Transfer ban decision ‘very soon,’ says Chelsea chief

Frank Lampard looks on during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United. (AFP)
Updated 04 December 2019

Transfer ban decision ‘very soon,’ says Chelsea chief

  • Lampard: I haven't heard any more, so I would wait and reserve judgement (on Chelsea's plans for January) until we get the judgement

LONDON: Frank Lampard expects to find out "very soon" whether Chelsea will be free to make any January signings, with the club waiting to learn the outcome of their FIFA transfer ban appeal.
Chelsea's appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was heard last month, with the Blues contesting FIFA's two-window ban relating to the recruitment of minors.
When asked when he expects to discover the result of that appeal, Lampard replied: "Very soon I believe. Days, I think.
"I haven't heard any more, so I would wait and reserve judgement (on Chelsea's plans for January) until we get the judgement and see where we want to go from there."
Fourth-placed Chelsea will give Tammy Abraham "every possible chance" to face Aston Villa on Wednesday as the England striker recovers from a hip injury.
Lampard admitted the 22-year-old, who has scored 10 Premier League goals this season, is still battling pain from the problem he picked up in the 2-2 Champions League draw at Valencia.
"We're giving him every possible chance to be fit," said the Chelsea boss, whose side have lost their past two league matches after a fine run.
"He's still got some pain in the area of the injury. (We will) make a judgement tomorrow. It's painful for him, so it's a pain threshold and whether it affects his movements. So I wouldn't want to commit today."
Olivier Giroud, who led the line in last weekend's 1-0 defeat at West Ham, and Belgium's Michy Batshuayi are continuing to press their claims up front, while US forward Christian Pulisic could operate as a false nine in Abraham's absence.
Admitting the challenge of keeping his other strikers focused and happy given Abraham's form, Lampard said: "Yes, in the modern day every manager wants to have that situation."
"They are training well, supporting the group with a smile on their face and they are happy when we win," he added. "They are determined to help if we don't, whether they are starting or not.
"Those are the rules of modern football. Of course, it is a challenge and everyone is a human and they want to play every week. So I have to be aware of that at the same time."


Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

Updated 11 December 2019

Russian athletics champ blasts own sports authorities

  • Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation

MOSCOW: Russian high jump world champion Maria Lasitskene on Tuesday accused her country’s own sports authorities of failing to protect athletes from the deepening doping crisis, in a rare public broadside at top officials.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Monday handed Russia a new, this time four-year, ban from top global sporting events, including the next summer and winter Olympics and the 2022 soccer World Cup, for tampering with laboratory data.

The ruling means Russian athletes cleared to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will do so under a neutral flag. But Lasitskene and some other Russian track and field athletes face additional obstacles to being cleared for competition.

“I’ve already missed one Olympics and one-and-a-half years of international competition,” Lasitskene wrote in an open letter addressed to Russia’s sports authorities.

“And it seems that’s not the end of it. So who ultimately is to blame? Who’s going to give me back what I’ve lost?” she wrote in the letter published on Russian sports media outlet Championat.Com.

Lasitskene, a three-time world champion, has in the past been critical of Russia’s athletics federation, which has been suspended for doping since 2015, and has been one of the few Russian athletes to voice her anger publicly.

World Athletics, the global body governing athletics, last month halted the reinstatement procedures for Russia’s athletics federation after its president and six others were provisionally suspended for serious breaches of anti-doping rules.

As a result of these fresh sanctions, World Athletics also said it was reviewing the process it has used in the past to clear some Russians, including Lasitskene, to compete internationally as neutrals.

“Why have we arrived at a situation when an athlete is supposed to be delighted about getting neutral status?” Lasitskene wrote.

“Was the Sports Ministry and Russian Olympic Committee really happy with the Russian athletics federation’s work?”

The president of Russia’s Olympic Committee, Stanislav Pozdnyakov, on Monday dismissed the sanctions against Russia as inappropriate and excessive.