Aaron Ramsey restored the visitors’ lead with a sumptuous volley from Carl Jenkinson’s 67th-minute cross, and the Welshman sealed the win nine minutes later after combining with Ozil and Giroud on the edge of the box. However, the Gunners had enjoyed a major escape in the meantime when, after Jozy Altidore had out-muscled Bacary Sagna to stab a shot past keeper Wojciech Szczesny, referee Martin Atkinson called play back for a foul on the United States frontman. Wenger said: “We had plenty of chances in the first half – we had an outstanding first half. In the second half, Sunderland played very well with much more energy. “They came back to 1-1 and we were a bit lucky at 2-1, maybe, but we found the mental resources again to win the game and were much more clinical in the second half. “But overall, it was a very good game.” If Ozil had been the star of the show before the break – Wenger admitted his form had, perhaps understandably, dipped in the second half as a result of his illness – it was Ramsey who ultimately claimed the headlines with two accomplished finishes. The manager said: “Ramsey, definitely compared to one year ago, what he has achieved is fantastic.” Asked what was behind his improvement, Wenger said: “His intelligence, his desire to improve, listening – he has a very learning attitude and he has as well a fantastic engine.” Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is keeping his fingers crossed that injuries do not ruin a promising start to the season. The Gunners climbed to the top of the Barclays Premier League table on Saturday after a 3-1 victory at Sunderland. However, the win on Wearside came at a cost after striker Olivier Giroud limped off with a knee problem late in the game to join Santi Cazorla on the sidelines. Wenger later revealed that the Spaniard is out of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Marseille and is unlikely to play again before the next international break, and with Lukas Podolski currently also on the casualty list, he admits he cannot afford to lose any more attacking players. The Frenchman told the BBC: “We score because we have a good game, lively with a lot of energy, we are dynamic in our game, and a lot of belief as well. “But we are still short now. With the injuries we have, we cannot afford now to lose players.” Despite arriving at the Stadium of Light without defender Per Mertesacker and with record signing Mesut Ozil having only just recovered from the same bug which prevented his team-mate from travelling, the Gunners turned in a superb first-half display and should really have had the game won by the break. Ozil took little time to settle into his new surroundings, expertly controlling Kieran Gibbs’ long ball before sliding a cross into the path of Giroud’s run and watching the striker nonchalantly guide it past keeper Keiren Westwood with just 11 minutes gone. The former Real Madrid star seemed able to split the Sunderland defence at will and twice played in Theo Walcott, only to see the England international denied by Westwood on both occasions. Indeed, Walcott might have had a hat-trick inside the opening 43 minutes, but ended the half empty-handed when he sent a diving header wide from Giroud’s cross. But remarkably, Sunderland forced their way back into the game within four minutes of the restart when Craig Gardner, who had replaced David Vaughan at the break, thumped home a penalty after Laurent Koscielny had tripped Adam Johnson. Press Association
Doha: The IAAF said that it will maintain its ban on Russian athletes over doping that it imposed in 2015, following a council meeting of top officials in Qatar. Rune Andersen, head of the doping task force for the International Association of Athletics Federations, said two issues remained unresolved — the examination of data received from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory and the issue of outstanding costs being sought from Russia because of the scandal. “Two key issues remain outstanding,” said Andersen at a press conference in Doha. “These need to be resolved.” He also said his task force was looking into claims that coaches from the discredited Russian athletics regime were still involved in the sport which, Andersen said, “run counter to assurances” received from Moscow. Asked if this latest extension of the ban meant Russian athletes would not be able to compete under the flag at this year’s world championships in Doha in September and October, Andersen said there was still time but conditions “have to be met” by Russia. IAAF head Sebastian Coe refused to be drawn on whether Russia had time to enter the worlds, saying he didn’t “want to speculate” on the country’s chances. For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. A dozen Russian athletes were suspended in February over doping.Many Russian athletes are allowed to compete under a neutral banner.IAAF suspended Russia in November 2015 after the eruption of a vast state-sponsored doping scandal. “Let’s see where this process takes us. And then make whatever adjustments we might need to,” Coe said in a conference call with reporters. “At the moment it’s important we don’t start speculating. It will be dependent on the recommendations given by the task force.” Doping fallout Responding to the IAAF’s concerns, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov insisted that any coach found to have been involved in doping was barred from working with the national team. “The coaches and the athletes who have been banned for doping are automatically excluded from the national squad participants’ list,” Kolobkov said. Dmitry Shlyakhtin, the head of the All-Russian Athletics Federation, said the claims about the coaches and the issue of the payment of outstanding debts would be discussed at a meeting with Andersen later this monnth. “I’m confident that we will find the solution that will settle the situation,” he added. The IAAF suspended Russia in November 2015 after the eruption of a vast state-sponsored doping scandal. The decision to keep the ban in place was the 10th time the IAAF has turned down Russia’s appeal for reinstatement, having requested the same assurances when it upheld the ban in December. A team from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) gained access to the Moscow laboratory at the centre of the scandal in January and officials are working their way through the mass of data recovered. Although the International Biathlon Federation still excludes Russia, the IAAF is the last of the high-profile international sports bodies to ban athletes from competing under the Russian flag, although many Russians are allowed to compete under a neutral banner. The International Olympic Committee lifted their suspension of the Russian Olympic Committee a year ago and WADA reinstated Russia in September. Russia’s Paralympic ban was lifted in early February. The fallout from the scandal continues. A dozen more Russian athletes were suspended on February 1 based on the revelations of the McLaren report on the doping scandal. The 12 included high jumper Ivan Ukhov who was stripped of his 2012 Olympic gold.
THE Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC) has deemed its International Drag Race meet a success just twenty-four hours after completion.According to Committee member, Motilall Deodass, they were able to achieve a successful International event even though the lack of a ferry service kept Suriname away.“We held a fanatastic day of racing on Sunday and despite two rain breaks, we were able to complete all the races,” Deodass told Chronicle Sport.“We want to thank Team Trinidad for coming here. The rail car especially brought a lot of fans out for the weekend and we want to say congratulations to them on taking the unlimited class.”Meanwhile, in spite of setting an unseen 7.9 second time on the strip on Saturday, Andy Bissessar’s Rail Car was not the fastest car on the race day.In fact, the fastest time of the day came out of the Team Mohamed’s Black GTR (Goliath) with 8.561 though Bissessar did manage to squeeze an 8.584 during one of the runs.There were also 8.916 and 9.006-second runs by the Mad Dog Supra of Deryck Jaisingh while the fastest bike time of the day came from Micheal Mathurine/Joel Bruce of Trinidad with 9.746.There is still doubt as to who has the fastest quarter mile machine as the run between the Godzilla GTR of team Mohamed’s Enterprise and the Rail car ended with an inconclusive result; the rail car jumping the light and the GTR breaking before the finish line.Representing the Trinidad team, Jadgeo ‘Mad Cow’ Seecharran commented, “We definitely love Guyana and we will be back here next year to compete again once we are invited.”Sponsors for the event included ISG, Tropical Shipping, DELCO ICE, Dereck Jaisingh Trucking Services and Machinery Rental, Associate Construction Co. Limited, Trans pacific Auto Spares and Auto Sales, BM Soat Auto Spares and Auto Sales, Mohamed’s Enterprise, A and R Jiwanram Printery, Hand in Hand, I Bet Supreme, Motul, E-Networks, Imran Auto Works, GT Tuners, Marcia’s Flight Service, Miracle Optical, Ready Mix Concrete, Innovations America, Fullworks and Blue Spring Water, Homeline Furnishing, Prem’s Electrical, Air Services Limited, Windjammer Hotel, Tropical View Hotel, KGM, First Class Auto Sales and Spares, Secure Innovations and Concepts Limited, Ramchand’s Crash Truck Service, Cyril’s Taxi Service and Choke Service Station.