20 Jul 2021

Today's sports news: What you need to know

6:05 am on 20 July 2021

Latest - One of the alternate, or replacement, gymnasts for the U.S. team has tested positive for the coronavirus, but the main team has moved to separate accommodation and is continuing preparation for the Olympics, USA Gymnastics said on Monday.

Jade Carey and Simone Biles USA  Gymnastics.


A Japanese official had earlier said one member of the U.S. gymnastics delegation in her teens had tested positive and had one close contact, but declined to give further details.

It added that the local government had determined that the athlete, whose name wasn't given, and one other replacement athlete needed to be subject to further quarantine, so the rest of the team has moved to alternative accommodation and will continue preparing for the Games.

Multiple Japanese media reports said that a simple saliva screening test had flagged the athlete concerned as a suspected positive on Sunday, and it was confirmed with a more detailed PCR test on Monday.

The Olympics, postponed for a year due to coronavirus, open on July 23 and the gymnastics competitions start on July 24. The women's qualifying rounds begin July 25.


Koroibete free to play Rugby Championship

Wallaby Marika Koroibete is free to play again after his red card in Saturday's series-deciding win over France was overturned, allowing him to play in the Bledisloe Cup tests next month.

Australia's Marika Koroibete receives a red card 2021.


Koroibete had faced suspension for several matches after being sent off in the fifth minute of the 33-30 match at Lang Park for a high tackle on France captain Anthony Jelonch.

With Jelonch having crouched low into the tackle and clutching his face as he fell, the red card triggered criticism from Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, who accused the French skipper of milking the penalty.

A World Rugby statement said their Head Contact Process was not met due to mitigating factors, and the act of the foul play was secondary.

"On that basis, the committee did not uphold the red card and the player is free to play again immediately," it said.

If he had been found guilty, Koroibete faced a minimum six-week suspension before a reduction could have been allowed for mitigating factors.

He would likely have missed all three of Australia's upcoming Bledisloe Cup tests against the All Blacks starting at Eden Park on Aug. 7.


Hamilton cops abuse

Lewis Hamilton was subjected to racist abuse online after winning the British Grand Prix, with social media firm Facebook saying it had removed a number of comments on Instagram.

Mercedes F1 driver Lewis Hamilton.


The seven-times world champion celebrated a record eighth British Grand Prix victory at Silverstone after fighting back from a 10-second penalty for a first-lap collision that ended up with title rival Max Verstappen in hospital.

The 36-year-old Mercedes driver was targeted online hours after the victory, with racist messages including monkey emojis sent as replies to a post by his Mercedes team on Instagram.

"The racist abuse directed at Hamilton during and after the British Grand Prix is unacceptable and we've removed a number of comments from Instagram," a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement.

In a joint statement, Mercedes, Formula One and motor sports governing body the FIA condemned the abuse of Hamilton and sought punishment for those guilty.


Japanese musician steps down days out from opening ceremony.

Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada has stepped down as a composer for the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony after old reports of his bullying and abusive behaviour resurfaced, days before the pandemic-hit Olympics is due to officially start.

Flame delivered to the cauldron at a Tokyo Olympics.


Oyamada, who had been tasked with composing the music for the ceremony slated for July 23, has come under fire in recent weeks after past issues of the magazines began circulating online.

Oyamada told Quick Japan magazine published in 1995 how he had confined a classmate in a cardboard box and made fun of a student with disabilities, the Asahi Shimbun daily reported last week. He also described bullying a classmate in another magazine published in the mid-1990s, the paper said.

Some media accounts of the interviews contain references to degrading and abusive treatment, including Oyamada forcing another child or children to eat faeces or to masturbate. Reuters could not independently verify the interviews, although alleged photos of the magazine pages have circulated widely on social media.

"As for my participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, I acutely feel that my having accepted the request was lacking consideration for various people," Oyamada said on his Twitter page.

"I made arrangements with relevant parties and submitted my resignation to the organising committee."