A summary of sports events and sports persons, who made news on Thursday
Two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar is all set to prove his mettle at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championship, to be held in Johannesburg from December 15-17.
Sushil, winner of four gold medals and a bronze at the Commonwealth Championship, will be competing at an international event for the first time after three years.
"Delighted to represent my country once again in #CommonwealthChampionShip All set to bring laurels for my land. Need blessings and good wishes. #JaiHind," Sushil wrote on his Twitter handle.
Sushil bagged a gold medal last month at the National Championship in Indore following his return to the mat after three long years.
Sushil hardly broke a sweat on his way to the yellow metal at the Nationals as three of his rivals gave him a walk over in men's 74kg freestyle competition. He just fought the initial two round bouts where he battled for just 2 minutes and 33 seconds in total on the mat.
Gearing up for next year's Commonwealth and Asian Games, the 34-year-old is also expected to participate at the Pro- Wrestling League (PWL).
All-Indian undercard for Vijender's fight night
Former Commonwealth Championships medallists Amandeep Singh and Sunil Siwach will be among the competitors in the six all-Indian undercard bouts of Vijender Singh's showdown against Ghana's Ernest Amuzu on December 23 in Jaipur.
The undefeated Vijender will take on Amuzu in a double title fight in which his WBO Asia Pacific and Oriental Super Middleweight belts will be on the line.
Amandeep (Bantamweight – 55.5kg) will take on Manoj Kumar from Punjab and Kuldeep Singh (Heavyweight 93.4Kg) will face Amrinder Singh from Haryana.
The other boxers joining the fight card will be Pardeep Kharera, Kuldeep Dhanda, Dharmendra Grewal and Asad Asif Khan.
The 27-year-old Amandeep made his professional debut in 2016 against Sunil Sharma in Delhi. He has fought two bouts so far and won both of them with the second one being a knockout against Pakpoom Hammarach of Thailand.
The 21-year-old Kharera will face debutant Nikhil Sharma from Goa in a six-round contest in Welterweight category (66.7Kg).
Dhanda, 27, will face 24-year-old Fateh Singh from Delhi in a four-round contest in the Lightweight (61.2 Kg) category.
In another four-round fight for Super Bantamweight 61.2kg category, Asad Asif Khan from Kolkata will take on Sunil Siwach.
Saurav Ghosal's run ends
Saurav Ghosal's good run in the World Squash Championship at Manchester ended as he went down fighting to second-seed and defending champion Karim Abdel Gawad of Egypt.
The Egyptian rallied after losing the opening game over extra points to win 12-14, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in 59 minutes, late on Wednesday.
"Today was a tough day and I had to fight until the end," Gawad was quoted as saying by the PSA Tour website.
"Even when I was 10-6 up in the fourth, I knew he could come back easily with his awesome winners, so I knew I had to push until the end," he added.
The No.2 seed will next meet Colombia's Miguel Rodriguez, who upset seventh seed Tarek Momen in five games.
Ghosal had posted wins over ninth-seed James Willstrop and Ben Coleman to reach the last 16.
Two of his compatriots Harinder Pal Sandhu and Mahesh Mahesh Mangaonkar, who came through the qualifying draw, lost in the first round.
In the women's event, the country's leading players Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik crashed out in the opening round.
Putin: US secret services control doping whistleblower Rodchenkov
Russia's former anti-doping chief-turned-whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov is working under the control of US special services, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
The scandal over the 2014 Sochi Olympics, triggered by revelations made by Rodchenkov, is part of a broader doping affair that has led to the suspension of Russia's anti-doping agency RUSADA, the country's athletics federation and Paralympic Committee.
Putin also said during his year-end news conference that the doping scandal had been fuelled deliberately before Russia's presidential election due in March next year. He also said that both global anti-doping body WADA and the International Olympic Committee were working under duress.
Cyclist Froome 'not ashamed' of using asthma inhaler
Chris Froome has said his use of an inhaler is "not something to be ashamed of" after a urine test at the Vuelta a Espana in September showed excess levels of an asthma medication.
Froome was found to have double the allowed amount of the legal drug Salbutamol in his system in a test after stage 18 of the Vuelta, which he won, on September 7, the International Cycling Union confirmed on Wednesday.
Froome tweeted on Thursday: "It's sad seeing the misconceptions that are out there about athletes & salbutamol use. My hope is that this doesn't prevent asthmatic athletes from using their inhalers in emergency situations for fear of being judged. It is not something to be ashamed of."
Team Sky rider Froome, 32, risks being banned from cycling, which has struggled for decades with doping scandals, and could lose his Vuelta title if he cannot provide a satisfactory explanation for the adverse test finding.
In an interview with Sky Sports, the four times Tour de France winner admitted the finding was "damaging" to his reputation.
"It has come as a huge shock to me," he said. "But at the same time, I know that within me I have fundamentally followed the protocol. I have not overstepped any boundaries."