National Post (Latest Edition)
DURANT SEES IRVING PLAYING FOR NETS
Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant said he still envisions Kyrie Irving playing a role for the team this season despite uncertainty over the seven-time all-star's COVID-19 vaccination status.
The season begins on Oct. 19 and unvaccinated players must comply with a long list of restrictions to play in games and take part in team activities such as practice.
Irving has not said if he has been vaccinated and asked for privacy when asked about it late last month, the NBA said.
The 29-year-old did not participate in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"I'm envisioning Kyrie being a part of our team. Maybe I'm just naive, but that's just how I feel," Durant told reporters on Wednesday.
Durant said Irving needed time to deal with the matter but that the Nets had to adapt in his absence.
"He's a special player so it's going to be hard to duplicate what he brings," he added. "But professional sports are about the next man up mentality, so we're looking forward to guys stepping up and filling in that role as best as they can."
Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare, who was provisionally banned after testing positive for human growth hormone before the Tokyo Olympics, has been hit with three separate anti-doping charges, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said on Thursday.
Okagbare, who won silver in the long jump at Beijing 2008, had competed in the 100-metre heats in Tokyo on July 31 and was due to run in the semifinal before being suspended.
The AIU said she tested positive on July 19 and on Thursday charged her with the presence and use of a prohibited substance following the detection of human growth hormone.
It added that the second charge was in relation to recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) detected in her sample which was collected during an out-of-competition test on June 20 in Nigeria.
“The AIU requested EPO analysis be conducted on the sample on July 29 and the adverse analytical finding was reported to it on Aug. 12,” the AIU said in a statement, adding Okagbare was notified on Aug. 20.
A further charge was issued over Okagbare’s “refusal to co-operate with the AIU’S investigation into her case.”
“Specifically, it is alleged that the athlete failed to comply with a formal requirement to produce relevant documents, records and electronic storage devices, which was issued to the athlete by the AIU on Sept. 15,” the AIU added.