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Gold-medal-winning gymnast Tatiana Gutsu adds voice to #MeToo campaign

Tatiana Gutsu, who won gymnastics gold at the 1992 Olympics, has joined the growing number of women sharing their stories of sexual assault and harassment on social media. A former USA gymnast has also spoken out. The now 41-year-old Gutsu, who was the all-around champion at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, used a post on her Facebook account on Tuesday to accuse a former teammate and fellow gold medalist of raping her when she was 15 years old. In the post, Gutsu (pictured above in 1992) alleges that Vitaly Scherbo raped her in 1991 during a competition in Stuttgart. She described Scherbo as a "monster who kept me in my own prison to be afraid for so many years." The claim comes amid thousands of similar ones from women all over the globe who have used the Twitter hashtag #MeToo to report experiences of sexual harassment or assault. The hashtag is thought to have been started by American actress Alyssa Milano. Fellow former Soviet competitors Rustam Sharipov, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist, and Tatyana Toropova also drew criticism from Gutsu in the post for a perceived lack of support. 17 Oct Gutsu and Scherbo competed for the Unified Team at the 1992 Games. The team drew athletes from a wide pool in the former Soviet Union's Olympic program, which produced more than a thousand Olympic medalists between 1952 and 1991. Gutsu retired soon after her win in Barcelona and moved to the United States. She now works as the head coach of the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team. Scherbo also lives in the United States and operates a gymnastics school in Las Vegas. Maroney comes forward Meanwhile, McKayla Maroney, a two-time medalist at the 2012 Olympics in London, has said she was molested for years by a former USA Gymnastics team doctor. In a statement posted via her Twitter account, Maroney, 21, said that the abuse had begun in her early teens and continued for the rest of her competitive career. The doctor Maroney accused, Larry Nassar spent three decades working with athletes at USA Gymnastics but now is in jail in Michigan awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to possession of child pornography. Nassar is also awaiting trial on separate criminal sexual conduct charges and has been sued by more than 125 women alleging abuse. He has pleaded not guilty to the assault charges, and the dozens of civil suits filed in Michigan are currently in mediation.

Tatiana Gutsu, who won gymnastics gold at the 1992 Olympics, has joined the growing number of women sharing their stories of sexual assault and harassment on social media. A former USA gymnast has also spoken out. The now 41-year-old Gutsu, who was the all-around champion at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, used a post on her Facebook account on ... Read More »

Champions League: Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig in search of maiden wins

It has been a tough start to European football this season for the Bundesliga clubs. Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig know the time to get their first wins are running out as they face crucial tests on Tuesday. After all the excitement surrounding Peter Bosz's start at Borussia Dortmund, the club's head coach faces question marks whether his side can get it right against bigger teams. In Europe, Bosz and Dortmund have the chance to get their confidence back with a trip to Cyprus, but is pushing for a top-two spot in their group the best plan? "We want to win both games against APOEL," captain Marcel Schmelzer said, who flew with the squad and hopes to return to action after five weeks out. Clearly, Dortmund want to win all the games they play and six points from these two outings will put them back into a competitive spot in their group. But given Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid's strength, Dortmund face the dilemma of whether to push for progression or focus on the Bundesliga where they lead Bayern Munich by two points. "There is no reason to stick our heads in the sand," said Nuri Sahin. "We were defensively very poor. That was not Borussia Dortmund standard," said Bosz after the Leipzig game. Given how poorly German clubs have performed so far in Europe this season, the pressure will be on both Dortmund and RB Leipzig (who are also in action on Tuesday night) to pick up much-needed victories. "If we still want to have a chance of advancing, then we have to win in Nicosia," said BVB sporting director Michael Zorc. "We go there as favorites and must show why." If Dortmund fail to do so, then not only will their European dreams be in tatters but so will their confidence ahead of their trip to Frankfurt next Saturday. Leipzig looking for lift-off RB Leipzig are hoping to get their Champions League campaign off the ground when they host two-time winners Porto. Ralph Hasenhüttl's side has yet to light up the Champions League in the way they have the Bundesliga and are still looking for their first win following a home draw with last season's semi-finalists Monaco and a deflating defeat by Besiktas last time out. Leipzig are coming off the back of a morale-boosting 3-2 win at Bundesliga leaders Dortmundon Saturday - and managed to do it without star men Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg. Hasenhüttl is expected to call upon Forsberg and Naby Keita, but Werner could remain on the bench as he continues to recover from injury. However, the coach said in Monday's pre-match press conference that he believes Jeffrey Bruma can provide the attacking edge Leipzig otherwise lack in Werner's absence. "We're going to have to see how things go with Timo Werner before deciding whether he starts or comes from the bench. But the impetus Bruma provides up front is great and he brings important qualities to the table," Hasenhüttl said. The Leipzig coach has called on his team to maintain the level of performance they showed in Dortmund. "The key for us is ensuring that the team maintain optimum levels of performance. Our added depth has helped. This is a game that will be decided by the smallest of details, but we're confident we can get our first Champions League win," Hasenhüttl said. Now it's time for RB Leipzig's actions to speak louder than the words of their head coach.

It has been a tough start to European football this season for the Bundesliga clubs. Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig know the time to get their first wins are running out as they face crucial tests on Tuesday. After all the excitement surrounding Peter Bosz’s start at Borussia Dortmund, the club’s head coach faces question marks whether his side can ... Read More »

Jupp Heynckes insists ‘age is just a number’ as he begins fourth Bayern Munich spell

Jupp Heynckes has begun his fourth spell in charge of Bayern Munich by insisting that "age is just a number." Meanwhile, Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have pledged to work more harmoniously together. Bayern Munich head coach Jupp Heynckes says he is confident of turning the club's season around, insisting at his unveiling on Monday morning that "age is just a number." Heynckes, 72, was presented as the German champions' new head coach at a press conference in Munich after agreeing to come out of retirement to take over from Carlo Ancelotti until the end of the season. The Italian had been relieved of his duties following a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and with Bayern sitting five points behind Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund. "After leaving Bayern in 2013, I didn't think I would coach a club again. I thought that was it," Heynckes revealed. "Critics say I've been out the game for four years but football's not been re-invented. I've followed very closely." 'Age is just a number' Bayern had faced criticism for appointing a coach who has been in retirement for four years since ending his third spell in charge of the Bavarian club after winning the treble in 2013. Heynckes will be joined in Munich by his former assistants Hermann Gerland, 63, and Peter Hermann, 65 - giving Bayern's new coaching staff a combined age of over 200. "Age is a number and nothing more," insisted Heynckes. "Some feel old at 45 but I've not changed. I still love music and sport. I feel young." Heynckes' first challenge will be to repair a series of rifts which have emerged in the Bayern Munich dressing room – ostensibly between the northern European contingent around Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Thomas Müller and a Hispanic fraction centered on Thiago Alcantara and Arturo Vidal. Heynckes, who speaks fluent Spanish following spells at Teneriffe, Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid, believes he has the experience to deal with that but insisted that there is a need to "restore a hierarchy." "I will not shy away from conflict," he said. "I want to form a team where everyone works for the other, with respect and togetherness in the forefront. Our team has class and potential. It's my job to entice that class out again. I know exactly where I need to start." On the pitch, Heynckes' Bayern find themselves playing catch-up in a Bundesliga which is increasingly dominated by a new generation of coaches who play, in Heynckes' words, "a very systematic style of football" – and the veteran coach admitted that "it will be difficult to catch Borussia Dortmund – I'm realistic." Power struggle Heynckes' appointment - strictly until the end of the season – has been interpreted as a victory for club president Uli Hoeness in his power struggle with chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. While the latter is said to have preferred former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel, Hoeness favored a temporary solution before making a move for Hoffenheim's Julian Nagelsmann in the summer. Both men refused to comment on Heynckes' eventual successor, Rummenigge stating that "we won't say in 2017 what will happen in 2018" while Hoeness said Bayern "have bought ourselves time." The pair also admitted that they have had disagreements over the direction of the club in recent years which have been played out too publically and pledged to work together more harmoniously in future – beginning by unanimously welcoming Heynckes. I'm personally very happy that my best friend is back at the club," said Hoeness while Rummenigge added: "Jupp is an absolute champion. He knows Bayern inside out and I'm convinced that he's the ideal man for the job." Talisman Thomas Müller, who had been critical of the intensity of training sessions under Ancelotti, also welcomed the appointment. "We'll have proper coaching again," he said after Germany's 5-1 win over Azerbaijan in Kaiserslautern. "Heynckes will give the team a new impulse to work hard and suffer for the team." Is experience enough? Others are less convinced. Speaking to tabloid BILD, former Germany coach Berti Vogts highlighted Bayern's reliance on veteran wingers Robben and Ribery, saying: "Experience is important and Jupp and his coaches did everything right back in 2013, but unfortunately on the playing side, experience isn't everything, especially in attack. The likes of Robben and Ribery don't go into the challenges like they used to, especially away from home." German national team coach Joachim Löw also urged caution. "On most levels, experience is worth it's weight in gold in football, but not on all counts," he said after guiding Germany to ten wins from ten to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. "But you also need to keep things fresh and dynamic to be competitive at the top." Löw's name has also been tentatively connected with Bayern Munich but national team manager Oliver Bierhoff appeared to dismiss such rumours. "Firstly, Jogi has a contract until 2020," he said. "Secondly, if Bayern came poking their head around the corner, I would put a stop to it."

Jupp Heynckes has begun his fourth spell in charge of Bayern Munich by insisting that “age is just a number.” Meanwhile, Uli Hoeness and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge have pledged to work more harmoniously together. Bayern Munich head coach Jupp Heynckes says he is confident of turning the club’s season around, insisting at his unveiling on Monday morning that “age is just ... Read More »

Germany’s Confederations Cup stars take step towards World Cup berth

Many Germany players who won the Confederations Cup in July have continued to get playing time. In their final World Cup qualifier, those players made the difference as Germany completed a perfect qualification. Nine of the 11 players who started for Germany against Azerbaijan on Sunday were part of the Confed Cup squad – the exceptions were Thomas Müller and Leroy Sané. Additionally, all the players who scored in their 5-1 victory in the Fritz Walter Stadium in Kaiserslautern were Germany's Confederations Cup stars. Some of the casual Germany fans may not know many of these players' names yet, but in 2017 they really made a name for themselves. "It's nice to be part of the team. We have a lot of great young players, great old players. We have about 40 or 50 players in the national team,” forward Julian Brandt told DW after the game. "We had a good Confederations Cup and a good qualification." But it's not just the amount of talent Germany has that got the job done, but also the way in which they got on with each other. Emre Can made just his fourth career international start in midfield, and yet he was controlling the play in front of Germany's defense. Bundesliga veteran Lars Stindl earned his first Germany cap in June, and he was often directing traffic, pointing to where the ball should go. Germany coach Joachim Löw rarely left the bench during the game, even when Germany was struggling early. Since the players have already had success together, they knew what they had to do to complete Germany's perfect qualifying record – 10 wins in 10 games. A new camaraderie With several Germany stars from the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship still injured, Löw has continued to rely on the Confed Cup players in World Cup qualification. Against Azerbaijan, having players familiar with each other was key to turning the game around. "It helped a little bit that it wasn't the first time that we played together,” midfielder Leon Goretzka told DW. Germany lost two of their defenders – Niklas Süle and Shkodran Mustafi – to injury in the first half and were tied with Azerbaijan going into the break. But the players really took hold of the game in the second half, breaking open Azerbaijan's conservative defense with combinations and coordinated runs. "We know each other. We had a lot of fun at the Confed Cup and we had success there,” Joshua Kimmich told DW. "We knew that we could play well together. We didn't play very well in the first half but the second half was much better.” Competition for World Cup spots In the two World Cup qualifiers Germany played in October, Löw used 21 of the 22 players in his squad – only Kevin Trapp, the third string goalkeeper, did not see the field. Löw also has several other World Cup and Euro 2016 stars – some because of injuries but several others because of the team's squad depth. That makes for a lot of competition for spots in Löw's World Cup squad, which only has 23 spots. Not all of these Confederation Cup performers are going to return to Russia in June, but Kimmich said he hoped many of them come along. "We had a lot of success together, but I know that we have a lot of good players who won the World Cup," Kimmich told DW. "But I hope we have a lot of players from the Confed Cup because we played good football – a good style of football – and I hope we can continue like this."

Many Germany players who won the Confederations Cup in July have continued to get playing time. In their final World Cup qualifier, those players made the difference as Germany completed a perfect qualification. Nine of the 11 players who started for Germany against Azerbaijan on Sunday were part of the Confed Cup squad – the exceptions were Thomas Müller and ... Read More »

‘Enough is enough’ – Julian Nagelsmann annoyed by Bayern speculation

As Bayern Munich's search for a new head coach continues, one of the favorites for the role, Julian Nagelsmann, has declined to comment on press speculation. But doubts persist over the young coach's record in Europe. Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann reacted frustratedly on Sunday to questions from journalists asking him about the vacant Bayern Munich coaching position. The 30-year-old is the youngest coach in Bundesliga history and was crowned Coach of the Year last season after guiding Hoffenheim into Europe for the first time in the club's history. And following the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti following Bayern Munich's 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last week, Nagelsmann is one of the names linked with the job in Munich. "Every couple of days, I'm getting about 14 press enquiries," he said after his team's 2-3 defeat to Freiburg on Sunday. "Enough is enough." Asked by broadcaster Eurosport how he was dealing with the subject, he said: "I'm not dealing with it at all. There are so many experts having their say on the search for a new coach, they don't need to hear my opinion as well." Nagelsmann's contract in Sinsheim runs until 2021 and, according to news agency SID, Bayern are yet to make any contact with Hoffenheim. But sporting director Hansi Flick is resigned to seeing Nagelsmann leave eventually. "We've already said that we don't expect him to retire here," he said. "He's an exceptional coach and he's doing a great job of taking our team to the next level." Inexperience in Europe Nevertheless, Nagelsmann's reputation may have taken a knock in recent weeks, especially when it comes to his credentials on the international stage. After finishing fourth last season, Hoffenheim lost both legs of their Champions League qualifier against Liverpool (1-2 at home and 2-4 at Anfield) before starting their Europa League campaign with 1-2 defeats to both Braga and Ludogorets. In Nagelsmann's defense, Hoffenheim have already played 12 competitive games this season with a weakened squad after the departures of Niklas Süle and Sebastian Rudy to Bayern Munich and Jeremy Toljan to Borussia Dortmund in the summer. In Freiburg on Sunday, Sandro Wagner was forced to play on despite an injury after Nagelsmann used all three substitutes. In Munich, Bayern's players focusing on themselves rather than the identity of their next coach. "We have complete trust in the club," said Thomas Müller, "but we need to make sure that every single one of us performs better, regardless of the coach." Another candidate for the vacant post is Thomas Tuchel but Mats Hummels, who worked under Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund, refused to comment, saying only that "the most important thing is to find a good solution." Interim coach Willy Sagnol meanwhile appeared to rule himself out of a long-term appointment. "I was just supposed to take charge of the game in Berlin," he said. "We've not discussed anything else. That's up to the board."

As Bayern Munich’s search for a new head coach continues, one of the favorites for the role, Julian Nagelsmann, has declined to comment on press speculation. But doubts persist over the young coach’s record in Europe. Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann reacted frustratedly on Sunday to questions from journalists asking him about the vacant Bayern Munich coaching position. The 30-year-old is ... Read More »

Champions League: ‘A perfect time to write history’ – Hoffenheim confident of historic Anfield result against Liverpool

No German team has ever beaten Liverpool at Anfield. However, that is precisely what Hoffenheim will have to do if they are to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League for the first time. Liverpool came away from the first leg in Sinsheim last Tuesday with a 2-1 win thanks to a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick and a Havard Nordtveit own-goal. Mark Uth's late strike gave Hoffenheim hope going into the second leg, but the German side will still have to score at least twice on Merseyside if they are to advance to the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in their short history. "We'll certainly put on a good show - I can promise you that," coach Julian Nagelsmann said. "The plan is to win 2-0. But we'd take a 3-0 win as well.” Jürgen Klopp's side are known for their aggressive pressing and attacking potency but the Reds' defense has been leaky of late, particularly from set pieces - a weakness Hoffenheim will be looking to exploit. "We're definitely capable of scoring two goals, that goes without question,” defender Kevin Vogt told Germany's mass-circulation newspaper "Bild." "We're going to throw everything at them. We know we can do it.” Nagelsmann's team certainly had their chances in the first leg. Andre Kramaric missed from the penalty spot, Sandro Wagner struck the outside of the post and Benjamin Hübner headed over the bar unmarked, but midfielder Kerem Demirbay looked at the positives. "We clearly play the better football," he said. "Whether that's enough to see us through in the end, we will see. We know we're not Liverpool but we can travel there with confidence." Anfield - not a happy hunting ground for German teams More illustrious names than Hoffenheim have come undone in Liverpool over the years, with the Reds having won 14 of 17 matches against German opposition at Anfield. 1860 Munich, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hamburg, Dynamo Dresden and Borussia Mönchengladbach have all suffered heavy defeats in England's northwest. Two years ago, Borussia Dortmund squandered a 4-2 aggregate lead in the final 30 minutes as Liverpool produced a stunning comeback to progress to the Europa League semifinal. So it would be a historic night if Hoffenheim were to reverse that trend and secure a money-spinning place in Europe's premier club competition. The financial difference between participation in the Champions League group stage and the Europa League is approximately 15 million euros ($17.6 million). "It's a perfect time to write history," Demirbay said.

No German team has ever beaten Liverpool at Anfield. However, that is precisely what Hoffenheim will have to do if they are to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League for the first time. Liverpool came away from the first leg in Sinsheim last Tuesday with a 2-1 win thanks to a Trent Alexander-Arnold free kick and a ... Read More »

Tiger Woods had five substances in his system when he was arrested

A toxicology report has revealed that Tiger Woods had five substances in his system when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police had found him asleep in his car on the side of a road. The report, released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Monday, showed that Tiger Woods (41) had the powerful painkiller hydromorphone along with four other drugs in his system when he was arrested by police on May 29. A urine test also revealed the presence of anxiety drug alprazolam, sleep drug zolpidem, and THC, a chemical component of marijuana. Police took him into custody after having found him asleep at the wheel of his Mercedes on the side of a road in Jupiter, Florida, not far from his home. Woods, who at the time of his arrest was unable to tell officers where he was, stumbled through a field sobriety test, however he denied drinking and driving. Instead, he told officers that he had been taking Vicodin and Xanax to deal with pain due to a back operation he had had several weeks earlier. He later released a statement saying that his condition was the result of a reaction to mixing several prescription drugs. He pleaded guilty to reckless driving and agreed to enter a diversion program that will allow the 14-time major championship winning golfer to clear his record if he completes the program. Woods has 79 career PGA Tour victories but isn't currently playing after his fourth back surgery. He has won 14 majors, but the last one was in 2008 when he won the US Open at Torrey Pines.

A toxicology report has revealed that Tiger Woods had five substances in his system when he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Police had found him asleep in his car on the side of a road. The report, released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, showed that Tiger Woods (41) had the powerful painkiller ... Read More »

Neymar unveiled as football’s most expensive player, denies it’s about the money

Paris Saint-Germain have unveiled the most-expensive signing in football history. Brazilian star Neymar described the decision to leave Barcelona for PSG as the most difficult one of his life. Neymar, who officially joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for 222 million euros ($264 million) on Thursday, repeatedly told reporters at a Friday press conference that he decided to leave Barcelona for footballing reasons. "I wanted a new challenge. I wanted something bigger. To do my best. And to do even better," he said. He added that he hoped to further develop as a player at his new club. Although his wages are reportedly set to triple to 30 million euros a year after tax, the 25-year-old was also quick to insist that the move had nothing to do with the money. 'Not about the money' "I was never motivated by money," Neymar said. "What I think about is happiness. If I was following the money I would maybe be in some other country." The club's chairman, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who described Neymar as "the best player in the world," also insisted that the striker could have made much more money at another club and that he had made the decision for "sporting reasons." Al-Khelaifi also confirmed that a buyout clause was included in Neymar's contract, but he declined to put a figure on it. The 222 million euros that PSG spent on him was used to trigger his previous contract at Barcelona. Financial fair play Asked about how PSG intended to ensure that it complies with UEFA's financial fair play rules, the chairman replied: "What we have done is completely transparent and legal... Whatever the media says, we honestly don't care." However, he did say it was a good bit of business for the club, despite the record fee, because Neymar's value would "at least double inside two years." Leaving Barca 'the most difficult decision' For his part, Neymar also took great pains to insist that he had left Barcelona, where he won the Champions League in 2015 and collected two Spanish league titles and three Copas del Rey in four seasons, on good terms. He described the decision to move on as "the most difficult decision" that he had ever made, and he praised Barca as a special club with wonderful teammates who will remain his friends. He also admitted that some of his former teammates had tried hard to convince him to stay. Ready for action At the same time though, he stressed that he was keen to get down to work on his new challenge in the French capital. "I can play tomorrow (against Amiens). Why not? I'll speak to the staff, but I really want to play. I haven't discussed where I will play. I will play where the coach wants me to," he replied when asked how soon the PSG fans could expect to see him in the squad. "I only stopped training in the last two days and I'm hungry to play football." If the queue outside of the Parc des Princes is any indication, the supporters can't wait to see him in the number 10 jersey that was already on sale when the club's fan shop opened for business this Friday.

Paris Saint-Germain have unveiled the most-expensive signing in football history. Brazilian star Neymar described the decision to leave Barcelona for PSG as the most difficult one of his life. Neymar, who officially joined Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) for 222 million euros ($264 million) on Thursday, repeatedly told reporters at a Friday press conference that he decided to leave Barcelona for footballing ... Read More »

Five things to watch for at the London 2017 World Athletics Championships

As the curtain comes down on the mighty Usain Bolt's career, athletics hopes that it can use the 2017 World Championships in London as a chance to take the next step. Here's the five things to know. 1. The last Bolt One of the greatest athletes in history will say goodbye to the track at the London World Championships. Bolt is the face of athletics and has made such a difference to the sport that his absence is beyond comprehension. A man with eight Olympic gold medals, 11 world titles and the untouched world-record times of 9.58 seconds (100 meters) and 19.19 (200 meters) is a character whose speed and smile sports fans will be able to savor one last time. The Jamaican hasn't been at his best of late, but given that it's his final individual race and he's only running the 100 meters and the relay the crowd can be sure Bolt finishes with a bang. Any doubts that he will win (barring something unforeseen) were removed when his main rival, Canada's Andre de Grasse, was forced to pull out of the worlds due to a torn hamstring. A week after his final individual race, the fans will get to see Bolt for the very last time - in the 4x100 relay. 2. Wayde's world? South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk fancies himself the successor to Bolt's charasmatic crown in athletics. He is aiming for back-to-back 400-meter world titles and is also running in the 200 meters - without Bolt. The Jamaican believes van Niekerk can become the new face of athletics once he and Britain's Mo Farah have retired. An impressive outing on the track in London could well confirm his new role ahead of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. 3. Germans throwing things Robert Harting is famous around the world for his shirt-ripping celebrations and the discus thrower is hopeful he will be able to show off his muscles again in London. Harting returns to the site of his 2012 Olympic glory in the hope that he can claim his fourth world title. In the men's javelin, Johannes Vetter and Thomas Röhler lead the field by quite some distance. Vetter's best is 94.44 meters, while Olympic champion Röhler has managed 93.90 meters. If Andreas Hofmann can perform, Germany might end up with all three medals in the javelin. 4. Mascots to be remembered Hero the hedgehog and Whizbee the Bee are the two official mascots for the World Championships. The pair were also the mascots for the World Para Athletics Championships in July and were designed by a nine-year-old from the West Midlands. The idea is to promote the importance of bees around the world and the determination of hedgehogs. Certainly sounds like a message the athletes can get on board with, doesn't it? 5. Records all around In all, 2,034 athletes from more than 200 countries have been entered, which looks set to beat any previous numbers of contesting athletes. Combined with the World Para Athletics Championships in July, more than 3,000 athletes have been in London this summer - the first time both championships have been held in the same city. With 700,000 tickets sold and 50,000 fans attending each session, it is fair to say athletics hasn't lost its popularity despite image setbacks due to doping allegations. The hope is that with the likes of Bolt and co. retiring, the sport can stay clean and healthy in the years to come.

As the curtain comes down on the mighty Usain Bolt’s career, athletics hopes that it can use the 2017 World Championships in London as a chance to take the next step. Here’s the five things to know. 1. The last Bolt One of the greatest athletes in history will say goodbye to the track at the London World Championships. Bolt ... Read More »

Cristiano Ronaldo declines to speak to media after giving evidence

After defending the Champions League with Real Madrid last season, Cristiano Ronaldo returns from a summer holiday to see his preseason delayed due to a court hearing over tax fraud. Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in court on Monday after state prosecutors accused the four-time World Footballer of the Year of siphoning millions of euros, earned from picture rights, past Spanish authorities between 2011 and 2014. A stage was set up and a throng of international media was waiting for the 32-year-old to speak having given his evidence, but Ronaldo headed straight home after 90 minutes in a court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a wealthy suburb of Madrid where he lives. A spokesman for the agency representing Ronaldo stated that a press statement would be released. According to a reporter from Spain's second largest printed daily newspaper "El Mundo" who was inside the court, Ronaldo told the judge he had done nothing wrong and trusted his advisors. Ronaldo is accused of having evaded 14.7 million euros ($17.3 million) in tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known for low corporate tax rates. Prosecutors allege Ronaldo voluntarily took "advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities". Ronaldo has consistently said his "conscience is clear", and was reportedly so upset that he threatened to leave Spain. Should Ronaldo admit to wrongdoing and pay 50 million euros in returned taxes, fines and interest, his sentence would likely be reduced. Since extending his contract last November until 2021, Ronaldo is the highest paid sports star in the world with 79 million euros earned in 2016-2017, according to Forbes. Ronaldo is not the only high profile football star to have been accused of tax fraud recently in Spain. Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was sentenced in May to 21 months in jail, though local media reported a month later that he is unlikely to serve time behind bars. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho also is accused of defrauding Spanish authorities to the tune of 3.3 million euros during 2011 and 2012, while coach of Real Madrid.

After defending the Champions League with Real Madrid last season, Cristiano Ronaldo returns from a summer holiday to see his preseason delayed due to a court hearing over tax fraud. Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in court on Monday after state prosecutors accused the four-time World Footballer of the Year of siphoning millions of euros, earned from picture rights, past ... Read More »

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