Hunter at the Crikey sports desk writes:
Terry gets captaincy, Rooney claims victimisation. Chelsea
captain John Terry has beaten Steven Gerrard to the captaincy of the English
football team, with the 25-year-old set to captain his first match against Greece
on August 16.The appointment is a
coup of sorts for new coach Steve McLaren, who had to convince Football
Association officials that Terry was the right man for the job. “John has all the attributes an international captain needs
– leadership, authority, courage, ability, tactical awareness and a total
refusal to accept second-best. He has been an inspiration for Chelsea and is at
his best in adversity,” McLaren said.
Steven Gerrard was made vice captain, while another key member of the team has
mounted a public campaign to get fewer red cards from the refs. “I think
referees are trying to grab the headlines too much instead of refereeing the
game,” Wayne Rooney said.
He was joined in his comments by his Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson,
who claimed Rooney was a marked man at the age of 20. A marked man, maybe, but
also the co-author of his first autobiography, the creatively titled My Story So Far.
Perhaps a few free copies for the refs would help Wayne get the sympathy and understanding
he wants from the whistlemen.
Stosur, giant-killer. Sam Stosur has reached her
highest ever singles ranking (37) after beating Lindsay Davenport in the JPMorgan Chase Open, earning the win in
three sets (6-7 6-4 6-3). Stosur, the equal world number one ranked women’s
doubles player, served 14 aces in the match, but was quick to point out that Davenport
was recovering from an injury and probably some way off her best. “She threw in
some double faults at bad times. You don’t expect that from a player of her
level,” Stosur remarked
after the game. Meanwhile, Lleyton Hewitt has had another setback on the path
to the US Open, with a knee injury forcing him to retire against Thomas
Johansson at the ATP Masters in Toronto. Hewitt looks set to withdraw from next
week’s Cincinnati Masters in a bid to get his knee right for the Open.
Meanwhile, Mark Philippoussis’ career is being kept on life support by the
generosity of tournament organisers, with the big-serving Aussie hoping for
entry into the US Open via a wildcard. His chances took a blow earlier this
week when his application for a wildcard into the Cincinnati event was knocked
boxer refuses drug test, faces ban. “Too bad Floyd Landis
didn’t convert to Islam last month. Australian amateur middleweight Omar Shaick is facing a two-year ban
for refusing to take a drug test because of his Islamic faith, telling testing
officials that his religion doesn’t allow anyone checking out his package,” starts
this article on The Sweet Science blog. As
the Courier Mailreported yesterday,
Shaick is “the reigning under-19 Australian amateur middleweight champion”, with
six Queensland junior titles in his trophy case. But his faith and obvious
talent do not protect him from the drug testing regulations. Shaick refused to submit
a urine sample in the presence of testing officers last June, leading to a
possible two year ban. “(Showing his g-nitals) is against
Omar’s religious beliefs,” his coach Chris McCullen said.
“He wanted to do a blood test there and then that night. He also said ‘if
there’s any other way we’ll do it. You can check that I’ve got nothing on my
body and stand behind me and I’ll do it, but you can’t look at my g-nitals’.
And the guy said there is no other way we can do it.” Given the awkward nature
of the disagreement, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) has been
asked to hear the case, but they appear unlikely to alter the rules to
accommodate Shaick. As you’d expect, opinion is squarely divided on the issue.
Fellow Islamic boxers have come out in support of Shaick,
but this opinion piece in the Townsville Bulletin vigorously
argues that if Shaick wants to keep boxing, he needs to put his faith to one
side and abide by the drug-testing rules.