Squiz Today / 16 June 2021
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 16 June
"I have never taken any performance-enhancing substances."
Said US runner Shelby Houlihan who yesterday received a 4-year ban after testing positive for an anabolic steroid. The American 1,500m and 5,000m record holder didn’t blame it on the sunshine, moonlight, or good times - she blamed it on the burrito...
SWIMMING IN THE DEEP END
“We could have done better,” said Swimming Australia boss Alex Baumann yesterday as he responded to claims made over the last week of the exploitation of female athletes, including young girls. Speaking to the media late yesterday, Baumann said the organisation needed to do more to make its members aware of how to make a complaint, and they will be sent that information today. And an independent all-female panel will be convened to review claims made by 2-times silver Olympic medalist Maddie Groves that set off claims of a "toxic culture" at the top of Aussie swimming. All as the Olympic trials are unfolding in Adelaide…
WHAT HAS BEEN SAID?
Last week, 26yo Groves made explosive allegations as she withdrew from Olympic selection. Calling time on “all misogynistic perverts in sport and their boot lickers”, she said her actions were to ensure they “no longer exploit young women and girls, body shame or medically gaslight them and then expect them to represent you so you can earn your annual bonus.” Baumann said officials have been trying to contact Groves to get to the bottom of her claims, and reports this morning say she's agreed to a meeting. Since then, former elite swimmer/academic Dr Jenny McMahon has detailed allegations of a “degrading and abusive” culture and “a trail of broken athletes and coaches when they do not conform and perform”. Note: that did not include an incident where a boy was snapped in female togs - not a punishment, just a kid who is “not worried about gender stereotypes," his mum said.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THOSE HOPING TO GET TO TOKYO?
It’s negative attention, and Baumann said he’s worried given the Games are a bit more than a month away. And with all of our Olympic hopefuls currently vying for a spot on the team, they’ve told the media that their focus is on delivering in the pool. And the women are on fire... Ariarne Titmus is staring down an exciting contest against US champ Katie Ledecky when they get to Tokyo. Kaylee McKeown broke the world record for the 100m backstroke, and veteran Emma McKeon is also impressing. As for the men, Kyle Chalmers’ 100m freestyle turn last night rivalled his 2016 gold medal-winning time. The trials wrap up and the Olympic team will be confirmed tomorrow.
SQUIZ THE REST
TAMIL FAMILY REUNITED IN PERTH
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke yesterday granted permission for the Murugappan family to temporarily live in Perth as the couple's youngest daughter Tharnicaa recovers from an infection in hospital and the family pursues their ongoing legal appeal. The couple who came to Australia from Sri Lanka and their 2 girls will live under community detention, and will have access to local schools and support services. Hawke said he made the decision on compassionate grounds, but the family's immigration status has not changed. They are still considered to be 'unlawful non-citizens' who were set to be deported before the latest legal challenge was mounted. While the family’s supporters and some MPs have called on the government to let the family resettle in Queensland’s Biloela (where the girls were born), others say granting visas would set a dangerous precedent.
AN ELBOW BUMP SEALS THE OZ-UK FREE TRADE DEAL
After months of negotiations, a free trade deal between Australia and the UK has been agreed ‘in principle’. Over a dinner of Welsh lamb, Scottish salmon and Aussie wine on Monday night followed by a Tuesday morning brekkie, PMs Scott Morrison and Boris Johnson agreed to move forward with a plan that will see us have more access to the UK market over a 15-year timeline. And it seems like a tease with the border closed, but the age for a working holiday visa will also be raised from 30yo to 35yo at both ends. The agreement - which marks the UK’s first since Brexit saw it leave the European Union - is a “new dawn in the UK's relationship with Australia,” Johnson said. And Morrison said the deal was "the most comprehensive and ambitious agreement that Australia has concluded". To celebrate, the pair cracked open a couple of hampers and exchanged biscuits, as you do…
EYES ON PUTIN AND BIDEN
US President Joe Biden has arrived in Geneva, Switzerland ahead of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. And like a prizefighter, the American has been in training for the showdown that will kick off tonight our time and will last 4-5 hours before they hold separate press conferences. Former US President Donald Trump and Putin were part of a mutual admiration club… well, according to Trump, anyway. Despite that, tensions between Moscow and Washington hit significant lows over accusations Putin’s crew were behind cyberattacks, election tampering, and human rights breaches. Biden is also expected to raise the jailing and poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny. The pair have set out their pre-meeting expectations, and there's no big breakthrough on the horizon. Don’t say you weren’t warned…
G7 VACCINE PLEDGE TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
The World Health Organization has criticised a pledge from G7 countries to share a billion COVID vaccines with developing nations, saying it’s not enough to tackle the virus. “Right now, the virus is moving faster than the global distribution of vaccines,” WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. While the latest effort to overcome disparities in vaccine access was revised from an initial offering of 130 million doses earlier this year, at least 11 billion are needed to achieve the WHO’s goal of vaccinating 70% of the world’s population by 2022. And according to the World Bank, G7 countries are outpacing vaccination rates in low-income countries 73 to one. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 176 million cases and 3.8 million deaths worldwide. And 2.4 billion vaccine doses have been administered, which is a lot of arms…
CHRISSY TEIGEN APOLOGISES
Model/TV personality/former acerbic tweeter Chrissy Teigen yesterday issued a public apology for her online behaviour after she was accused of bullying. “There is simply no excuse for my past horrible tweets,” the 35yo wrote in a Medium post. “I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry.” She apologised to reality star Courtney Stodden a month ago after her vile messages were uncovered. Since then, Teigen, who has lost a string of commercial deals over the controversy, says she was trying “to gain attention and show off what I at the time believed was a crude, clever, harmless quip”. Unsurprisingly, there’s some scepticism with one commentator calling the apology a "carefully crafted Hollywood PR stunt". If she was an Aussie, and if proposed new laws are passed, Teigen would face a hefty fine.
APROPOS OF NOTHING - TERRIFYING CREATURES EDITION
Ever wondered what the inside of a whale looks like? Fisherman Michael Packard can tell you after he was gobbled up and spat out by a humpback. Apparently, it was all a harmless mistake on the whale’s part…
What’s more terrifying than being a toothpick for a whale? Encountering a 7-metre long ancient croc. Crikey…
And heavy rain and flooding in Victoria have brought on the “spider apocalypse”... Creepy crawlies have created cobwebs across vast stretches of land to shelter themselves from the rain. Either that, or it’s the work of one giant spider…
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley addresses the National Press club - Canberra
10.00pm (AEST) - Presidential talks between America's Joe Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin - Geneva
Red Apple Day supporting Bowel Cancer Australia
• the formation of the Salvation Army in London (1880)
• the opening of the first rollercoaster - Coney Island, New York (1884)
• the marriage of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath (1956)
• the premiere of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960)
• Russia’s Valentina Tereshkova becoming the first woman in space (1963)
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