Olympic gymnast Simone Biles held back tears on Wednesday, as she told lawmakers how the FBI and U.S. gymnastic and Olympic officials failed to stop the sexual abuse that she and hundreds of other athletes suffered from former doctor Larry Nassar. Biles added that USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee failed to act while the FBI “turned a blind eye.”
The US Open women’s final will be a battle of the teens as Britain’s Emma Raducanu advances to her first major final by defeating No. 17 seed Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals on Thursday night. Raducanu, 18, will face 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez in the final at the Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday, making it the first major final between teenagers since the 1999 US Open when Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis.
The flag of Afghanistan will be used as a symbol of “solidarity and peace” as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games kicks off on Tuesday night in Japan. The 16th Summer Paralympics — delayed by a year due to the pandemic — will take place amid Japan’s worst outbreak of Covid-19, with spectators banned from the majority of events and Tokyo and surrounding prefectures under a state of emergency due to surging case numbers.
Lionel Messi has agreed to join Paris Saint-Germain on a two-year contract. The six-time Ballon d’Or winner arrived in Paris on Tuesday afternoon to seal his move to the French club on a deal worth £25m per year after tax, plus bonuses. The 34-year-old said he wanted to stay at Barcelona and “did everything” he could to remain at the club, including agreeing to a 50-per-cent wage cut.
Tour de France officials have withdrawn a lawsuit against a spectator who caused a mass crash during the opening stage of the race. The spectator, a 30-year-old French woman, was in custody at a police station in Landerneau, Brittany, the northwest French region where the world’s biggest cycling event held its first four stages. She was holding a cardboard sign and facing away from the cyclists towards a television camera as they passed.
There were 140 known COVID-19 cases at the Copa America in Brazil on Monday, up from 66 positive tests on Thursday. CONMEBOL said in a statement that of the 15,235 tests, the number of people infected was 0.9% of the total. On Sunday, Chile admitted some of its players at Copa America violated the tournament’s virus protocols after a barber visited the players’ hotel in the Brazilian city of Cuiaba.
New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard is set to become the first transgender athlete to compete in the Olympic Games, after she was selected for the national team on Monday. Hubbard, 43, qualified for the rescheduled Tokyo Games in May after a rule change, which effectively guaranteed her a spot in the super heavyweight category, Reuters reported at the time.
Rafael Nadal has said he will not be taking part in Wimbledon or the Tokyo Olympics this year. The 35-year-old announced the move on social media, saying it was not “an easy decision” but “after listening to my body” and discussing it with his team he said it was “the right decision”. The Spaniard continued: “The goal is to prolong my career and continue to do what makes me happy”.
Naomi Osaka is walking away from the French Open after a standoff with the sport’s top officials over her refusal to attend news events with reporters. The move came after an unexpected clash with tennis officials. After arriving in Paris she announced she wouldn’t be attending mandatory news conferences at the French Open, citing, “disregard for athletes’ mental health.”
Twelve of Europe’s top soccer clubs have announced plans to form a so-called European Super League, in a move that looks set to rock the foundations of the sport’s top competitions, including preeminent leagues in England, Spain and Italy and extending all the way up to the World Cup. FIFA, the global governing body for football, denounced the formation of the Super League, saying it goes against FIFA’s core principles.