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The Sports Matrix: Monday 16 July 2012


Ferdinand defends 'choc-ice' comment

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand was yesterday forced to defend comments he made which referred to England colleague Ashley Cole as a 'choc-ice'. "What I said is not a racist term," Ferdinand tweeted. "Its a type of slang used for someone who is being fake." MORE

Liverpool reject 'poor' Carroll bid

Liverpool have rejected a loan bid from Newcastle United for Andy Carroll. Reds manager Brendan Rodgers is willing to consider bids for the 23-year-old, who left Newcastle for Anfield for £35m last year, but the club are not interested in a loan deal. MORE

Warrington storm to Wembley date

Warrington overwhelmed Huddersfield 33-6 in a one-sided semi-final at Salford to make a third final in four years. Brett Hodgson contributed 17 points as the victors ran in five tries to secure a meeting with Leeds at Wembley on 25 August – a rematch of the 2010 final. MORE

Bopara recalled for South Africa opener

Ravi Bopara has been handed a recall to the England team for this week's opening Test against South Africa. The 27-year-old batsman has endured a stop-start career with the national side through form, temperament and injury. MORE

Warren capitulates as Singh takes win

Home favourite Marc Warren threw away the chance to play in the Open Championship after surrendering a three-shot lead at the Scottish Open. Jeev Milkha Singh overcame Francesco Molinari in a playoff at Castle Stuart to take his fourth European Tour victory. MORE

Khan career in doubt after defeat

Super-middleweight champion Carl Froch was among those to suggest Amir Khan should retire after the 25-year-old's defeat to Danny Garcia. The loss in the early hours of yesterday in Las Vegas was Kahn's second successive defeat. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

If there was any relief, it was that Amir Khan was at the mercy of the scarcely clinical punching of Danny Garcia rather than the surgical Floyd Mayweather or explosive Manny Pacquiao. MORE

Race plunged into chaos after tacks thrown on to road

Sabotage hit the race yesterday after tacks were strewn at the summit of a Pyrenean mountain, causing a number of riders to crash or puncture.

At least 30 of the 162 riders were affected by the incident on the 14th stage, with defending champion Cadel Evans suffering three punctures and Robert Kiserlovski skidding off and breaking his collarbone. Race leader Bradley Wiggins, above, was forced to change bikes in a separate incident but was otherwise untroubled.

"It was in a really difficult position," Jean François Pescheux, the Tour's technical director, said. "We think the tacks were thrown on the last part of the climb and on the first part of the descent." The Tour organisation has asked French police to investigate. "We dep-lore irresponsible acts that constitute an assault on the riders' physical integrity," it said.

Wiggins, who retained his overall lead, ordered the leading bunch to slow down as they waited for Evans' bike to be repaired. MORE

Olympic countdown: 11