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.
The noose found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway had been there since at least last October, federal authorities said Tuesday in announcing there will be no charges filed in an incident that rocked NASCAR and its only full-time Black driver.
U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said an investigation determined “although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.”
A crew member for Richard Petty Motorsports discovered the noose Sunday at the Alabama race track. NASCAR was alerted and contacted the FBI, which sent 15 agents to the track to investigate. They determined no federal crime was committed.
The statement said the garage stall was assigned to Wallace last week in advance of the race scheduled for Sunday but held Monday because of rain. Through video confirmed by NASCAR it was discovered the noose “was in that garage as early as October 2019.”
The agencies said the evidence did not support federal charges.
WATCH | Noose found in Wallace’s garage stall:
After successfully pushing to ban the Confederate flag from NASCAR races, Bubba Wallace’s team discovered a noose in his garage. As a federal investigation now commences, the circuit has rallied behind it’s only full-time Black driver. 2:32
Wallace successfully pushed the stock car series to ban the Confederate flag at its venues less than two weeks ago. There has been criticism of the ban by some longtime fans and security had been stepped up for Wallace, a 26-year-old Alabama native who has worn in the last month a shirt over his firesuit that read “I Can’t Breathe.” His paint scheme for a race in Virginia was Black Lives Matter.
NASCAR said in a statement that “the FBI report concludes, and photographic evidence confirms, that the garage door pull rope fashioned like a noose had been positioned there since as early as last fall. This was obviously well before the 43 team’s arrival and garage assignment.”
NASCAR said a check of every other stall in the garage showed the one for Wallace’s car was the only one in which the pull down rope had been fashioned into a noose.
‘A great conclusion for us’
NASCAR President Steve Phelps said the series is continuing its own investigation to determine why a noose had been in that garage stall at all. He added the finding that it wasn’t directed at Wallace was “a great conclusion for us” but was adamant NASCAR would have conducted its investigation the same way even now knowing it wasn’t a hate crime.
“We would have done the same investigation. It was important for us to do,” he said, stressing that Wallace’s race team had nothing to do with the incident.
“The evidence was very clear that the noose that was in the garage was in there previously. The last race we had in October, that noose was present. The evidence we had, it was clear we needed to look into this.”
WATCH | NASCAR shows solidarity with Bubba Wallace after noose incident:
The NASCAR circuit has rallied around Bubba Wallace, the only full-time Black driver who fought to ban the Confederate flag from races, after a noose was found in his garage. 2:11
The Wood Brothers Racing team said one of its employees informed the team he recalled “seeing a tied handle in the garage pull down rope from last fall,” when NASCAR raced at Talladega in October. The team said it immediately alerted NASCAR and assisted the investigation.
The discovery of the noose stunned the stock car series as it takes an active position in a push for inclusion while distancing itself from its rocky racial history. The series first tried to ban the Confederate flag five years ago but did nothing to enforce the order.
Wallace two weeks ago renewed the call for a ban and NASCAR answered, but it has yet to detail how it will stop the display. Talladega marked the first race since the coronavirus pandemic that fans were permitted — 5,000 were allowed to purchase tickets — and some upset with the flag ban paraded past the main entrance with the Southern symbol. A banner flew over the speedway Sunday of a Confederate flag that read “Defund NASCAR.”
Bubba Wallace, the only African American in the NASCAR Cup Series, competes at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway with Black Lives Matter paint scheme on his vehicle. 1:08
NASCAR announced late Sunday the noose had been discovered and the industry rallied around Wallace. All 39 of his rival drivers and their crews helped push Wallace’s car to the front of pit road before the national anthem and stood behind him in solidarity.
Wallace was joined by his team owner, Hall of Famer Richard Petty, who gently placed a hand on Wallace’s shoulder as he sobbed. Wallace after the race went to the fencing along the grandstands and greeted supporters. Many were Black and wearing “I Can’t Breathe” shirts.
“It’s just been hectic, you know, carrying this weight,” he said. “I’m proud to stand where I’m at and carry a new face. Look at [these fans]. Is this the first time you’re here? From Atlanta? That is so cool! The sport is changing.”
On the day Sheldon Keefe ran his first practice as head coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, a story about his predecessor Mike Babcock overshadowed the on-ice activity.
A report from the Toronto Sun on Monday revealed Babcock brought a rookie into his office during the 2016-17 season and asked him to list players on the team from hardest working to least hard-working.
The rookie obliged, but was taken aback when his list was shared with the teammates he placed at the bottom.
After Monday’s practice, Mitch Marner confirmed a further report from The Athletic that he was the rookie in question.
Marner told TSN that Babcock’s method of instilling work ethic was “surprising.”
“[What happened with Babcock], that was my first year, I didn’t really know what to think of it,” Marner said. “But it’s all over with now, there’s really nothing I can say. I’m looking forward to the future and the new change and seeing how I can help this team win with Sheldon.”
Babcock sent a text messages to Sportsnet reporter Elliotte Friedman saying he apologized to Marner for the incident at the time.
I reached out to Mike Babcock today about the Mitch Marner story, as reported by <a href=”https://twitter.com/koshtorontosun?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@koshtorontosun</a>. Via text, he replied, “I was trying to focus on work ethic with Mitch — focusing on role models — ended up not being a good idea. I apologized at (the) time.”
Marner also added that the situation was made easier to deal with because the list wasn’t held against him by his teammates.
“It was huge for a first-year guy,” Marner said. “When I heard about [what Babcock did], I didn’t really know what to think. But I was lucky enough to have that first-year group with me and our team was very tight and very well-knit together. That was a lucky situation. But it’s over with now; it’s out of my head.”
Keefe finally returns home
With the Babcock era over in Toronto, Marner and his current Leafs teammates are looking forward to turning the page with Keefe behind the bench.
“I think that their minds just weren’t thinking freely and you can see the last couple games, a couple of those guys have just gone out there and are having fun with the puck and are doing their skills and doing their thing and it’s helped our team out a lot,” Marner said.
In the whirlwind 96 hours since taking over for the fired Babcock on Wednesday, the newly-minted Leafs head coach barely had time to process anything other than what was right in front of him.
Keefe rushed to join the scuffling team — losers of six straight at that point — in Arizona, where he picked up his first win behind an NHL bench the following night against the Coyotes.
WATCH | Leafs bury Avs for 2nd win under Keefe:
Tyson Barrie had a goal and an assist to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche 1:52
Then it was onto Colorado where Toronto jumped out to a early lead against the Avalanche before hanging on for another victory in the thin mountain air.
A native of nearby Brampton, Ont., Keefe expected things to be a little overwhelming early, but said the transition has been relatively smooth.
“I’ve been prepared and been able to handle things as they’ve come,” he said. “A lot of the credit goes to the [coaching] staff and the players, just for how welcoming they’ve been, how easy they’ve been to talk to, how supportive they’ve been.
“All those things have helped my cause here and made it a lot easier.”
WATCH | Keefe excited for journey with Leafs:
Sheldon Keefe addressed the media for the first time on Thursday after being named the 31st head coach in Toronto Maple Leafs history. 12:13
In his first Toronto media availability in the top job, the 31st coach in franchise history stepped from behind a sliding door in the locker room where eight television cameras and more than twice as many reporters waited.
“A little different being at home,” he joked of the attention after two games and a practice on the road.
Keefe has already put his stamp on a team, insisting the talent-rich roster express itself offensively. That, in turn, should mean less time spent defending.
“He says it how it is and gives us really good direction in how we want to play the next shift, next period, next game,” Leafs captain John Tavares said. “The group’s responded well.”
“He’s really passionate,” added Toronto centre Auston Matthews, whose team continues a six-game road trip Wednesday in Detroit. “He brings a real energy in the locker room. The message he’s trying to get across is for us to just play hockey. We want to lay down the foundation.”
Instilling vibrant environment
Whereas Babcock wasn’t shy about subtly and sometimes no-to-so-subtly calling out management’s personnel decisions — from the troublesome backup goalie position to the signing of veteran centre Jason Spezza this summer — Keefe and Dubas see the game through the same prism.
At his first practice in Toronto, Keefe had the entire team go through a 20-minute skills session on an adjacent sheet of ice that included a number of the organization’s development staff taking a hands-on approach.
Dubas stood in one corner of the rink recording some of the drills on his phone.
“We’re working on skill, but there’s also structure to what we’re working on,” said the 36-year-old Spezza, who played against Keefe in junior. “It’s team concept stuff, so it’s skill within that framework.”
Keefe is also doing his best to get the Leafs — a group with Stanley Cup aspirations — feeling good about themselves again after falling below the .500 mark and out of the playoff picture at the time of Babcock’s dismissal.
He inserted Denver native Nick Shore into the lineup against Colorado and made sure Tyson Barrie and Alexander Kerfoot started in their first game against the Avalanche following the off-season trade that brought the pair to Toronto.
“We want to make it a priority,” Keefe said of working to keep spirits high. “We want to be a team that’s thriving.
The World Health Organization reported a new incidence of Ebola in Uganda on Wednesday, fuelling concerns that the virus may be spreading beyond Congo, as an expert panel weighs whether to sound the alarm internationally.
The WHO said a Congolese fisherwoman traveled across the border to sell fish at Mpondwe market on July 11, where she had four vomiting incidents before returning to Congo and dying of Ebola.
Ebola is highly infectious and spread through bodily fluids. The current outbreak, largely confined to Congo apart from three deaths in Uganda last month, has killed 1,676 people — more than two thirds of those who contracted it — over the past year.
The health response relies on tracking down people who may have been exposed to the virus and vaccinating them and anybody they have had contact with.
The WHO report said 19 other fishmongers were listed as possible contacts in the Uganda incident. It said 44 currency exchange workers had volunteered to be vaccinated, while another 590 fishmongers could be targeted for vaccination.
Local leaders were very cooperative, but none of the market traders were willing to provide further information for fear of losing business, given that it was a market day, the WHO added.
Healthworkers had not established where the fishmonger spent nights, how she traveled or who transported her merchandise, or who cleaned up her vomit.
News of the incident came as the WHO’s emergency committee of international experts met for a fourth time to decide if the 11-month outbreak constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC).
Main city case could be ‘game changer’
Such a designation would include recommendations for international action and could help unlock funds, which the WHO has said are sorely needed.
It would be only the fifth such designation, after the 2013-2016 West African Ebola epidemic that killed over 11,300 people, the 2009 flu pandemic, polio in 2014 and the Zika virus that caused a spate of birth defects across Latin America.
Last month the committee decided against declaring a PHEIC because the potential disruption risked causing economic harm, while achieving nothing.
But WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said this week that a case of the highly infectious disease in Goma was a potential game changer, since Ebola could spread among the urban population for the first time and into neighbouring Rwanda.
A separate WHO report said there was also a very high risk in the Arua district of Uganda, which borders a Congolese area where an Ebola patient died after having had contact with over 200 people. Two deaths in Arua were under investigation.
After another frustrating Copa America ending, Lionel Messi boycotted the medal ceremony to protest the refereeing and “corruption,” claiming Argentina had not been treated fairly.
Following defeats in the last two finals, Messi had a sudden end to this year’s tournament by being sent off in the third-place game between Argentina and Chile on Saturday.
Messi was red carded after getting into a first-half shoving match with Chile midfielder Gary Medel, who also was ejected.
Argentina won 2-1 but Messi didn’t show up for the medal ceremony to protest the refereeing. He had harsh words after the match, saying “we shouldn’t take part in this corruption.”
Messi had several objections.
“There was lack of respect toward us during this Copa America,” he said. “We could have done better, but they didn’t let us make it to the final. Corruption and the referees are not letting the fans enjoy football. This is ruining football.”
Messi hints at fix
Messi had already loudly complained against Copa America refereeing after Argentina’s loss to Brazil in the semifinals, hinting the result was expected because the hosts were allegedly in charge of South American soccer.
“Maybe what I said last time played a part today,” Messi said. “A yellow card should have been enough for both players.”
He said he expected Brazil to win Sunday’s final against Peru, claiming it was already set up for the hosts’ victory.
When asked if he feared being suspended for his comments, Messi said “the truth needed to be told.”
CONMEBOL, South America’s soccer confederation, released a statement condemning the “unacceptable” and “baseless accusations” that discredited the Copa America’s integrity.
“In football, sometimes you lose and sometimes you win,” the statement said. “One of the fundamental pillars of fair play is to accept the results and the refereeing decisions with respect.”
Argentina won Saturday’s match with first-half goals by Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala, with Messi earning an assist. Veteran midfielder Arturo Vidal scored Chile’s lone goal by converting a penalty kick after halftime.
Messi and Medel got into each other’s faces after a ball dispute near the end line in the 37th minute at the Arena Corinthians.
Medel wasn’t happy that Messi came in hard from behind to challenge for the ball. The Chilean went to confront the Argentine great, who didn’t back down. They started to bump into each other with their chests and shoulders.
Paraguayan referee Mario Diaz de Vivar came in and immediately sent off both players.
There were complaints from both teams, and several players continued arguing with each other. It took a few minutes before Medel and Messi finally left the field.
Messi had also received a straight red card in his national team debut with Argentina in a friendly against Hungary in 2005.
“We leave with our heads high and the feeling that this time football wasn’t fair with us,” Messi later said on Instagram.
It was a tense match from the start in Sao Paulo, with several hard fouls from both sides. The teams had already gotten into an altercation involving several players earlier in the game.
Argentina was winning 2-0 at the time of the dismissals.
The game was a rematch of the last two Copa America finals, both won by Chile in penalty shootouts.
Argentina is enduring a 26-year title drought with the senior team. Messi’s only title with Argentina was with the under-23 squad at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The United States abruptly called off preparations for a military strike against Iran over the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, a U.S. official said, while Iran claimed Friday it had issued several warnings before shooting it down over what Iran said was its territory.
The Trump administration offered no immediate public account of the thinking behind the last-minute halt in U.S. preparations for retaliation, amid days of escalating tensions between the two countries. A U.S. official, who was not authorized to discuss the operation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, said the targets would have included radars and missile batteries.
The swift reversal was a stark reminder of the serious risk of military conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces as the Trump administration combines a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions with a buildup of American forces in the region. As tensions mounted in recent weeks, there have been growing fears that either side could make a dire miscalculation that led to war.
The downing of the U.S. drone — a U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk, an unmanned aircraft with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 737 jetliner and costing over $ 100 million — prompted accusations from the U.S. and Iran about who was the aggressor. Iran insisted the drone violated Iranian airspace; Washington said it had been flying over international waters.
On Friday, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace division told Iranian state television that Iran had warned a U.S. military surveillance drone several times before launching a missile at it.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh told state TV: “Unfortunately they did not answer.”
The state television website published images it said showed debris from the surveillance drone. The pictures show what appears to be the skin of the Global Hawk.
Iranian state television did not say where the debris was filmed.
Airlines reroute away from hotspot
The New York Times separately reported that President Donald Trump had approved the strikes Thursday night, but then called them off. The newspaper cited anonymous senior administration officials.
According to the official who spoke to The Associated Press, the strikes were recommended by the Pentagon and were among the options presented to senior administration officials.
It was unclear how far the preparations had gone, but no shots were fired or missiles launched, the official said.
The military operation was called off around 7:30 p.m. Washington time, after Trump had spent most of Thursday discussing Iran strategy with top national security advisers and congressional leaders.
Asked earlier in the day about a U.S. response to the attack, Trump said, “You’ll soon find out.”
Major airlines from around the world on Friday began rerouting their flights to avoid areas around the Strait of Hormuz.
The Federal Aviation Administration warned of a “potential for miscalculation or misidentification” in the region. British Airways, Australia’s Qantas, Dutch carrier KLM and Germany’s Lufthansa have said they’d avoid the region.
Air Canada told CBC News in an emailed statement that the impact of the latest developments on existing routes was “none to minimal.”
Donald Trump downplayed Iran’s downing of a U.S. military drone, saying he suspected it was shot by mistake. 1:59
The FAA previously warned of a risk in the region, but Friday’s warning threw into stark relief a danger that both the agency and analysts say is real after the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines flight over Ukraine in 2014. That could further imperil the bottom lines of Gulf long-haul carriers, which already have faced challenges under the Trump administration.
“The threat of a civil aircraft shootdown in southern Iran is real,” warned OPSGROUP, a company that provides guidance to global airlines.
Trump suggested by midday Thursday that shooting down the drone was a foolish error rather than an intentional escalation, suggesting he may have been looking for some way to avoid a crisis.
“I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said at the White House. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”
Don’t ‘bumble into war’: Schumer
Trump, who has said he wants to avoid war and negotiate with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, cast the shootdown as “a new wrinkle … a new fly in the ointment.” Yet he also said “this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”
He said the American drone was unarmed and unmanned and “clearly over international waters.” It would have “made a big, big difference” if someone had been inside, he said.
But fears of open conflict shadowed much of the discourse in Washington. As the day wore on, Trump summoned his top national security advisers and congressional leaders to the White House for an hour-long briefing in the Situation Room. Attendees included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford, acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Army Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump has said he’ll nominate as Pentagon chief.
Pompeo and Bolton have advocated hardline policies against Iran, but California Democrat Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House intelligence committee, said “the president certainly was listening” when congressional leaders at the meeting urged him to be cautious and not escalate the already tense situation.
On Capitol Hill, leaders urged caution, and some lawmakers insisted the White House must consult with Congress before taking any actions.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said no specific options for a U.S. response were presented at the meeting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The administration is engaged in what I would call measured responses.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York said he told Trump that conflicts have a way of escalating and “we’re worried that he and the administration may bumble into a war.”
Iranians claim incident was in their airspace
The Trump administration has been putting increasing economic pressure on Iran for more than a year. It reinstated punishing sanctions following Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of an international agreement intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from earlier sanctions.
The other world powers who remain signed on to the nuclear deal have set a meeting to discuss the U.S. withdrawal and Iran’s announced plans to increase its uranium stockpile for June 28, a date far enough in the future to perhaps allow tensions to cool.
On Thursday, Iran called the sanctions “economic terrorism.”
In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Iran’s ambassador to the UN Majid Takht-Ravanchi characterized it as a “provocative act by the United States against Iran’s territorial integrity.”
The paramilitary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said it shot down the drone at 4:05 a.m. Thursday when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province. Kouhmobarak is about 1,200 kilometres southeast of Tehran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that his country had retrieved sections of the military drone “in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down.” He said, “We don’t seek war but will zealously defend our skies, land & waters.”
Air Force Lt.-Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of U.S. Central Command air forces in the region, disputed that contention, telling reporters that the aircraft was 34 kilometres from the nearest Iranian territory and flying at high altitude when struck.
Canadian ski cross athlete Dave Duncan says he wants to set the record straight about what happened the night he, his wife and Willy Raine were arrested over a car theft during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Duncan, in an exclusive interview with CBC Sports, is breaking his silence about the incident that captured international headlines as the Games in Pyeongchang were winding down. The 36-year-old paints a very different picture about the circumstances surrounding what had been characterized as a drunken joyride.
"This incident obviously happened in an environment that allowed it to be magnified," Duncan said. "Headlines are sensationalized. We were all just trying to get home that evening. I had no reason to believe we were doing anything wrong or inappropriate."
On Feb. 24 — the second-last day of the Olympics — Duncan and his wife Maja were fined one million South Korean won ($ 1,176) for their roles in the theft of a red Hummer.
Raine, the ski cross high performance director within Alpine Canada, was also fined five million won ($ 5,880) for his involvement, which included driving the stolen vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.16, well above South Korea's legal limit of 0.05. For context, Raine's blood-alcohol level at the time of the incident was twice the Canadian limit of 0.08.
But Duncan, who is announcing his retirement, explains they had no idea they were stealing the vehicle in the first place.
Duncan shares his side of what happened at the Olympics
Duncan speaks out to give his side of the story on his arrest while competing in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 2:09
He said a group of Canadian ski cross athletes were celebrating their Olympic achievements in a private room at a local bar when a driver with credentials from International Olympic Committee befriended them.
"He showed us his credentials and said he was a fan of Canada and what we've done and that if we were looking for a ride home, to get in touch with him and then he'd take care of us," Duncan said.
They tracked the man down around midnight and took him up on his offer, he said.
"He escorted us out to the vehicle in question. We loaded in and then he led us to believe that we could take the vehicle and leave it at the Athletes' Village for collection the next day," Duncan said.
"There was no reason to believe that we couldn't trust this person."
Duncan said he, his wife, Raine and an assistant coach got in the Hummer. Duncan said they dropped the assistant coach off at another Olympic House party before making their way to the Athletes' Village. Police stopped them as they approached.
"It wasn't until we were pulled over that we found out that that vehicle was reported stolen," Duncan said.
"I was kind of in disbelief that we were in this situation to begin with. I thought at some point everyone might realize that there was a big misunderstanding and that would kind of be the end of it."
Reconciling what happened
The Duncans issued a written apology after the incident that said they were deeply sorry and "engaged in behaviour that demonstrated poor judgment and was not up to the standards expected of us as members of the Canadian Olympic team or as Canadians."
Duncan stands by that apology and said it's been a long process reconciling what happened that night.
"I guess what I've struggled with since this all happened is knowing that if I'm in that same situation again I'm probably making the same decision," Duncan said. "There was no reason to question what was going on or taking that vehicle that evening."
Duncan, pictured at an earlier event, apologized for his actions during the final weekend of the Winter Games. (Alessandro Trovati/Associated Press)
Duncan said he has not been in contact with the IOC regarding the credentialed person. That the IOC has not been in contact with him either, he said.
Duncan said he doesn't know the man's identity.
As for the alcohol consumed that night, Duncan admits to having a few beverages but said he had no idea Raine was intoxicated.
"We had no indication that he had had too many drinks that evening," Duncan said about Raine, whose mother is Nancy Greene, a Canadian skiing legend and retired B.C. senator.
"I want to believe that had I not been drinking, there might've been something I picked up on that would have led to to us avoiding the situation."
Ongoing legal issues in South Korea
Initial reports said the Hummer, which belongs to Yong Gil Ahn, was stolen while it was idling outside to charge the battery after it died.
Ahn said he went into a building for a coffee while he waited and called the police after he realized it was gone. It took officers about an hour to call him back saying they found it.
At the time, Ahn said the Canadians were responsible for damaging his Hummer and was wondering who was going to pay for it.
Owner of car stolen by <a href="https://twitter.com/TeamCanada?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@TeamCanada</a> Dave Duncan & coach Willy Raine. Says no one has apologized to him or offered $ for damage <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCNews</a> <a href="https://t.co/0TJovCmRNH">pic.twitter.com/0TJovCmRNH</a>
Some of the damage the owner of this vehicle says was caused by Canadian athlete and coach when it was stolen. Bumper pushed in. <a href="https://twitter.com/CBCNews?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBCNews</a> <a href="https://t.co/rtmw85Q0Ut">pic.twitter.com/rtmw85Q0Ut</a>
Duncan said there was no damage done to the vehicle. He and his wife are trying to have the car theft fine removed. He said they have another upcoming court date in South Korea.
"We have legal counsel in Korea helping us with all of this," Duncan said. "We don't feel we're guilty of the charge so we're going ahead and doing our best to fight it."
'This incident will not define me or my career'
Duncan is retiring from the sport he loves after three Olympic Games. That's why he's talking — he doesn't want this one incident he said was taken out of context to be how he's remembered.
The London, Ont., native finished in eighth in ski cross in Pyeongchang, improving on his 24th-place finish at the Sochi Games in 2014.
"This incident will not define me or my career," Duncan said. "I've prided myself on doing things a certain way my entire life and avoiding the crazy lifestyle. I think my teammates would describe me as quite bland and even boring from that side of things."
Duncan said it's been a long process trying to get over the maelstrom that followed the incident. He said he's received a lot of nasty messages and emails since it happened, and that he's been working through it all with the help of a psychologist.
It's been a reflective past eight months for Duncan as he ends his career.
"I want to view this as out of character but when it happens you know you start to question yourself. Am I the person that I think I am? And ultimately I have to rely on my lifetime of decision making and experiences over this.
A rep for the 45-year-old actor confirmed London was arrested after a domestic incident with his wife on Friday and charged with a misdemeanor.
“Earlier today, authorities in Jackson County, Mississippi intervened in a private marital matter, resulting in the arrest of Jeremy London on a misdemeanor charge — standard protocol in an attempt to diffuse an emotionally-charged situation,” London’s rep confirmed to ET. “An isolated incident, today’s events will be addressed privately by Jeremy and Juliet London and will be used to guide their decisions as a couple moving forward.”
London and his wife, Juliet, have been married since 2014, and share a 3-year-old son, Wyatt.
The actor is also father to another son, Lyrik, from his second marriage to Melissa Cunningham, and was charged with domestic violence for a fight with Cunningham in 2012. The charges were dismissed a year later.
Olympios said that her memory loss was due to excessive drinking and a medication she was taking, which she doesn’t identify.
“I did drink, you know, too much. I definitely understand that, but I was also on a medication that severely blacks you out and impairs your judgment and messes with your balance,” she noted. “I didn’t know you were supposed to not drink on it. So, it really just caused a horrible, horrible blackout. It was like I went under anesthesia and just woke up.”