Laureus Awards: Laura Kenny, Andy Murray and Mo Farah among nominees

Laura Kenny

Laura Kenny won gold in the team pursuit and omnium at the Rio Olympics in 2016

Four-time Olympic gold medallist Laura Kenny has been nominated for the 2017 Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year award.

She is one of six British nominations, with Andy Murray and Mo Farah nominated for World Sportsman of the Year.

Nick Skelton is nominated in the world comeback category and Leicester City in the breakthrough of the year category.

Four-time World Cup mountain bike champion Rachel Atherton in on the action sportsperson of the year list.

The winners, as voted for by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be revealed in Monaco on 14 February.

Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic were named sportswoman and sportsman of the year at the 2016 awards.

Sportsman of the Year award

Usain Bolt (Jamaica) athletics, Stephen Curry (US) basketball, Mo Farah (GB) athletics, LeBron James (US) basketball, Andy Murray (GB) tennis, Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) football.

Sportswoman of the Year award

Simone Biles (US) gymnastics, Allyson Felix (US) athletics, Angelique Kerber (Germany) tennis, Katie Ledecky (US) swimming, Elaine Thompson (Jamaica) athletics, Laura Kenny (GB) cycling.


Andy Murray became the number one ranked tennis player in 2016

Comeback of the Year award

Ruth Beitia (Spain) athletics, Michael Phelps (US) swimming, Juan Martin del Potro (Argentina) tennis, Fabienne St Louis (Mauritius) triathlon, Nick Skelton (GB) equestrian, Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) skiing.

Team of the Year award

Brazil men’s Olympic football team, Cleveland Cavaliers (US) basketball, Chicago Cubs (US) baseball, Mercedes AMG Petronas (motor racing), Portugal (football), Real Madrid (football).

Breakthrough of the Year award

Almaz Ayana (Ethiopia) athletics, Fiji rugby union sevens, Iceland football, Leicester City (England), football, Nico Rosberg (Germany) motor racing, Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa) athletics.


Nick Skelton won his first gold medal in Rio as he competed in his seventh Olympics

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability award

Ihar Boki (Belarus) swimming, Sophie Pascoe (New Zealand) swimming, Omara Durand (Cuba) athletics, Siamand Rahman (Iran) weightlifting, Marcel Hug (Switzerland) athletics, Beatrice Vio (Italy) fencing.

Action Sportsperson of the Year award

Rachel Atherton (GB) mountain biking, Pedro Barros (Brazil) skateboarding, John John Florence (US) surfing, Chloe Kim (US) snowboarding, Kelly Sildaru (Estonia) freestyle skiing, Tyler Wright (Australia) surfing.

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TUEs distracting from issue of doping, says Olympic champion Callum Skinner

Callum Skinner

Skinner won gold in the team sprint at the Rio Olympics – along with Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes – as well as taking silver in the individual sprint

Olympic gold medallist Callum Skinner says the controversy over therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) is a distraction in the fight against doping in sport.

The 24-year-old cyclist was one of the athletes whose use of TUEs was leaked by hackers ‘Fancy Bears’.

TUEs allow the use of otherwise banned substances if athletes have a genuine medical need.

“TUEs have started to gain a bit of a bad name for something that is really about athlete welfare,” said Skinner.

“We’re generally getting a bit distracted by TUEs. We have far bigger challenges in terms of anti-doping with out-of-competition testing.”

Three-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome said he rejected a TUE to treat a medical condition during his 2015 Tour win on moral grounds.

“Chris is a really experienced athlete,” Skinner told BBC Radio 5 live. “He obviously knows his body really well so I wouldn’t be surprised if he and others have inadvertently turned down TUEs – not because of the stigma attached to them, but because it’s just not a method that works for them.”

Sir Bradley Wiggins – Britain’s most decorated Olympian – was also revealed to have had TUEs for a banned steroid before major races.

Wiggins’ TUEs were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body the UCI, and there is no suggestion either he or Team Sky have broken any rules.

Skinner was granted a TUE for the banned substance prednisolone in 2014 and for salbutamol in January 2016. He said the UCI, cycling’s governing body, closely examined his condition and medical requirements.

Skinner, who has suffered from asthma since childhood, has since released his medical history in the interests of being “open and honest” and there is no suggestion he has been involved in any wrongdoing.

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Bradley Wiggins legacy could suffer because of TUEs

Bradley Wiggins

Wiggins has won five Olympic gold medals

Sir Bradley Wiggins’ legacy could suffer because of the controversy over his use of therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs), rider Marcel Kittel says.

Britain’s most decorated Olympian, an asthma sufferer, had TUEs for a banned steroid before major cycling races.

“The bigger the story gets, the more it will also fall back on his career and on himself,” German Kittel, 28, said.

The sprinter, who rides for Quick-Step Floors, added that TUEs have “no space in our sport anymore”.

In October 2016, Kittel said that athletes with severe asthma have “no place in competitive sport” if they need otherwise banned medication to treat it.

Wiggins, who retired in December, has come under scrutiny after the his confidential medical information was leaked by hackers ‘Fancy Bears’ in September 2016.

TUEs let athletes take prohibited substances if there is a medical need and 36-year-old Wiggins was granted a TUE to take anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone before the 2011 Tour de France, his 2012 Tour win and the 2013 Giro d’Italia.

Wiggins’ TUEs were approved by British authorities and cycling’s world governing body the UCI, and there is no suggestion either he or Team Sky have broken any rules.

“I don’t think that anyone who is seriously sick should use those TUEs or, if he has to use them because he needs to recover from an injury or whatever, then he should also take time and really recover from it and then come back afterwards,” added Kittel, who has won stages in each of the three Grand Tours.

There are also questions over a medical package Wiggins received in 2011.

UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) has been investigating allegations of doping in cycling after it emerged a mystery medical package was delivered to a Team Sky doctor for Wiggins on the final day of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, which the Briton won.

Brailsford, the former performance director of British Cycling, last month told a parliamentary select committee he understood the package contained a legal decongestant, Fluimucil.

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Bradley Wiggins: ‘This was about putting myself back on a level playing field’

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Sir Dave Brailsford: Team Sky boss defends methods at British Cycling

Sir Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton

Sir Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton were colleagues at British Cycling

Team Sky boss Sir Dave Brailsford has defended his training methods as an investigation into British Cycling is set to be published.

Former technical director Shane Sutton resigned in April over claims of discrimination, which he denies.

The findings of a review into an alleged bullying culture at British Cycling are to be published soon.

“I’m uncompromising in trying to achieve success,” said Brailsford. “I don’t think I treated people wrongly.”

He added: “I don’t think I was vindictive, I don’t think I was biased, I don’t think I was malicious.”

cleared of eight of the nine charges against him.

However, the nature of the allegations – and wider claims about the culture at British Cycling – prompted an independent inquiry led by British Rowing chairman Annamarie Phelps.

Brailsford became British Cycling performance director in 2003 and led Team GB to two cycling gold medals at the 2004 Olympics, improving that tally to eight in both 2008 and 2012.

“We started off as a British team who were second rate, nowhere in the world, with an attitude of gallant losers,” said the 52-year-old. “We thought actually ‘why can’t we be the best in the world?’

“And I am uncompromising, I know that. Some people can cope with that environment, and some people can’t.

“When I took over at British Cycling I tried to push hard. And there were some people I felt who shouldn’t be there.

“So you get people who go. I’ll never make any excuses about that.”

In 2014 he left British Cycling to focus on Team Sky, having combined his role with both organisations after the road outfit formed in 2009.

Team Sky, who have won four of the past five Tours de France – one victory for Bradley Wiggins and three for Chris Froome – are currently the subject of a UK Anti-Doping investigation.

Brailsford has denied wrongdoing and there is no suggestion that he, Wiggins or Froome have done anything against the rules.

“When we set out with the Tour team and said we were going to try to win the Tour people laughed, they laughed at me,” he said. “That was hard. Harder than now.

“And then when we didn’t do very well, that was hard. Really hard. But then you believe in something, you keep working at it and you achieve it.”

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Watch: Brailsford’s tense grilling on Team Sky

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Para-cyclists get seven weeks’ notice for Worlds

Jody Cundy

Jody Cundy won two gold medals at the Rio Paralympics

Cycling’s governing body has given athletes seven weeks to prepare for the Para-Cycling Track World Championships, a decision described as “a joke” by British Paralympian Jody Cundy.

The championships will be in Los Angeles from 2-5 March.

Brian Cookson, president of governing body the UCI, said moving the event to a year after a Paralympics for the first time was “notable progress”.

But Cundy, 38, tweeted: “They expecting any riders to turn up?”

Some athletes are yet to return to full-intensity training after September’s Paralympics – something Cookson said the UCI was “conscious” of.

However, he insisted the event would “enable our athletes to benefit from an enriched calendar as the discipline continues to develop”.

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