Posts Tagged ‘football’

Soccer Sports Star Facing assault Charges.

US soccer player Hope Solo is arguably one of the greatest goalkeepers in history. She has

Hope Solo. Photo: www.businessinsider.com.au

Hope Solo. Photo: www.businessinsider.com.au

won two Olympic gold medals, played 155 internationals, and boasts the least number of on-field infractions of any top class player.

But the 33 year-old sports phenomenon has recently been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

On September 20 she fell victim to the photo hacking scandal which saw naked pictures of herself splashed up on hosting sites throughout the world.

But this is nothing to the latest furore.

In a time when violence among sportspeople is under the most intense scrutiny Solo has been charged with assaulting two family members.

The Seattle Times recently revealed that, according to police records, Solo was at her sister’s house late in June when an argument erupted between herself and her 17 year-old nephew.

It is alleged the argument escalated to the point where Solo punched him in the face. When Solo’s sister attempted to intervene she also was assaulted.

Todd Maybrown, attorney for Solo, said it was his client who was the victim. Solo is alleging it was she who was assaulted by being hit over the head with a broom during the scuffle.

Solo’s sponsor, Nike, is sticking by the goalkeeping superstar. But the American public is not so trusting.

Domestic assaults from NFL stars Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson have thrust violence from sportsstars into the American public’s consciousness. But now, for many, the shoe is on the other foot with a female athlete accused of the same behaviour.

Will she receive the same treatment?

Professor of Ethics Pushes for Rethink on performance Enhancing Drugs

Professor of Ethics at Oxford University Julian Savulescu. Photo: monash.edu

Professor of Ethics at Oxford University Julian Savulescu. Photo: monash.edu

Oxford University professor Julian Savulescu has labelled the ASADA investigation in to Essendon a “disgrace” and a “gross misuse of public funds”. The professor of ethics made the announcement ahead of his presentation at Deakin Edge on Thursday.

As the Essendon club await Friday’s court ruling over the legality of ASADA’s investigation, professor Savulescu made these startling comments to the press: “The substances that have been widely discussed in Australia recently are substances where there isn’t evidence of significant risk and don’t significantly change the natures of the activity.”

”Thymosin,” he continued, “has been associated with increased tissue repair, which is something that seems quite worthwhile. AOD-6904 is now an approved food supplement in the US.

“What you see is people focusing on the wrong end. They’re trying to pick up anything athletes are taking. What you want to be picking up is things that are unsafe or are really distorting performance.”

The professor then went on to suggest the existence of outright hypocrisy in the laws governing Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs). He used the analogy of an injured player being injected with a local anesthetic before and during a match. The anesthetic masks the pain of the injury allowing him to play to his potential. Without the anesthetic his performance would be compromised.

“That’s a performance enhancer and it’s also against the spirit of sport.” And as the PED laws stand now – quite legal.

Professor Savulescu is in Australia to argue why current bans on PEDs are ruining sport in Australia. He firmly believes the use of human growth hormones and anabolic steroids are permissible in certain scenarios.

“Substances like growth hormones and anabolic steroids are safe when given in physiological doses by a medical professional and can accelerate recovery from injury,” he told the press.

“If you take a massive dose like the East German swimmers, yes, you’ll have side effects, but it’s pretty easy to detect that level of overdose.

The crux of the professor’s message is that, as it currently stands, doping agencies are losing their war on PEDs. And they will continue to lose this war unless there is a serious rethink; not just on doping, but on the hype surrounding doping.

Get Your Game Face On Outrage

CoverGirl Get Your Game Face On. Photo: www.wjla.com

CoverGirl Get Your Game Face On. Photo: www.wjla.com

In a week he NFL would like to forget CoverGirl has weighed in with a shocking image. The ‘Get Your Game Face On!” image has been photoshopped to give the model a black eye to ram home how it feels about the recent domestic violence issues plaguing he sport.

Most recently TMZ released a video of Janay Rice being beaten up by her husband, Baltimore Running Back Ray Rice.

In another incident Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse for hitting hs son with a tree branch.

And while the Twitteverse is echoing outrage at these separate incidents there is fast-growing animosity towards Roger Goodell, the man overseeing the investigations.

Goodell sparked the outrage after claiming he hadn’t seen the video of Rice hitting his then girlfriend (now wife) in an elevator. He said this even though The Associated Press claimed the video had been sent to the NFL in April.

Americans are beginning to believe NFL stars have a problem with violence off the gridiron as well as on it. Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers and Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers are both awaiting trial for domestic violence.

Apologists for the players are pointing to a recent report revealing 3 in 10 NFL players are likely to get Alzheimer’s or some form of moderate dementia. There is widespread concern this may be the result of the significant head trauma a player accrues throughout their career.

Also of concern is a lagging investigation into the use of human growth hormone within the leage.

All these elements are combining to make Americans wonder if Goodell is the right man to oversee this game in crisis.

Rugby League Brawl Mars University Shield

Rugby League officials are doing their best to hose down another controversy. This one at the school-boy level.

On the weekend an ugly brawl erupted between glamour schools Westfield Sports High and Hills Sports. The game was being played at Remondis Stadium for the coveted University Shield.

Stories, at the present, conflict. What is known is that the ruckus began off-field, amongst the crowd. But within seconds players had jumped the fence and weighed-in to the action.

Former rugby league bad-boy John Hopoate was nearby, but it is unknown whether he was involved in the incident.

Investigators for the NSWRL have said there were up to 20 people contributing to the fracas.

One unnamed spectator told The Daily Telegraph: “Something started in the crowd and I don’t know how long that was going on before he game noticed it.

“I saw a couple of kids jump the fence to get involved. I’m not sure how long it was going on in the crowd before the kids noticed it; but once that happened it wasn’t great.”

The match, which was nearing its conclusion, had to be abandoned. Officials will be asked to give their versions of the event and investigations will continue.

The NSWRL is determined to stamp out this kind of behaviour. The University Shield is a premier match and spectacles like this do the organisation and code no good.

The NSWRL have refused to comment any further until investigations are finalised.

Cronulla Sharks End their Season as Controversially as they Played it.

Cronulla Sharks' Mad Monday raises a few eyebrows. Photo: www.news.com.au

Cronulla Sharks’ Mad Monday raises a few eyebrows. Photo: www.news.com.au

The Cronulla Sharks have ended their season as controversially as they endured it. Players from the beleaguered club were spotted at the popular Coogee ‘Sauce Wine Bar’ on Mad Monday receiving the attentions of what looked to be two topless waitresses.

This, in itself may attract a nod and a wink; these are footballers after all. But when an enterprising photographer snapped the players with the waitresses he soon found himself surrounded. The players demanded he delete his photos. When he refused they began to intimidate him.

Understandably the players took exception to being photographed with the waitresses, one wearing little more than a pair of black underpants. What they seem to have misunderstood is that it is the photographers job to take photos and it is their job to maintain their club’s code of conduct.

And while there is nothing illegal about going to a topless bar, it, perhaps, sends a message the club would rather avoid. Certainly intimidating a photographer is contrary to the image the club wishes to present.

Todd Carney, was spotted in the bar celebrating with his former teammates. Carney was infamously sacked for his ‘bubbler’ photograph circulated on social media earlier in the year.

And then there was the seemingly endless ASADA probe into the Sharks’ supplement program of 2011. Several current Sharks players accepted a deal offered by ASADA, admitted taking banned substances, and were made to sit out the final weeks of the season.

In all this is a year the Sharks would most probably like to forget. Players being snapped with a topless waitress may attract a few questioning glances; intimidating the photographer who took the picture is, however, a little more serious.

The drug bans handed out by ASADA are likely to come under review by the World Anti-Doping Authority for being too lenient. Athletes from other sports used social media to vent their disbelief at the paltry sentences ASADA offered. With the revelations of Captain Paul Gallen’s meteoric improvement since 2011 more questions need to and should be asked.

Des Hassler Apologizes to Canterbury Fans After Bizarre Golden Point Loss to Titans

It has been called one of the most bizarre and thrilling NRL games ever played. On Sunday the Gold Coast Titans eked out a Golden Point victory over their fancied rivals, the Canterbury Bulldogs. But it was the course the match took that had fans and commentators bewildered.

Des Hassler apologises to Canterbury fans. Photo: article.wn.com

Des Hassler apologises to Canterbury fans. Photo: article.wn.com

In fact, flanked by Bulldogs Captain Michael Ennis, coach Des Hassler apologised to the Canterbury fans. He was apologising not only for blowing an 18 – 0 lead, but also for a string of bizarre incidents.

Just seconds before halftime Josh Reynolds cantered towards the sideline with the ball under his arm; as he crossed the touch line he threw the ball infield to Titans’ winger Anthony Don. Don was quick enough to play to the whistle rather than the assumption and sprinted towards the try line.

Inexplicably, the referee called Don back and awarded the Titans a penalty. He deemed Reynolds’ action a deliberate forward pass – even though the sideline official had raised his flag, calling him out of bounds.

With the halftime siren wailing the Titans were given one last opportunity for points.

They failed. But it seemed from this point on the rot had set in for Canterbury.

In the second half the bulldogs were kept scoreless. The Titans capitalised from Bulldog errors, and scored two tries. Another try came from lazy Canterbury defence; while a fourth resulted simply from a rising sense of belief.

During this time several scuffles broke out and the big men from each side – Tony Williams and Dave Taylor were put on report. Williams for a possible shoulder charge, Taylor for back-slamming an opponent.

Anthony Minechello, in his final NRL game, looked to score the match winner. But with the Titans’ kicker off the field the stand-in was unable to convert. The scores were tied at 18 – 18 as the final hooter sounded.

The Bulldogs squandered their attempt at a field-goal. The Titans didn’t.

Jordan Rapana Dodges Death

Canberra utility Jordan Rapana is lucky to be alive.

In the 55th minute of the game against St George he suffered a vicious head injury that left his brain unprotected. With his back to his goal -line Rapana attempted to hold back a rampaging Mata’utia. Not only did Mata’utia steamroll over him, but Rapana was left in-gaol clutching at his head.

Rapana’s collision had left him with a fractured skull. Something, surgeons said later, usually only resulting from automobile accidents. Incredibly Rapana got to his feet and played out the rest of the match!

Jordan Rapana. Photo: www.zerotackle.com

Jordan Rapana. Photo: www.zerotackle.com

Only later, when he found the extent of the injury, was he told that any contact to that already injured area could have killed him.

“The surgeon said if I copped another knock to my head, I could have been killed or be brain dead,” Rapana told newcom.au reporters.

“I was keen to play the following week but the doc said it would have been suicide to play so soon.”

“The doc was shocked it could happen in rugby league, he said most of these injuries happen from car accidents or when you head hits metal. He couldn’t believe it was a head clash, he said he had never seen a fractured skull in football.”

Rapana had only just returned to first grade football following a two-year Mormon mission and a year playing in the Intrust Super Cup with the Souths Logan side. Rapana had impressed in this lower grade and was keen to return to the NRL after having previously played for the Titans.

“I’ll be out for the next six to eight weeks but the docs reckon I’ll be back training by pre-season, which is good.”

Rapana finished by saying, “I can’t believe how hard Peter Matu’atia’s head is … he must be a machine or something.” J

Jeff Robson Shows Toughness Still a Part of NRL

The beleaguered Cronulla Sharks played a standout game against the North Queensland Cowboys on Monday night. Sadly the understrength side went down in golden point. I say sadly because whether you are a Sharks fan or not every rugby league fan applauded the bravery shown by half-back Jeff Robson.

Only 10 minutes into the game the gutsy 88kg Robson was called upon to stop a rampaging 110kg Jason Taumalolo as he roared into the defensive line. Robson set himself for the tackle, but placed his head in an awkward position. The crown of Robson’s head connected with Taumalolo’s hip causing a gruesome cut in his scalp. Robson was drenched in his own blood from the cut which resulted in an immediate blood bin.

Jeff Robson Injury. Photo: www.ozaccess.com

Jeff Robson Injury. Photo: www.ozaccess.com

He was ushered into the change rooms and stitched up. The crown of his head was bandaged, he put on a playing helmet, and then – incredibly – he came back on!

Cronulla staff said Robson was eager to return to the field, pressuring the medicos to hurry up. His side was gelling; they had the scent of victory. Robson wanted his young players to experience what would have been the upset of five centuries.

The young Cronulla side have lost several marquee players to the ASADA doping ban. This, as Robson pointed out to the players filling their spots, is their time to shine.

And shine they did.

The Cowboys were at full strength and regarded as serious finals contenders. For the lowly, under-manned, strife-torn Sharks to come so close to beating them stunned everyone.

Robson’s toughness lifted his side – how could it not. It shows that rugby league is still a hard-man’s game despite the dives, angling for penalties and pathetic scrums.

Paul Gallen’s Incredible Post-2011 Running Stat’s

Figures cataloging meters gained per year by Paul Gallen have attracted widespread scrutiny. Gallen, along with 16 other ex-Cronulla players, last week plead guilty to ‘unwittingly’ taking performance banned enhancing substances.

Paul Gallen, late bloomer? Photo www.news.com.au

Paul Gallen, late bloomer? Photo www.news.com.au

Gallen took the reduced sentence in an effort to put the ASADA drug probe behind him. However, these fresh figures are cause for more consternation.

The figures detail the number of games played by Gallen each year and the number of times he ran for more than 200 meters.

Running 200 meters in an NRL game is an incredible achievement. It is something done only by the very elite. Even then, players in certain positions (such as fullback) are more likely to run further per game owing to the distance they have from attacking players when they receive the ball.

Forwards, such as Gallen, usually receive the ball within 10 meters of the opposition. The going is much, much harder for them.

However, Gallen’s meters gained per match were off the charts during and since 2011; the year the banned substances were introduced.

Since 2011 Gallen has run for more than 200 meters in a match on more than 24 occasions! And that’s in only 61 top grade matches. This is a stunning 39 per cent of matches played!

The next best runner for over 200 meters in a game is full back Jarrod Hayne. Hayne ran for over 200 meters in a match only 12 times in 66 games. This means Hayne played five more matches than Gallen but only managed to run over 200 meters on half as many occasions. And Hayne is a full back!

The closest forward to Gallen’s numbers is fellow Cronulla player Andrew Fifita who has run for more than 200 meters 6 times in 76 games (4.5 per cent of the time).

In State of Origin games, since 2011, Gallen has averaged a jaw-dropping 160 meters per game. This is unbelievable at this elite level of football. During the regular seasons since 2011 Gallen has averaged 186 meters per game; a full 42 meters more per game than the next best, South Sydney’s colossus Sam Burgess.

In the first eight rounds of the 2012 season Gallen averaged 218 meters each game.

Maybe Gallen is simply an incredible athlete? If so, then why didn’t he show such promise prior to 2011?

Year                      Games                  200m+                  Year                      Games                  200m+

2001                     02                          0                            2011                     20                          6

2002                     21                          0                            2012                     16                          9

2003                     17                          0                            2013                     16                          8

2004                     19                          3                            2014                     9                            1

2005                     25                          4

2006                     18                          1

2007                     19                          2

2008                     20                          2

2009                     16                          3

2010                     23                          5

Pre 2011             180                       20                          Post 2011            61                          24

 

Source: Fox Sports Stat’s

World Anti-Doping Authority Concerned Over ASADA Leniency

Confessed banned-substance taker Paul Gallen has been made ineligible or the Brad Fittler medal awarded to the best New South Wales player in an Origin series.

On Wednesday Fittler remarked to media that he felt uncomfortable with the possibility of Gallen perhaps winning the medal named in his honour. Fittler said he didn’t want his name associated with someone confessing to using a banned substance as it could bring the award and his own reputation into disrepute.

The NRL considered Fittler’s denunciation. Today Gallen, currently suspended from competition, was made ineligible for the Brad Fittler medal and the Dally M (awarded to the representative player of the year).

It was a difficult decision to make for the NSWRL board. Every time something like this happens it prevents the game from moving on from the ASADA investigation. The board met for several hours on Friday morning to discuss Fittler’s proposal. They made the decision to make Gallen ineligible within a few hours.

No one is disagreeing with them.

Paul Gallen. One of 12 former cronulla players to admit to taking a banned substance. Photo: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

Paul Gallen. One of 12 former cronulla players to admit to taking a banned substance. Photo: www.dailytelegraph.com.au

The fact that Gallen (and others making the same deal with ASADA) received only a three week ban for admitting to taking a banned substance has outraged professional athletes in almost every other sport. That Gallen (and others) do not have the games they won forfeited from their records is scandalous. That they keep the money for their game-day appearances and sponsorships is tantamount to hypocrisy.

For Gallen to possibly win an award while serving a doping ban would be ridiculous.

Just look at what happened to Lance Armstrong if you want to know how drug-cheats fare in other sports.