Rider, Colt Die In Training Accident At Churchill Downs

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF LEXINGTON KENTUCKY NEWS CHANNEL 18)

 

Rider, Colt Die In Training Accident At Churchill Downs

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — An exercise horse rider was killed Saturday morning at Churchill Downs when he was thrown by his horse, officials with the racetrack said.

According to a news release, 42-year-old Odanis Acuna died in a training accident about 5:45 a.m.

Officials said Acuna was riding 2-year-old New York Harbor when the colt collapsed near the finish line. The horse was euthanized.

The news release says onside medical help rushed to the scene to aid Acuna but “believe he died instantly.”

“Today is a somber day,” Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery said in a statement. “We extend our deepest sympathy to Odanis’ family, friends, colleagues and the entire team at trainer Kenny McPeek’s barn. Our hearts are with them in this difficult time of extreme sorrow.”

Acuna was a trainer for Kenny McPeek and was known as “Cuba.”

“Odanis was one of the hardest working guys you’d ever meet; he was working the American dream,” said McPeek, who employed Acuna for nearly a decade. “He galloped for me in the morning and worked for the feed company in the afternoon.”Training was suspended for the rest of the morning at the track and a moment of silence was planned for 12:30 p.m. ahead of races.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

David Nichols

David is veteran journalist and online content editor.

Asia Cup 2018: India beat Bangladesh in last ball thriller to clinch title

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

Asia Cup 2018: India beat Bangladesh in last ball thriller to clinch title

India pulled off a thrilling last ball win over Bangladesh to clinch their seventh Asia Cup title in Dubai on Friday.

CRICKET Updated: Sep 29, 2018 09:41 

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Asia Cup 2018,India vs Bangladesh,Kedar Jadhav
India defeated Bangladesh to clinch the Asia Cup 2018 title in Dubai on Friday.(AFP)

India clinched the Asia Cup 2018 title by beating Bangladesh by three wickets in a last-ball thriller at the Dubai International Stadium in Dubai on Friday. With 6 runs needed from the last over, Kedar Jadhav (23 off 27 balls) and Kuldeep Yadav (5 off 5 balls) kept their cool to guide the Indian cricket team to their seventh Asia Cup trophy.

Chasing a target of 223, skipper Rohit Sharma (48 off 55 balls) provided India with a good start but a couple of quick wickets tilted the match in Bangladesh’s favour. Nazmul Islam took the wicket of in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan while Ambati Rayudu was caught behind off the bowling of Mashrafe Mortaza.

However, MS Dhoni (36 off 67 balls) and Dinesh Karthik (37 off 61 balls) steadied the innings and were able to bring India back into the game with a 54-run partnership for the fourth wicket. But with both batsmen losing their wickets in a span of five overs, the pressure was once again on India.

READ: Asia Cup Final: Pakistan superfan cheers for India in Dubai – Watch video

Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja continued to fight against a disciplined Bangladesh bowling attack and although Kedar was forced to leave the field due to a hamstring injury, he came back to finish the match for India. For Bangladesh, Rubel Hossain (2/26) and Mustafizur Rahman (2/38) were the top performers with the ball but they were unable to guide their team to their first-ever Asia Cup title triumph.

Earlier, Kuldeep Yadav and Kedar Jadhav were quite impressive with the ball as Bangladesh were bowled out for 222. Liton Das slammed his maiden ODI century but he was unable to guide his team to a big total as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were ultimately bundled out in 48.3 overs.

READ: MS Dhoni takes one-third of a second to send back centurion Liton Das

Liton and Mehidy Hasan handed Bangladesh a brilliant start with a 120-run partnership, but it went all downhill after Mehidy’s dismissal. Bangladesh lost four quick wickets but Liton kept fighting on the other end and the 23-year old was able to bring up his hundred in 87 balls. However, his innings came to an end for 121 as MS Dhoni completed a brilliant stumping off Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling in the 41st over.

Soumya Sarkar (33) did try to add some crucial runs in the death overs but he was run out after a terrible mix-up. For India, Kuldeep Yadav (3/45) and Kedar Jadhav (2/41) were the wreckers-in-chief while fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal ended up claiming one wicket each.

First Published: Sep 29, 2018 01:45 IST

The Hypocrisy Belongs To Some In The “LGBT” Community, Not To The Chicago Cubs

The Hypocrisy Belongs To Some In The “LGBT” Community, Not To The Chicago Cubs

 

This morning I had every intent to write an article about fallen Senator John McCain and I hope that I will still have the energy to do so after I finish this article first. I got up out of bed about 4 A.M. this morning and came out to my computer aiming to write the McCain article but as is normal I read some of the events I find on my computers main pages first. You know, things like I want to know if our “Mafia in Chief President” has started anymore new wars before I try to get my day started. To the best of my knowledge he has not so I then went on to some MLB Web-Sites as I am still somewhat of a baseball fan, not as much as when I was a kid, but it is still my favorite sport. I read an article from Yahoo-Sports that changed my thoughts about my first column today. My article about John McCain is still more important to me but it is going to be a mostly ‘positive’ article and this one on the Cubs (my life long favorite team) has more negative energy in it so I have decided to write this one first, to get the negatives out of my thought patterns.

 

In an article dated yesterday afternoon (August 26th, 2018) on Yahoo-Sports written by Blake Schuster was an article about the recent trade that the Chicago Cubs made with the Washington Nationals for second baseman Daniel Murphy. Even though I have known of Mr. Murphy for several years I have only known of him from a ‘Baseball-Stats’ prospective, nothing about his personal life, either good or bad. By his stats I would say that I consider him an above average overall second baseman so I had no problem with the Cubs trading for him. But here is the ‘rub’ of the Yahoo-Sports article, evidently about 3 years ago he made some comments about the LGBT-Gay lifestyle that still to this day offends many folks who believe that this lifestyle is a perfectly fine way of life. Guess what folks, not everyone on the planet happens to agree wit you about it being an ‘okay’ way to live. Learn to deal with this reality, it is you being the hypocrites here, not Mr. Murphy.

 

About 3 years ago Mr. Murphy evidently said that he “disagreed with the gay lifestyle” so now it seems that many people in that community really do not like him. This seems to even go to the extent that they would prefer that Mr. Murphy wasn’t able to earn a living in his preferred profession as a major league baseball player. There is a rather large group of people in the Chicago land area who call themselves the “Out At Wrigley” LGBT organization. Yesterday was the ’18th annual LGBT original MLB Gay Day.’ As it turns out (I did not know of this fact until I read this Yahoo article) that one of the Ricketts family who owns the Cubs is an openly gay lady, Ms. Laura Ricketts. Some folks in the LGBT groups decided to wait to give their opinion on the trade for Mr. Murphy until Ms. Laura weighed in with her opinion on the issue. Other folks within the LGBT community there in the Chicago Land area weren’t quite so kind or patient. There will be some folks who read this article who will be mad at me and even call me a hypocrite and some other names for writing this article and for daring to have an opinion different from their own concerning the LGBT life style. My official opinion is that “I, just like Mr. Murphy, do disagree with the LGBT-Queer Lifestyle being an okay lifestyle.”

 

There are many who may well say things along the line of “why should I give a damn about what you have to say, your just an old white boy in Kentucky.” To this I say, exactly. Why should you care what I have to say if I disagree with you, but then again why am I suppose to care what you think or feel about this issue either? Now a third line of thought on this ‘caring’ issue, why should you or I care what Mr. Murphy’s thoughts or feelings are on this issue? He is a baseball player, concerning the Cubs trade for him, only what he does on the field should matter to any of us. Now, if Mr. Murphy was wearing a bright neon tea-shirt in the pregame fielding and batting practice that blared out something like “I hate Gay people” then yes, you should probably take offence to him doing that. Personally I would take offence to him doing that myself, just as I would if he or any other player decided to wear a dress out on the field. He is there to play baseball, he is paid to play baseball, if he has an opinion that is different from yours or mine on the “Gay issue,” so what!

 

There are probably a few folks in their anger at me for not having the same opinion as their, or for daring to state my beliefs who will bring up other ‘incidents’ to see if I feel the same way toward those folks. What I am getting at is that some folks will, in their anger, say things like, well I bet you would be okay with Murphy if he was a wife beater or a child molester too, as long as he was a good baseball player. Folks, that is stupid, being a wife beater or being a child molester is actually illegal, disagreeing with you about if a person agrees with or disagrees with your LGBT lifestyle is not ‘yet’ illegal. We do have something in the Constitution of the United States (First Amendment) saying that we the people are allowed to have free speech in this Country whether you happen to like it or not. Not everyone is going to agree with you, or me, on everything, grow up, learn to deal with reality just as those who don’t agree with you also have to do!

NBA players defend LeBron James after President (THE DUMB ASS) Trump tweet

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(DONALD ‘THE DUMB ASS’ TRUMP SHOWS ONCE AGAIN THAT HE IS THE MOST IGNORANT MAN IN AMERICA!)

 

NBA players defend LeBron James after President Trump tweet

LeBron James hasn’t responded to a shot about his intelligence from President Donald Trump, but Hall of Famer Michael Jordan and other fellow NBA players took to Twitter to defend him.

Trump took aim at James in a tweet on Friday night, days after an interview with CNN’s Don Lemon aired in which the Los Angeles Lakers star said he felt that Trump was “using sports to kinda divide us.”

“Sports has never been something that divides people,” James told Lemon. “It’s always been something that brings someone together.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

Trump also appeared to take sides in the LeBron vs. Jordan debate, saying, “I like Mike!”

Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets, issued a statement Saturday backing James.

“I support LJ,” Jordan said in the statement. “He’s doing an amazing job for his community.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who was at the league’s NBA Africa Game on Saturday in Johannesburg, South Africa, commended James for his work on and off the court.

“LeBron James is one of the all-time greatest NBA players and one of the most accomplished athletes,” Silver told USA Today. “He runs a very successful media company. He’s sent hundreds of students to college and just opened a school in Akron where at-risk students will receive free tuition, meals and transportation.

“I greatly admire his intelligence and business acumen and have enormous respect and appreciation for what he does in his community.”

Other players from around the league, including Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell, came to James’ defense on social media after Trump’s tweet.

Karl-Anthony Towns

@KarlTowns

So let me get this straight: Flint, MI has dirty water still, but you worried about an interview about a man doing good for education and generations of kids in his hometown? Shut your damn mouth! Stop using them twitter fingers and get stuff done for our country with that pen.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

Donovan Mitchell

@spidadmitchell

A sign of an insecure human being is one who attacks others to make themselves feel better… im just sad that young kids have to see stupid tweets like these and grow up thinking it’s okay… forget everything else Donald your setting a bad example for kids😑 our future 🤡

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

Stephen Curry

@StephenCurry30

Keep doing you @KingJames! 💪🏽

CNN

@CNN

LeBron James says he thinks the President is using athletics, and athletes, to divide the country — and that’s something he “can’t relate to” https://cnn.it/2M2wutB 

View image on Twitter

Jared Dudley

@JaredDudley619

He’s gotta go!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

Anthony Tolliver

@ATolliver44

I’ve been silent about ALL of the DUMB stuff this man has tweeted but THIS is attacking the NBA brotherhood and I’m not rollin’! What an embarrassment…

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

Bradley Beal

@RealDealBeal23

Tired of you!

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!

Lakers owner Jeanie Buss said the franchise “could not be more proud to have LeBron James as part of our Lakers family.”

“He is an incredibly thoughtful and intelligent leader and clearly appreciates the power that sports has to unite communities and inspire the world to be a better place,” Buss said in a separate statement Saturday. “Those efforts should be celebrated by all.”

Lemon, who conducted the interview with James, also weighed in.

Don Lemon

@donlemon

Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages? https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2018/08/02/lebron-james-i-promise-school-akron-ohio-don-lemon-cnn-tonight.cnn 

LeBron James launches new ‘I Promise’ School – CNN Video

The LeBron James Family Foundation, in collaboration with the Akron Public Schools system, has launched a new school for at-risk 3rd and 4th grader

cnn.com

The LeBron James Family Foundation and the Akron (Ohio) Public Schools on Monday opened a new elementary school for at-risk children in his hometown.

The I Promise School is the culmination of nearly a decade of work by James’ foundation, with its focus on educating children from challenging situations or backgrounds. The school will begin with two grades, third and fourth, with plans to expand in the coming years.

For those who complete the program, which has been operating for years, James has arranged for free tuition to the University of Akron starting in 2021. He also created a program for parents of the at-risk children to return to complete their high school educations, and he has planned an institute to help prepare high-school-age students for college.

In all, James and his foundation leaders hope that more than 1,200 children will pass through the program and into college by 2029.

First lady Melania Trump, in a statement issued Saturday by her spokesperson, would be open to visiting the I Promise School.

“It looks like LeBron James is working to do good things on behalf of our next generation,” the statement issued by Stephanie Grisham said, “and just as she always has, the First Lady encourages everyone to have an open dialogue about issues facing children today.”

President Trump traveled to Ohio on Saturday for a campaign rally.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

MALICE WITH JOKES ABOUT NEYMAR INVADES PLAYER’S GAFFE

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL 247 NEWSPAPER)

 

Iran detains 35 women for going to football match

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

Iran detains 35 women for going to football match

Iranian football fans at a matchImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionOnly men can attend football matches in Iran

Iran has detained 35 women for trying to attend a football match.

They tried to go to a game between Tehran teams Esteqlal and Persepolis. Iran said they were temporarily held and would be released after the match.

Fifa’s president, Gianni Infantino, was also in attendance, along with Iranian Sport Minister Masoud Soltanifar.

A live broadcast was taken off the air when a journalist asked Mr Soltanifar when women would be allowed to attend football matches.

According to the semi-official ISNA news agency, Iranian interior ministry spokesman Seyyed Salman Samani said the female football fans were not arrested – but transferred to a “proper place” by police.

Earlier reports said two women were held.

Iran has barred women from attending football games since the Iranian Revolution in 1979.

Iranian football fans after celebrate after a win by the national teamImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionIranian women have been urged online recently to protest about their ban from stadiums

‘Break the taboo’

There were calls on social media before the match for women to protest against the ban outside the Azadi stadium today.

Women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad on Wednesday called on women to attend Thursday’s match.

“The Fifa president will be in the stadium tomorrow (1 March),” she wrote.

“I wish women would gather outside the stadium to ask men not to enter without them.”

Another user said it was a “basic right” for women to enter stadiums with men, and said this match was “the best chance to break the 35-year-old taboo”.

Azadi means “freedom” stadium in Persian, and one Twitter user pointed out the hypocrisy of “naming a stadium freedom but banning half the population from entering”.

Presentational grey line

Why this game?

By Alan Johnston, World Service Middle East regional editor

The women caught sneaking into the stadium were trying to attend a particularly significant game, one being watched by the most powerful man in world football, Fifa’s boss.

It seems they wanted to attract Mr Infantino’s attention to the ban on women attending games.

And the sensitivity of the issue was apparent as Mr Infantino stood beside the country’s sports minister during a live TV interview.

A journalist asked this awkward question about when the ban might be lifted. The sound was faded down, and the interview abruptly taken off the air.

Presentational grey line

‘Politics should stay out of football’

Mr Infantino had been speaking to reporters about a two-year dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino, left, and Iranian sport minister Masoud SoltanifarImage copyrightAFP/GETTY IMAGES
Image captionFifa president Gianni Infantino, left, spoke at a joint press conference with Iranian Sport Minister Masoud Soltanifar

Since 2016, when Saudi Arabia broke off relations with Iran, Saudi clubs have refused to play there, forcing Iranian teams to play home games in Oman.

“It’s very clear that politics should stay out of football and football should stay out of politics,” Mr Infantino said the news conference.

“There are of course political issues between countries all over the world but this should not have an impact,” he said.

Later on, the head of Fifa met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Mr Rouhani asked Fifa to make sure that “people are not deprived of watching competitions in their own stadiums”.

Related Topics

South Korea’s President, Mr. Moon Is Being Played For A Fool!!!

 

 

As most folks know, the Winter Olympics are being staged in South Korea right now. South Korea’s President, Mr. Moon appears to be being ‘played’ for a fool by the Kim family of North Korea during these games. There is a small athletic delegation from the North that are participating as we speak. Among the non-athletes of the North’s delegation is the sister of Kim Jung Un, the mass murdering vicious Dictator self-proclaimed ‘Living God’. The out of touch with reality President of South Korea has welcomed the visitors from the North with open arms. Personally I do not have a problem with allowing the athletics from the North to participate, but it should be under their own flag. Mr. Moon decided that instead of South Korean athletics and the Country of South Korea using the South Korean Flag they are using a ‘unification’ flag and allowing the North Koreans to participate as part of a ‘one Korea’ team. Thus many athletics from the South who have spent many years working their selves half to death to make their Country’s Olympic Team got ‘bumped’ off the team so the unqualified North members could take their place. I say unqualified because to become a member of a country’s team you must have gone through many different qualifying events and either winning them or placing very, very high in those contest. The North’s athletics did none of these things, they were just handed the spots by the insistence of the South Korean President. Now if in team events ‘South Korea’ is able to win a metal, North Koreans also get that metal to take back home for Kim Jung Un to brag about.

 

Enough of the Olympic’s part of this article, now down to the meat of what I am writing to you about tonight. Kim Jung Un’s sister at the direction of her brother has offered President Moon an invitation to visit him in North Korea. The North Korean delegation has been putting on what has been widely referred to as a ‘charm’ campaign this past two months. Mr. Kim of North Korea has widely made it known that he wants the two Korea’s to be ‘unified’, yet the unification is to be under his command with himself as the one and only Leader of the Korean Peninsula. Folks, this is something that the extreme majority of the citizens of South Korea do not want to ever see happen.

 

What is going on is very obvious. The UN has put a lot of sanctions on the Kim government because of their missile program and the firing of ICBM’s as well as their Nuclear Program that Mr. Kim says he will never ever give up. A ‘show’ of Mr. Kim’s intentions was obvious when the North Koreans asked the South Korean government to give them the fuel that would be needed for the ship the North Korean delegation was going to use to make the very, very short trip to the South. Kim is playing the poor, poor pitiful me song and dance trying to get pity from the South Koreans and from the UN. For years the people of North Korea have been starving to death as the very fat Kim Jung Un who just keeps getting fatter and fatter himself. If Kim Jung Un can get the very liberal President Moon to start sending food and oil to the North, that would be a huge win for Mr. Kim. If Mr. Kim can convince the very liberal and gullible President Moon to break the UN sanctions all together, then Russia and China would do the same. What if Mr. Kim can play sweet toward Mr. Moon and could convince him to throw the American military forces out of South Korea and to quit doing military exercises with the U.S. and to quit allowing U.S. ships to use South Korean Ports. It is obvious that the next thing would be the North Korean Army storming the South Korean’s thus unifying the Peninsula under Mr. Kim’s control. Of course this is if Mr. Kim cannot convince President Moon to do this voluntarily. Let’s all give this ongoing situation about  100 days, lets say until June 1st to see how this all shakes out. Another option of course would be if Mr. Kim gets President Moon up North and lets him know if the two Countries do not unite as one that he (Mr. Kim) will nuke the South ‘off the map’. Lets see what the History Books will be saying about this next 100 days. As a very dear old friend of mine used to say, “we shall see, what we shall see”.

Super Bowl: Eagles Coach Praises Jesus, Nick Foles Gives Glory to God

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

 

Super Bowl: Eagles Coach Praises Jesus, Nick Foles Gives Glory to God

(PHOTO: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles celebrates with Jason Kelce after winning Super Bowl LII.

Doug Pederson, the head coach of freshly crowned Super Bowl LII champions the Philadelphia Eagles, gave glory to God in his reaction to the historic victory.

“I can only give the praise to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity. And I’m going to tell you something. I’ve got the best players in the world, and it’s a resilient group,” Pederson said in a post-game interview, according to Philly.com on Sunday.

“I love this coaching staff. Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie, the owner. And not only do we have the best fans in the world, we now have the best team in the world. Thank you guys.”

The Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots marked their first-ever Super Bowl title at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, having previously lost title games in 1981 and 2005.

Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, who was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, saw God’s hand in his path to the final, commentators who spoke with him said.

Tony Dungy, former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and of the Indianapolis Colts, said in a post-game interview, according to NBC Sports:

“Nick Foles told me last week in Philadelphia he thought the Lord had him here for just this time. He knows this is Carson Wentz’s team, but he was ready to go tonight, and he played like a champion.”

Foles wept tears of joy when discussing the team’s victory, holding onto his daughter, Lily.

“All glory to God. Lily really likes this mic. She has no idea,” the MVP said.

Praising his Eagles teammates and coaching staff, he added: “To be here with my daughter, my wife, my teammates, this city … we’re very blessed.”

Foles has not kept his Christian faith a secret, describing himself on Twitter as a “believer in Jesus Christ, husband, father, son, brother.” The 29-year-old star athlete has said in the past that after his football career comes to an end, he is thinking of becoming a pastor.

“I want to be a pastor in a high school,” Foles said at a news conference ahead of the Super Bowl.

“It’s on my heart. I took a leap of faith last year and signed up to take classes at seminary. I wanted to continue to learn and challenge my faith. It’s a challenge because you are writing papers that are biblically correct. You want to impact people’s hearts,” he said.

Foles explained that high school is a very challenging time for young men and young women.

“So much temptation in this world, so much going on with social media and the internet that you want to talk to them and address it, and share all the weaknesses I have because I’ve fallen many times,” he stated.

“It’s something I want to do. I can’t play football forever. I’ve been blessed with an amazing platform and it’s just a door God has opened, but I still have a lot of school left and a long journey.”

Others, such as Eagles’ punter Donnie Jones, also placed their faith in God in the run-up to the major event.

“[I] always know that He’s going to be there, He’s going to take care of you,” Jones, who attended a Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, said of God.

“That’s kind of been the way of my career. I’ve moved around with five teams. When I didn’t know things were going to work out, He always put me in the right spot. You’ve got to have faith, believe,” he added, according to The Catholic Spirit.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

Conformation That Russia Was Doping Their Olympic Athletics

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MOSCOW TIMES)

(OPED: TO ME, THIS IS PROOF THAT PRESIDENT PUTIN HAS NO FAITH IN RUSSIAN ATHLETICS ABILITY TO COMPETE ON A WORLD STAGE, HE OBVIOUSLY THINKS THEY ARE INFERIOR SO HE FELT HE HAD TO DOPE THEM UP. THIS IS A PATHETIC LACK OF FAITH IN RUSSIAS OWN PEOPLE, VERY SAD.) (TRS)

Grigory Rodchenkov (Vitaly Belousov / TASS)

Two Russian athletes have confirmed the existence of a doping cocktail described by Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of a Moscow anti-doping lab, in the first admission of involvement since Russia was accused of running a state-sponsored doping program.

Rodchenkov fled to the U.S. after telling The New York Times newspaper that he had provided athletes with banned substances — including during the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which Russia hosted.

A probe by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accused Russia of running a state-sponsored doping program.

WADA is meeting next week to review a ruling imposing sanctions on Russian athletes. The International Olympic Committee is also expected to decide the fates of two dozen Russian athletes in December, ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

During the Sochi Olympics, Rodchenkov said, he provided Russian athletes with a doping cocktail of different steroids mixed with alcohol.

In Russia Rodchenkov’s account has largely been dismissed as the product of fantasy and investigators have opened a case against him. Earlier this week, Russia issued a request for his extradition.

Two anonymous Russian athletes and an athletics manager interviewed by Russia’s biggest sports channel Match TV said on Wednesday the cocktail was given in the form of three unmarked pill containers with colored caps.

The athletes chose their own dosage and dissolved the pill in their mouth with a sip of alcohol, one of the athletes said.

“One tablet gave me a boost, the effect was very strong,” Match TV’s website cited Nikolai P., an athlete who took the so-called “Rodchenkov cocktail”, as saying.

A sports manager, identified as Nikolai R., said the cocktail had been Rodchenkov’s idea, but that the substances were produced by a person known as “Vitya-Jintropin,” a dealer in steroids. Jintropin is a growth hormone.

The third athlete who spoke with Match TV said she had pretended to take the drugs and only learned about the contents of the cocktail she was given after the scandal broke.

“I wasn’t the only one to do so, at least one of my acquaintances” also accepted the unmarked containers with a set of instructions and told Rodchenkov she was consuming their contents, she noted. The athlete said she ultimately disposed of the bottles.

“I couldn’t even sell it to anyone because I had no idea what I’d be selling,” she said.

This is the first time that athletes still in Russia have admitted some of the claims made by WADA and Rodchenkov. But, commenting to the liberal radio station Ekho Moskvy, sports analyst Alexei Durnavo said that far from admitting Russia’s guilt the report likely aimed at discrediting Rodchenkov personally, while leaving untouched the question of Russian state participation in the doping scandal.

Papa John’s says Anthem protests are hurting deal with NFL

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ESPN)

 

Papa John’s says anthem protests are hurting deal with NFL

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Executives from Papa John’s, the official pizza company of the NFL, expressed disappointment on a conference call Wednesday about the league’s ongoing player protests during the national anthem.

“The NFL has hurt us,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

Executives said the company has pulled much of its NFL television advertising and that the NFL has responded by giving the company additional future spots.

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said, noting he thought the issue had been “nipped in the bud” a year and a half ago.

In revising sales estimates for the next quarter, Papa John’s president and chief operating officer Steve Ritchie said on the call that the NFL deal was the primary suspect behind the decline and that “we expect it to persist unless a solution is put in place.”

Ritchie said that research has found that Papa John’s has been the most recognized sponsor associated with the NFL for two years running, which he said means the company’s performance can track with that of the league.

Papa John’s has a deal with not only the NFL, but also with 23 individual teams.

Company executives declined to disclose exactly how much money in projected sales Papa John’s lost from its association with the NFL and declining ratings, which mean fewer people are ordering their product for game days, they said.

ESPN reached out to 18 NFL official sponsors in the last few days and asked the companies about its current relationship with the league and if any marketing programs had been changed due to the turmoil. Only five sponsors responded with a comment.

Verizon spokesperson Jim Gerace wrote via email that “our discussions with any partner are between us and while we haven’t done anything different, we don’t discuss future plans.”

“We are not going to critique their performance in public just as I wouldn’t expect them to critique ours,” Gerace added.

A Hyundai spokesperson said in a statement, “Hyundai participated in constant dialogue with the league to discuss all aspects of our partnership, including national anthem protests. We’ve been pleased with the frequency and openness of those conversations.”

A spokesperson for Dannon, whose Oikos brand has an official NFL deal, said: “We continue to monitor the situation carefully and have not made changes to our advertising or related plans.”

Nike and Anheuser-Busch referred to previously issued statements.

League sponsors that either didn’t return a message after 24 hours or declined comment included: PepsiCo, Mars, Visa, Campbell’s Soup, Procter & Gamble, Castrol, Bose, McDonald’s, Nationwide, Microsoft, USAA, Marriott and Bridgestone.

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