RelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Sanwo-Olu: We’re committed to fulfilling promises to Lagosians Players at Barcelona and Real Madrid started to undergo coronavirus tests on Wednesday as La Liga clubs planned to return to restricted training ahead of the proposed resumption of the season next month.Barca captain Lionel Messi and France international Antoine Griezmann were among players pictured arriving one by one in their cars at the club’s training centre early Wednesday morning. Players at Madrid, including Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema, also underwent health checks at Real’s training base on the outskirts of the city.Results from the coronavirus tests are typically known within 48 hours.The testing is part of the league’s strict medical protocol with which teams must comply before a return to training.Atletico Madrid, who will also carry out tests Wednesday, are aiming to resume training immediately the results are known, if all goes to plan.The first of a four-phase de-escalation programme announced by the Spanish government last week would allow players to initially train alone, with a maximum of six players allowed on the pitch. Players will be expected to arrive on club premises already in their kit and wear a mask and gloves when not training.After each session they will be given a bag with clothes for the next day.La Liga’s programme will then permit training in small groups before a return to larger team sessions.In the fourth and final phase, scheduled for early June, the government have said outside events can go ahead when attended by fewer than 400 people.La Liga is proposing to complete its season behind closed doors, with games starting again in the middle of June. “People’s health is paramount, so we have a comprehensive protocol to safeguard the health of everyone involved as we work to restart La Liga,” league president Javier Tebas said on Monday.“Circumstances are unprecedented, but we hope to start playing again in June and finish our 19/20 season this summer.”Spain has been one of the worst-hit countries in the world by the coronavirus pandemic, with almost 26,000 deaths in the country according to the latest figures on Wednesday.Tags: BarcelonaCoronavirus TestsCOVID-19La Liga ReturnReal Madrid
Usually when an 18-year-old wins the gold in the 800 meter run at the World Track and Field Championships, she is celebrated. When her mark of 1:55.45 is good for the fifth fastest women’s time in history, she becomes headline material.Caster Semenya is definitely headline material. But not for the right reasons.The South African teen can’t seem to catch a break. Instead of being asked about what it’s like to win gold in a major competition, she’s fielding questions about whether she just might be a he.It’s not just the fact that she already seems to be in position to break world records at age 18. No, it’s at least partly because, well, she looks like a man. In all honesty, she looks like she should be playing point guard for the Madison West boys’ basketball team, not running women’s track. Her facial hair, muscular build and deep voice are all decidedly unfeminine.That’s fine though. We’ve all seen women that at first don’t look especially womanly, and there’s nothing wrong with that — unless you’re one of the athletes that lost to Semenya in the 800 meter final. In that case, you complain and compel the IAAF to conduct a gender verification test on the winner.Aren’t we getting a little bit out of hand now?I’m not saying that I’m 100 percent sure Semenya is a woman. I do not know whether or not she’s been pumped full of enough testosterone to qualify as a male. But until there’s proof otherwise, her accomplishments should be praised. And therein lies the rub: getting that proof.Apparently, determining one’s gender isn’t as simple as having them drop their trousers and having a look-see. There are numerous “intersex” genetic conditions where people develop one way despite their chromosomes indicating something else. It’s all kinds of tricky to get a decisive result, but worst of all, it’s invasive and quite embarrassing. It’s hardly something you’d expect to have to go through after winning a gold medal.But that’s where we are in sports today. Hardly anyone can get away with achieving anything even remotely impressive without being questioned about it. The steroid era of baseball has made everyone at least a little cynical.Remember that season-long home run derby Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa put on in 1998? Everyone was enamored with the chase to break Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs. In retrospect, it seems kind of silly, now that we know that the race was fueled as much by competitive desire as it was by needles.Fool me once, shame on you.Then we moved on to the BALCO scandal and the names on the Mitchell Report and even more heartbreak. Barry Bonds’ greatest enemy right now might be a potential asterisk and A-Roid found a way to make himself even more unlikable. The term “Manny being Manny” has taken on a new light and if Joe Mauer or Albert Pujols turn out to be juicers, then I might just give up on baseball altogether.Fool me twice, shame on me.It would be one thing if Semenya was accused of being on steroids. The potential effects of anabolic steroid use would account for her distinct “manliness.” As big a problem as steroids are in baseball, they have a more sinister history in track and field. But are we really that jaded now that we bypass steroid accusations altogether and question an athlete’s gender?Certainly steroids would be a more logical conclusion to jump to than gender dishonesty. Plenty of track athletes have been disgraced by their steroid use, including Justin Gatlin and Marion Jones. Semenya’s physique and sudden rise to success would seem to be a classic case of juicing, not a bad sequel to “Juwanna Man.”According to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, sources say Semenya has nearly three times the normal amount of testosterone for a female. Yes that’s fishy, but inconclusive either way. If somehow this battery of tests shows that Semenya is indeed a man, she would be disqualified from competition and stripped of her medals on the basis of her having an unfair biological advantage over her competitors due to her maleness?Guess what? Sports competition is based on unfair biological advantages. That’s why guys like Prince Fielder and Adrian Peterson are pro athletes, while I’m destined to only write about athletes. As fans, we constantly want to see someone faster, stronger and better than the last guy.Unfortunately, we’ve gotten to the point where we don’t want to be tricked into celebrating anything prematurely. The world is determined not to be fooled again. Apparently it’s better to disgrace the athlete now, before they break any records, than to realize we’re just going to be disappointed again.I’m as guilty as anyone of cynicism, but as far as I’m concerned, Semenya won the women’s 800 meters legitimately. I won’t yet stoop to assume the worst right away, but the world seems to be adhering to a quote by our last president: “Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”Right?Adam Holt is a junior majoring in journalism. Think the scrutiny surrounding Semenya’s victory at the World Track and Field Championships is a legitimate concern? Send your thoughts to email@example.com.