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Paralympian stripped of medal after being late to event

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The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has stripped Malaysian athlete Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli of his gold medal, after he was 3 minutes late to his shot put event

THE ICP defended the decision after a referee found that he had no justifiable reason for being late. Tournament organisers allowed Zolkefli to compete in the F20 class competition, which is for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Faizul Azumu said the country’s sports council will investigate the decision.

“The athletes have waited for five years but their hopes and spirits were destroyed by a delay of not even five minutes,” he said in a report to local news outlet The Star.

“This is something which is very sad.”

Zolkefli was disqualified after a complaint by the Ukrainian team, whose competitor Maksym Koval won the gold medal after the decision. Oleksandr Yarovyi, Another Ukrainian, took the silver medal.

Ukraine lodged the complaint before the event begun, after Zolkefli was late to the call room. Paralympic organisers allowed Zolkefli to compete under appeal, in case in had a justifiable reason for being late.

Zolkefli and his team said the athlete had not heard the announcement in any language he understood.

Craig Spence, an IPC spokesperson, said the Ukrainian team shouldn’t be blamed for the decision.

“I’m sorry. Rules are rules. The decision was taken. It wasn’t the Ukrainians’ fault that the Malaysian was late,” he said.

The IPC rejected an appeal against the decision.

Malaysia currently have 1 gold medal, and 2 silvers. The Tokyo Paralympics ends on Sunday the 5th of September.

By Parker McKenzie

Sport

Update on Brittney Griner’s Moscow appeal

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A Moscow regional court has officially set an appeal date of October 25 for American basketball star Brittney Griner

Griner was sentenced to nine years in prison in Russia for smuggling drugs into the country, arrested with less than 1 gram of cannabis oil in her luggage at Moscow’s International Airport back in February.

Details about the appeal hearing have not been released,

It is expected Griner’s team will argue she did not know the cannabis oil was illegal in Russia and that she was only carrying a small amount for personal use.

There have also been rumours that the U.S. is negotiating a prisoner swap with Russia, but it is not clear if Griner is part of those negotiations.

The U.S. has not confirmed or denied the rumours.

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Vigil held for the 125 people killed in stadium disaster

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Vigil held for the 125 people killed in Indonesia’s stadium disaster, as the nation mourns

Vigil held for the 125 people have been killed in a crush and riot at a soccer match in Indonesia.

Authorities believe it is one of the world’s worst stadium disasters. Now, the nation stops to mourn the lives that have been lost.

The tragedy unfolded in Malang, in the province of East Java. It followed home side Arema FC loosing 3-2 to Persebaya Surabaya.

East Java police chief Nico Afinta said frustrated Arema supporters invaded the pitch.

Officers responded by firing tear gas in an attempt to control the situation, triggering the crush and cases of suffocation.

Afinta claimed officers had been attacked and cars damaged. He said the crush happened when fans fled for an exit gate.

300 were injured, including 22-year-old Muhammad Rian Dwicahyono who said many friends had lost their lives “because of officers who dehumanized us”.

The head of one of the hospitals in the area treating patients told Metro TV that some of the victims had sustained brain injuries and that the fatalities included a five-year-old child.

On Sunday, Malang residents gathered outside the stadium to lay flowers.

As investigations continue, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo has ordered the Football Association of Indonesia to suspend all games in the top league.

World soccer’s governing body FIFA has requested a report on the incident from Indonesia’s PSSI soccer association.

FIFA’s safety regulations say no firearms or “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police.

East Java police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether they were aware of such regulations.

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Crypto.com scraps $495m deal with UEFA Champions League

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Cryptocurrency exchange Crypto.com has cancelled a five-year sponsorship deal worth $495million with the UEFA Champions League

Major cryptocurrency exchange platform Crypto.com has officially scrapped its deal with the UEFA Champions League.

The in-principle deal would have seen the crypto company take over as the sponsor from Russian state-owned energy company, Gazprom.

Gazprom’s contract was cancelled in March, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Crypto.com scrapped the deal because of regulatory concerns in the U.K, France and Italy.

The crypto exchange has previously been involved in sports advertising over the past year, with sponsorship into Formula One and the naming rights deal for the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.

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