News of the week: Sumit Malik charged for doping, India lose to Qatar, Federer out of French Open
From Sumit Malik dope charges to Roger Federer's exit, let us look back at the major happenings of the sports world in the last week.
Let us look back at the major happenings of the sports world in the last week in India and around the globe.
Sumit Malik fails dope test, out of Tokyo Olympics
Olympic-bound Indian wrestler Sumit Malik has been provisionally suspended after failing a dope test during the recent Qualifiers in Bulgaria, a major embarrassment for the country with just weeks left for the Games in Tokyo. It marks the second consecutive instance of a wrestler being caught in dope net before the Olympics -- the previous being ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics when Narsingh Pancham Yadav had failed one and was slapped with a four-year ban. Malik, the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in the 125kg category at the Bulgaria event which was the last chance for wrestlers to earn quotas. The 28-year-old's dream of competing at the event starting July 23 seems as good as over with this.
Naomi Osaka pulls out of French Open
After weeklong confrontation between Naomi Osaka, the second-ranked woman in tennis, and leaders of the sport's four Grand Slam tournaments turned bitter on Monday when Osaka withdrew from the French Open, citing concerns for her mental health. The move was a dramatic turn in the high-stakes standoff between the most powerful officials in tennis and. Osaka. The player, 23, is not only the world's highest-paid female athlete but also a generational star who has quickly become the most magnetic figure in tennis. "I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris," Ms. Osaka said in an Instagram post, in which she said she struggled with depression and anxiety. She had never before spoken in public about her depression, which she said began after her 2018 victory over Serena Williams at the United States Open before a boisterous crowd that was firmly behind her opponent.
"I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer," she added. "The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that." She did not indicate when she would return to tournament play. It is the first time in professional tennis that a star as significant as Ms. Osaka who has not suffered a physical injury has walked away in the middle of an event as big as the French Open, and Gilles Moretton, president of the French Federation of Tennis, called her withdrawal "unfortunate."
Roger Federer pulls out of French Open
Roger Federer said Sunday he was withdrawing from the French Open despite having reached the fourth round, opting to focus on his primary objective of winning a ninth Wimbledon title. Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam title winner, who will be 40 in two months' time, battled over three and a half hours until 12:45 Sunday morning to reach the last 16 with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win over 59th-ranked Dominik Koepfer. "After discussions with my team, I've decided I will need to pull out of Roland Garros today," the 39-year-old said. "After two knee surgeries and over a year of rehabilitation it's important that I listen to my body and make sure I don't push myself too quickly on my road to recovery. "I am thrilled to have gotten three matches under my belt. There is no greater feeling than being back on court."
India's Olympic kit for Tokyo Olympics unveiled
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has unveiled the kit its athletes will wear at the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The kit has been designed by Chinese company Li-Ning. According to the IOA, the uniform, revealed to coincide with 50 days to go until the scheduled Olympic Opening Ceremony on July 23, displays India's national colours alongside integrated unique graphics. It includes travel kit as well as the playing uniform for India's competitors at the Games. "Now every day, every second counts," Indian Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said. "The launch of the official kit of the Indian Olympic team is an important aspect and it is very significant that it is being launched on this day. "I am happy to say that our athletes are well prepared for the biggest sporting event and as our Prime Minister has said, the entire country must rally behind our athletes so that they are motivated to give their best at Tokyo. "I urge every Indian to cheer for the Indian squad."
India lose to Qatar
A 10-man India defended creditably well as they suffered a 0-1 defeat to Asian champions Qatar in their World Cup qualifying round match in Doha on Thursday. Abdel Aziz scored in the 33rd minute in a match completely dominated by the Qataris. The two sides had played out a goalless draw in their first leg match here in September 2019. India played with 10 men from the 17th minute onwards after defender Rahul Bheke was red-carded after a second booking. He had earlier received a yellow card in the ninth minute.
Pakistan's first-ever badminton player qualifies for Tokyo Olympics
Pakistan's number one female badminton player Mahoor Shahzad will represent her country at the Tokyo Olympics. With this, she becomes the first badminton player from the country to take part at the Olympics. Shahzad, who is ranked 144 in the world among the women's singles player, has been offered an invitational place on the Olympics considering her international status and ranking. In a television interview in 2018, Shahzad admitted that she idolises India's Saina Nehwal. In fact, she got to play her idol in the 2018 Commonwealth Games where Nehwal got the better off her by 21-7 21-11.