He’s baa-aaa-aack

As Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett will tell you, comebacks are hard. So it’s a big deal Michael Phelps is at the Rio Olympics at all. No other bloke has swum at five Games. And no one of his vintage has a right to be doing this. The legendary turn tho https://t.co/UNt5zWt7DL by @ScottPorter via…

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Long jumper freezes out the Zika threat

You’re an Olympic champion keen to defend your title. But you’re worried the Zika virus might harm your future procreation plans. What do you do? You freeze your sperm, of course. While Zika has prompted a number of athletes to pull the pin on Rio altogether, 2012 Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford has discovered…

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If I was Chris Gayle’s missus

There are celebrity kids out there called Apple, Blanket, Pilot Inspektor, Audio Science, Princess Tiaamii (not an actual princess), Zuma Nesta Rock and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. The names are a scandal. But at least they’re not derived from an actual scandal involving one of their parents. Enter Chris Gayle, groundbreaker in all the wrong…

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Abbott’s hardline surfing policy

You’re 17 years old. You’re surfing at Noosa Heads. It’s Easter. The last thing on your mind is politics. And then some dude drops in on your wave, the cardinal sin of surfing. He’s wet-suited like a seal, also marginal behaviour in these balmy Autumn waters. It’s your former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. While she…

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Gentlemen, start your motor mouths

It’s taken 15 years for the Indian Wells tennis tournament to put a racism row behind it. With the Williams sisters ending their boycotts, the tournament was finally able to shake the memories of Serena being booed throughout the 2001 final and trophy presentation. It was a moment to celebrate. Then tournament boss Raymond Moore…

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When watching tennis physically hurts

Let’s be honest. The changing of the men’s tennis guard happened some time ago but we’ve all been in denial. A bit like Eric Abetz about his new boss. Whenever Roger Federer takes the court against Novak Djokovic, we still want to believe it’s 2006. So this is how we felt about the first two…

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Australian Open or school playground?

Watching some of the local players at the Australian Open, I’ve wondered if I was watching a tennis tournament or an episode of Summer Heights High. Then I found these reports cards. Bernard Tomic: B- Bernard is much improved this semester but still has a habit of picking fights in class. His latest feud is…

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Enough talk about pink balls

In recent weeks there’s been more talk of balls than you’d get in a schoolyard full of teenage boys. We’ve heard that pink balls are hard to see, go soft pretty quickly, behave abnormally, are not real swingers and can turn green with wear and tear. Which is definitely not what you want in your…

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When 3,000 naked cyclists photobomb your wedding

What do you do when you collapse on a golf course and apparently stop breathing for three minutes? Well, you clamber out of your hospital bed, put on a pair of your loudest duds and turn up to play the following day smoking a cigarette. John Daly wasn’t about to let a pesky little lung…

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When espionage goes wrong… and other bad days at the office

Imagine for a moment you’re a South African cricket tactician. You’ve gone to the trouble of compiling a dossier on your Kiwi opponents, their batting weaknesses and how to bowl to them. You scribble the name of your most lethal bowler at the top of your handiwork, shove it under his hotel room door and…

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Cycling still full of dopes

We’re halfway through the Tour de France and so far the toll is a stack of crashes, torn lycra, scrapes and broken bones. Plus one rider busted for cocaine and one for EPO. Now bikes are being randomly checked for hidden motors inside the frames. That’s right, mechanical doping is said to be the latest…

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Friday funnies: And the numpty of the week is…

You have to wonder at the particular brand of knuckle-headedness that governs cycling. This week, at the Giro d’Italia, there was a positive story to be had. Not the failed drug test kind of positive but a solid gold good news story. Worthy of a Chariots of Fire soundtrack. That good. The scene opens on…

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