Daily Briefing

The Decathlon: doping cheat Lance Armstrong ‘wouldn’t change a thing’

Ten things from the world of sport on Friday 24 May

1. ‘It wasn’t legal, but I wouldn’t change a thing’

Shamed former cyclist Lance Armstrong admits that he made mistakes over doping but says he “wouldn’t change a thing”.

The 47-year-old American, who was stripped of seven Tour de France titles, told NBC Sports: “I don’t learn all the lessons if I don’t act that way. We did what we had to do to win.

“It wasn’t legal, but I wouldn’t change a thing - whether it’s losing a bunch of money, or going from hero to zero.”

2. Joshua’s main objective is Wilder

Anthony Joshua only has his sights set on Deontay Wilder - not British rival Dillian Whyte. Providing he beats Andy Ruiz Jr on 1 June, Joshua then wants to face WBC belt holder Wilder in a heavyweight super-fight. The IBF, WBA and WBO champion told Sky Sports: “I’m not looking at Dillian anymore, I’m looking at Wilder, because he’s got the belt. Ruiz Jr? Provided I get past him, Wilder, that’s my main objective. Simple as that.”

3. Poch motivated at Spurs

Mauricio Pochettino has told talkSPORT he is motivated to make Tottenham the best club in the world. Pochettino, who has led Spurs to the Champions League final, said: “Today Tottenham is, for me, the best club in the world when we talk about facilities. We need to make that step and of course we realise we can continue in this process and we can put Tottenham with the best teams in the world. There’s still a lot of work to do, but of course I am so motivated to stay with Tottenham and provide Tottenham with what they deserve.”

4. Raptors one win away from finals

If the Toronto Raptors beat the Milwaukee Bucks on their home court on Saturday evening they will seal their place in the NBA Finals for the first time. Raptors are 3-2 ahead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference finals series. The winners will face the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.  

5. Baku ‘nightmare’ for Arsenal

The Guardian quotes former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger who has called the Gunners’ Europa League final predicament a “bit of a nightmare”. Wenger has questioned the decision to host the final in Baku and expressed his disappointment that Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will not play because of fears for his safety in Azerbaijan. See today’s back pages.

6. Lewis sets the pace in Monaco

Formula 1 championship leaders Mercedes once again set the pace with Lewis Hamilton fastest in both the first and second free practice sessions at the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday. On Saturday the third free practice session starts at 11am and qualifying is at 2pm. Sunday’s race in Monte Carlo starts at 2.10pm.

7. ‘GOAT’ battle continues at the French Open

The big three in men’s tennis - Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - are the top seeds for this year’s French Open which starts on Sunday. All three players are considered as the greatest of all time (GOAT) and the grand slam in Paris could well be a defining moment for each of them.

8. Rodriguez is a wanted man

A number of Premier League and European clubs are interested in signing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. The Colombian playmaker has spent the past two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich, but it’s reported that he has decided against extending his stay in Germany. What next then for the 27-year-old? A move to the EPL could be on the cards with Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal all interested. However, the trio will face competition from Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. See the latest Premier League transfer news here.

9. George Best statue ‘worse than Ronaldo’s’

What is it about footballers and statues? After the sculptural scandals that were those of Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah, now it’s George Best who could have done with some help from facial recognition software. The George Best statue has swiftly drawn scorn on social media.

10. Big weekend for sport

It promises to be an action-packed bank holiday weekend for sport. The remaining promotion places will be secured when the three English Football League (EFL) play-off finals take place at Wembley Stadium.

Also on the schedule are six rugby league matches at Anfield, the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Hearts vs. Celtic in the Scottish Cup final and the start of the French Open tennis grand slam at Roland-Garros.

See the 2019 sport events calendar and live TV guide

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