QPlay: Russia’s Rio Trouble, Sachin Controversy, Ind-WI First Test
All the latest sports news in The Quint’s morning wrap.
1. IOC Explores Legal Options on Banning all Russians From Rio
With just over two weeks until the opening ceremony, Russia still doesn’t know whether its athletes — all or even some — will be competing in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. It may all come down to the lawyers.
While the IOC decided Tuesday to ban from the Rio Games all Russian Sports Ministry officials and other administrators implicated in allegations of a state-run doping program, it delayed a ruling on whether to take the unprecedented step of barring the entire Russian Olympic team.
The International Olympic Committee said it “will explore the legal options with regard to a collective ban of all Russian athletes for the Olympic Games 2016 versus the rights to individual justice.”
2. Expecting Some Grass on The Pitch: Bangar
Sensing that the wicket for the first Test against the West Indies beginning on July 21 may be left with some grass on it, India batting coach Sanjay Bangar said that the visiting players were prepared to play on both slow and lively pitches.
With just two days left for the match, the wicket at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium took centre stage today with some fresh grass patches appearing on it.
“We are seeing some grass cover on the pitch now and we won’t be surprised if there is some grass left on the pitch when the match begins. But how much of it remains on surface remains to be seen. We have also prepared keeping in mind that some grassy wickets slow down as the game progresses. So, we are aware of that and have prepared accordingly,” said Bangar.
3. Tendulkar in Eye of Storm Over Disputed Property
Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar found himself at the centre of a controversy on Tuesday over problems faced by a businessman friend of his regarding a luxurious holiday resort in Mussoorie.
The cricketer and Rajya Sabha member had confirmed on Tuesday that he had attended a meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in which he had asked for help in sorting out problems faced by businessman Sanjay Narang over a security dispute over the land with a neighbouring Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) establishment.
However, reacting to reports in the media in this regard, Tendulkar’s spokesperson issued a statement in which he claimed that the former India batsman does not have any economic interest in the Landour cantonment.
“This is pursuant to an article published in the media which comprises of several factual inaccuracies and falsehoods. Mr Tendulkar attended a meeting following which a formal written representation was submitted to the Ministry of Defence on a pending dispute regarding some development undertaken in Landour by Mr Narang,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
4. Federer, Nadal Join Murray in Skipping Rogers Cup
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have pulled out of the Rogers Cup, leaving the Toronto tournament without three of the world’s top four men’s tennis players. Tennis Canada announced the withdrawals Tuesday, a day after Wimbledon champion and world No. 2 Andy Murray said he would not defend his Rogers Cup title this year, citing fatigue.
“Toronto is one of my favorite events on the calendar and I am disappointed that I won’t be able to compete in front of the great tennis fans in Canada,” Federer said in a statement. “Looking ahead, it is best for me that I take more time after Wimbledon. I look forward to coming back to Canada next year.”
5. India Draw Spain for WG Play-offs at Home
India will be pitted against European powerhouse Spain as their Davis Cup World Group play-off opponents for the home tie as the International Tennis Federation announced the draw.
India had beaten Korea 4-1 in their Asia/Oceania Group I second round tie while Spain defeated Romania with the same margin in their Europe/Africa zonal tie.
India and Spain have locked horns thrice so far in Davis Cup with the European nation leading the head-to-head record 2-1. The last time India played Spain was as far back as 1965 when they lost the away tie 2-3.
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