Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 29th 2013 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, October 29, 2013
PARIS---In his first match since his
return from a four-month ban for a
positive doping test, Marin Cilic beat
Dutch qualifier Igor Sijsling 5-7, 6-1,
6-4 yesterday to reach the second
round of the Paris Masters.
The Croatian served 21 aces and hit
42 winners to only 17 for Sijsling, who
double-faulted to give Cilic a 4-3 lead
in the deciding set.
"All the players, they know me and
they were really happy to see me and
they were really happy that this is over
for me," Cilic said. "Everybody knows it
was like honest mistakes, and it can hap-
pen to really anyone. I m of course def-
initely against doping, against the players
who are cheating, and I would say that
there should be some more seminars for
the players to be more aware about these
things that can happen."
Cilic tested positive for a banned
stimulant in May but claimed he ingest-
ed it inadvertently though a glucose
tablet bought at a pharmacy.
The International Tennis Federation
found traces of nikethamide in Cilic s
urine sample from a tournament in
Munich, where he lost in the second
round to fellow Croat Ivan Dodig.
Nikethamide is prohibited in com-
petition but can be used out of com-
petition. Cilic said he had ingested the
tablets five days before his match.
When notified in June by the ITF of
the positive test, Cilic accepted a pro-
visional suspension and withdrew from
a second-round match at Wimbledon,
citing a knee injury.
Cilic reached a career-high No 9 ranking
in February 2010. His ranking has dropped
to 41st from 12th at Wimbledon.
In September, the ITF hit Cilic with
a nine-month ban back-dated to May 1.
"I would definitely say it was the
worst time of my life to experience this
as a player," Cilic said. "It was extremely
difficult situations where people were
even calling me a doping player and a
The governing body s anti-doping
tribunal later said Cilic hid behind the
excuse of a knee injury to withdraw
from his second-round match against
Kenny de Schepper at Wimbledon and
avoid negative publicity after failing a
"My lawyers were put under pressure
at that time and told me I have to pull
out," Cilic said yesterday.
Cilic challenged his suspension at
the Court of Arbitration for Sport and
sought to prove he was not a cheat
while the ITF appealed the verdict of
its own independent tribunal and
requested a two-year ban.
Last Friday, the court reduced Cilic s
suspension from nine to four months,
allowing him to compete at the Paris
HAIKOU---Rory McIlroy won for the
first time this year---even if it was an
18-hole exhibition against Tiger
McIlroy made four birdies and an
eagle over the last seven holes at Mis-
sion Hills for a 6-under 67, giving him
a one-shot win over Woods. It was the
second straight year McIlroy has defeat-
ed Woods at the medal match in China.
"I would like to play all my tourna-
ments in China where I can beat Tiger,"
Even an unofficial win has to count
for something. McIlroy beat him last
year at Jinsha Lake under far different
circumstances. McIlroy was a major
champion, No 1 in the world and on
his way to sweeping all the important
awards. He signed a lucrative deal with
Nike a short time later, and this season
has been a struggle. McIlroy has had
only one reasonable chance to win a
tournament, and he didn t even qualify
for the Tour Championship on the PGA
He is using a new driver and a softer
golf ball, even prompting Woods to say
to him after one chip, "How did you
The banter was free and easy, mostly
about equipment. Woods was trying
to recover from a virus he picked up
from his daughter, and spent most of
the afternoon asking his caddie for
The golf was spectacular over the
final hour on the Blackstone Course,
Woods had a one-shot lead and hit
a marvelous approach to 10 feet on the
par-5 12th. McIlroy followed with a
long iron into 5 feet, and both made
eagle. They both made birdie on the
13th, and McIlroy caught him with a
6-foot birdie on the 14th.
They birdied the 16th to reach 5-
under, and the match turned on the
next hole. Woods came up short on his
approach to the 17th, and after nearly
flying his pitch into the cup, he missed
a 5-foot par putt. Woods had a 20-
foot eagle putt on the 18th for the tie.
He missed, and McIlroy knocked in his
Woods could hardly raise his voice
after the round.
"I don t sound all that well now, but
it was nice that it was warm out there
today," Woods said. (AP)
HAIKOU---Tiger Woods put the heat
on Golf Channel over analyst Brandel
Chamblee s insinuation of cheating,
saying yesterday that he was ready to
move forward and that now it was up
to what Golf Channel was prepared
Woods spoke publicly for the first
time since Chamblee, a longtime critic
of the world s No 1 player, wrote a col-
umn for SI Plus in which he gave Woods
an "F for his five-win season because
of a series of rules violations.
Chamblee wrote that Woods was "a
little cavalier with the rules," and he
made the analogy of the time his
fourth-grade teacher crossed out "100"
and gave him an "F for cheating on
a math test. Chamblee last week went
on Twitter to say the cheating com-
parison went too far, and he apologised
to Woods for "this incited discourse."
"All I am going to say is that I know
I am going forward," Woods said before
his exhibition match with Rory McIlroy
at Mission Hills. "But then, I don t
know what the Golf Channel is going
to do or not. But then that s up to them.
The whole issue has been very disap-
pointing as he didn t really apologise
and he sort of reignited the whole sit-
"So the ball really is in the court of
the Golf Channel and what they are
prepared to do."
Golf Channel has not commented
on the flap. Chamblee is an analyst,
but he wrote his column about Woods
as a contributor to another publication.
Chamblee has said he was not asked
to apologize by anyone.
Woods agent, Mark Steinberg, was
so incensed by the column that he
issued a statement to ESPN.com that
raised the possibility of legal action.
Steinberg shared his client s views. (AP)
Putin promised yes-
terday that gay ath-
letes and guests at
Olympics in Sochi
will feel at ease,
seeking to assuage
fears fueled by a
recent Russian law
banning gay "pro-
Speaking at a
meeting with heads
of Russian winter
which was also
attended by visiting
Thomas Bach, Putin
said Sochi would be
"On my own and
on your behalf, I
have assured Mr
President (Bach) that
we will do our best,
and our athletes and
fans will do their
best too, so that
and guests feel
able at Sochi
of their ethnicity,
race or sexual orien-
tation," Putin said.
"I would like to
the Sochi Olympics
have been overshad-
owed by interna-
tional criticism of a
Russian law, outlaw-
ing "propaganda of
many worry may
apply to gay athletes
and visitors to the
The IOC has said
it received assur-
ances from the
that it will respect
the Olympic Charter,
which prohibits dis-
crimination of any
kind at the games.
Gay activists and
groups have accused
the IOC of not doing
enough to pressure
Russia on the issue.
urged the IOC to call
on Russia to repeal
the law. (AP)
at Paris Masters
McIlroy beats Woods in exhibition
Tiger: Next step up to Golf Channel
Croatian Marin Cilic
backhands the ball to
Sijsling during their
first round match, at
the BNP Masters
tennis tournament, in
the Paris Bercy
Cilic won 5-7, 6-1, 6-4.
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