Asbel Kiprop: Former Olympic champion 'traumatised' by failed drugs test

Asbel Kiprop: Former Olympic champion 'traumatised' by failed drugs test
Asbel Kiprop

Former Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop says he is “traumatised” after failing a drugs test and will “fight” to prove his innocence.

Kenya’s three-time world champion, 28, tested positive for EPO after an out-of-competition test in November 2017.

Kiprop was tipped off by a doping control officer about a drugs test, but officials deny he was asked for money.

“The achievements I made are crumbling before my own eyes for a crime that I have not committed,” he told Reuters.

“A mixed perception has been created by these allegations,” he added.

“As a consequence, I find it very difficult to walk in public, to look up the main media and social media and to generally carry on with my daily activities.”

Kiprop alleged his sample “turned positive” because he did not give the testers enough money.

That claim is rejected by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), which said his sample was not tampered with.

However, the independent body – which manages all doping-related matters for athletics – said it is “extremely disappointing” Kiprop was provided with advance notice of the testing.

A tribunal will determine whether this has any effect on the case against the athlete.

“My family and I are devastated. I am traumatised,” said Kiprop. “I will fight the case to prove my innocence to the end. It is my position that the process was flawed from the start.”

Kiprop finished second at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 but was upgraded to gold when Bahrain’s Rashid Ramzi failed a drugs test.

He added world titles in 2011, 2013 and 2015 and has run the fifth fastest 1500m of all time.

Nasa's InSight rocket takes off for Mars

Nasa's InSight rocket takes off for Mars

The American space agency Nasa has launched its latest mission to Mars.

InSight will be the first probe to focus its investigations predominantly on the interior of the Red Planet.

The lander – due to touch down in November – will put seismometers on the surface to feel for “Marsquakes”.

India girl, 16, burnt alive after Jharkhand rape

India girl, 16, burnt alive after Jharkhand rape

A 16-year-old girl in India was burnt alive after her parents complained to village elders that she had been raped, according to police.

Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the attacks in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand.

Police said the elders had ordered the accused rapists to do 100 sit-ups and pay a 50,000 rupee (£550; $750) fine as punishment.

They were so enraged they beat the girl’s parents then set her on fire.

“The two accused thrashed the parents and rushed to the house where they set the girl ablaze with the help of their accomplices,” Ashok Ram, the officer in charge of the local police station, told AFP news agency.

The girl was believed to have been abducted from her home while her parents were attending a wedding.

Local police said she was raped by two men in a forested area near the village of Raja Kendua.

Upon discovering the assault, her parents went to village elders to pursue charges against the suspected perpetrators.

Councils of village elders carry no legal weight. However, they have significant influence in many parts of rural India and are a way of settling disputes without having to go through India’s expensive judicial system.

Police in the state say that they have arrested 14 of the 18 people they want to investigate with regards to the rape and subsequent murder.

One of the two men accused of carrying out the attack has yet to be arrested, Bokaro inspector general of police Shambhu Thakur told the Hindustan Times.

However, several village elders have been charged with passing unlawful orders and tampering with evidence.

The latest incident comes as India reels from a string of violent sexual crimes.

About 40,000 rape cases were reported in India in 2016. Many cases, however, are believed to go unreported because of the stigma that is attached to rape and sexual assault.

David Astori: Former Fiorentina captain's family thank fans for support

David Astori: Former Fiorentina captain's family thank fans for support
Davide Astori

The family of former Fiorentina captain Davide Astori have thanked fans for their support since his death in March.

The defender, capped 14 times by Italy, died at the age of 31 after a sudden illness before his side were scheduled to play Udinese on 4 March.

His family, partner Francesca and their daughter Vittoria took out a full page advert in Italian newspaper La Nazione.

“Thank you from the heart. It’s a simple but unique term, just like Davide was,” they said.

“Therefore, as Davide would have done, with a smile and a strong embrace, we say to you all thank you.”

Astori came through the youth system at Serie A giants AC Milan, then joined Cagliari in 2008.

He spent eight years at the club and had loan spells at Roma and Fiorentina before moving permanently to the latter two years ago.

Astori wore the number 13 shirt at Fiorentina, which has been retired by the club. Thousands of fans and representatives of every Serie A club gathered at his funeral on 8 March.

Fiorentina have also announced they will rename their training ground after him.

Russia opposition's Navalny to protest against new Putin term

Russia opposition's Navalny to protest against new Putin term

Opposition demonstrations are being held across Russia on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth term as president.

Alexei Navalny, who was prevented from standing in the country’s election in March, is organising the protest.

Several dozen people were arrested after rallies were held in Russia’s Far East and Siberia.

Rallies are also starting in Moscow and St Petersburg, despite having no permission from the authorities.

Mr Putin was re-elected president with more than 76%, his best ever election performance.

But the opposition and some international observers reported widespread irregularities in the vote.

Mr Navalny was barred from running for office because of a conviction for embezzlement. He says his legal troubles are Kremlin reprisals for his fierce criticism.

The protests are being held under the slogan “He is not our Tsar!”

The Moscow city authorities have warned people of possible “negative consequences” of taking part in unsanctioned rallies.

“And I would like to warn everyone of the negative consequences of non-participation in the rallies,” Mr Navalny responded in a tweet (in Russian).

“If you stay at home, Putin’s gang will tear the country apart and deprive you personally of a future.”

Mr Navalny is expected to appear at the Moscow rally, though reports say he was forced to stay at a secret location on Friday night to avoid arrest.

Opposition groups and independent monitors OVD-Info reported arrests in the cities of Krasnoyarsk, Novokuznetsk, Chelyabinsk, Barnaul and Samara. One report said as many as 150 people were arrested in Krasnoyarsk.

There are fears that protests could lead to clashes similar to those that happened in 2012, when Mr Putin returned to the presidency after four years as prime minister.