The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 23 July 2013


Wada widen remit in battle against drugs cheats

The sport’s world governing body have announced plans to “catch the cheats behind the cheats” as they crack down on doping violations by coaches, physiotherapists and other members of athlete’s entourages.

Several high-profile recent cases have involved athletes blaming members of their team for failed drugs tests, and part of a new code by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) will leave athletes no longer individually responsible.

“It’s a much more effective code,” John Fahey, anti-doping chief, said. “It’s one for the entourage as well – picking up the coaches, agents and physios. It says they can be dealt with in the same fashion as an athlete.”

Recent cases include sprinters Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay, above, submitting positive tests last month. “What’s occurred in that sport tells us that we haven’t solved this problem,” Fahey said. “It’s still alive and well.

Wada’s new code will be presented at the end of this year and, if ratified, come into effect in 2015. They will also target athletes who use coaches and advisors who have been found guilty of doping in the past.

Ennis-Hill’s Achilles is cause for concern

Jessica Ennis-Hill set a personal best of 48.33m in the javelin on her first appearance since the Olympics, but admitted she is doubtful for the World Championships next month. The 27-year-old competed at Loughborough last night but felt pain in her Achilles tendon. MORE

Spurs told to pay £26m for Soldado

Tottenham must meet Roberto Soldado’s £26m release clause to sign the Valencia striker. Technical director Franco Baldini has been negotiating the transfer this week but Valencia president Amadeo Salvo said: “We listened to Baldini and told him Soldado can go but only for the £26m.”

Anderson ready to go for the jugular

England bowler James Anderson has insisted his side will show no sympathy to Australia when they resume hostilities at next week’s third Ashes Test. “We want to win the series 5-0,” he insisted. “So we will be doing everything we can to win those games.” MORE

It was our plan to wear down Aussies

We were ruthless at Lord’s. We know how hard it is to be kept in the field for session after  session, to be worn down  physically and mentally, and  that was part of the aim in that  game. We were keen not to give them a sniff of victory.

Tom Ince: Dad says I must go to grow

Blackpool’s Tom Ince says his father and manager, Paul Ince, has given his blessing to a move to a leading Premier League side. “He wants me to play at the level he believes I can,” the midfielder, who turned down a transfer to Cardiff City, said. MORE

I owe Jose a better showing, says Cole

Ashley Cole believes he owes returning Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho better performances than in their previous spell together. “I still feel I owe him something,” the left-back said. “I didn’t play as well as I could back then.” MORE

Open failure can inspire Westwood

Lee Westwood believes his Open near-miss takes him closer to an elusive first major victory. “I don’t see third in the Open as a career nearly over,” he said. “More like, ‘Oh, I’ve still got it’. You feel like finding that little bit you need to improve.” MORE

Proud Peacock struts stuff again

Jonnie Peacock last night added a world title to his Paralympic gold as he won the T44 100m at the IPC World Championships. The 20-year-old ran home in 10.99 seconds, beating American Richard Browne into second, with Jerome Singleton third. MORE

St Nicholas Abbey’s life under threat

St Nicholas Abbey is to undergo surgery at Fethard Equine Hospital in Co Tipperary after he fractured a pastern. The six-year-old has been retired from the track with his life in jeopardy. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Michael Clarke has received much praise for his batting skill and his aggressive tactics but it is hard not to see him as simply overwhelmed by the problems of a failed cricket culture. MORE