recovered from a hamstring complaint. He was out for five weeks before returning via the Canterbury Cup side in the last two rounds.

The Warriors chances of making the play-offs are all but over.

Neville calls for social media boycott

England women's coach Phil Neville has urged the football community to boycott social media for six months and "send a powerful message" in response to a significant rise in online racist abuse of players.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hugs Paul Pogba.


Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba became the latest high-profile player to be a target of online abuse after he missed a penalty in yesterday's 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"I've lost total faith in whoever runs these social media departments, so I just wonder whether now as a football community, in terms of really sending a powerful message, is: come off social media," Neville said.

"Six months - let's come off social media. Let's see the effect that it has on these social media companies, whether they're really going to do something about it."

Last week, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard urged social media companies to take stricter action after 21-year-old striker Tammy Abraham was the target of racist abuse after his missed penalty in the UEFA Super Cup loss to Liverpool.

A study released by equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out said it received 159 reports of discrimination via social media in the English professional game last season.


Indian bowler has ban reduced

Indian fast bowler Shanthakumaran Sreesanth's ban for alleged spot-fixing has been reduced to seven years, with the sanction period coming to an end in September 2020.

The decision comes after the Supreme Court of India set aside the life ban imposed on Sreesanth by the BCCI and asked the board to reconsider the length of any fresh ban.

Spot-fixing involves the manipulation of individual incidents within a match which may not affect the outcome of the contest.

Sreesanth along with his Rajasthan Royals team mates Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested by Delhi police on suspicion of spot-fixing during the sixth edition of the IPL in May 2013.

The BCCI followed the arrest of Sreesanth with their own charges against the player relating to the match against Kings XI Punjab, played on May 9.

Sreesanth has maintained that all the charges against him are false. He has played 27 tests, 53 one-day internationals and 10 Twenty20 internationals, claiming a total of 169 wickets.