4 Jul 2020

Today's sports news: What you need to know

4:35 pm on 4 July 2020

Latest - Dan Carter has made his long awaited return to New Zealand rugby.

Dan Carter during a Blues Super Rugby training session as rugby training resumes after the Covid 19 lockdown. Alexandra Park, Auckland, New Zealand. 4 June 2020. © Copyright Image: Andrew Cornaga / www.photosport.nz

Photo: Photosport Ltd

The All Blacks great has turned out for his beloved Southbridge club, helping them to a 54-14 win over West Melton in Canterbury.

Carter had a hand in a number of Southbridge's tries and kicked six conversions from seven attempts in what was his first game in New Zealand in five years.

The 38-year-old played the full 80 minutes and will now hope to be considered for the Blues' match against the Crusaders in Super Rugby Aotearoa next week.

Eels remain the team to beat in the NRL

The Parramatta Eels have cemented their place at the top of the NRL ladder with a crushing 42-4 win over the Cowboys in Sydney.

Wing Maika Sivo scored four tries in the rout, as the Eels proved they could win without star playmaker Mitch Moses.

Also last night the Raiders withstood a second-half surge from St George Illawarra to prevail 22-16 in Canberra.

Four-year ban for Kipsang

Former marathon world record holder Wilson Kipsang of Kenya has been handed a four-year ban for anti-doping rule violations that included using a fake photo of a traffic accident to justify one of four missed whereabouts appointments, the Athletics Integrity Unit said.

World Athletics said Kipsang, a bronze medallist at the 2012 Olympics, had four whereabouts failures between April 2018 and May 2019. Three such failures within 12 months leads to an automatic ban.

Kipsang, 38, said he missed a test on May 17, 2019 due to a traffic accident involving an overturned lorry and also provided a photo of the crash. However, the image was found to be from an accident recorded on Aug. 19, 2019.

Kipsang had been provisionally suspended in January. His competitive results from April 12, 2019 to Jan. 10, 2020 were also disqualified. He has the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

His management company said that "no prohibited substance was ever found" and confirmed they would study the decision and consider an appeal.

- Reuters

Hamilton makes a statement as F1 gets back on track

Formula One got back on track in changed circumstances but familiar fashion at the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, with Mercedes and six times world champion Lewis Hamilton picking up where they left off last year.

The Briton and team mate Valtteri Bottas responded to the 'new normal' resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic by finishing one-two in both free practice sessions on the sport's latest start to a campaign.

Hamilton, wearing a 'Black Lives Matter' helmet in a black Mercedes with 'End Racism' written on it, set a best time of one minute 04.304 after also going fastest in opening practice with a time of 1:04.816.

Bottas was 0.356 adrift in the morning but cut the gap to 0.197 in the afternoon.

Racing Point, whose Mercedes-powered RP20 has been dubbed the 'Pink Mercedes' because of its striking similarity to Hamilton's title-winning 2019 car, were third fastest with Mexican Sergio Perez.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, starting his last season in the Italian team's red colours, was fourth fastest on his 33rd birthday with Australian Daniel Ricciardo fifth for Renault and McLaren's Lando Norris sixth.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, winner of the last two races at his team's home track, was third in the first session but spun twice and finished up eighth after lunch.

Monday morning's (NZ time) race, the first of two in Austria on successive weekends, became the opener after the new coronavirus laid waste to the calendar and forced the cancellation of the scheduled Australian opener on March 15 before a wheel had turned.

- Reuters

2020 MLB All-Star game canceled; Dodgers to host in '22

The 2020 MLB All-Star Game has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The game, scheduled for July 14 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, never was expected to be played but MLB made it official on Saturday.

It marks the first cancellation of the All-Star Game since 1945.

The MLB season has been derailed by the pandemic, with a 60-game campaign set to begin July 23 or 24.

The Dodgers instead will host the 2022 All-Star Game.

The Atlanta Braves already had been awarded the 2021 Midsummer Classic.

- Reuters