China to set up first pro rugby competition
SHANGHAI • China will get its first professional rugby union competition as part of a US$100 million (S$139 million) investment in the currently low-profile sport by e-commerce giant Alibaba, the firm and World Rugby said.
As well as professional men's and women's 15-a-side leagues, a national sevens programme will be also set up. The money will be spent over 10 years.
Jeptoo's ban doubled after CAS hearing
LAUSANNE • The Court of Arbitration for Sport has doubled a doping ban against Kenyan marathon star Rita Jeptoo to four years, signalling the end of the 35-year-old's career.
The world sports tribunal said there were aggravating circumstances, including Jeptoo's "deceptive and obstructive" behaviour, which warranted doubling the original ban against the 2014 Chicago and Boston Marathon winner.
Cheika defends choice of Koroibete in squad
MELBOURNE • Australia coach Michael Cheika has defended fast-tracking rugby league convert Marika Koroibete into his tour squad for Europe after the Fiji-born winger's selection was derided on social media.
The 24-year-old has never played a professional rugby union game in Australia but was named in Cheika's 32-man squad for the season-ending tour.