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Bottas and Leclerc to be investigated for breaking F1's Covid-19 rules The FIA is to investigate Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc for breaking the sport’s Covid-19 protocols. Both drivers returned to their homes in Monaco after Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix before coming back for this weekend’s race at the same circuit. F1 personnel must remain within isolated social bubbles during race weeks. Paul Pogba ends Manchester United drought and deepens Aston Villa woes Dean Smith called his strikers into a video session this week to show them how to run smarter and finish sharper. But Mason Greenwood gave them a demonstration of his own at Villa Park, scoring a goal of rare class to propel Manchester United closer to the top four and deepen Aston Villa’s relegation fears. Paul Pogba, with his first goal of the season, crowned the scoring with another immaculate finish and, if others had been as precise, United would have inflicted a heavier toll on their hosts. Although Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team swaggered to victory in the end, Villa were entitled to fume about the way the visitors took the lead, as Bruno Fernandes began the beating with a contentious penalty.

Rory McIlroy: 'All that’s happened this year has given me extra focus' A three-month hiatus may prove to be more significant to Rory McIlroy than one which has now stretched to six years. The latter relates to his wait for a fifth major championship win, which will return as a key theme when the US PGA Championship begins at Harding Park on Thursday. During the far more brief and enforced 2020 break, McIlroy spent time identifying specific targets.

Chelsea deserve delayed start to new season, claims Frank Lampard Frank Lampard has urged the Premier League to push back Chelsea’s start to the 2020-21 season, claiming 12 September is too early for his players to recover properly given their imminent Champions League round-of-16 tie with Bayern Munich. Chelsea face the German champions on Saturday and the chances are that, facing a 3-0 deficit from the home leg, that will signal the end of their European challenge. It would mean they face a 35-day turnaround before top-flight football restarts, a figure that exceeds the 30-day minimum agreed between the Premier League and its clubs. Should they complete a remarkable comeback at the Allianz Arena they will be entitled to begin their domestic campaign at a later date, but Lampard believes that should be the case regardless and fears consequences for his players’ fitness otherwise.

California weighs overturning 24-year ban on affirmative action A proposal to repeal California’s 24-year-old ban on affirmative action will go before voters in November after it passed the state senate on Wednesday. The bill would remove rules in California’s constitution, passed in 1996, which bar universities and government agencies from giving preferential treatment on the basis of race or sex. The proposed amendment, known as ACA 5, comes amid a national reckoning on racial injustice, triggered by the killing of George Floyd and other publicized cases of racist violence, and rejuvenates a decades-long conversation about the degree to which colleges and government employers can consider race in admission and hiring decisions. In an emotional session on the senate floor, in which numerous lawmakers of color recounted personal experiences of discrimination, Steven Bradford, a Democrat from Los Angeles who is black, challenged his white counterparts to count the times they’ve entered a room in which they were the only members of their race.

Liverpool cruise past Crystal Palace to put Premier League title in sight The Premier League title will not arrive as anyone at Liverpool envisaged but, should this prove the victory that delivers number 19, a masterful dismantling of a Crystal Palace team led by Roy Hodgson will seem highly appropriate. The imperfections that surround Liverpool’s season are not of their making. Ten years ago Hodgson stood perplexed in the dugout that Jürgen Klopp now commands. I feared sack during early days at Liverpool, says Jurgen Klopp Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp feared getting sacked by the Premier League club early in his tenure if he was not afforded the time to reshape the squad, he said on Wednesday. The early years were spent building the team into title contenders and Klopp said he knew he had to convince Liverpool's owners — Fenway Sports Group — that he needed time to change their playing style. “It was clear we cannot fix it overnight. Everyone wanted that but we couldn't so I had to ask for time, I knew,” Klopp said on Sky Sports' Football Show.

European Premier League: talks held over lucrative breakaway competition Plans for a lucrative breakaway European Premier League involving top English clubs that would supersede the Champions League have been revived, with the banking giant JP Morgan being asked to seek financing for a new competition. Liverpool and Manchester United have been approached to join the league, which would comprise 18 teams – including three more English sides and teams from Spain, Italy, Germany and France – and have no promotion and relegation, according to proposals reported first by the Spanish outlet Vozpopuli and by Sky News. Real Madrid, advised by the investment company Key Capital, are said to be behind a plan for a European Super League, first reported by Der Spiegel in 2018. Fifa was dismissive and Uefa said it strongly opposed a format that would “inevitably become boring”. In private, officials believe the plans are an attempt to put pressure on Uefa in advance of the regular negotiations over a revamp. “Decisive action is now needed to protect the game we love.

World 400m champion escapes ban after tester knocked on wrong door The world 400m champion Salwa Eid Naser has escaped a doping ban on a technicality – after one of her missed drug tests was struck off due to a “confused” tester knocking on a door containing gas canisters by mistake. An independent tribunal found that a doping control officer who had come to test Naser in Bahrain in April 2019 had been thrown off by the unusual numbering system on the buildings around her apartment. As a result, the tester spent an hour knocking on a door that “was in fact a storage unit and contained a number of gas canisters which are immediately visible when you look up above the door”, the report said, adding: “It would have been comical were the consequences not so serious.” However, the report was sympathetic to the doping control officer, saying the “numbering on the doors is extremely confusing,” adding: “It was obvious that he was anxious and committed to do everything possible to locate and test the athlete and took his responsibilities very seriously.”

Henrik Stenson: 'I don't feel the rush to practise and play' As Henrik Stenson spent Thursday evening on the Sawgrass range, the frustrations of a 74 to begin the Players Championship dominating his thoughts, he knew nothing of impending shutdown. The PGA Tour’s flagship event lasted 18 holes on 12 March, with coronavirus sharply halting golf at the top level. Stenson has not had any notion to strike a ball since. “I don’t feel the rush to practise and play,” the Swede says. “Five weeks out is when I’ll start digging in hard because I’ll have something on the horizon.

Trippin’ out on olives: a food lover’s guide to the Peloponnese When I first went to Greece, some 30 years ago, I was a teenage backpacker and survived on biscuits and scrumped (delicious) lemons. I didn’t discover the joys of Greek food until I lived there as an English teacher after university. At the time supermarkets, such as they were, only sold canned and frozen food. I had to develop a new way of shopping: in markets, grocers and butchers, buying what was fresh, local and in season. This seems unremarkable now but for a South London boy at the time it was a revelation.