Cycling + Football + Olympic Games
Froome makes history with Tour victory
Cycling – Tour de France: From also-ran to domination. Four years ago no Briton had ever won the Blue Riband of cycling.
All that changed with Chris Froome’s third triumph, meaning four British riders have won four of the last five.
After hearing the British national anthem, a clearly emotional Froome concluded his speech with the words: “Vive Le Tour et vive la France.”
Joined by his nearest rivals, Romain Bardet, who finished second, and Nairo Quintana, who was third, he said: “To my team-mates and support team, this is your yellow jersey too. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for your sacrifice. This is one special team and I’m proud to be a part of it.
“My son, Kellan, I dedicate this victory to you. This Tour has obviously taken place against the backdrop of terrible events in Nice and we pay tribute to those who have lost their lives. These events put sport into perspective but it also shows the value of sport to free society.
“We all love the Tour because it is unpredictable but we love the Tour more for what stays the same – the passion from fans, the French countryside and the bond created by sport. These things will never change.”
Also making it a tremendous day for Britain was Adam Yates who finished fourth overall.
Football: Celtic have signed former Liverpool defender Kolo Toure. The 35-year-old Ivory Coast international will be reunited with Brendan Rodgers whom he played under at Anfield.
He will provide vital defensive cover at Celtic Park, though it is unlikely he will make the team for Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier against FC Astana.
After agreeing a one-year deal he said: “I’ve come to one of the biggest clubs in the world and it’s a privilege for me to be here,” he said.
However, the Ivory Coast international Toure is unlikely to be involved in Wednesday’s Champions League qualifier against FC Astana.
Toure played 26 times for Liverpool last season and his final game for the Merseysiders was their Europa League final defeat in May.
He made his name as a member of Arsenal’s “invincibles” who remained unbeaten throughout the 2003-04 Premier League season.
He moved to Manchester City for £14m in 2009 where he helped with the Premier League title in 2012 before moving the Anfield a year later.
Just two weeks ahead of the opening ceremony the IOC has left it to individual sports federations to decide on the participation of Russian competitors.
The decision follows a report into state-sponsored doping in Russia between 2011 and 2015.
Russian competitors who want to take part in the Games will be required to meet strict criteria laid down by the IOC. The ban on track and field athletes will be maintained.
IOC president Thomas Bach said: “We have set the bar to the limit by establishing a number of very strict criteria which every Russian athlete will have to fulfil if he or she wants to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016.
“I think in this way, we have balanced on the one hand, the desire and need for collective responsibility versus the right to individual justice of every individual athlete.”
Russian Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko: “We are very grateful to the International Olympic Committee for the fact that in choosing between collective responsibility and the rights of individual athletes, it took the decision that every athlete whose reputation today is untarnished, who is clean, without doping, has the right to compete in the Olympics.”
Critics of the IOC’s decision, including the United States Anti-Doping Association (Usada), said the IOC showed a lack of leadership. Usada said it had delivered a “significant blow to the rights of clean athletes”.
Wada president Sir Craig Reedie said investigators had “exposed, beyond a reasonable doubt, a state-run doping programme in Russia that seriously undermines the principles of clean sport embodied within the World Anti-Doping Code”.
Gold medal rower Matthew Pinsent said the IOC had “hospital passed” the decision to independent federations. “What a cop out,” he said in a tweet.
Six-time Olympic track cycling champion Chris Hoy said in a tweet: “What sort of message does this send out? Surely IOC’s job is to make crucial decisions rather than passing the buck.”