Weightlifting: Five Russian athletes provisionally suspended by world body

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2012 Olympics bronze medallist Ruslan Albegov is one of the five suspended athletes.
2012 Olympics bronze medallist Ruslan Albegov is one of the five suspended athletes.PHOTO: AP

(REUTERS) – Five Russian weightlifters have been provisionally suspended for potential doping violations based on data retrieved from a Moscow laboratory, the sport’s governing body has said.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said it suspended the athletes “in view of the severity of the asserted anti-doping rule violations and compelling nature of the evidence” it received from the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

The five suspended athletes are 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Ruslan Albegov, 2013 women’s world champion Tima Turieva, David Bedzhanyan, Oleg Chen and Egor Klimonov.

“The IWF regrets these additional cases of doping in our sport from some years ago,” IWF President Tamas Ajan said in a statement.

“We note without any satisfaction that weightlifting was far from the only sport to have been affected by the extensive and historical Russian doping revealed by whistleblowers, the media and Wada.

“We can be satisfied, however, that the IWF has shown once again our determination to protect clean sport and promote clean athletes. We have not shown any hesitation in taking the right decisions.”

2019 Rugby World Cup: Japan v Russia
Japan: (12) 30
Tries: Matsushima 3, Labuschagne; Pens: Tamura 2 Cons: Tamura, Matsuda
Russia: (7) 10
Tries: Golosnitsky Pens: Kushnarev Cons: Kushnarev

Wing Kotaro Matsushima scored a hat-trick as hosts Japan got their World Cup campaign under way with a 30-10 victory against Russia.

Pieter Labuschagne
Labuschagne extended Japan’s lead early in the second half as Japan’s fitness told

Tamura extended Japan’s advantage with a penalty before Labuschagne ripped the ball out of Andrei Ostrikov’s hands and showed impressive pace by covering half the pitch to score his first international try.

Russia clawed back some points with a Yury Kushnarev penalty, but Japan again responded through Tamura, opting for a greater lead rather than going for a four-try bonus point.

The fourth try soon followed, though, as Vasily Artemyev’s clearing kick went wrong and the ball ended up in the arms of Matsushima once again, allowing the wing to speed past Russian defenders for his hat-trick.

Japan’s next match will be against Ireland on 28 September, while Russia face Samoa on 24 September.

Player of the match – Matsushima

Kotaro Matsushima has a try ruled out
Matsushima would have had a first half hat-trick of tries but this effort was ruled out

With 102 metres run and seven defenders beaten, pacy wing Matsushima put in a promising player-of-the-match performance with his hat-trick heroics in Tokyo.

‘We want to show Japan that we can play – what they said

Japan captain Michael Leitch told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’m happy and a win is a win. We knew it was not going to be easy and it took an 80-minute effort. It was exactly how we imagined it would be. We knew they would be passionate, physical and brave and they showed all three.

“We missed the first kick-off and they scored but we regrouped and got ourselves back in the right direction. We are up against Ireland next week and it’s going to be another tough match.

“With what we did in 2015, the memory is still strong with the Japanese public. To have a World Cup on home soil is a great opportunity to inspire the public. We will have another full ground next week and we need to take these opportunities to show Japan that we can play.”

Russia captain Vasily Artemyev: “You could see throughout the game we stuck to our game plan. A few penalties and a couple of missed opportunities, those are the things that made the difference in the end.

“Everyone could see we were playing at the same intensity as Japan. We were pushing them to the edges and we were getting some dividends.

“It was a huge effort from our players but I congratulate Japan on their performance.”

Analysis

2003 World Cup winner Matt Dawson on BBC Radio 5 Live

It has been a great start to the tournament. The opening ceremony went fantastically well. Japan will review the game and could have scored more points but the result was right.

We have seen the strength of the tournament. You over-perform at a World Cup and become superhuman and some of those Russians put their bodies on the line.

Teams

Japan: Tupou; Matsushima, Lafaele, Nakamura, Lemeki; Tamura, Nagare; Inagaki, Horie, Valu; Van der Walt, Moore; Leitch, Labuschagne, Himeno.

Replacements: Sakate, Nakajima, Ji-won, Thompson, Tui, Tanaka, Matsuda, Yamanaka

Russia: Artemyev; Davydov, Ostroushko, Gerasimov, Golosnitskiy; Kushnarev, Dorofeev; Morozov, Selskii, Gotovtsev, Ostrikov, Fedotko, Zhivatov, Gadzhiev, Vavilin

Replacements: Matveev, Polivalov, Bitiev, Garbuzov, Sychev, Perov, Gaisin, Sozonov

Japan fans back their team
Japan’s fans are determined to embrace hosting their first Rugby World Cup

Novak Djokovic beats Denis Shapovalov to win fifth Paris Masters title

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Novak Djokovic at the Paris Masters
Djokovic is now one short of Nadal’s record of 35 Masters victories

Novak Djokovic recorded his 77th ATP title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Canada’s Denis Shapovalov at the Paris Masters.

The 32-year-old Serb will be replaced as world number one by Rafael Nadal on Monday despite sealing his 34th Masters title, his fifth in Paris and fifth overall ATP victory of the year.

He maintained his record of not losing a set in the week as he wrapped up the match in one hour, five minutes.

It was Djokovic’s fourth win against world number 28 Shapovalov, 20.

In his 50th Masters final, Djokovic took a 3-0 lead against Shapovalov – playing his first – and took the set in 29 minutes.

The Serb, who lost in last year’s Paris final to Karen Khachanov, broke in the seventh game of the second set.

Left-hander Shapovalov won his first ATP title with victory in the indoor Stockholm Open last month and had his only break point of the final in the next game.

However, he was guilty of three consecutive backhand errors as Djokovic held and soon sealed the title, putting him level with John McEnroe in fifth place on the all-time list of ATP winners.

Shapovalov is projected to climb to a career-high 15th in the rankings.