5 May 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

12:07 pm on 5 May 2020

Latest - Banned Chinese swimmer Sun Yang has lodged an appeal at the Swiss federal court in a bid to overturn his eight-year suspension for doping.

Chinese swimmer Sun Yang.

Sun Yang Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Sun was banned by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport in March after the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed against a decision to clear him of wrongdoing during a 2018 doping test.

Swimming World https://www.swimmingworldmagazine.com/news/sun-yang-case-file-opened-for-swiss-appeal-against-eight-year-anti-doping-suspension said the three-times Olympic champion's appeal had been registered by the Swiss federal court on April 29.

Sun, who was given a three-month ban for doping in 2014, said in March that he had retained a lawyer to appeal to the Swiss federal court.

The 28-year-old is the reigning world and Olympic champion in 200 metres freestyle and won two gold medals at the 2012 London Games and another at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.


Kookaburra developes ball wax

Leading Australia sports manufacturer Kookaburra has developed a wax applicator to allow cricket balls to be shined without sweat or saliva.

Concerns have been raised over using bodily fluids to polish the ball during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cricket balls.

Cricket balls Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Under cricket's laws, players cannot apply artificial substances to the ball, but umpires could oversee the process if changes are required.

"It may not be something we need to make forever," Kookaburra said.

The product has yet to be tested in match conditions and can be used on both red and white balls.

Any changes would need to be approved by the International Cricket Council.

Players shine one side of a new cricket ball while the opposite is left to deteriorate through natural wear and tear. This process helps bowlers swing the ball in the air.


US footballers shocked by court ruling

U.S. women's national football team co-captains Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe say they were shocked after their team's claims for equal pay were dismissed by a court.

USA football player Alex Morgan.

Alex Morgan Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The duo, who helped the U.S. to a record fourth World Cup title last year, said they planned to appeal the decision, after a California judge threw out the players' claims that they were underpaid in comparison with the men's team.

"This decision was out of left field for us," said forward Morgan, "we are fighters and we will continue to fight together for this."

The World Cup-winning team's long-running feud with U.S. Soccer has been a very public and bitter battle and the players had been seeking $109 million in damages under the Equal Pay Act.

Last year's Ballon d'Or winner Rapinoe said she questioned the logic of the summary judgment.

"If I earn one dollar every time I play and a man earns three dollars, just because I win ten games and he only wins three games - and so I make 10 dollars and he made nine dollars - I'm not sure how that's me making more money," she said.

The court allowed complaints of unfair medical, travel and training to proceed to trial, which is scheduled to begin June 16.


A-League heading towards a return in August

The A-League football competition is preparing to restart in August with the Wellington Phoenix to base themselves in New South Wales again.

Phoenix fans hold up their scarfs during an A-League match.

Phoenix fans Photo: Photosport

There has been no official confirmation, but the Phoenix have released some details.

The League was stopped on March 24th, while the Phoenix were in isolation north of Sydney.

Phoenix General manager David Dome has told the New Zealand Herald that they'd likely follow the path of the Warriors and have two weeks of quarantine in Australia before the resumption of the competition.

Similar to the plan before lockdown, Sydney is expected to be the hub for the League which still has five rounds to play before the finals.

The Phoenix are third on the table.

US to broadcast Korean baseball games

Major League Baseball may not yet be ready to play ball but ESPN says it will provide Americans with their baseball fix after reaching a deal to broadcast Korean Baseball Organization games.

With MLB shutting down Spring Training due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, America's national pastime has been put on hold as league officials mull over numerous scenarios to get back onto the field as stay-at-home restrictions begin to ease across the United States.

Until then, the KBO will fill the gap with ESPN broadcasting six games per week, starting with tomorrow's season opener between the NC Dinos and Samsung Lions.

The deal includes the postseason and the Korea Series best-of-seven championship.

All games will be played in empty stadiums without fans.


Tennis player banned for life

Egyptian Youssef Hossam has been banned from tennis for life after being found guilty of multiple match-fixing and other corruption offences.

The Tennis Integrity Unit investigation found that the 21-year-old had committed 21 breaches of anti-corruption rules between 2015 and 2019 and conspired with others to carry out a campaign of betting-related corruption at the lower levels of professional tennis.

Hossam, who was provisionally suspended from tennis in May last year, was found to have committed eight cases of match-fixing, six cases of facilitating gambling and two cases of soliciting other players not to use their best efforts.

He was also found guilty of three failures to report corrupt approaches and two failures to co-operate with a TIU investigation.

Hossam reached a career-high singles ranking of 291 in December 2017 and is currently ranked 820 in singles.

His elder brother, Karim Hossam, was banned from tennis for life for multiple match-fixing offences in 2018.


Bundesliga personnel test positive

Ten people have tested positive for coronavirus in more than 1,700 tests carried out by Germany's professional football league as its 36 clubs prepare a resumption of full training.

The DFL, which tested players and coaching staff at the Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga teams, did not identify those who had tested positive or their clubs and said the cases had been reported to health authorities.

The German league has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and the government is expected to decide this week on a potential resumption.

Bundesliga side Cologne announced three positive tests on Friday and placed the individuals in a 14-day quarantine while the rest of the squad continued training.

Teams were allowed to resume limited training last month, with players divided into small groups, and the next stage would be for full team practice sessions to begin.

The DFL said a second round of tests would be carried out in the next week and there "may be isolated positive test results".


NFL great passes away

Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history, has died. He was 90.

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Shula was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997 after more than four decades in the NFL, first as a player and then a coach.

Shula's Dolphins won two Super Bowls and appeared in three others, including the iconic 1972 team that went undefeated.

At age 33, Shula was named head coach of the Baltimore Colts in 1963. It was the first of 33 seasons he spent as an NFL head coach. Shula was hired by the Dolphins in 1970 and retired after the 1995 season with 328 career wins and 490 games coached.

Only Shula and George Halas have at least 300 career victories.

Drafted in the ninth round by Cleveland in 1951, Shula played seven seasons as a defensive back with the Browns (1951-52), Colts (1953-56) and Washington Redskins (1957). He played in 73 games and collected 21 interceptions.


F1 to cut budget

Formula One has agreed a $240 million budget cap for teams next year and will continue to try and tighten that for future seasons, managing director Ross Brawn said.

The Briton also told Sky Sports television after a teleconference with teams and the governing FIA that a much fairer prize fund would feature in a new commercial agreement due by the end of this year.

Formula One's season has yet to start, with the first 10 races postponed or cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A major rewrite of the technical regulations has been delayed to 2022, with teams carrying over this year's cars to 2021.

The budget cap had been set initially at $290 million but some teams had wanted a more drastic limit closer to $165 million to ensure the sport survives the crisis.

Ferrari, the oldest and most successful constructor, had opposed any reduction below $240 million.

The cap does not include drivers' salaries, with Britain's six times world champion Lewis Hamilton on an estimated $58 million a year at Mercedes.

Brawn said the new-look cars would definitely be coming for 2022, despite some teams pushing for another year's delay.


Golf to resume next week

Rory McIlroy will team up with Dustin Johnson to take on American duo Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff in a $5 million charity skins match next week as televised golf returns amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Irish golfer Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The competition in Florida will follow strict social distancing guidelines and use appropriate testing measures to help protect the health of those involved.

All proceeds will go towards Covid-19 relief efforts, with McIlroy and Johnson playing for the American Nurses Foundation and Fowler and Wolff playing for the CDC Foundation.

The event will be broadcast by the PGA Tour, NBC Sports and Sky Sports PGA TOUR, NBC Sports and Sky Sports.

The golf calendar has been severely impacted by the outbreak, with three of the sport's four majors re-scheduled and the British Open cancelled.


FA to slash budget

The English Football Association plans to slash its annual budget by $124 million to tackle a possible deficit of $500 million over the next four years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chairman Greg Clarke also warned FA Council members in a letter published on the governing body's website that it would be some time before fans were allowed to attend matches again.

Professional football has been suspended since mid-March due to the new coronavirus pandemic which has killed nearly 28,500 people in Britain.

Premier League clubs held a conference call at the weekend in which they looked at plans for a resumption of training later in May followed by a possible return to competitive action behind closed doors in June.


Swimming champs moved

Swimming's world governing body FINA rescheduled the 2021 Fukuoka aquatics world championships to May 2022 to avoid a clash with the postponed Tokyo Olympics.

The new dates for the swimming event in the Japanese city are May 13-29, 2022.

The switch after consultation with broadcasters, athletes and national federations follows similar moves by athletics and football for the world championships in Oregon and women's European football championship respectively.

Swimming's new date also avoids any overlap with the 2022 Commonwealth Games, due to be held in the British city of Birmingham from July 27 to Aug. 7.