A summary of sports events and persons who made news on Thursday
Mid-fielder Manpreet Singh, who led India's men's hockey team at last month's Commonwealth Games, was among the three players recommended for this year's Arjuna award by the national federation in New Delhi.
Another experienced mid-fielder Dharamvir Singh, and Indian women's team goalkeeper Savita have also been recommended for the Arjuna Award.
"Sanggai Ibemhal Chanu and former men's captain Bharat Chetri have been recommended for the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement," Hockey India said in a statement.
Hockey India also recommended Coach BS Chauhan for the Dronacharya Award.
Speaking on the recommendations, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India said, "They have proven their worth with significant performances that has elevated the Indian team to new heights.
"They have donned the India colours with pride and have given it their all to help the team win several accolades within the country and internationally. We at Hockey India are proud of their achievements and are happy to recommend their names for the National awards," he added.
Dharamvir formed the mid-field of the Indian team and was part of the gold medal feat at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea. He was also part of the Indian Team that participated at the 2012 London Olympics and has also represented the country at the 2014 World Cup in the Netherlands.
Manpreet, on the other hand, captained the Indian team in the absence of PR Sreejesh who was injured last year. Manpreet was part of the Asia Cup success where India beat Malaysia to lift the title.
He also led the Indian team to a bronze medal at the World League Final last year. With over 200 international caps, Manpreet was part of the Team that participated at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.
He was part of the team that clinched a silver medal at the FIH Champions Trophy in London last year, as well as a silver in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He also has the Asian Games gold medal to his credit.
Savita was instrumental in India's historic Asia Cup win last year where she made a stunning save in the penalty shootout that helped the team beat higher-ranked China in the final.
Her performance was critical in helping India qualify for the World Cup as continental champions after a gap of 13 years. Savita was part of the team that qualified for the Olympics after 36 years.
She was a member of the team that won the Asian Champions Trophy in 2016.
Former India player Sanggai Ibemhal Chanu, recommended for the Lifetime Achievement Award, was part of the team that won the 2002 Commonwealth Games gold in Manchester followed by a silver in 2006, Melbourne.
In an International career spanning over a decade, Chanu has represented the country twice at the World Cup in 1998 and 2006.
Bharat Chetri, former India goalkeeper and captain, led the team in 2012 London Olympics. He was part of the team that won Silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the bronze at the 2010 Asian Games. Currently he is mentoring the Indian goalkeepers both men and women.
Federer to return at Mercedes Cup in June
Roger Federer will return to action at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart in June after a lengthy break from the sport, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) said on Wednesday.
The 36-year-old world number two opted to follow the same plan as last year, when he missed the European claycourt season, including the French Open, before making a comeback in Stuttgart.
"Excited to announce that I will be coming back to Germany for the Mercedes Cup in June," Federer said. "Looking forward to seeing you at the grass courts in Stuttgart!"
Federer lost to German Tommy Haas in Stuttgart last year but the Swiss went on to win his ninth title at Halle before marching to his eighth Wimbledon triumph.
Defending champion Lucas Pouille, Canadian Milos Raonic, Next Gen ATP finals winner Hyeon Chung and Australian Nick Kyrgios will also compete at the Mercedes Cup from June 11-17.
Federer, 20-times grand slam winner, is also expected to bid for a record 10th title at the Halle Open starting on June 18.
IOC plans medal reallocation ceremonies to honour athletes
Olympic medals will be reallocated within 12 months of the end of any legal procedure and athletes can chose their ceremony, the International Olympic Committee said on Wednesday as it looks to give those cheated out of medals their moment of glory.
Many athletes have had medals stripped, some years after the Olympics, after doping sample re-testing from past Games regularly delivered dozens of positive tests.
More than 100 positive cases were found in re-tests from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics alone and some 75 medals were reallocated from those Games.
The medals are usually given to the next best athletes but until recently they received the medals with little or no planned ceremony and sometimes years after their performances.
"The Executive Board have accepted the medals reallocation documents," Kirsty Coventry, who heads the IOC athletes' commission, told reporters.
"There were will be very clear communication to the athletes and the federations on these principles."
Kiprop denies doping after positive test report
Former Olympic and triple world 1,500 metres champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya said on Wednesday he would "prove he was clean" following British media reports that he had tested positive for the banned blood-boosting drug EPO.
The 28-year-old, world champion in 2011, 2013 and 2015 and promoted to Olympic gold in 2008 after Bahrain's Rashid Ramzi tested positive for doping, was reported by Britain's Press Association to have failed an out-of-competition test.
Kiprop posted a link to the story on the Athletics Kenya WhatsApp group and wrote: "I have read the reports linking me to doping. As an athlete, I have been at the forefront of the fight against doping in Kenya. A fight I strongly believe in and support. I would not want to ruin all what I have worked for since my first international race in 2007. I hope I can prove that I am a clean athlete in every way possible."
Kiprop’s Italian agent Federico Rosa was quoted as saying he was aware of the reports but had no further details.
Froome confident he will be cleared of doping allegations
Britain's Chris Froome says he is not even contemplating missing the Tour de France and is confident the investigation into his adverse doping test at last year's Vuelta a Espana will clear him of wrongdoing.
The four-times Tour de France winner is fighting to clear his name after a test at the Vuelta revealed him to have double the permitted limit of the asthma medication Salbutamol in his system.
He has denied any wrongdoing and is free to race as he is not suspended.
If found guilty of doping, however, he will almost certainly face the prospect of a lengthy ban.
"That's certainly not something that I'm coming into this race even thinking of," he told reporters at a Team Sky news conference ahead of the Giro d'Italia.
"I'm not going to entertain that idea. I will be in the Tour."