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Thusday, the IOC changed its position

  • 16 Aug
    导出博客文章When Tillakaratne Dilshan played his final international matches this month,
    special attention was being paid by a forklift driver in Melbournes western
    suburbs. It drew his interest not because he was Australian and Dilshan was
    playing against Australia, but because he was a Sri Lankan for whom the moment
    had personal significance.His name is Indika Gallage, and last century he and
    Dilshan shared an international debut.The year was 1999. Sri Lanka had just
    completed a historic series win over Australia. Gallage and Dilshan had both
    played against the Australians in tour games that year - in one match Michael
    Slater was caught Dilshan bowled Gallage - but neither of the Sri Lankans was
    called on to play in a Test.The following month, the Sri Lankans headed to
    Zimbabwe without Aravinda de Silva, who withdrew for personal reasons, nor
    Arjuna Ranatunga, who was not selected. And when fast bowler Nuwan Zoysa was
    ruled out of the first Test, in Bulawayo, due to illness, it meant three men
    would make their Test debuts: Dilshan, Gallage and Indika de Saram.The trio
    would go on to very different international careers. Dilshan played 497 games
    for Sri Lanka across all formats, including 87 Tests. De Saram played only 20
    internationals, including four Tests, and was picked out of the blue for one T20
    against India in 2009, nearly eight years after he last played for Sri Lanka.
    Gallage had to settle for four internationals, three of which were ODIs.Bulawayo
    would be his solitary Test cap. He felt he bowled well there, albeit without
    taking a wicket, but by the second Test, in Harare, Zoysa was well enough to
    resume his place in the side and duly claimed a hat-trick with his first three
    deliveries, in the second over of the match. Zoysa missed the third Test with a
    groin strain, but Ravindra Pushpakumara was preferred there to Gallage.But
    Gallage remains the 81st man to play Test cricket for Sri Lanka, and hanging on
    a shelf of cricket trophies and memorabilia in his Melbourne home is his Sri
    Lanka Test cap. A right-arm fast-medium bowler who was good enough to claim 293
    first-class wickets at 22.19 in a 113-match career, Gallage still plays the
    game, although now hes perhaps more medium than fast-medium.He will turn 41 in
    November, but looks younger than his age. He is about to enter his 11th
    consecutive season with the Sunshine Druids Cricket Club in Melbourne, and hopes
    there are a couple more years left in him. He smiles when asked if he still
    loves cricket.Yes - too much, he says. Im 40 years old. I will still play, they
    still have a contract for me. This is my 11th year with the same club, Sunshine
    Druids ... I have to maintain my body. I have a short run-up now.He remains in
    touch with Dilshan, who is a year younger. It frustrates Gallage to see a player
    such as Dilshan moved on from international cricket to make room for younger
    men. After Dilshans last ODI, in Dambulla in August, he was replaced by the
    18-year-old opener Avishka Fernando, who had not played so much as a single
    first-class or List A game.Dilshan could continue playing... what is too old?
    Gallage says. All the time in Sri Lankan school cricket, guys get two or three
    centuries and get picked in a Sri Lanka A team, and no first-class cricket. Its
    not good. Youve got to play first-class cricket.By the time of his Test debut,
    Gallage himself had played 55 first-class matches. He did his chances of
    selection for the Bulawayo Test a world of good by claiming 6 for 60 in a tour
    match against the Zimbabwe Cricket Union Presidents XI. At a team meeting in the
    lead-up to the Test, Gallage was told he was in the XI, and he later received
    his cap from the captain, Sanath Jayasuriya.But in the first innings of the
    Test, Gallage bowled 14 overs for 53 without a wicket, and in the second innings
    he took 0 for 24 off 11 overs. Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan did the
    bulk of the bowling, and Pramodya Wickramasinghe took the lions share of the
    wickets. I had the performances in first-class cricket and in the three-day
    [tour] game, Gallage says. I bowled well in the Test but didnt get a wicket.
    Then I didnt get picked for the second Test. It was my one chance, thats it. It
    was almost the same in one-dayers. I played my first one-dayer in Zimbabwe, in
    Harare. I did well. Then two games in New Zealand, then never got picked again.I
    bowled well in my last one-dayer - nine overs, 42 for two wickets. I dont know
    why I didnt get picked again. In my first game in New Zealand I bowled seven
    overs, thirty-something for one wicket. I got Nathan Astle out. Then in my last
    game, I got [Adam] Parore and [Craig] Spearman out. Then I dont know what
    happened.What happened was that Gallages international career was over, and he
    ended up signing a contract to play league cricket in England. Then he joined
    Sunshine Druids and moved with his wife and young daughter to Melbourne. Eleven
    years and two more children later - his two sons were born in Australia -
    Gallage is still in Melbourne. He has permanent residency, and intends to
    stay.He remains in touch with some of his former team-mates, men like Zoysa and
    Rangana Herath, as well as Dilshan. But he is far from alone in Melbourne, which
    is now home to numerous former Sri Lanka cricketers. The likes of Asanka
    Gurusinha, Ravi Ratnayeke and Saliya Ahangama have lived in Melbourne for
    decades, but others such as Chanaka Welegedara, Rumesh Ratnayake and Dulip
    Liyanage are more relatively recent arrivals.Its a good country, Gallage says of
    Australia. Now I work as a forklift driver full-time, part-time cricketer... but
    I have still got the Test cap.
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    . Blackwood, 28, has played the last three seasons in
    the San Diego Padres system, including the past two summers with Class AA San
    Antonio of the Texas League. AMSTERDAM -- IAAF President Sebastian Coe called on
    athletes Thursday to follow the example of Russias Yulia Stepanova and to blow
    the whistle on doping.Its a golden opportunity, that is not necessarily going to
    present itself again, for our sport to grab this moment. This is a historic
    moment, Coe said of the momentum that Stepanova helped create.Theyre there, at
    the side of the track, theyre in the training groups. They know the coaches not
    doing it with integrity. They can help us and thats really important.More than a
    year ago, Stepanova helped to blow the Russian doping scandal wide open as she
    and her husband, a former Russian anti-doping official, gathered a trove of
    evidence on how doping has worked in Russia.On Wednesday, she competed in the
    European Championships as a neutral athlete, a breakthrough for athletes who
    might have information on doping but fear going public because of professional
    consequences.Unfortunately, she tore a ligament in her right foot during her
    800-meter heat, further complicating her participation in the Rio de Janeiro
    Games next month.During her coming out over the past 1 1/2 years to expose
    doping, Coe said it was important that she felt she could sit down and spend
    time talking with anti-doping experts of the International Association of
    Athletics Federations. She did, and were through that process.First of all, I
    would like to say that I dont want this just to be the end of the story, Coe
    told a small group of reporters.And I make this offer to all athletes. If you
    think you can help us get through this pathology quicker, if you can help us
    understand the nature of the challenge that were dealing with, grab it with both
    hands and come forward.Stepanova said as much after meeting with Coe late
    Thursday.I hope what you did for me gives permission for more athletes,
    Stepanova said. IIf you want to do something right, people in the world will
    support you, she said.ddddddddddddRussian track and field athletes are banned by
    the IAAF from competing globally, including in the Rio Olympics, because of
    systematic doping, but Coe said 136 Russians have applied for clearances. Coe
    refused to address any individual cases.He said that after meeting with Olympic
    and track officials over the past weeks, we all coalesced around the concept of
    creating a level playing field for competitors, and this is a really important
    moment, not just for my sport but sport more broadly.Even though the IAAF and
    European Championships organizers have allowed her to compete, Stepanovas hopes
    of running in Rio are still in doubt. The IOC is holding to the principle that
    athletes have to compete under their national flag, and Stepanova said she would
    not be welcome on the Russia team after her doping admission and accusations.On
    Thusday, the IOC changed its position when it opened the door to the possibility
    of her participation as a neutral athlete. The Olympic movement said it was
    asking its ethics commission for advice on the issue and will then decide
    whether Stepanovas participation merits an exception to the rules of the Olympic
    Charter.Stepanova is the only Russian at the Europeans, running under a special
    neutral flag exemption.Coe wants others to take her lead.I dont mind athletes
    showing passion and being outspoken about this, but they also have a
    responsibility to help us and position themselves as part of the solution rather
    than just sitting there and saying `Well I didnt get a medal because.They do
    need to be in a position where theyre really prepared to stick their heads above
    the parapet. ' ' '