18-01-2019 Wada retrieves doping data from Moscow but doubts linger over veracity

• Craig Reedie hails major breakthrough for clean sport• Data has to be checked and authenticatedThe World Anti-Doping Agency says its expert team has finally managed to retrieve all the doping data from the Moscow laboratory – but admits it cannot yet be sure whether it is genuine. Related: Inconceivable! Russia yet again leaves Sir Craig Reedie looking the fool | Marina Hyde Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

18-01-2019 Levante hope to have Barça thrown out of Copa del Rey over ineligible player

• ‘We have no doubt about Chumi,’ say Barcelona of 19-year-old• Catalan side won 3-0 on Thursday to win tie 4-2 on aggregateThe Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde, says his side should still be in the Copa del Rey quarter-final draw despite accusations from Levante that they fielded an ineligible player in the first leg. Related: Europe’s top-tier football clubs reap benefit of FFP with first overall profit Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Andy Murray: from gangly kid to genuine sporting grownup

Widely loved and politically progressive, the Scot will retire as arguably the greatest individual British sports person of the modern ageStop all the green and yellow Timex clocks. Put away that union jack tea towel. Stow the Pimms-sodden crash barriers at the foot of the Aorangi Terrace.Andy Murray may yet play another Wimbledon this summer, depending on the state of his chronic, career-capping hip injury. But in the wake of a raw and tearful press conference on Friday morning it seems highly likely that next week’s Australian Open will be the final appearance of a stellar, transformative, broadly-sketched tennis career. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Jonny Bairstow retains wicketkeeper ambition after falling shy of century

• England 379-10 v West Indies President’s XI• Bairstow makes 98 and Rory Burns chips in with 68Jonny Bairstow fell two runs short of a second century in his new No 3 position but the Yorkshireman’s desire to reclaim England’s wicketkeeping gloves remains undimmed.On a day when Mark Wood was called up as the replacement for Olly Stone, who leaves on Friday following the diagnosis of a lower back stress injury, it was Bairstow who crackled. His 98 from 112 balls helped the tourists to 379 all out against the West Indies President’s XI – their final innings before next week’s first Test. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Supercoppa controversy rages over Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women

Protests over the decision to hold the Italian Super Cup in Jeddah have grown since murder of Jamal Khashoggi in OctoberWhen, early last June, the Italian football league agreed a €20m deal to play three of the next five Italian super cups in Saudi Arabia, it provoked very little controversy. This is, after all, a trophy that has frequently been decided on foreign soil, sometimes in quite unlikely locations.In 2002, the year that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi bought 6.4m shares in Juventus, the Supercoppa brought the Turin side to play Parma in Tripoli. Since then the match has been hosted once by the United States, twice by Qatar and four times by China. Wednesday’s game between Milan and Juve in Jeddah will be the sixth time in 10 years that the Supercoppa has been decided outside Europe. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 José Mourinho says Manchester United not ready for modern football

• ‘People don’t know what is going on behind the scenes’• Portuguese says his next job will be in ‘top-level football’José Mourinho has used his first major interview since Manchester United sacked him to suggest that his former club does not have the structure in place to cope with the demands of modern football, with player power now heavily influencing the game. Related: Manchester United need to use head not heart over future of Solskjær | Eni Aluko Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Rafael Nadal hails Alex De Minaur as 'one of the best players in the world' – video

Australian Alex de Minaur summoned every bit of his fighting spirit to win a five-set thriller against Swiss qualifier Henri Laaksonen and progress to the Australian Open third round for the first time.His reward is another showdown with 17-time grand slam winner Rafael Nadal who beat him in the third round at Wimbledon last year.Nadal, who defeated Matt Ebden in straight sets, said he was well aware of de Minaur's prodigous talent with the 19-year-old, who has a Spanish mother, splitting his time between Spain and Australia.'He's a great young player, playing with big confidence after winning matches,' Nadal said. 'It will be tough one and I need to be ready for it.'Australian Open 2019: Nadal, Sharapova and Kerber through – as it happened Continue reading...

18-01-2019 England's Eddie Jones: 'I don't expect, I prepare them to beat Ireland' – video

Eddie Jones has spoken before England’s Six Nations campaign, which begins in Dublin against Ireland. Dylan Hartley will miss the opener at the Aviva Stadium through injury, as well as Chris RobshawHartley left out of England’s initial Six Nations squad Continue reading...

18-01-2019 David Squires on ... the Socceroos' progress at the Asian Cup

Our cartoonist reflects on Australia’s late win over Syria – and the tournament’s outrageously large accreditation lanyardsTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Premier League team news, transfer latest: weekend countdown – live!

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekendTransfer interactive – every deal from Europe’s top five leaguesAnd you can email Simon, tweet @Simon_Burnton or post BTL 10.07am GMT Some news from Leicester, where Marc Albrighton has signed a new contract that will (might) keep him at the club until 2022. This is what he said about it:It was totally straightforward. Leicester offered me a deal and I was always going to sign it. I’ve had some good times here and hopefully I can continue to do so. When I first signed, I looked at the squad that was in the dressing room and the Club itself in terms of its fanbase and what sort of club it was. It was a family Club back then and it’s a family Club now. It’s something that suits me down to the ground. It really fit in well with me as a person and it’s the perfect fit for me.#lcfc is delighted to confirm that winger Marc Albrighton has signed a new contract to keep him at King Power Stadium until June 2022! #MarcSigns 9.55am GMT Here’s Marco Silva, who implies that he will keep playing Richarlison at centre-forward despite a five-game goal drought:My aim as a coach and a manager is to put the starting XI on the pitch and the XI I think is the best solution for each match. Richarlison can play out wide or as a striker; now he is playing more as a striker. I know every three or four matches he doesn’t score the same conversation will come again. I know he hasn’t scored since Boxing Day but he is a possibility to play as a striker, and I will decide the best solution as to who will play in that position. What I can say is he feels as comfortable in that position as he does playing out wide, it is the same for him, and it is up to us to decide. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Phil Mickelson cards career-best 12-under 60 at Desert Classic

Five-time major champion Phil Mickelson cards the lowest round of his career with a 12-under-par 60 at the Desert Classic in California.

18-01-2019 Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

18-01-2019 Lleyton Hewitt says Bernard Tomic 'won't play Davis Cup again' – video

Lleyton Hewitt has responded to Bernard Tomic's astonishing broadside, accusing Tomic of threatening him and his family for more than 12 months and saying Tomic will never play Davis Cup tennis while he is involvedLleyton Hewitt accuses Bernard Tomic of threatening him and his family Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Australian Open 2019: Maria Sharapova beats defending champion Caroline Wozniacki

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki is knocked out of the Australian Open by five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova.

18-01-2019 Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...

18-01-2019 NFL championship round predictions: Saints slay Rams, Patriots stumble

The four best teams in the NFL play each other on Sunday. And both games are likely to be decided by the finest of marginsLos Angeles Rams (No2 seed) @ New Orleans Saints (No1 seed). Sunday, 3.05pm EST/8.05pm GMT Continue reading...

18-01-2019 Eddie Jones says Jack Nowell can become a forward for England

• Coach believes back will be ‘the new breed of player’• ‘There is no reason why you can’t play nine forwards’Eddie Jones has made the remarkable claim he may break from convention and select nine forwards in his England side. Jack Nowell is also now seen as an option at openside flanker for the Six Nations as Jones considers ripping up the traditional playbook, predicting the emergence of a “new breed of player” equally adept as a forward and a back. Related: England’s Six Nations squad has tools to be hard, direct and ruthless Continue reading...