Several players from Spanish Basketball League (ACB) clubs Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, among others, as well as a number of players from NBA teams, "expressed their support via Twitter" for the strike called by the players' association (ABP), according to MARCA. Real Madrid's Felipe Reyes said, "The union makes the strength #ABPEstamosUnidos." His Real Madrid teammate Rudy Fernández said, "We are teammates fighting for our rights. For the current players and those to come #ABPEstamosUnidos." Pau Gasol of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, Ricky Rubio of the Utah Jazz and Nikola Mirotić of the New Orleans Pelicans also expressed support for the strike (MARCA, 2/12).
The Australian Football League "has moved to act on the issue of ACL injuries in women’s sport, engaging La Trobe University to conduct a pilot ACL injury prevention program," according to Daniel Cherny of THE AGE. The "global reality that women are more likely than men to suffer ACL tears hit home" over the weekend when two of AFLW’s "biggest names went down with knee injuries." Studies have shown women "are around five times more likely to tear their ACL than men playing the same sports." Carlton captain Brianna Davey’s season "is over" after she tore her ACL in the Blues’ win over Greater Western Sydney on Friday, while the Western Bulldogs confirmed on Monday that Isabel Huntington "ruptured the ACL in her right knee" on Sunday. It is an issue that has "marred previous seasons" of the W-League, "with several of Australia’s leading female soccer players being affected." The AFL confirmed it was working with La Trobe on the matter. An AFL spokesperson said, "The AFL acknowledges female ACL injuries are a global issue in sport" (THE AGE, 2/12). In Melbourne, Cavanagh & Salemme reported the AFL "is hanging its hopes on a new ACL injury prevention program." Huntington is the fifth AFLW player since August to "have her season wiped out by an ACL injury." Medical experts "put the discrepancy down largely to the different shape of the female body," with studies from other sports showing ACL injury rates "between two and 10 times higher among female athletes." The AFL said that last November, it "signed on for a new prevention program to tackle the issue through knee strengthening exercises, including weights programs and altering running patterns" (HERALD SUN, 2/12).
The National Rugby League’s "desire to have a geographical spread in the upcoming women’s competition could be under threat," with nearly half of the competition "set to sit out of the bidding process," according to Arnold & Bollen of the Brisbane COURIER-MAIL. Applications to have a women’s team in the first female NRL competition are due this Friday after the deadline was extended, "but a strong Queensland presence seems unlikely." At least five teams will reportedly not bid for licenses, including the Cowboys, Titans and Raiders, while the Storm are “unlikely." All four clubs "sit outside the New South Wales bubble," with the Broncos the only non-Sydney team to confirm it "will put in a bid by the end of the week." This lack of interest from non-Sydney clubs "will fly in the face of what the NRL wanted from the women’s competition." Aside from the Broncos, only the Sharks, Rabbitohs, Roosters and Dragons "were able to confirm they will put in bids," while Manly and Penrith "ruled themselves out" (COURIER-MAIL, 2/12).
Rugby authorities "are taking steps to try and ensure there is no repeat of the case of Sione Vaiomounga, the Tongan stranded in Romania, by introducing a worldwide agent registration scheme" and increasing the number of "key support staff" across Europe. The rugby world "was stunned by Vaiomounga’s story, with the Tongan forced to stay in Romania to receive treatment after suffering kidney failure while playing in the country" (London TELEGRAPH, 2/12).
Former Team Sky doctor Fabio Bartalucci spoke for the first time "about his 18-month spell with the British team." The Tuscany-based cycling doctor confirmed allegations made by a whistleblower that in '11, Team Sky "entered one of the ethical grey areas of the sport" and implemented an intravenous recovery program. The so-called "recup" program was "also due to be made available to riders during the Giro d'Italia." However, the plan was not activated because the Int'l Cycling Union (UCI) "fast-tracked a no-needle policy," which was introduced on May 4, just before the start of the Giro d'Italia (CYCLING NEWS, 2/12).
Red Bullwill reveal its new Formula 1 car next Monday, the team announced. Red Bull tweeted that the RB14 would be launched on Feb. 19, "although no further details were released" (MOTORSPORT, 2/12).