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‘I was fearing my body shutting down’: Grigor Dimitrov opens up on contracting coronavirus

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i was fearing my body shutting down grigor dimitrov opens up on contracting coronavirus

Grigor Dimitrov has described the experience of having coronavirus as ‘fearing my body shutting down’.

Dimitrov tested positive for Covid-19 during Novak Djokovic‘s widely ridiculed Adria Tour event in Belgrade in June.

The event came under scrutiny after videos emerged which showed players partying and not following social distancing guidelines.

Grigor Dimitrov described contracting coronavirus as 'fearing his body shutting down'

Grigor Dimitrov described contracting coronavirus as ‘fearing his body shutting down’

Dimitrov (far right) tested positive for coronavirus during Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour in June

Dimitrov (far right) tested positive for coronavirus during Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour in June

Dimitrov self isolated in Monaco until he tested negative for coronavirus in mid July

Dimitrov self isolated in Monaco until he tested negative for coronavirus in mid July

Dimitrov was also pictured playing basketball with Djokovic in the days leading up to the tournament in Serbia. 

The Bulgarian apologised at the time for his actions and has since reiterated how serious the situation was as he contemplates whether he will play in the US Open at the end of this month. 

‘This thing is real,’ Dimitrov told Sky Sports. ‘The virus and how everything is handled. The toughest part is that we just don’t know. For everyone, not only for athletes. The uncertainty is what gets you the most.

Djokovic's Adria Tour came under scrutiny after players were pictured out partying

Djokovic’s Adria Tour came under scrutiny after players were pictured out partying

Dimitrov was pictured playing basketball with Novak Djokovic days before the Adria Tour

Dimitrov was pictured playing basketball with Novak Djokovic days before the Adria Tour

‘I was active all my life and then suddenly I was forced to be shut down, just physically, so it’s like you’re taking my wings away but somehow I found a way to try and understand what is going on and the more I thought about it things are happening at a basic rate so if we are careful, we do the right things, things will be alright we have to absolutely respect the process of what is going on.’

The 29-year-old is unsure about attending the US Open in New York, which is due to start on August 31.

Last year’s winner Rafael Nadal withdrew from the tournament on Tuesday night, stating that he would ‘rather not travel’.

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the US Open on Tuesday night, stating he would 'rather not travel'

Rafael Nadal pulled out of the US Open on Tuesday night, stating he would ‘rather not travel’

Dimitrov, who is yet to make a decision, said: ‘Right now, I’m very uncertain, I’ll be completely honest. 

‘I thought about it and I keep thinking about it every single day. I feel like there are so many questions I have to ask and there are so few answers. 

‘I’ve had it, so I know what it is. For Europeans, it’s hard because you have got to travel about 12 hours to get to New York and take a couple of planes, then get to a hotel, and the bubble is a bubble, but I mean statistically we’re like over a thousand people in the same place and it’s just not easy.

‘I hope nobody gets it but if somebody gets it things are going to look a little more complicated. Even if we have agreements from governments with quarantine and everything, we just never know what will happen from one day to another so it puts a lot of limitations on the schedule and yourself because you want to complete.’

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Punters of doomed Layezy Racing syndicate set to receive 10p in the pound of their £40m investments

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punters of doomed layezy racing syndicate set to receive 10p in the pound of their 40m investments

Thousands of unsuspecting punters who poured life savings into a syndicate exposed by a Sportsmail investigation will receive a fraction of the money they thought they were due.

Administrators Duff & Phelps have been recovering assets from Layezy Racing, which collapsed following our probe last year amid concerns it was a Ponzi scheme.

It is understood investors — many of whom handed over their savings — are set to pick up 10 pence in the pound of sums they put into the scheme, minus any ‘winnings’. Some will receive nothing.

Mike Stanley is currently on bail having been arrested on suspicion of alleged fraud offences

Mike Stanley is currently on bail having been arrested on suspicion of alleged fraud offences

At the High Court, where syndicate founder Mike Stanley, 64, was made the subject of a 14-year bankruptcy order, it emerged that 6,000 members thought they were set to receive a total of £158.7million.

The Kent-based syndicate gave members their own online accounts. When they logged in, they found they had pocketed staggering returns on investments, and would often pour in more money and watch it grow thanks to Stanley’s system.

However, the court heard that Stanley, a former police officer, took £40.3m but only placed bets worth £1m.

Administrators Duff & Phelps have been recovering assets from Layezy Racing

Administrators Duff & Phelps have been recovering assets from Layezy Racing 

Of the remaining £39m, he is alleged to have used £27.4m for payments to make it look as though the syndicate was legitimate.

Those payments were not winnings but made up of investments from new members, it is alleged.

Stanley is being investigated by police and remains on bail until November.

A spokesperson for Duff & Phelps said: ‘We are in the process of preparing an update for creditors which we aim to issue in the early part of next week.’

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Chelsea ‘ready to send flop Kepa out on loan’ after Lampard finally replaces him with Edouard Mendy

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chelsea ready to send flop kepa out on loan after lampard finally replaces him with edouard mendy

Chelsea are reportedly ready to offer under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga on loan after replacing him with Edouard Mendy. 

Frank Lampard made signing a new keeper one of his priorities this summer and finally completed a £22million deal for Mendy on Thursday.

Kepa has endured a torrid time over the past 18 months, making a number of high-profile mistakes, and once again was in the spotlight after a costly error led to Sadio Mane scoring in their defeat against Liverpool last weekend.

Chelsea want to try and loan out Kepa Arrizabalaga before this summer's transfer deadline

Chelsea want to try and loan out Kepa Arrizabalaga before this summer’s transfer deadline

Eduoard Mendy has been bought in as Kepa's replacement after signing for £22m from Rennes

Eduoard Mendy has been bought in as Kepa’s replacement after signing for £22m from Rennes

Lampard is said to have lost patience with the Spaniard and according to The Sun has given his approval for the club to send Kepa out on loan despite Chelsea insisting they are yet to make a decision on his future.

The 25-year-old has struggled to live up to the world-record £71m fee Chelsea paid to sign him from Athletic Bilbao back in 2018.

Despite starting the season as Chelsea’s No 1, Kepa has already come under intense criticism having been at fault for Brighton’s goal in their opening-day 3-1 victory at the Amex and making another blunder against Liverpool. 

Pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have both said that Chelsea have ‘no chance of winning the Premier League with Kepa in goal’ but Lampard has finally resolved the situation by signing Mendy from Rennes.

Frank Lampard has given his assent to the club's plans to put Kepa on the loan list

Frank Lampard has given his assent to the club’s plans to put Kepa on the loan list

Mendy will become Chelsea's new No 1 after penning a five-year contract with the club

Mendy will become Chelsea’s new No 1 after penning a five-year contract with the club

Former Chelsea keeper Petr Cech played a key role in identifying the 28-year-old as a target to take the No 1 spot from Kepa.

Speaking after signing a five-year contract with Chelsea, Mendy said: ‘I am so excited to be joining Chelsea.

‘It’s a dream for me to be a part of this exciting squad. I can’t wait to get started.’

Mendy’s arrival effectively spells the end of Kepa’s time at Chelsea with the club now prepared to listen to offers for him. 

The writing was on the wall for Kepa after he made another error in Sunday's loss to Liverpool

The writing was on the wall for Kepa after he made another error in Sunday’s loss to Liverpool

Chelsea’s hierarchy are hopeful that Kepa can rediscover his best form to give them a better chance of recouping much of the £71m they signed him for next summer. 

It is not yet clear what clubs Kepa could sign for though a return to LaLiga is likely to be an option. Valencia and Sevilla were two clubs linked with him earlier this summer but were put off by Chelsea’s valuation. 

Now that they are keen to loan him out, Kepa has suddenly become a realistic target for any potentially interested parties.

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Gower admits he felt for axed Soccer Saturday pundits after his own dismissal from Sky last year

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gower admits he felt for axed soccer saturday pundits after his own dismissal from sky last year

David Gower has admitted he feels sympathy for Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas after the trio were axed from Sky Sports’ flagship Soccer Saturday programme last month.

The trio’s sudden dismissal last month in Sky’s search for greater diversity came almost 12 months after former England captain Gower, 63, and iconic all-rounder Sir Ian Botham, 64, waved goodbye to the broadcaster following two decades of service.

But while refusing to comment on whether Le Tissier, Thompson and Nicholas’ axing was further confirmation of the ‘element of implied ageism’ he had suggested was involved in his own dismissal, the former England batsman did pay tribute to his ‘excellent’ fellow former pundits and was eager to highlight the inevitability of punditry teams being freshened up.  

David Gower has admitted he feels sympathy for the Soccer Saturday pundits who were axed

David Gower has admitted he feels sympathy for the Soccer Saturday pundits who were axed

Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas were dismissed from the programme

Matt Le Tissier, Phil Thompson and Charlie Nicholas were dismissed from the programme

Gower and Sir Ian Botham 'were retired' last September following 20 years of service to Sky

Gower and Sir Ian Botham ‘were retired’ last September following 20 years of service to Sky

‘I feel for those guys on Soccer Saturday who had done a brilliant job, but there are trends around the world in the industry as a whole, which mean these things will happen,’ Gower – who is president of the Lord’s Taverners – told Sportsmail.

‘I know Matt Le Tissier from various contacts over the years and being vaguely associated with Southampton and Hampshire, and he was good, he was excellent at what he did, as were the others. 

‘So I feel for them, because it seemed to come a little bit out of the blue I thought. I am not sure how much forewarning there was for them, and as Jeff Stelling has said they are mates of his and he was sad to see them go.

‘But they will now build a new team. Inevitably when you are building a team, a broadcast studio or a cricket or football team, there is a period where things don’t work as well as they might, where people are learning what their role is and bedding in, but once they are comfortable, things will go again.’

Gower at launch event of Lloyd Scott's Three Peaks Challenge at Captain Tom Moore's home

Gower at launch event of Lloyd Scott’s Three Peaks Challenge at Captain Tom Moore’s home

Gower caused a storm at the end of last summer when he hinted to The Telegraph that an element of ageism was behind Sky’s decision to remove himself and Botham from the commentary team, before stating in a separate interview with The Times that he pleaded with the broadcaster to change their minds.

But England’s fourth-highest Test run scorer of all time admitted he did not regret the comment he made last September but rather the ‘appalling’ reactions from some people to it as well as the overstated manner in which his words were taken. 

‘Yes I did say that. I used the expression that there was a hint and merest whiff of [ageism]. But we are all aware that things move on,’ he added.

‘It was true [what I said]. I don’t regret it. I regret some other people’s reactions to it, largely there was sympathy but it didn’t go down well in all quarters, and I think that was wrong. I think that was appalling actually.

‘I wasn’t trying to make a big point, I wasn’t trying to whinge, one point I always tried to say to people is I am very grateful for the 20 years, that was the most important thing, rather than worrying about the next 20 years. 

Gower admitted he did not regret his comment on ageism but regretted how overstated it was

Gower admitted he did not regret his comment on ageism but regretted how overstated it was

‘Much as I would love to still be doing what I used to do, much as I still feel very capable of doing it well and successfully, I know full well that is not happening at the moment. They know that, what has happened has happened. It is not a positive thing to be complaining about.’

Gower revealed last year he is keen to remain in the industry and touted the idea of moving to India.

And he remains adamant that there is still a spot for experience in a diverse broadcasting environment, warning that the quality of broadcasting could otherwise diminish if the ‘pendulum swung too far’ in the opposite direction. 

‘To be fair that [diversity] has always happened. But I do still think there is room in the industry for experience. 

‘The obvious thing for people in my position is that none of us feel old. As long as we can still speak and put words in the right order and observe and react and as long as we still have enthusiasm for what we do, then I think there is a perfectly valid position to hold there.

The former batsman remains adamant that there is still a spot for experience in broadcasting

The former batsman remains adamant that there is still a spot for experience in broadcasting

‘But we are all in the hands of outside forces on this one. Management and the broadcasters make their decisions, you look at it at Sky, at the BBC, you look at it around the world, this is a very strong trend.

‘I am so grateful that I got to spend so long in that business, six years at the BBC and 20 years at Sky, which is a large chunk of one’s life. The only thing I would say is that I was always keen in my role to understand what the job required in terms of promoting the game, of promoting people’s interests, using language well.

‘I think the one thing everyone needs to be mindful of is just maintaining the quality of the broadcast and the words that are broadcast. There is something very special about those who have the ability to use words well.

‘We should encourage diversity, absolutely we should, but just beware of the pendulum swinging too far.’

Gower also paid tribute to former Australia batsman Dean Jones, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 59 in Mumbai, where he was working as a commentator on television coverage of the Indian Premier League.

Gower also paid tribute to former Australian batsman Dean Jones, who passed away

Gower also paid tribute to former Australian batsman Dean Jones, who passed away

Jones and Gower were opponents in three separate Ashes series between 1986 and 1991, with the former one of the stars of Australia’s successful tour in 1989.

And the former England skipper honoured the two-time Ashes and 1987 World Cup winner following his passing.

‘I was very fond of Deano. I played against him every time we went to Australia covering Ashes series, we always got together. 

‘He was very very fine player, very brave and skilful, and a great thinker about the game. I am very sorry to hear it.’

Lord’s Taverners President David Gower is supporting the fundraising challenge of Lloyd Scott to complete the famous 3 Peaks Challenge dressed in a 130lb deep sea diving suit starting on October 4. Visit www.lordstaverners.org to make a donation

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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