Almost exactly a year ago, Beijing played host to a dream day of international sports: both Neymar and Kobe were in town with their respective teams, and the Tour of Beijing was wrapping up in glorious sunshine. This year…not so much.
A quick look at the General Classification (GC) for this year’s Tour de France has Chinese debutant Ji Cheng in 193rd place out of 196 riders still in the race, a massive 25’25” off the pace after just three stages.
The glut of “China isn’t at the World Cup, but…” articles has slowed (there is only so much to say, after all), though these pictures of President Xi Jinping are doing the rounds (h/t @niubi), unthinkable to depict the President in cartoon form just a few years ago.
Team Sky long ago set out their stall as being whiter than white in the historically murky world of cycling, and there has been no evidence of any impropriety by any of their riders while at Sky. But two riders with links to the team are in a bit of trouble right now. Current Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is being investigated for an anti-doping violation dating to before he joined the team, and now Michael Rogers, who rode at Sky in support of Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 Tour de France victory but left shortly after admitting his past involvement with the Doping Doctor Michele Ferrari, has been provisionally suspended for testing positive for clenbuterol.
His excuse is pathetic. In a seven-sentence statement, the third and fourth ones are key: Continue reading China blamed for cyclist’s positive doping test?
Today is one of those rare sports days in the Chinese capital, especially given that it’s a Tuesday. For those with nothing better to do (and plenty of money), you can spend the day watching the Tour of Beijing, which finishes its fifth and final stage near the Bird’s Nest today. Then head into the stadium itself to see the Brazilian national soccer team play. Leave at half time and jump into your helicopter to head to the west of town in time to catch some of the game between the LA Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at the Mastercard Arena.
China’s Zhang Jilong seeking permanent AFC role
May 2 could be a significant day in the Chinese football calendar. The Asian Football Confederation, or AFC, will elect a full-time president, and current interim boss, China’s Zhang Jilong, is among the favorites. Zhang has been head of the AFC since Mohamed Bin Hamann was suspended by FIFA in May 2011.
Not related to China or Asia, but here is my first Sports Talk column for the Global Times: