Russell Westbrook, Doc Rivers and Billie Jean King reacted with revulsion to the assault on the US Capitol by supporters of outgoing president Donald Trump, united in the view there would have been a deadlier outcome had the rioters been black people.

On a dark day for the United States, thousands of Trump backers descended on Washington for a protest rally, refusing to accept the result of November's election that saw Joe Biden sweep to power.

Two weeks out from Biden's inauguration, many violent protesters breached security and accessed the Capitol, causing carnage and destruction as they appeared to go largely unchallenged.

There were a number of casualties, with four dead including a woman who was shot, while reports said a number of explosive devices were discovered.

Washington Wizards star Westbrook said: "It's very unfortunate to see. If those roles were reversed, if those were African-Americans, black people, it would be totally different."

He said the chaos was "just crazy, almost like a movie", and team-mate Bradley Beal agreed it was hard to stomach the scenes, given his view that police took a far less lenient approach to protesters during last year's Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

"It's very disheartening in a lot of ways - a lack of sense of urgency to respond to what was going on, versus protesters at Black Lives Matter over the summer," Beal said.

"The people who were invading our Capitol, that's unheard of and it's disheartening this is where we're at as a country."

Veteran Philadelphia 76ers coach Rivers called the insurgency "pretty disturbing" but vowed that "democracy will prevail".

"It shows a lot, though," Rivers said. "When you saw the [Black Lives Matter] protests in the summer, you saw the riots or more the police and the national guard and the army. And then you see this and you saw nothing.

"It basically proves the point about a privileged life in a lot of ways. I'll say it because I don’t think a lot of people want to: could you imagine today if those were all black people storming the Capitol and what would have happened?

"So that to me is a picture that’s worth a thousand words for all of us to see and probably something for us to reckon with again."

Tennis great King, a long-time activist for equality in sport and society, added on Twitter: "If the rioters storming the Capitol building today were Black and Brown people, the police response would be much different."

Footballer Megan Rapinoe became embroiled in a war of words with Trump during USA's triumph at the 2019 Women's World Cup.

Looking at footage of how seemingly easily the protesters were able to break into the Capitol, Rapinoe offered her opinion, writing: "This is crazy, how did they even get through the..... ohhhhh it was opened for them."

Trump had addressed the crowds earlier in the day, forcefully standing by his view that he was fraudulently robbed of an election win.

In the hours after the Capitol was cleared, Congress confirmed Biden's victory.

Richard Sherman, the San Francisco 49ers cornerback, described the rioters as "terrorists".

He wrote on Twitter: "Never thought Americans would let terrorists into the capital without a fight....sad day. There are certain things my brain could never imagine.... and one of them is black ppl storming a government building and taking things without deadly consequences. But that’s just my brain."

It was not just Sherman's brain thinking along those lines, though. Far from it.

Los Angeles Clippers star Kawhi Leonard took the same stance, saying: "You just see the privilege, the privilege in America. "It's sad to see, because if any of us was out there, I think we would've been tear-gassed, Maced, probably gunshots, you know?"

And American track and field legend Michael Johnson said the scenes were only to be expected, given the nature of the Trump presidency.

"The alarms were sounded for four years. Republicans ignored them. Many in the media ignored them and normalized dangerous behavior," Johnson wrote on Twitter.

"Sadly, today it all came to be. Shameful! This president and his supporters. Shame on you! And take responsibility!

"People on Twitter (of course) literally equating BLM protesters fighting for justice and equality to White Supremacist Trump supporters (supposed Patriots) gleefully and violently desecrating America's oldest and greatest institutions of democracy. Sadly, this is typical America."

Olympic athletes should be among those prioritised for a coronavirus vaccine so that the Tokyo Games can go ahead, according to International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound. 

The rescheduled Games are set to get under way on July 23, a whole calendar year after the original starting date, despite concerns over rising COVID-19 cases in host country Japan.  

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will decide on Thursday whether to implement a new state of emergency in Tokyo amid growing calls to take action, which could again put the Olympics in jeopardy. 

IOC chief Pound, the organisation's longest-serving member, believes the best way of ensuring it goes ahead is to vaccinate all athletes beforehand.

"In Canada where we might have 300 or 400 athletes - to take 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million in order to have Canada represented at an international event of this stature, character and level - I don't think there would be any kind of a public outcry about that," Pound told Sky News. 

"It's a decision for each country to make and there will be people saying they are jumping the queue but I think that is the most realistic way of it going ahead." 

Costs for the Olympics have already increased by $2.8billion (£2.1bn) due to measures being put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.

 

Double World U-20 champion Briana Williams provided a Christmas treat, by way of a motorcade, for children of the Paradise Acres community in Norwood, Montego Bay, over the festive weekend.

  Williams, who joined the senior ranks at the start of 2020, was joined by her management team and ‘Santa Claus’ who handed gifts to over 100 children from the community where her mother spent her childhood before migrating to the United States.

 The athlete who admitted to having had a good year, despite the negatives of the Covid-19 pandemic, revealed that the event was all about giving back.

“I have been tremendously blessed this year and I wanted to give back to a community that means so much to my family.  I wanted every child here to have a Merry Christmas,” Williams said.

The athlete’s Manager Tanya Lee confirms the event will be an annual undertaking, with future changes to its structure to be considered once the world is past the worst of the raging coronavirus pandemic.

"Things changed a little bit because of Covid restrictions, so we’re just driving through the community and handing out gifts responsibly. We will do the treat on a larger scale for next year, God’s willing. I have to big up Digicel, Grace Foods, Sagicor & Nike for their kind donations this year,” Lee said.

Track&Field News has awarded Bahamas track superstar Shaunae Miller-Uibo the gold medal in the 200m and silver in the 400m for 2020.

A significant reduction in the number of athletes that will be allowed to compete is among major changes set to be introduced at the 2021 GraceKennedy/ISSA Boys and Girls Championships scheduled for March 23 to 27, 2021.

Alternative dates of May 4-8 have also been set for the 110-year-old championships, should there be Covid-19-related spikes during the period. The 2020 championships were cancelled because of the pandemic.

Among major changes announced by the Inter-Secondary School Sports Association that are coming for the championships is that because of the restrictions, fewer than 1000 athletes will be able to participate. This is down from the more than 2400 athletes that are usually on show.

What this means is that for events like the sprints (100,200 and 400) only 32 athletes will be allowed to enter and will be comprised of the top-two regional athletes and the next best 24.

Meanwhile, only 24 will be eligible to compete in the hurdles and 800m events. The 1500m will only have 16.

However, the decathlon and heptathlon events will have the usual number of entries but only the top 12 from the field events will be allowed.

 

Elaine Thompson got the gold over Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce in Track and Field News’ Podiums for 2020.

Briana Williams has withdrawn from the Christmas Class Odd Distance meet that was to have got underway in Freeport, Bahamas today.

Russia will be barred from competing as a nation at the Olympic Games, Winter Olympics and football World Cup over the next two years after the Court of Arbitration for Sport partly upheld a suspension imposed for breaching anti-doping rules.

In 2019, Russia was handed a four-year ban from major international sporting events by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

WADA declared the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) non-compliant over inconsistencies in anti-doping data discovered during an investigation.

At the time, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reiterated its support for Russia's ban, which meant athletes would be unable to compete under the Russian flag at the 2020 Olympics or the 2022 Winter Games.

In a landmark move on Thursday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) confirmed Russia would be banned, albeit with the time frame cut from four years to two.

That will still discount Russia from participating in the Tokyo Olympics – pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic – plus the Winter Games in Beijing in 2022, and the next World Cup.

Russia will, however, be able to compete at the Euro 2020 football finals, which is also scheduled to take place next year, having been another event impacted by COVID-19.

This is because WADA's international standard for code compliance by signatories does not list UEFA as a "major event organisation".

Russian athletes wishing to compete at the Tokyo and Beijing Games will be able to do so, but only under a neutral banner.

CAS stated in its announcement: "This panel has imposed consequences to reflect the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance [to the WADC] and to ensure that the integrity of sport against the scourge of doping is maintained.

"The consequences which the panel has decided to impose are not as extensive as those sought by WADA. This should not, however, be read as any validation of the conduct of RUSADA or the Russian authorities."

CAS also said that its ruling aims to "effect cultural change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport".

In order to be reinstated at the end of the two-year ban, it was also ruled that RUSADA must pay a contribution of $1.27million to WADA, in respect of the costs incurred in investigating the authenticity of the data retrieved from the Moscow laboratory in January 2019.

RUSADA, under supervision from WADA or the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU), was told it must conduct investigations into any cases impacted by the deletions or alterations of the Moscow laboratory data.

The Russian organisation must also provide any other support requested by WADA to assist in determining whether athletes whose samples are listed in the Moscow laboratory database have a case to answer.

Briana Williams intends to open her 2020/21 track season next weekend in Freeport, Grand Bahama where she intends to compete in the 150m and 300m. The 18-year-old star made the announcement on social media yesterday.

“Training has been going well. I’m going to do something I have never done before, compete in December,” she said.

“I am opening my 2020-2021 season next weekend in the Bahamas with a 300m and a 150m on the 18th and 19th.”

Like many track and field athletes, Williams was not able to compete much during the last season because of the Covid-19 pandemic that prompted the cancellation of meets around the globe. Training well and eager to compete, Jamaica’s national junior record holder is chomping at the bit says her coach Ato Boldon.

“For the first time Briana is training completely by herself and she is thriving with all my attention. She is about two and a half months in now and this meet presented itself. She wanted to do it and I realize that just in the time when we were thinking about it her training has gone up a notch,” Boldon told Sportsmax.TV, explaining that the 2018 World Under 20 sprint-double champion, trains well when she is getting ready for something.

“She will give a good account of herself and she is very excited about it.”

According to Boldon, Williams will contest the 300m on the Friday and then the 150m the following day.

Yohan Blake and his teammates from Titans International Track Club will also be competing at the meet dubbed the Christmas Classic All-Distance Meet and which is hosted by the Neymour Athletic Club.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) against the clearance of Salwa Eid Naser to compete. The appeal was filed about a week after World Athletics filed a similar appeal before CAS in late November.

In October, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) disciplinary tribunal had ruled that Naser had not committed an anti-doping rule violation in relation to an alleged filing failure and missed tests. The tests were missed between March 12 and April 12, 2019.

In its appeal to the CAS, World Athletics requested that the AIU decision "be set aside and that it be replaced with a new decision in which the 2019 400m world champion is found to have committed an ADRV and sanctioned with a two-year period of ineligibility.

The athlete has retained the services of Dr Emir Crowne, Matthew Gayle and Kristie Irving of Trinidad-based New City Chambers, who confirmed that WADA had also appealed the ruling.

"I can confirm that WADA has launched a separate appeal against the decision of World Athletics' Disciplinary Tribunal in the Salwa Naser matter,” Dr Crowne told Sportsmax.TV.

“We will be asking that WADA's appeal be consolidated with World Athletics' appeal, and that the hearing be open to the public."

The Nigerian-born athlete who now competes for Bahrain ran the third fastest time in history while winning the 400m title in Doha. Only Marita Koch (47.60) and Jarmila Kratochvílová (47.99) have run faster than her 48.14. Naser also had a missed test against her name in January 2020, a strike that still stands.

For the past seven years Yohan Blake has been in partnership with luxury watchmaker Richard Mille.

Readers of the world renowned athletics magazine, Athletics Weekly, have selected Usain Bolt as the greatest athlete of the past 75 years. They placed Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce third among the women.

Antigua and Barbuda track and field star Daniel Bailey has launched a broadside on the county’s National Olympic Committee (NOC), who he accuses of being a 'sham' and not caring about the nation’s athletes.

The 34-year, who has represented the county at the Olympic Games on several occasions, retired from international competition in 2018, pointing to the exorbitant cost of competing as a major factor in his decision. 

Earlier this year, Bailey announced that he had decided to return to the sport in order to compete at next year’s Olympic Games.  It seems, however, that some things have yet to change.

“They turned down my stuff and I left it alone, but I knew that was going to happen and I just think that the NOC is a sham because they don’t care about the athletes,” Bailey said recently on the Good Morning Jojo sports show.

“It is the first time I have sent the NOC an email about funding and the murmuring stated as to why Bakka want this and why Bakka wants that but at the end of the day, the money does not belong to any one of them and without the athletes, they can’t get any funding,” he added.

Earlier this year, EP Chet Greene, politician, and president of the NOC pledged to support the athlete after learning of his bid to qualify for the Olympics.

Bailey’s scorn was not, however, limited to the NOC as he reflected on a long career of footing his own expense.

“For the majority, I had to do it myself along with two or three corporate sponsors.  The NOC is not coming on board, the athletics association is not coming on board and the Ministry of Sports is not coming on board.  At the age of 18 years, I left for Jamaica on an IOC scholarship, and ever since then I have never gotten any help from the NOC, the government nor the Ministry of Sports.  I have been to four Olympic Games, spent 100s of thousands of dollars on myself, and represented this country without a dollar from anybody.”

Bailey, who has a personal best of 9.91, has made it to the semi-finals of two Olympic Games and was fourth at the 2009 World Championships.

Three-time Olympian Michael Frater said the new administration of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association (JAAA), plans to engage the country’s athletes in a move to improve relations between the governing body and its primary stakeholders.

After an almost three-year hiatus from the sport, sprinter Daniel Bailey is planning a comeback at the 2021 World Indoor Championships from March 19-21 in Nanjing, China. His coach Carl Casey believes the veteran sprinter could be even better than before on his return.

The 34-year-old Bailey, the first Antiguan to win a 60m indoor global medal, took a break from the sport in 2018 and many believed he had retired.

However, according to Casey, he has been preparing Bailey for his intended return to the sport in 2021 and things have been going well.

“Daniel is not really a person who shies away from working…when it comes to training he is very focused,” Casey said during a recent interview on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show in Antigua.

“This time around we are seeing a whole different person in terms of maturity and focus.”

A decade ago Bailey, who boasts a personal best of 9.91, was among the best sprinters in the world, he was fourth in the final of the Men’s 100m at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, where Usain Bolt set the world record of 9.58s.

The following year he won bronze at the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar and won a silver medal in the 100m at the Continental Cup in Split.

Despite Bailey’s age, Casey believes there is a lot more in the tank.

“He is the first person to run sub-10 in a South American country. Daniel Bailey is the only (Antiguan) athlete to have won a medal at indoors so he has substance,” the former national coach said.

“Maybe it’s me but I think the second time coming is a better Daniel Bailey.”

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