Houdini Dave Brailsford shows durability in the face of scepticism

Dave Brailsford, the Ineos team principal, has ploughed on through a storm of criticism to toast a seventh Tour de France win in eight years with Egan Bernals victory On a corner of the Place de la Concorde on Sunday night Michal Kwiatkowski dropped his bike, sat down on the cobblestones and tucked into hot pizza and cold beer. The former world champion, also winner of the Milan-San Remo and the Amstel Gold Race, went unnoticed as jubilant Colombian fans swarmed around the Ineos teams bus and gazed adoringly at his teammate Egan Bernal as he waved from the top step of the podium on the Champs lyses. Watching on, the teams billionaire owner, Jim Ratcliffe, could enjoy the first …

Manchester Uniteds culture is overrated. Busby and Ferguson swam against the tide | Barney Ronay

Another summer of rebuilding appears under way at Old Trafford but attempts to recreate the philosophies and glories of previous eras look doomed to fail There was an interesting programme on BBC Radio 4 this week drop-kicked Crystal Palace fan Matthew Simmons? Meanwhile Solskjr has stuck to the same narrow cultural view that got him the job in the first place, to the extent that he already looks like a kind of novelty appointment, a Britpop version of the real thing, sat in the back of his black cab, Paul Scholes up front tipping his bowler hat, talking with grating certainty about doing things The Manchester United Way, about Manchester United being different, playing up the echoes of Fergie time, …

Why even the biggest sports stars battle with life away from the spotlight

London (CNN)Three years ago Tyson Fury seemed like he had it all: He was the world heavyweight champion and had a loving wife and children. But inside he was battling his own demons of drugs, alcohol and depression and was ready to drive his convertible Ferrari off a bridge at top speed. “It’s not what brings you to your knees, it’s the character you show that makes you get back up again,” he says. Mental health triggers for elite athletes Depression and suicidal thoughts are something that many elite athletes suffer in the sporting world, from former professional footballer Clarke Carlisle who intentionally stepped out in front of a lorry in 2014, to former England Test batsman Robin Smith who …

‘I wouldn’t be the refugee, I’d be the girl who kicked ass’: how taekwondo made me

The long read: When she arrived in the US as a 10-year-old refugee, Dina Nayeri found it hard to fit in. But that all changed when she hatched a plan to get into Harvard by becoming a taekwondo champion When I was 13, three years after arriving in the US with my mother and brother, I devised a plan to get into the Ivy League. I was a refugee kid with no money and I lived in Iran, she had done horse-riding and tennis. But then the revolution happened, and her sporty body was draped and forgotten. Banned from public exercise, she took to pounding her ass against walls to get that chic, saddle-flattened effect of the late 70s. Sometimes …

Luis Surez: Any player would like to go to Liverpool now. It was different then

Luis Surez, on the eve of Barcelonas Champions League semi-final against Liverpool, talks about his Anfield days, playing alongside Messi and why he does not mind being called fat It is the morning after the night Barcelona virtually won the league and Luis Surez has not slept much but he is grinning again, easing into a sofa, mate in hand. He has been busy lately: looking at flights, tickets too, and making history. As he strolls across in the sunshine, he is told the goal he scored the previous night, his 21st in the league this season, did not just take Barcelona to the verge of a fourth title in five years but also made him the clubs third highest …

Shane Warne ‘expecting huge things’ as Australian ball-tampering bans come to an end

(CNN)It was the scandal that damaged a proud cricketing nation. A year on, though, from the bans, the resignations and the outrage, Steve Smith and David Warner are back. Follow @cnnsport The good news, however, is that when they do eventually return, Australian cricketing great Shane Warne expects both men to “be on fire.” “They love the game,” Warne told CNN. “To have that taken away from them for a year is pretty tough. I expect some huge things from them this year. I think with the year off, it will have freshened their minds up, they will be fit, raring to go.” In a sense, neither Warner nor Smith have truly disappeared from the cricketing landscape; they have both …