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Doping ban, drafting snub couldn’t stop the hero in Umaid Asif

DUBAI: He was banned for a year on doping charges in 2014, he was the best bowler in national Twenty20 last year but Umaid Asif was not even taken by any franchise, not even as a 21st player. That hurt the 33-year-old fast bowler from Sialkot. He took to twitter to show his frustration, ranting that he was the best bowler in Twenty20 but no one found him able enough to feature in the PSL. But the new year brought happiness for the Sialkot pacer as he was inducted in defending champions Peshwara Zalmi's squad as a cover…

Sports court lifts life bans of 28 Russians accused of doping

LAUSANNE: The Court of Arbitration for Sport on Thursday lifted life bans on 28 of the 43 Russians accused of doping at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, meaning some could still compete at this month's Pyeongchang Games. Sport's top court ruled there was "insufficient" evidence that the athletes had benefited from a system of state-sponsored doping at the last Winter Games, hosted by Russia in Sochi. CAS said in its judgement: "In 28 cases, the evidence collected was found to be insufficient to establish that an…

Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics

GENEVA: Russia was banned from the 2018 Winter Games by the International Olympic Committee over its state-orchestrated doping programme, but clean Russian athletes will be allowed to compete under an Olympic flag. The sanction was the toughest ever levelled by the IOC for drug cheating and came just 65 days ahead of the Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In announcing the decision, IOC president Thomas Bach accused Russia of "perpetrating an unprecedented attack on the integrity of the Olympic Games and sport". An…

World anti-doping body refuses to lift Russia suspension

SEOUL: The World Anti-Doping Agency maintained its suspension of Russia on Thursday, raising the spectre of a possible ban from February's Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. WADA's Foundation Board, meeting in Seoul, came to the decision after its Compliance Review Committee recommended that Russia's anti-doping body, RUSADA, "should not be reinstated". The decision had been expected after Russia refused to admit running a state-sponsored doping system, as detailed in an explosive report for WADA by Canadian lawyer…

Sharapova feels vindicated and empowered after doping ban

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIFORNIA: Tennis star Maria Sharapova said on Tuesday she is excited about her return to competition next month, feeling vindicated by the reduction of her doping suspension and empowered by her time away. Russia's former world number one was initially barred for two years after testing positive at the 2016 Australian Open for meldonium, a medication she had been taking for 10 years within the rules, but that was reclassified as a banned drug. Sharapova vigorously fought to overturn the ban, saying she…

U.S. lawsuit seeking $100 million from Lance Armstrong heads to trial

WASHINGTON: A federal judge on Monday cleared the way for a U.S. government lawsuit seeking nearly $100 million in damages from former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong to go to trial, court papers showed. The U.S. Justice Department has accused Armstrong of defrauding the government by accepting millions of dollars in sponsorship money from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) as he led the team to a string of Tour de France victories while doping. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour titles and banned for life from…

Sharapova boxes clever as return nears

MOSCOW: Maria Sharapova said Wednesday she refused to feel sorry for herself during her doping ban, occupying her time by studying at Harvard, writing a book and even learning how to box. The former world number one and five-time Grand Slam title winner told a Russian chat show that she particularly enjoyed lacing up a pair of boxing gloves as part of her fitness regime. "I tried boxing as I needed to keep myself in good form. It was great as I could imagine some particular people whom I wanted to hit," said the…

Andre Russell gets year ban for doping breach

SYDNEY: Globetrotting West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell has been banned from all cricket for a year over a doping code violation, his Australian Twenty20 club said on Wednesday. The 28-year-old did not file his whereabouts on three occasions in 2015 as required, which constitutes a failed drugs test under World Anti‑Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines. His punishment was handed down by the Jamaican Anti-Doping Commission on Tuesday. "We are devastated for Andre,” said Sydney Thunder general manager Nick Cummins, in…

Athletics: Russia ban to run into 2017

MONACO: Russia's athletics ban will run into 2017 and may include the August world championships after a Task Force monitoring the nation's anti-doping programme refused on Thursday to put any dates on a "road map" for a return. Rune Andersen, the Norwegian heading the independent Task Force, reported to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) Council that there had been areas of progress but many issues still needed clarifying in the new year. IAAF president Sebastian Coe said the Council felt…