Vidic a ‘great champion’ – Thohir

first_img Inter president Erick Thohir is hoping the addition of Vidic, a winner of five Premier League titles with Manchester United and one Champions League crown, ushers in a new period of sustained success at the San Siro. “Vidic is a great champion,” he said on “I am extremely satisfied with the completion of this agreement that will bring Nemanja to Milan. “He is one of the strongest defenders in the world, for his characteristics, his international experience, his charisma as a leader will be crucial for the team and the growth of our younger players. “He will add value to the club and will be another pillar for the construction of a great Inter. “Finally, I want to thank Manchester United, Nemanja and his entourage for his availability and the professionalism shown during the negotiation process.” Vidic announced last month that he would be leaving England this summer with his contract at United expiring in June. “It’s the last year of my contract and I have had eight wonderful years here,” he said. “My time at this great club will always rank as the best years of my career. “The only club I ever wanted to play for here (in England) is Manchester United. “I never could have imagined winning 15 trophies and I will certainly never forget that fantastic night in Moscow, memories that will live with me and the fans forever.” That Champions League triumph over Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium in 2008 remains the high point of Vidic’s career. Vidic overcame a serious knee injury in December 2011 that required two major operations but returned and skippered United to their historic 20th championship – his fifth and the last under manager Sir Alex Ferguson. He was named four times in the PFA Premier League team of the season and twice in the FIFPro World XI. “I am now going to focus all my efforts on playing for Manchester United,” Vidic said. “I will do the best I can for the team until the end of the season.” Vidic has started in 18 Premier League games and four Champions League matches this season. The end of one era signals the beginning of a new one for Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic. Inter Milan announced on Wednesday that the 32-year-old Serbian, a rock in the centre of United’s defence since January 2006, had agreed to join the Italian giants. The Nerazzurri won five consecutive league titles from 2006 through 2010 but are currently 28 points behind Serie A leaders Juventus. Press Associationlast_img read more

WADA may call for total Russian ban at Rio 2016 if Sochi 2014 allegations proven

first_imgThis ban will come in place if accusations of an orchestrated and state-supported doping scheme at Sochi 2014 are proven, the body’s President Sir Craig Reedie claimed here today.Sir Craig described Richard McLaren’s pending report into the allegations concerning the Winter Olympics in 2014 as a “precedent-setting opportunity to demonstrate collective commitment to clean sport”.McLaren was part of the Independent Commission that published damning reports into Russian doping, leading to the athletes from the country being banned from participating at Rio 2016, and the investigation is currently in progress.The results of the report are due to be revealed no later than July 15.It was launched after Grigory Rodchenkov, the former head of the Moscow Anti-Doping Laboratory, claimed that up to 15 Russian medal winners  at Sochi 2014 were implicated in a clandestine operation in which doping samples were switched for clean ones.Rodchenkov, the subject of a criminal case from Russian Federal investigators, alleged that the state-sponsored scheme involved athletes ingesting a “three-drug cocktail” of banned steroids which were mixed with alcohol.It also featured as a covert system to replace the urine of affected medal winners with clean samples using soda containers and baby bottles, he claimed.Richard Pound, the founding President of WADA who chaired the Independent Commission tasked with investigating Russia in November of last year, told The Sunday Times that suspending the entire Russian team from Rio 2016 was “not impossible”.Sir Craig, who will remain as an International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president until Rio 2016, intimated that WADA would push for strong action should McLaren’s Independent Commission produce clear evidence of state-supported doping in Russia.WADA does not have the power to directly ban countries but can make recommendations which are difficult to ignore.“The Independent Commission reports said it would be naïve that there would not be further complications,” the Briton said at the WADA Media Symposium here.“If the fuller investigation on his report clearly indicate [state-sponsored doping], I would regard that as a high-profile moment that we will have to deal with.“There are responsibilities under the code for International Federations.”WADA does not have the power to determine which sports do what.”If McLaren produces detailed corroborative evidence that goes beyond athletics, we will respond firmly and effectively.”WADA themselves released a report detailing the state of progress in Russia last week, which made a mockery of Russia’s repeated claims to have made significant improvements.Severe problems were raised with in and out-of-competition testing, with testers facing athletes running away rather than provide samples as well as the presence of intimidating FSB officials and – in one case – an athlete who tried to pay a bribe after a failed attempt at switching urine samples.In the most extreme example of cheating recorded, an athletics athlete “used a container inserted inside her body – presumably containing clean urine – which leaked onto the floor and not into the collection vessel.”The unnamed athlete threw the container into a bin before this was retrieved by the tester, who she then attempted to bribe before providing a sample which subsequently returned a positive result. Sir Craig also said WADA “applauds” the decision of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to maintain the ban on the All-Russia Athletic Federation, which ruled the majority Russian track and field athletes out of Rio 2016.Only Russian athletes who can prove they have operated in an effective testing system will be able to compete internationally at events including the Olympics, a requirement which, in practice, is limited to those based outside the country.The IOC has also come out in support of the IAAF ruling ahead of a crucial Olympic Summit on doping, due to be held in Lausanne tomorrow.last_img read more