Global sports round-up
Houanard gets suspension
PARIS – The International Cycling Union (UCI) has provisionally suspended Steve Houanard after the Frenchman tested positive for the banned substance EPO.
The Ag2r-La Mondiale rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of a B sample.
Houanard’s ban will remain in place until the French Cycling Federation completes its investigation.
A UCI statement read: “The provisional suspension of Mr. Houanard remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the French Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.”
MLS youth coach murdered
NEW YORK – The youth soccer coach of Major League Soccer team, the New York Red Bulls, has been murdered. Twenty-five year-old Michael Jones was slashed in the neck and torso and his ear cut off in one of New York City’s busiest neighbourhoods over the weekend.
Jones, a native of Liverpool, England, was a coach with the Bulls Youth Training Program. He was on 14th Street in Manhattan’s Union Square at around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when he was seen arguing with a man. Police were later called to the bloody scene where Jones lay on the street. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Calls on FIFA to punish diving
LONDON – FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce believes the Football Association should be given the powers to retrospectively punish players who dive.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis has long been an advocate for stricter punishments for simulation and his case was strengthened by Liverpool striker Luis Suarez’s clear dive in their clash at the weekend.
Pulis suggested any player guilty of diving should be given a three-match ban but with referees currently only able to show a yellow card for the offence, the FA are powerless to act after the event.
But Boyce, Britain’s representative on FIFA, has called for a change in the rules that would allow all of football’s governing bodies to take retrospective action. He said: “I have seen several incidents recently, and I watched the latest Suarez incident two or three times, and to me it is nothing less than a form of cheating.
“It is becoming a little bit of a cancer within the game and I believe if it is clear to everyone that it is simulation then that person is trying to cheat and they should be severely punished for that.”
Smith slams Collier’s comments
CAPE TOWN – South Africa test captain Graeme Smith has strongly denied recent suggestions that he or his team deliberately provoked England batsman Kevin Pietersen into sending “provocative” text messages to the Proteas players during the recent test series between the sides.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive David Collier said in a radio interview on Sunday that there had been a “deliberate policy” to entrap Pietersen.
“In the Proteas we pride ourselves on being a sporting and ethical team,” Smith said in a statement released by the SA Cricketers’ Association today.
“We talk a lot about values and our approach to the game. We play hard but we play fair and any suggestions that we did this as a tactic is totally unwarranted and unnecessary.”
SACA chief executive Tony Irish confirmed that both he and the national players are expecting an apology from Collier for his comments.