Medina Spirit’s Kentucky Derby wins in doubt after failing postrace drug test


Speaking to reporters on Sunday morning, Baffert denied the horse had ever been treated with the drug, which is sometimes used for joint pain in horses, saying his team would conduct its own investigation.

“Yesterday I got the biggest punch in the race for something I didn’t do,” said Baffert, adding it was “an injustice to the horse”.

“I don’t feel embarrassed, I feel like I’ve been wronged. But I’m going to fight.”

Betamethasone is an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid authorized in horse racing at a certain level. But Baffert said he was told that Medina Spirit’s post-test detected 21 picograms per milliliter – more than double the legal threshold in Kentucky races.

Churchill Downs announced on Sunday that he would immediately suspend Baffert, prohibiting him from bringing in horses to run on the track.

“Failure to follow medication rules and protocols jeopardizes the safety of horses and jockeys, the integrity of our sport and the reputation of the Kentucky Derby and all who participate in it,” the Churchill statement said. Downs.

Medina Spirit wins 147th Kentucky Derby

The news comes just over a week after Medina Spirit, the 3-year-old brown colt, won the Derby, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Beating Mandaloun, second at half-length. It was a record-breaking seventh win for Baffert at the Derby, one of the sport’s most famous events.

On Sunday, Medina Spirit was not disqualified, Baffert said. A split sample of Medina Spirit will now be tested, and if the original results are confirmed, Baffert will have a chance to appeal.

If an appeal is unsuccessful, Medina Spirit would be stripped of the Kentucky Derby crown as well as the winning prize. The last winning horse to be disqualified from the Kentucky Derby after failing a drug test was Dancer’s Image in 1968.

“To be clear, if the results are confirmed, the Medina Spirit results in the Kentucky Derby will be nullified and Mandaloun will be declared the winner,” the Churchill Downs statement said on Sunday.

“We will await the conclusion of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission investigation before taking further action.”

The commission confirmed it was investigating the test results in a statement on Sunday. The test was carried out on May 1, race day, and the results were obtained on May 7.

“During the investigation, the trainer and the owner of the horse will have due process and will have the opportunity to appeal,” the commission said. “Therefore, the KHRC will not provide further comments at this time.”

This is not Baffert’s first clash with reports his horse failed a drug test: Last month, according to several reports, including the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the Arkansas Racing Commission confirmed a decision that two of Baffert’s horses had tested positive for lidocaine. beyond the accepted levels. However, the commission dropped a 15-day suspension for Baffert.
Bob Baffert speaks to reporters ahead of the 145th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs 2019 in Louisville.  Baffert was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Baffert alluded to previous controversies on Sunday – “I don’t feel safe to train,” he said – but presented the Medina Spirit allegation as an issue with the horse racing industry at large, saying the industry “needs to step up and we need to do a better job racing.”

“I’m not a conspiracy (theorist) – I know not everyone is there to look for me. But there is definitely something wrong. Why is this happening to me, you know , to me?” He asked. “There are problems in the race, but it’s not Bob Baffert.”

The organizers of the Preakness Stakes – the second crown jewel in the Triple Crown of horse racing – said they would review “relevant facts and information” related to the Medina Spirit test before making a decision on the horse’s entry into the race. racing in Baltimore next Saturday.

“We are consulting with the Maryland Racing Commission and any decision regarding Medina Spirit’s entry into the 146th Preakness Stakes will be made after reviewing the facts,” the statement said.

In 2009, Baffert was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, placing his winning number at 3,120, with more than $ 320 million in earnings.
He became the 11th coach to win the Triple Crown in 2015 when American Pharoah won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. He became the second trainer to win the Triple Crown twice a few years later with the horse Justify.

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Bayern Munich win ninth consecutive Bundesliga title



Bayern Munich win ninth consecutive Bundesliga title

The German side won their ninth consecutive Bundesliga title on Saturday, after second place RB Leipzig – the only side still able to mathematically catch Bayern – fell to a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund.

Despite winning another crown before heading onto the pitch, there was no sign of complacency as Bayern routed Borussia Mönchengladbach 6-0 to put the icing on the cake.

At times throughout the season, it seemed like this year’s title race might not have been the conclusion many had naturally predicted. However, as is often the case, Bayern ended the season in compelling form, losing just once in their last 16 games to clinch the title with three games to lose.

This run of form was all the more impressive as star striker Robert Lewandowski was sidelined for almost a month with an ankle injury, only coming back to the side on the last lap. matches on April 24.

The team also had to deal with news that much-loved head coach Hans-Dieter Flick would be leaving at the end of the season – along with mainstays David Alaba and Javi Martinez – with Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann later announced to take on. its place. from the start of next season.

LILY: Barcelona remain committed to Super League, saying it would be a ‘historic mistake’ to step down

Praise on and off the pitch

Nagelsmann certainly has great shoes to fill; Saturday’s title was the seventh trophy Bayern have won in the space of the year. The team’s fiery footballing style has received a lot of praise, but the Munich club were also praised last month for refusing to join the European Super League.
Along with French champion Paris Saint-Germain and Portuguese champion Porto, Bayern challenged other top teams in Europe by rejecting a place in the competition, which was heavily criticized by fans and stakeholders. Initially backed by 12 clubs, all except Real Madrid and Barcelona subsequently withdrew.

“Being a great club isn’t just about having a global fan base, it’s about doing the right thing at the right time,” Sky Sports specialist Gary Neville said after the 12 teams initially involved were revealed. “Bayern Munich, I have to say I always thought they were a decent club when I played against them.”

Bayern’s decision to reject the Super League stems from the 50 + 1 ownership model, which states that the majority of voting rights in German clubs are controlled by members and fans, rather than business partners.

On the other hand, other big European clubs, like those of the English Premier League, are owned and controlled by private investors.

“The clubs (in Germany), the majority anyway, are organized along these democratic lines and this creates a much, much stronger degree of accountability than those of the investors who, rightly or wrongly, but from their point of view , in fact, think of members or fans as just customers, ”European football expert Raphael Honigstein told CNN Sport.

“In Germany, they are not. (The fans) have the right, they are voters, they can vote and they can make their voices heard.

“This, of course, also creates a different culture because the managers aren’t investors, because you can’t buy and sell a club, the club is still in the hands of the members.”

Whether other clubs in Europe will seek to adopt the same ownership model as that in place in Germany has been a subject of debate in light of the Super League fiasco, which has led supporters to protest against the club owners.

The UK government has announced that it will undertake a fan-led review of the sport, in which the amount of power wielded by wealthy Premier League club owners will likely be scrutinized.

“It is definitely a model that we are looking at,” UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston told CNN Sport of the German ownership structure.

“We’ll be looking at patterns around the world in terms of governance, structure and ownership, financial flows, because there are different interesting patterns happening around the world.

“It was really telling how absent Germany was from the Super League … it was so clear that this move would be so blatantly against the fan base, but in German clubs the fans have the biggest influence and so it would never. have taken off. “

Former Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Manchester City midfielder Dietmar Hamann, who has played more than 50 times for Germany, is wondering if the German ownership model can be implemented in the Premier League.

“I think it would probably work but I think the bird flew, I think it went too far,” he told CNN Sport.

“Some of these (Premier League) clubs are valued at two, three or four billion pounds (between $ 2.8 billion and $ 5.5 billion) and I’m not sure if it is possible to reclaim the power of these clubs. “

CNN’s Amanda Davies and Christina Macfarlane contributed to this report.

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Liz Cambage: Basketball star criticizes lack of diversity in Australian Olympic team promotional photos


Cambage, who helped Australia win bronze at the 2012 Olympics and also competed in the 2016 Games, criticized the images in a series of Instagram posts using the hashtag #whitewashedaustralia.

“I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times,” Cambage wrote under a promotional photo of athletes first released by clothing brand Jockey, which sponsors the Australian Olympic team. “HOW DO I WANT TO REPRESENT A COUNTRY THAT DOESN’T EVEN REPRESENT ME?”

In a separate article, Cambage wrote: “You are really doing anything to remove POCs [people of color] forward when black athletes are leading the pack.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, videos and features
Basketball player Liz Cambage poses during a portrait session in Cairns, Australia on November 25, 2020

Cambage, who is preparing for the start of the WNBA season with the Las Vegas Aces, commented on another promotional photo, writing: “Fake tan doesn’t equal diversity.”

This photo features Indigenous rugby player Maurice Longbottom, who wore a jersey showcasing Australia’s Indigenous heritage. Cambage later clarified that she “wasn’t saying he had a fake tan.”

“I know who Maurice Longbottom is,” she said in a video. “He was the one wearing the native uniform, clearly … I’m talking about the rest of the photo. A POC token [person of color] in a photo is not good enough. Longbottom did not take note of the comments on his Instagram page.

Cambage also posted images of Cathy Freeman winning gold in the 400 meters at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, alongside the caption: “Also just to remind you Australia’s BIGGEST sporting moment was thank you also BLACK INDIGENOUS WOMAN. ”

Australian Olympic athletes, including Maurice Longbottom, second from right, pose during the team's uniform unveiling in Sydney on March 31.
In a statement, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said it “recognizes Liz Cambage’s views on this particular photoshoot.

“The athletes put at Jockey’s disposal could and should have better reflected the rich diversity of the athletes who represent Australia at the Olympic Games.

“The AOC, however, has a very proud history of celebrating and promoting diversity in all its forms. From Indigenous reconciliation, people of color, gender equality and all forms of diversity, the AOC is rightly proud of its record … We proudly stand up for our diversity track record and there is will have other photoshoots that reflect our great diversity of athletes. ”

In a statement sent to CNN, Jockey Australia said: “Jockey works with a wide range of brand ambassadors across Australia and New Zealand, but recognizes that we have failed to represent our diverse Australian community. in these images of Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

“Jockey is committed to supporting and representing all Australians and is proud to support all of our Australian sporting heroes competing in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.”

A separate statement on the company’s website said: “For 145 years, Jockey International has been a leader in accountability when it comes to actively supporting diverse ethnicities, races and backgrounds of communities and individuals. in over 140 countries around the world, including Australia. … We take this issue very seriously and are currently evaluating all of our options. “

The Olympics are scheduled to start on July 23 and end on August 8.

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Nine of 12 Super League clubs re-engage with UEFA, admit draft was a mistake



Nine of 12 Super League clubs re-engage with UEFA, admit draft was a mistake

In a press release on Friday, UEFA said that Arsenal, AC Milan, Chelsea, Atlético Madrid, Inter Milan, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, have acknowledged and accepted that ” the Super League project was a mistake and we apologize to the fans, the national associations, the national leagues, other European clubs and UEFA. “

UEFA imposed financial sanctions at nine o’clock. Collectively, the teams will donate 15 million euros ($ 18.25 million) to charities and forgo 5% of any income they would have received from competitions. UEFA said the clubs had agreed to be fined up to € 100m ($ 121.7m) if they failed to meet their UEFA commitments.

LILY: The European Super League lasted for three years. It took 48 hours to untangle

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said in the statement: “These clubs quickly recognized their mistakes and took steps to show their contrition … the same cannot be said of the clubs which remain involved in the so called ‘Super League’ and UEFA will do it. deal with those clubs afterwards. “

The three remaining founding clubs of the Super League, Barcelona, ​​Juventus and Real Madrid, remain in conflict with UEFA.

Earlier on Friday, Manchester United co-executive and managing director Joel Glazer wrote a letter to the fan forum reiterating his “sincere apologies for the mistakes made” in joining the Super League.

“In particular, I want to recognize the need for change,” he added. “With further consultation with you as the primary fan representative body on a range of important issues, including the competitions in which we participate.

“We want to work together to come up with an ambitious set of measures that will transform our relations with supporters and strengthen the club in the long run. With that in mind, we will contact the members of the forum to schedule a meeting in which I will attend as soon as possible afterwards. the last game of the season. “

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Naomi Osaka Celebrated at ‘Sports Oscars’ As Lewis Hamilton’s Social Justice Work Recognized


The 23-year-old was named 2021 Laureus Sportswoman of the Year after winning her second US Open title, but it wasn’t just her success on the pitch that helped her claim the honor. .

After seeing so many of her “models” win the award, Osaka said it “meant a lot” to her that she could collect it herself.

“When it comes to my activism on the ground, I think it’s important to use my voice, because for me I feel like I often hold back a lot and worry about what people think of me, but you know if you have a platform it’s very important that you use it, ”she explained.

“For the future, my main hopes for the future would simply be to have helped or reached as many people as possible and hopefully be a better person.

Usually a glitzy red carpet event that has earned the nickname the ‘Oscars of Sport’, this year’s Laureus Awards were held digitally due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The awards told the “inspiring stories of people who have worked tirelessly to fight the pandemic, and highlighted the advocacy of sportsmen and women who have used their positions of influence to have a powerful impact on issues and conflicts. that go beyond sport, ”according to a statement by Laureus.

READ: How a sports psychologist helped teenager Iga Swiatek win her first tennis grand slam
Osaka hits a comeback against Victoria Azarenka in the 2020 US Open final.

Use your platform

Like Osaka, another prominent athlete who used his platform to shed light on social injustices and racial inequalities in 2020 was Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton.

At the same time as he tied Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 world championships, Hamilton was a strong voice against police brutality and racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

The Mercedes driver wore a Black Lives Matter helmet with a black racing suit, while taking the knee before each grand prix and encouraging his colleagues to do the same. His car was painted black to demonstrate the team’s commitment to diversity.

As a result, Hamilton – who won last year’s Sportsman of the Year award with Lionel Messi – received the first Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year award for 2021 “for his involvement in the fight against racism”.

“This past year has been incredibly difficult for so many, but it has also been heartening to see the power of our collective voices spark new conversations and change,” said Hamilton.

“The impact of each of you who have stood up is so inspiring, so I want to thank you. Keep fighting, keep shining your light.

“The global rise to tackle the long-standing problem of systemic racism and inequalities in our society has been monumental, but we must continue to fight

“We all need to take responsibility for making positive changes in our world and hold ourselves accountable, so that last year’s promises turn into action. I truly believe that together we will make it happen, and I am so by your side. as we move forward. “

READ: ‘I played this sport alone,’ says Lewis Hamilton after record title win
Hamilton wears a Black Lives Matter jersey on the grid ahead of the Turkish F1 Grand Prix.

Crowning of history

Alongside Hamilton, Rafael Nadal also had a historic 2020.

In June, the Spaniard won his 13th Roland Garros title, tying Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 career Grand Slam victories.

In recognition, Nadal was named Laureus Sportman of the Year for 2020, his fourth Laureus award.

“I had some incredible competitors: the rest of the athletes probably deserve the trophy like me, but it was the year for me and I couldn’t be happier,” said the 34-year-old.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features and videos
Nadal returns the ball to Novak Djokovic in their final men's tennis match at the 2020 French Open.

“Winning the French Open and equaling Roger Federer’s 20th Grand Slam was an unforgettable moment. It means a lot to match my great rival, but at the same time my great friend. It’s something very special afterwards. all the history we have had together on and off the pitch, ”Nadal added.

“The pandemic we are facing is unprecedented and I want to send a message of support to all the families who have suffered or lost someone.”

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Naomi Osaka Celebrated at ‘Sports Oscars’ As Lewis Hamilton’s Social Justice Work Recognized


The 23-year-old was named 2021 Laureus Sportswoman of the Year after winning her second US Open title, but it wasn’t just her success on the pitch that helped her claim the honor. .

After seeing so many of her “models” win the award, Osaka said it “meant a lot” to her that she could collect it herself.

“When it comes to my activism on the ground, I think it’s important to use my voice, because for me I feel like I often hold back a lot and worry about what people think of me, but you know if you have a platform it’s very important that you use it, ”she explained.

“For the future, my main hopes for the future would simply be to have helped or reached as many people as possible and hopefully be a better person.

Usually a glitzy red carpet event that has earned the nickname the ‘Oscars of Sport’, this year’s Laureus Awards were held digitally due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The awards told the “inspiring stories of people who have worked tirelessly to fight the pandemic, and highlighted the advocacy of sportsmen and women who have used their positions of influence to have a powerful impact on issues and conflicts. that go beyond sport, ”according to a statement by Laureus.

READ: How a sports psychologist helped teenager Iga Swiatek win her first tennis grand slam
Osaka hits a comeback against Victoria Azarenka in the 2020 US Open final.

Use your platform

Like Osaka, another prominent athlete who used his platform to shed light on social injustices and racial inequalities in 2020 was Formula 1 superstar Lewis Hamilton.

At the same time as he tied Michael Schumacher’s record of seven F1 world championships, Hamilton was a strong voice against police brutality and racial injustice in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.

The Mercedes driver wore a Black Lives Matter helmet with a black racing suit, while taking the knee before each grand prix and encouraging his colleagues to do the same. His car was painted black to demonstrate the team’s commitment to diversity.

As a result, Hamilton – who won last year’s Sportsman of the Year award with Lionel Messi – received the first Laureus Athlete Advocate of the Year award for 2021 “for his involvement in the fight against racism”.

“This past year has been incredibly difficult for so many, but it has also been heartening to see the power of our collective voices spark new conversations and change,” said Hamilton.

“The impact of each of you who have stood up is so inspiring, so I want to thank you. Keep fighting, keep shining your light.

“The global rise to tackle the long-standing problem of systemic racism and inequalities in our society has been monumental, but we must continue to fight

“We all need to take responsibility for making positive changes in our world and hold ourselves accountable, so that last year’s promises turn into action. I truly believe that together we will make it happen, and I am so by your side. as we move forward. “

READ: ‘I played this sport alone,’ says Lewis Hamilton after record title win
Hamilton wears a Black Lives Matter jersey on the grid ahead of the Turkish F1 Grand Prix.

Crowning of history

Alongside Hamilton, Rafael Nadal also had a historic 2020.

In June, the Spaniard won his 13th Roland Garros title, tying Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 career Grand Slam victories.

In recognition, Nadal was named Laureus Sportman of the Year for 2020, his fourth Laureus award.

“I had some incredible competitors: the rest of the athletes probably deserve the trophy like me, but it was the year for me and I couldn’t be happier,” said the 34-year-old.

Visit CNN.com/sport for more news, features and videos
Nadal returns the ball to Novak Djokovic in their final men's tennis match at the 2020 French Open.

“Winning the French Open and equaling Roger Federer’s 20th Grand Slam was an unforgettable moment. It means a lot to match my great rival, but at the same time my great friend. It’s something very special afterwards. all the history we have had together on and off the pitch, ”Nadal added.

“The pandemic we are facing is unprecedented and I want to send a message of support to all the families who have suffered or lost someone.”

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