Tag Archives: Athletic

Barcelona plans to appeal Messi 2-game suspension for incident vs. Athletic Bilbao

Lionel Messi avoided a tougher sanction and was suspended for only two matches on Tuesday after hitting an opponent in an incident away from the ball in the Spanish Super Cup final.

The Barcelona forward was facing a suspension of up to 12 matches for swinging his arm at an Athletic Bilbao player at the end of the team’s 3-2 loss on Sunday. The Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee did not deem the incident to be too serious and applied a less severe penalty. The committee also fined the club 700 euros ($ 845 US) and Messi 600 euros ($ 725).

Barcelona said it would appeal Messi’s suspension.

After passing the ball out to the left flank, Messi swung his right arm at the head of Athletic forward Asier Villalibre as they ran toward the box. Villalibre immediately fell to the ground and after a video review Messi was given his first red card in 753 appearances with Barcelona’s main squad.

Messi had been sent off twice while playing for Argentina’s national team, including a few seconds into his debut in a friendly against Hungary in 2005. The other time was in the 2019 Copa America in a match against Chile. He was also sent off once while playing for Barcelona’s “B” team.

Referee Gil Manzano said in his match report that Messi hit his opponent with “excessive force” while the ball was not near him.

Messi will miss Barcelona’s matches against third-division club Cornella in the Copa del Rey and against Elche in the Spanish league. He was already expected to miss the game against Cornella with coach Ronald Koeman trying to keep Messi’s minutes under control to avoid serious injury.

The 33-year-old Messi had been doubtful to play in the Spanish Super Cup final because of an unspecified fitness issue that had caused Koeman to leave him out of the semifinal match against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, when Barcelona prevailed in a penalty shootout.

Messi, who asked to leave the club in the off-season but had his request denied, is having an average season compared to previous years, having scored 14 goals in 22 matches. He was far from his best on Sunday despite helping set up the team’s first goal.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Messi faces lengthy suspension for ‘excessive force’ against Athletic Bilbao opponent

After losing the Spanish Super Cup final, Barcelona is also in danger of losing Lionel Messi for an extended period after he hit an opponent toward the end of the match.

Messi could be suspended for up to 12 games for the red card he received in the final minutes of his team’s 3-2 loss to Athletic Bilbao in Seville on Sunday.

After passing the ball out to the left flank, Messi swung his right arm toward the head of Athletic forward Asier Villalibre as they ran forward toward the box. Villalibre immediately fell to the ground and Messi was given his first red card in 753 appearances for Barcelona.

Referee Gil Manzano said in his match report that Messi hit his opponent with “excessive force” while the ball was not near him.

The Spanish soccer federation’s competitions committee will decide on the charges against Messi, and the player’s eventual suspension could range from one to three matches or from four to 12 matches, depending on how severe the federation considers the incident.

Barcelona was already preparing its defence regardless of the charges that would be presented by the federation against its player.

If found guilty, Messi will be suspended for matches in the Spanish league or the Copa del Rey. Barcelona is in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey and trails Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the league.

Title drought

Messi was visibly frustrated as the match went on and Barcelona struggled to recover from its deficit against Athletic. The Catalan club twice relinquished leads, including conceding a 90th-minute equalizer scored by Villalibre. Antoine Griezmann scored both Barcelona goals, with Messi assisting in the first one.

The defeat cost Barcelona a chance to end a title drought that has lingered from last season, the club’s first without a title since 2007-08.

While it was Messi’s first red card for his club, he has been sent off twice while playing for Argentina’s national team, including a few seconds into his debut in a friendly against Hungary in 2005. The other time was in the 2019 Copa America in a match against Chile. He was also sent off once while playing for Barcelona’s “B” team.

Messi, who asked to leave the club in the off-season but had his request denied, is having an average season compared to previous years, having scored 14 goals in 22 matches with Barcelona. He was far from his best on Sunday despite helping set up the team’s first goal.

Messi had been doubtful to play in the final because of an unspecified fitness issue that had caused coach Ronald Koeman to leave him out of the semifinal against Real Sociedad on Wednesday, when Barcelona prevailed in a penalty shootout.

Barcelona’s next match is on Thursday at Cornella in the round of 32 of the Copa del Rey.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Canadian international Liam Millar joins Charlton Athletic on loan from Liverpool

Canadian international Liam Millar has joined Charlton Athletic on loan from Liverpool through the end of the season.

The 21-year-old from Brampton, Ont., who impressed during two previous loan spells at Scotland’s Kilmarnock, has been playing with Liverpool’s under-23 team.

Charlton (9-5-5) currently stands sixth in League One, the third tier of English soccer. The London club is managed by former Leeds United midfielder Lee Bowyer.

Millar’s preferred position is left winger, although he can also play on the right or up front.

“He’s an exciting player, he wants to travel with the ball and he wants to go past people, that is what we need,” Bowyer told the club website.


Millar, who has won eight caps for Canada, made his first-team debut for Liverpool last February in an FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury Town.

Millar’s father Alan spent several years in the Charlton system an injury cut his career short.

Liam Millar, who grew up playing for Brampton Youth SC and North Mississauga, moved to England with his father to pursue his soccer dream when he was about to turn 13.

He found a soccer home at Fulham, drawing the attention of Liverpool after a fine under-16 season and an impressive showing against the Reds in a friendly. His family eventually reunited in Liverpool.

A young Millar — at 10 or 11 — didn’t make the cut during a tryout with the Toronto FC academy. He was told he was too small.

Millar was 14 when he made his debut in the Canadian youth program in 2014. He made his senior debut in March 2018 against New Zealand in John Herdman’s first game at the men’s helm.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Soccer News

Caster Semenya case reignites debate over testosterone’s impact on athletic ability

Olympic runner Caster Semenya’s battle against rules that would require women to lower naturally elevated testosterone levels in order to compete has reignited debates over how much the hormone can enhance athletic ability. 

The ongoing controversy has also raised questions over the credibility of research conducted by the International Association of Athletics Federations, a global regulatory body. Some experts say the organization’s baseline level of testosterone permitted in a female athlete is arbitrary and unscientific.

On Wednesday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland ruled against the two-time Olympic champion in the 800 metres for her high testosterone levels. The CAS said that while the IAAF’s rules are discriminatory, “such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means” of “preserving the integrity of female athletics.”

Testosterone is a hormone that strengthens muscle tone and bone mass. Because of that, it is against the rules for athletes to inject or swallow testosterone supplements. Some women have what is known as hyperandrogenism, meaning they have naturally occurring levels that are unusually high.

“What’s clear is that there is solid evidence that men who take excessive doses of testosterone … do get a competitive advantage clearly in sports related to strength,” said Bradley Anawalt, a hormone specialist and University of Washington Medical Center’s chief of medicine.

The problem, said Anawalt, is that attempts to try to quantify that competitive advantage in naturally occurring levels of the hormone are “fraught with difficulty in interpretation.”

Attempts to regulate hormones 

Last year, the IAAF issued new eligibility regulations for “female classification” for track events from the 400 metres to the mile.

Among the regulations, a female athlete with levels of testosterone that are five nanomoles per litre of blood or above must reduce her blood testosterone level to below that level to be eligible for female competition.

“The latest research we have undertaken, and data we have compiled, show that there is a performance advantage in female athletes with [Difference of Sexual Development] DSD over the track distances covered by this rule,” Stephane Bermon from the IAAF Medical and Science Department, said in a statement. DSD is characterized by higher than usual levels of testosterone.

Watch: Why testosterone is not always a competitive advantage

Explaining science behind testosterone, and why a dose doesn’t always equal an advantage. 1:55

But Peter Sonksen, a retired professor of endocrinology from St Thomas’ Hospital and King’s College, told Reuters in March that the IAAF regulation “greatly overestimates the role” of testosterone in performance. 

In a recent editorial published in the British Medical Journal, co-authours Cara Tannenbaum, a professor in the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal and Sheree Bekker, a researcher at the University of Bath, laid out what they consider problems with the research on the issue. 

For example, the authors noted the criticisms of an analysis commissioned by the IAAF which found that women whose serum testosterone levels were in the top third performed significantly better than women with levels in the lowest third. 

Those results, Tannenbaum and Bekker claim, could not be independently reproduced, and the data does not reliably mirror the source track times of athletes from the 2011 and 2013 world championships.

Data errors

“The authors of the analysis subsequently acknowledged data errors, driving accusations of alleged data mongering and a potential breach of scientific integrity by the IAAF,” Tannenbaum and Bekker wrote.

“Who’s to say that having higher testosterone levels makes you more likely to win a medal?” Tannenbaum said in a recent interview with the Université de Montréal. “How do you know that it’s not just because of how you train or because of a genetic predisposition that gives you strong muscles?”

Eric Vilain, chair of the department of genomics & precision medicine at George Washington University, said it’s difficult to measure how one individual is more or less sensitive to testosterone.

Last year, the IAAF issued new eligibility regulations for ‘female classification’ for track events from the 400m to the mile. (Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Vilain also took issue with setting the testosterone threshold at  five nanomoles per litre of blood, saying it was an “arbitrary choice.”

“There is no evidence whatsoever that the performance of a woman athlete with [five nanomoles per litre of blood level] has been shown to be better than [with] four,” he said. 

Still, Vilain believes there is a consensus that testosterone impacts athletic performance.

The question, he said, is what should be “a reasonable and fair threshold” of testosterone for an athlete to have.

Generally, there is a much higher prevalence of women who have naturally high testosterone concentrations that are elite athletes than there is in the general population, Anawalt said.

‘Inferential evidence’

He said it’s been found that 0.7 per cent of all elite female athletes have high testosterone concentrations naturally. In the general population, the frequency is one hundred and forty times lower. “So that’s inferential evidence that there’s a difference.”

Ruth Wood, professor of Integrative Anatomical Sciences at the University of Southern California, said she doesn’t believe the one controversial study referred to by the IAAF invalidates the argument that testosterone enhances athletic performance.

Watch as Semenya’s lawyer reacts to the IAAF decision:

Two-time Olympic champion Caster Semenya lost her appeal against rules designed to decrease naturally high testosterone levels in some female runners. 7:21

Wood agreed, however, that testosterone levels alone will not make someone an Olympic athlete.

But when the differences between coming eighth and first in an Olympic race are miniscule and all competitors have maximized their training potential, she said a little extra testosterone can make a big difference “between winning and not winning.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Health News

Humboldt Broncos bus crash claims 16th victim, as athletic therapist dies in hospital

Dayna Brons, the lone woman aboard the Humboldt Broncos’ team bus when it collided with a transport truck on April 6, has died.

Family and friends had been waiting anxiously, hoping the 25-year-old athletic therapist would pull through after she suffered serious head trauma, relative Dale Brons told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

At that time, he said she had undergone two surgeries, and was on a breathing apparatus. 

However, on Wednesday afternoon, her family confirmed in a statement that she had died peacefully. 

“She was surrounded by those she loved and those who loved her,” the statement said. “Dayna will be forever remembered for her joyful smile, and her passion and love of sport.”

Over the last few days, lacrosse and soccer teams that Brons had worked with had offered their support for the keen, happy trainer on social media. So did Canadian women’s hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser, an Olympian.

“‘The only girl on the boys team’ … Dayna I’ve been thinking of you a lot! Praying you pull through,” she wrote.




Brons was originally from Lake Lenore, Sask., about 30 kilometres northeast of Humboldt, and had gone to school at the University of Regina, getting a degree in kinesiology and health studies.  

“I grew up playing different sports, I really loved to play the game and I just loved being active, so it was suggested to me to be an athletic therapist,” she said in an interview in 2016, following her hiring by the Broncos.

Brons recalled having grown up watching the team, and having a place to land when she got back, adding there was “no problem at all for me to come back home.”

On Friday night, she was travelling on a bus with the team for Game 5 in a semifinal series between the Humboldt Broncos and the Nipawin Hawks when it collided with a tractor-trailer. Fifteen people were declared dead in the aftermath, and another 14 — including Brons — injured.

Her family said Brons had been “extremely proud” to be part of the Broncos’ family.

They offered their thanks to the people who cared for Brons, as well as “everyone across Saskatchewan and Canada for their love and prayers during this very difficult time.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News

Watch the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Curling Championships

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada’s online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | Sports News