Sponsors hail Sharapova’s reduced ban

first_imgBy Ian Ransom(REUTERS)-Maria Sharapova’s reduced suspension for a doping violation is set to provide a healthy boost to her bank balance with corporate sponsors reaffirming their commitment to the Russian player.The 29-year-old can return to the court next April after the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced her two-year ban by nine months on Tuesday.Sharapova’s stunning admission in March that she had tested positive for meldonium at the Australian Open, and her subsequent ban by the International Tennis Federation, saw a number of sponsors distance themselves from her.Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer cut ties with the former world number one while Porsche, a unit of Volkswagen AG, was among those to suspend its relationship with the Russian.However, in the wake of Tuesday’s verdict the German luxury carmaker confirmed it would discuss its tie-ups with Sharapova.“We welcome the CAS verdict and are delighted for Maria,” Porsche said in a statement published by Russian news agency TASS.“No contracts have been terminated. We will be discussing a future collaboration over the next days and weeks.”Nike Inc, the world’s biggest sportswear brand, initially suspended its partnership with Sharapova after her admission in March but said it would continue to work with the player after her two-year ban was announced in June.“We are pleased that Maria will be back playing the sport she loves in April and look forward to partnering with her and enjoying her continued success on and off the court,” Nike said in a statement published by ESPN.Mineral water brand Evian and racket maker Head, long-time backers, also released statements hailing the reduction.Head chairman and CEO Johan Eliasch, a robust supporter of Sharapova throughout the scandal, said “justice” had been served.“We are very proud to have stood by Maria for the right reasons throughout these difficult and testing times,” he said in a statement posted on the company’s social media accounts.Five-times grand slam champion Sharapova, the world’s highest-paid sportswoman, earned $29.7 million last year, according to Forbes magazine, most of it from endorsements, appearances and royalties rather than victories on court.Sponsors’ moves to rekindle their relationships with Sharapova were viewed dimly by some sports fans on social media.“So boss of Head reckons drug taking is fine. Tennis is a mess with sponsors like this!” tweeted David Cooke (@hirsty9).last_img read more

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Betfair customer’s Christmas cashout miracle

first_img A mystery Betfair punter made what must be one of the greatest cash outs of all time on Boxing Day which paid out a total of £223,000 from a £1 stake.Naomi Totten, BetfairThe festive all football accumulator was made up of 21 legs and included Plymouth to beat Wycombe in a game that ended 3-3 with a 90th minute equaliser from Myles Weston.Naomi Totten, Spokesperson at Betfair, said: “Cash Out gives customers the ultimate control over their bets and this is surely the mother of all Cash Outs from the mother of all accumulators. The customer nailed 20 results of their 21 selections before going on to correctly predict that Plymouth wouldn’t hold their nerve against Wycombe.“And with an impeccably timed Cash Out they chose to take £223k just 4 minutes before Wycombe bagged the equaliser that would have agonisingly seen the punter take home nothing. Some way to end Christmas!”This 21 fold accumulator win follows another recent accumulator cash out which didn’t quite go the customer’s way at Colossus Bets after an exceptionally late Liverpool goal saw them miss out on a six figure plus pot. Related Articles Submit StumbleUpon Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020 Share ‘Deal maker’ Rafi Ashkenazi ends Flutter tenure  August 27, 2020 Share Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020last_img read more

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NIH scales back plan to curb support for big labs after hearing

first_img Email The National Institutes of Health is worried that middle-aged investigators are being crowded out of the research workforce. 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In response to more than 360 online comments and many letters from individuals and scientific societies, some supportive and others critical—NIH is tweaking its analysis practically ”every single day,” said NIH extramural research chief Mike Lauer at today’s council meeting.For example, NIH is now excluding training grants, clinical trial networks, and infrastructure awards from the GSI and has lowered the points for a multi-investigator R01 from 6 to 5. After these revisions, just 3% of investigators are over the cap, and the number of additional grants that could be funded has shrunk to 900, according to Lauer’s presentation.  [The proposal] has caused enormous anxiety. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) NIH scales back plan to curb support for big labs after hearing concerns Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Eric Boerwinkle, University of Texas Health Science Center By Jocelyn KaiserMay. 26, 2017 , 3:30 PM NCATS/NIH Faced with a barrage of criticism, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has scaled back a plan to cap its support for individual labs in order to free up funds for more scientists. The changes did not appease scientists who gave NIH a tongue-lashing this morning at a meeting of NIH’s Council of Councils.Council member Jonathan Epstein described the “serious concerns” about the policy as “more than I’ve ever seen before in my scientific career.” He came close to resigning in protest because NIH did not consult the council first, said Epstein, who is chief scientific officer and executive vice dean at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. Many researchers “feel that this was thrust upon them,” he added.The policy announced on 2 May would assign points to various types of grants and give individual investigators a total score called a Grant Support Index (GSI). NIH would aim to limit a person’s GSI to 21 points, or the equivalent of three standard R01 grants. The objective, NIH explained, is to free up funds now held by 6% of the 1950 lead investigators over the cap so that NIH could support 1600 more grants for early- and midcareer investigators. Those changes didn’t satisfy some council members. Epstein said the plan has caused “serious concerns” among the 70 investigators at the University of Pennsylvania at or above the (original) GSI cap. He said that as a result, faculty have abandoned plans for at least two collaborations; he is pleading with two others who are considering a move overseas to stay. He urged NIH to put a hold on the policy, which is to be implemented starting in the fall.Eric Boerwinkle of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston called the policy “rushed out” and said it “has caused enormous anxiety.” And Paul Johnson, director of Emory University’s Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta, worried that it will “have a devastating effect on our ability to do collaborative science” in areas such as AIDS vaccine development.Lauer defended the policy as “a leadership decision” that follows years of discussions at NIH. He also put some blame on Congress: during negotiations over the 21st Century Cures Act that provides $4.8 billion in new NIH funding over 10 years, lawmakers expressed concerns that “too much of [NIH’s] money is being concentrated in certain places,” Lauer said.Some scientists have also questioned an NIH analysis underpinning the policy that finds that as investigators’ GSI rises about 21 (or three R01 grants), their increase in productivity begins to taper. (One such critique was posted on Medium earlier this week.) Today, NIH posted an online preprint and supplemental materials for that analysis.last_img read more

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