Oleksandr Usyk is determined to do his fellow Ukrainians proud when he faces Anthony Joshua on Saturday and vowed to help them in any way he can.

Usyk outclassed Joshua at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last September to win the IBF, WBA and WBO world heavyweight titles.

The 35-year-old will defend his belts for the first time in a rematch with the Briton in Saudi Arabia this weekend.

Usyk has been involved in a battle that is much bigger than any boxing fight since he became world champion, returning to his homeland to defend his country following Russia's invasion.

He has set up the Usyk Foundation to support humanitarian aid for Ukrainians in need of medical care, shelter and food.

Usyk has also ensured his second bout with Joshua in Jeddah will be free to watch for the people of his war-torn country and he hopes to put on a show for his compatriots.

"I want to help my people and my country and Saturday night is going to be a small party for them, maybe a big party," he told Sky Sports.

"I will do my best to give the best performance that I can.

"It's important because the war is taking place and we have to help people. Whether they need food, we supply them with food. Whether they need anything else, we have to help them.

"Because this is something that is happening in our hearts and our assignment is to keep positive and keep other people positive.

"I have a group of people who work hard to find families in need. Maybe they need some kind of house to live, some food to support, maybe some money to spend for their families.

"They are looking for these people, they are analysing what are their needs and they help in satisfying their needs. This is something that they do every day and this is something that will be done in the future because this is actually the mission of the foundation."

The New York Yankees slumped to their 10th loss from their past 12 games and were shut out for the second straight game as they lost 4-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday.

The Rays were fueled by Isaac Paredes' fourth-inning RBI, after Aaron Hicks' fielding error allowed a David Peralta triple, before piling on three ninth-inning runs with Yandy Diaz driving in two.

But it was another nightmare for the Yankees, who have been shut out four times in August, with a .372 slugging percentage and 3.5 runs per game this month.

Aaron Hicks had a chance to atone for his fielding error with bases loaded in the fourth inning but grounded into a double play.

MLB home-run leader Aaron Judge suffered a similar fate while trailing 1-0 in the eighth inning.

It is the first time the Yankees have been shut out in consecutive games since 2016.

The Yankees have now lost 11 of their past 14 games and hold a 72-44 record, falling behind the Houston Astros (75-42) to be the American League's top seed.

Freeman and Lux blast Dodgers to 80th win

The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first team to 80 wins in the majors this season with a 4-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Freddie Freeman blasted his first home run in 20 games in the first inning, while Gavin Lux landed a two-run homer at the top of the sixth.

Julio Urias dealt six strikeouts across five innings as the Dodgers moved to 80-34, clear of the next best in the National League, the New York Mets (75-41) after their 13-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves (71-46).

Ohtani impressive but Angels clipped

MVP candidate Shohei Ohtani tossed eight strikeouts across six innings but the Seattle Mariners pulled away with four ninth-inning runs to win 6-2 over the Los Angeles Angels.

Luis Rengifo tied it up at 1-1 in first inning when outfielders Julio Rodriguez and Mitch Haniger collided on the wall, spilling the ball above the home-run mark.

It was all square going into the ninth inning, but Sam Haggerty scored in a wild play, followed up by Dylan Moore as catcher Max Stassi could not hold a tag attempt, with runs to Julio Rodriguez and Ty France padding the win.

Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers have reached a settlement agreement after the Brooklyn Nets guard filed a grievance to recoup a portion of the nearly $20million withheld during the 2021-22 season, according to ESPN.

Simmons did not play for the 76ers during the 2021-22 season after demanding a trade in light of their messy fallout from their 2021 playoffs exit.

The All-Star missed their training camp and did not play in the preseason, with the 76ers subsequently opting to withhold his salary. As Simmons' holdout extended, even infamously declining head coach Doc Rivers' request to play as a substitute in a drill at training, the 76ers' continued to withhold payments.

Simmons would cite mental health reasons for his absence, and was eventually traded to the Nets in February.

The guard, alongside the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), filed the grievance in April after Simmons' representatives and the 76ers could not reach a settlement, according to reports.

However, a settlement agreement has now been reached after entering into an arbitration process prior to judgement, with both sides agreeing to confidentiality on the exact financial details.

The 76ers had claimed that Simmons was in breach of his contract under the NBA and NBPA collective bargaining agreement for his continued absence.

Simmons is yet to play for the Nets following his trade due to a back injury, but is hopeful of a franchise debut in the 2022-23 season after surgery in May.

The Baltimore Ravens got one of their most important defenders back for Monday’s training camp practice, as cornerback Marcus Peters took the field for the first time since tearing his ACL last September.

Peters, who missed the entire 2021 campaign after suffering the injury four days before the season opener, was activated from the physically unable to perform list and took part in individual drills as he gradually makes his way towards being cleared for full practices.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection’s return bodes well for his chances of being ready for Baltimore’s 2022 opener at the New York Jets on September 11.

"[The medical staff] has a plan for that," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday about Peters’ timetable. "Marcus is in a good place. Came back from PUP, did individual today. That was good."

One of the game’s premier ball hawks, Peters has recorded a league-high 31 interceptions since entering the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2015. That total is the second highest of any player through his first six seasons among players whose careers began in 2000 or later, behind only former Ravens great and Pro Football Hall of Famer Ed Reed’s 34 (2002-07).

With Peters unavailable, Baltimore’s defense generated only nine interceptions last season (tied for 26th in the NFL) and allowed a league-high 4,742 net passing yards, a prime reason why the 8-9 Ravens finished with their first losing season since 2015.

A healthy Peters gives Baltimore one of the top cornerback duos in the NFL alongside Marlon Humphrey, a two-time Pro Bowler and a first team All-Pro in 2019.

"It was good to see that he’s improving and making the strides to be ready to go out there and help us compete," defensive lineman Calais Campbell told the Ravens’ official site. "This team is very, very talented, and we just got a whole lot better with him on the field."

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler will undergo season-ending elbow surgery, the team announced Monday.  

Buehler last pitched on June 10, but the Dodgers had previously hoped that the 28-year-old flamethrower could return from the injury in his right elbow, originally called a flexor strain. The procedure will be performed on August 23.  

Making 12 starts, Buehler finished the 2022 season with a 6-3 record and 4.02 ERA.  

Even with Buehler on the shelf, the Dodgers entered play Monday with an MLB-best record of 79-34. Los Angeles starters have a 2.74 ERA this season, best in the majors.  

Buehler was a workhorse and a breakout star in 2021, making his second All-Star team with a 2.47 ERA and pitching 207.2 innings over his 33 starts.  

The Texas Rangers fired manager Chris Woodward on Monday with less than 50 games to go in a season that will almost certainly end with the team missing the playoffs for a sixth year in a row. 

Expectations were raised in Texas this past offseason after the team spent more than $500million in free agency – most notably the additions of All-Star infielders Corey Seager and Marcus Semien – but at 51-63 the team is headed towards a sixth straight sub-.500 season. 

The third-place Rangers begin play on Monday 23 games back of the first-place Houston Astros in the AL West and 9.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the league's final wild card spot. 

The 46-year-old Woodward was in his fourth season as manager of the Rangers and received a contract extension last November, which ran through the 2023 season and included a club option for 2024. 

He is expected to be replaced by an interim manager. 

Despite falling short of their lofty expectations, the Rangers' offense has seen some improvement this season – ranking fourth in the AL in runs per game (4.48) after finishing last a year ago (3.86) – and the team has only been outscored by two runs on the season after owning a dreadful minus 190 run differential in 2021. 

The inability to close out close games, however, has been their ultimate undoing as they are 6-24 in games decided by a single run. In the live-ball era, the only team to finish a season with a lower winning percentage in one-run games than Texas' .200 was the 1935 Boston Braves at 7-31 (.184). 

Jamaica School of Gymnastics (JSG) won the top prize at the Yamilet Pena Classic held in the Dominican Republic from August 13-14.

The Jamaican gymnasts edged out the hosts while making the highest All-Around score of the competition. More than 300 gymnasts from 19 clubs from more than14 countries including Mexico, Aruba, Panama and the United States.

Two clubs from Jamaica participated in the tournament.

The Jamaica School of Gymnastics fielded 29 gymnasts who competed at Recreational, USAG Compulsory level 1 to 4 as well as USAG Advance Level 6-8. The other club, Westmoreland Gymnastics, was represented by five gymnasts who competed at Recreational, USAG level 1 and 2.

JSG’s Level Four team of Leah-Paige Phillips, Alayna Wilson, and Jade-Ann James topped their category while the Level Six team of Jurn’e Davis, Kamaria Smith, Janay Howel and Jesanique Scott finished third.

The Level Seven team of Leanna Blake, Arianna Richardson, Savanna Adams, Danique Meek and Sukhuri-Shay Smith finished first while the Level Eight team of Zuri-Matandara-Clarke, Mariah Gordon, Elyssa Alexander and Natashley Prehay was third.

Not to be outdone, Westmoreland Gymnastics’ gymnast Lowaynia Myers was third on Vault (9.85) and fifth in the All Around with a score of 37.7 at the Recreational Level.

Meanwhile, also at the Recreational Level, JSG’s Kalyssa Campbell was second on Floor with a 9.4 and eighth in the All Around with a score of 37.0; Lenessa Whyte was fourth on Vault with a 9.8 and 10th in the All Around with a score of 37.0

At Level 3, Elissa Ennis was fifth on vault with a score of 9.25 and sixth in the All Around with a score of 34.1.

 At Level 4, Leah-Paige Phillips was first on Bars with a 9.6 and fourth in the All Around with a score of 35.65.

At Level 6, Kamaria Smith was second on Bars with a 9.25 and sixth in the All Around with a score of 35.7 and Jesanique Scott was third on Bars and seventh in the All Around with a score of 35.7.

At Level 7 in the 12-plus age group, Leanna Blake was first in the Bars with 9.6 and first in the All Around.

In the 9-11 age group, Danique Meek was first on Floor (9.1) and first on Beam (8.4). She was also top of the All Around with a score of 35.9.

And at Level 8, Zuri Matandara- Clarke was first on Beam and Bars with a 9.1 and 9.35, respectively, and second in the All Around with a score of 35.35.

President of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association, Nicole Grant, believe the performances of the gymnasts demonstrate the continued growth of the sport at the local level.

“Jamaica School of Gymnastics has transitioned since 2019 when we first built a state-of-the-art gymnasium which serves the gymnastics community well,” Grant said.

“The club has grown and has used much of the time during the Covid-19 pandemic to train our coaches to be more vigilant when it comes to technique and the gymnasts' physical and mental preparation.

 “As coach of the Level 7s and 8s along with coaches Nadeen Whyte (Recreational, 4 and 6) and Kerieon Grant (1-3) at the JSG club, we are elated that all the girls went out and did the best they could, knowing that they were competing internationally for the first time in two years as a club.

“They were up against more seasoned competitors and this made them very nervous but they went out and gave their best and for that, we are super proud of them.”

Grant said club managers Nadeen Whyte and Kerieon Grant have put in place a new and technical program for the girls and it showed in their execution. They also put in a lot of work to make this tour a success, she said.

“We must thank the parents, who helped to fund this competition as without their input it would not have been possible,” Grant said. “Shantel Jackson-Blake and Christina Francis, who manages the team, have done a wonderful job and we can’t thank them enough.

“We are also grateful to parents who chip in and help financially fund others and ensure that they do whatever they can to assist whether they are on the tour or at home.” 

She also expressed pride at the performance of the gymnasts from Westmoreland Gymnastics.

“Westmoreland Gymnastics is our sister club and we would like to really congratulate Coach Natanja Morris for the hard work put into the preparation of the 5 girls who have done very well,” the JGA president said.

The team is expected to arrive in Jamaica late Monday afternoon.

The New York Jets have bolstered their offensive line, officially agreeing to terms with veteran left tackle Duane Brown on Monday.

The two sides reportedly agreed to a two-year deal worth up to $22million last week after right tackle Mekhi Becton sustained a season-ending injury at practice.

Brown earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection last season with the Seattle Seahawks and is expected to start at left tackle with his former Seattle team-mate George Fant moving to the right side.

Fant was projected to start at left tackle this season with Becton on the right side but after the latter's injury, Fant will move to the right side keeping Brown in his familiar spot on the left.

Brown, who turns 37 later this month, has played in every game in three of the past four seasons and missed just four over that span. His 203 career starts – all at left tackle – are the most of any active offensive lineman.

A first-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2008, Brown earned first-team All-Pro honours with the Texans in 2012. He spent nine-plus seasons in Houston before being traded to Seattle during the 2017 campaign following a contract dispute.

The Jets begin the season on September 11 against the Baltimore Ravens and are hopeful of having Zach Wilson at quarterback for the opener.

Wilson suffered a bone bruise and torn meniscus in Friday's preseason opener and is undergoing surgery on Tuesday.

He is expected to be sidelined two to four weeks, but the team will have a better idea of his recovery time after the procedure.

Elite 1 Horizon and Elite 1 Storm both moved to 2-0 in the P.H.A.S.E 1 Elite 1 Caribbean Basketball League as action continued on day two at the National Arena in Kingston on Sunday.

In the first game of the day, Elite 1 Horizon tackled Elite 1 Waves in an exciting encounter. Contrary to the Horizons’ first game on Saturday where they secured a dominant victory over the Rivers, they went into the half against the Waves facing a 34-40 deficit.

The third quarter proved pivotal, however, as they outscored the Waves 20-9 to go into the final period with a 54-49 lead, a lead they held until the end, securing a 76-61 victory. Rasheed Maynard was man-of-the-match with 16 points, three assists and five steals.

The second game of the day between the Storm and the Rivers was exciting to say the least, with only four points separating the teams in the end.

The Storm got off to a strong start in the opening quarter, closing with a 31-24 lead before having an even more dominant second quarter to lead 63-44 at halftime.

Something clicked in the second half for the Rivers, however, and they outscored their opponents 29-23 in the third quarter to set up an intriguing final 12 minutes.

The Rivers also won those final 12 minutes 32-23 but, unfortunately for them, the lead the Storm built in the first half proved too much in the end, the final score being 109-105.

Drelan Tripplett was the man-of-the-match after scoring 23 points on an efficient 7-8 from the field with two assists and four rebounds.

Day three takes place on Wednesday with the Rivers and Waves opening the show trying to get in the win column while the undefeated Storm and Horizon will square off in the second game.

Cameron Smith has withdrawn from this week's BMW Championship, the penultimate event of the 2021-22 PGA Tour season, amid reports he is set to defect to LIV Golf.

The Australian, who claimed his first major at The Open Championship last month at St Andrew's, has pulled out citing discomfort in his hip.

It means Smith, currently number three in the FedEx Cup rankings, will miss out on the final event before the season-concluding Tour Championship at East Lake.

"Unfortunately, Cam will be unable to compete in the BMW Championship this week in Wilmington," agent Bud Martin said. "He has been dealing with some on-and-off hip discomfort for several months and thought it best to rest this week in his pursuit of the FedExCup."

The Brisbane native struggled last week at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, where he was handed a two-stroke penalty for playing from the wrong place and, having challenged for the lead at one stage, finished tied for 13th.

Now, he will likely drop further away from the chance to dethrone Scottie Scheffler, particularly if the rumblings about a switch to the breakaway LIV Golf series prove well-founded.

Trey Lance has the belief of Kyle Shanahan, but the San Francisco 49ers' head coach does not believe his starting quarterback will "make or break" their 2022 season.

Lance will be the Niners' starter in 2022, replacing Jimmy Garoppolo, who is likely to be released when rosters are trimmed to 53 players if San Francisco cannot find a trade partner.

San Francisco reached Super Bowl LIV with Garoppolo as the starter in the 2019 campaign and narrowly lost last season's NFC Championship Game with the former New England Patriot under center.

However, the Niners traded three first-round picks to move up to the third overall pick in the 2021 draft and select Lance out of North Dakota State, believing him to have the physical gifts and the mental attributes to take their offense to the next level.

They will now see their assessment of Lance put to the test across a full season. Lance started two games in relief of an injured Garoppolo last year and, prior to that, had only one full season of college football under his belt. That came in 2019 when he threw for 28 touchdowns and ran for a further 14 without throwing a single interception as Lance led North Dakota State to an FCS National Championship.

That lack of seasoning makes Lance one of the biggest unknowns of the 2022 season, but head coach Shanahan does not think his performance will be the defining factor for an extremely well-rounded team harbouring Super Bowl aspirations.

"Is Trey ready to take it on his shoulders?" Shanahan told Peter King's Football Morning in America. "He shouldn't be. He hasn't gone through it enough.

"I believe in him as a man, as a person. I believe in his talent. I don't think he is going to make or break our season, just like in 2019 and last year, I didn't think Jimmy was going to make or break our season."

Shanahan, though, suggested attempting to deliver for a team under pressure to win a sixth Super Bowl title after going agonisingly close in two of the last three seasons could negatively impact Lance.

"But what sucks is when you're learning how to play and you're not there yet, how do you not get worse sometimes when that pressure's on you and you need to go through the growing pains?" Shanahan added.

Lance went 1-1 as a starter last year, throwing for 603 yards, five touchdowns and two interceptions in his brief time on the field. He also ran for 168 yards and a touchdown.

According to Stats Perform data, Lance was the second-most aggressive quarterback in the NFL in terms of pushing the ball downfield. Among quarterbacks with at least 50 pass attempts, only Drew Lock (10.20) averaged more air yards than Lance (10.10). 

Lance was still accurate despite regularly attempting low-percentage throws. No player to average at least 9.0 air yards had a better well-thrown rate than Lance, who delivered an accurate, well-thrown ball on 77.1 per cent of his attempts.

In his first preseason game of 2022, Lance played two offensive series, completing four of his five passes for 92 yards including a 76-yard touchdown to rookie wide receiver Danny Gray in a 28-21 win over the Green Bay Packers.

Lance will take part in joint practices between the 49ers and Minnesota Vikings this week but will not play in Saturday's second preseason game.

Uncapped utility back Canan Moodie has been called up to the South Africa squad for the first time for the tour of Australia.

Moodie was included in a 34-man squad on Monday for two Rugby Championship encounters with the Wallabies.

The 19-year-old gets the nod in the absence of suspended wing Kurt-Lee Arendse and fellow flyer Cheslin Kolbe, who is recovering from a broken jaw.

Deon Fourie has also been selected, with hooker Bongi Mbonambi facing four weeks on the sidelines due to a knee injury sustained in training last week.

The world champions are smarting from a 35-23 defeat to New Zealand at Ellis Park on Saturday and will get an opportunity to respond at Adelaide Oval on August 27, with Australia also licking their wounds following a 48-17 drubbing at the hands of Argentina.

Springboks head coach Jacques Nienaber said: "Bongi has been ruled out for four weeks, but Deon, who is an experienced hooker and flank, has been practising his lineout throws with us, so we are confident that he will be able to fill that void for us in these matches.

"We are also excited to see how Canan slots in during the next few weeks and to see how he adapts to our structures and systems, and we believe he has the skills to slot in for Kurt-Lee and Cheslin.

"This is a settled group of players and includes a wide spread of experience and young players who have made their presence felt, and we believe that they have what it takes to guide us back on track in the Rugby Championship in the matches against Australia."

 

South Africa squad to tour Australia: 

Forwards: Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, Salmaan Moerat, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (captain), Elrigh Louw, Kwagga Smith, Jasper Wiese, Duane Vermeulen, Deon Fourie, Franco Mostert.

Backs: Faf de Klerk, Jaden Hendrikse, Herschel Jantjies, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Andre Esterhuizen, Makazole Mapimpi, Willie le Roux, Canan Moodie, Warrick Gelant, Damian Willemse, Jesse Kriel, Frans Steyn.

 

By virtue of their outstanding play during the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls have moved up a place in World Netball’s global rankings.

The Sunshine Girls who defeated world number-one Australia and number-two New Zealand before losing to Australia in the final, have climbed a spot to number three in the world rankings released on Monday.

Meanwhile, Barbados’ Gems failed to win a single match at the Commonwealth Games and have dropped two places to 14th in the rankings. Trinidad and Tobago, meanwhile, fell one place to 11th.

According to World Netball, “Since the last WN World Rankings update published, on  March 1, 2022, many international test series and events have taken place including the PacificAUS Series, Europe Netball Open Challenge, COSANA Tri-Nations Series, Wales International Test Series, Netball World Cup 2023 Qualifiers – Oceania, and most recently, the 38 matches at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

“Within the top six teams Jamaica has moved up to third in the world, whilst England has dropped to fourth, this comes after Jamaica made history at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games making their first final and winning a silver medal.”

World Netball said the new rankings mean that world number-one Australia, New Zealand (2), Jamaica (3) and England (4) will now be invited to compete at the NWC2023. Uganda (6) will also be invited; they have also qualified through their world ranking, due to South Africa (5) pre-qualifying as hosts.

The Netball World Cup 2023 Qualifier – Oceania has already taken place with Tonga and Fiji qualifying to be invited by World Netball to compete at the event.

Tonga finished unbeaten at both the PacificAUS Series in March 2022 and the Netball World Cup Qualifier Oceania in July 2022.

World Netball requires teams to have played six or more matches in the ranking period to be eligible for a World Ranking.  Tonga has reached this threshold again and they now regain a world ranking, entering 9th place in the world.  This is a remarkable achievement as their highest previous ranking was 19th.

Malta (35) Israel (39) and Switzerland (45) have also regained a ranking after playing the required number of matches by competing at the Europe Netball Open Challenge in May.

The success of Tonga has led to Scotland moving down one place to 10, and Trinidad & Tobago and Northern Ireland also moving down one place to 11 and 12.

There have also been many changes lower down the table with Barbados, Cook Islands and Samoa all moving down two places, whilst the Republic of Ireland have moved up four places to 24th after winning the Europe Netball Open Challenge.

Two-time Grand Tour winner Egan Bernal will make his return to racing on Tuesday after seven months out of action following a serious training crash.

The INEOS Grenadiers rider was training near his home city of Bogota in January when he struck a parked bus while riding at high speed.

The collision left Bernal requiring surgery on his spine, while he also suffered two collapsed lungs, fractures in his right leg and kneecap, a broken thumb and a lost tooth.

Bernal spent several days in intensive care and later said the crash nearly killed him, while he believed there was a 95 per cent likelihood "of becoming a paraplegic".

In February, he had a second operation on his spine before eventually returning to the bike a month later.

Now, his team confirmed he will make his comeback to racing in the Tour of Denmark – which begins on Tuesday – after this final step of his rehabilitation was approved by medical staff.

Bernal said: "After what happened to me in January this has been the moment I've been waiting for – to race with my team-mates again.

"I can't emphasise enough how hard the last eight months have been for me, both physically and mentally. That day, and the journey that I have been on since will be a part of me forever, it's something you never forget, as is the support that I have received from my family, my girlfriend, the team, INEOS as well as my fans.

"As humans we really rely on each other in our times of need, and this year has been a time of need for me – I can't thank everyone who has been there for me enough.

"That support has been invaluable in motivating me every day to work hard to be able to race again. To you all, a heartfelt thank you."

Deputy team principal, Rod Ellingworth, added: "When you think back to where Egan was only eight months ago, it's incredible the progress he has made.

"He's shown the world the true strength of his character, and demonstrated remarkable grit in returning to race-readiness. We're still on a journey with Egan, but lining up at the Tour of Denmark is a significant and hard-earned milestone.

"Egan's long-term recovery has and continues to guide our medical and physical programme of support – our targets have always been performance-led not race-led, and the entire INEOS Grenadiers family is proud and delighted for Egan that his determination and application will now see him return to the race environment he has craved for so long."

Primoz Roglic has been passed fit to go in search of a fourth consecutive Vuelta a Espana title.

Roglic abandoned the Tour de France last month after suffering a dislocated shoulder and a back injury when he crashed on stage five.

The Slovenian battled on despite those injuries before withdrawing ahead of stage 15.

Roglic will be Jumbo-Visma's main man in the Vuelta, though, having recovered to ensure he will be on the start line in Utrecht on Friday.

Jumbo-Visma sports director Merijn Zeeman said: "We are delighted that Primoz can start in the Vuelta after his serious injury in the Tour de France.

"Logically, he didn't have the best preparation, but we greatly respect him for how he managed to get ready.

"We have a good and balanced team at the start that can optimally support Primoz in all areas. It is a pity that Koen Bouwman will not make it to the start due to his injury. We would have loved to see him in the Vuelta in the great form he displayed during the last Giro d'Italia."

American climber Sepp Kuss and double time trial world champion Rohan Dennis from Australia are among Roglic's team-mates in the Vuelta.

Brittney Griner's defence team has appealed against her nine-year prison sentence in Russia.

The WNBA star was this month jailed for drug possession and drug smuggling with criminal intent for bringing under a gram of cannabis oil into the country nearly six months ago.

Judge Anna Sotnikova rejected Griner's apology and plea for leniency. Griner said she had made an "honest mistake".

Griner was arrested in Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport on February 17 for carrying vape cartridges containing cannabis oil in her luggage. She was returning to Russia, where she has played since 2014 during the WNBA offseason.

The eight-time WNBA All-Star was, her lawyers argued, using cannabis for medicinal purposes to treat chronic pain sustained over the course of her career.

The two-time Olympic champion said she accidentally packed the cartridges and was unaware cannabis oil was outlawed in Russia.

United States president Joe Biden slammed the sentence as "unacceptable" and Griner's lawyer Maria Blagovolina told Reuters on Monday that an appeal had been filed.

The US government and Russia are engaged in prisoner swap negotiations that, if successful, would see Griner released to return home.

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