The International Paralympic Committee is demanding answers from China’s state broadcaster after an impassioned, anti-war speech by its head appeared to have been censored during the Beijing winter games opening ceremony on Friday evening. “We are aware of reports and have asked CCTV for an explanation,” an IPC spokesperson said Saturday. CCTV could not be immediately reached for comment outside office hours Saturday. Paralympics President Andrew Parsons told the audience, which included Chinese President Xi Jinping, that he was “horrified” at what was happening in the world, in an apparent reference to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. China has avoided taking a clear stance against the invasion, while upholding Ukraine’s sovereignty. The IPC was also involved in controversy before the games. It reversed a decision to let Russia and Belarus participate after “multiple” athletes threatened a boycott that could have halted the event. The part where Parsons condemned the war was not translated into Chinese in a live broadcast by CCTV. Instead, a Chinese announcer talked over Parsons and read a later part of his translated statement. When it came to the part about the truce, CCTV appeared to have lowered the volume so that Parsons’ remarks became inaudible.
Roger Federer won’t return until late summer
Roger Federer said any tournament comeback from his knee surgery last year will not be until at least the late summer. The 40-year-old tennis great gave an update on his lengthy rehabilitation to Swiss broadcaster SRF when he attended a women’s World Cup ski race at Lenzerheide, where he has a home. It confirmed Federer’s comments in November that he would not return in time for Wimbledon in June, though he did not specify his plans for the US Open which starts Aug. 29. Federer told SRF his rehabilitation was progressing well enough that he was now thinking in terms of playing again. Previously, he said the motivation for undergoing surgery last August was to protect his future quality of life with his family rather than return to competitive tennis.
Davis Cup Finals field taking form
France, Spain, and Argentina eased into the Davis Cup Finals while Belgium scraped past host Finland 3-2 in the qualifiers. Australia came from behind to beat Hungary 3-2 in Sydney. France ticked all of its boxes in defeating Ecuador 4-0 in Pau. Arthur Rinderknech earned his first singles win, Benjamin Bonzi won on debut, and the doubles team of Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut remained unbeaten in six years. Spain took out Romania 3-1 in Marbella.
UConn women advance in Big East Tournament
UConn coach Geno Auriemma says star sophomore Paige Bueckers isn’t where she wants to be in returning from knee surgery, but she’s getting there. Bueckers came off the bench to score 16 points and No. 7 UConn routed Georgetown 84-38 in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament. Last season’s national player of the year, who suffered a tibia plateau fracture and torn meniscus in her left knee on Dec. 5, played 18 minutes in her third game back. She shot 6 of 9 overall, and was 4 of 5 from 3-point range. She also had five rebounds and four assists. Christyn Williams added 15 points, Aaliyah Edwards had 14, and Azzi Fudd scored 11 for the Huskies (23-5) … In men’s action, Aaryn Rai had 13 points and 13 rebounds to lift Dartmouth to a 76-54 win over Harvard. Brendan Barry had 19 points for Dartmouth (9-16, 6-8 Ivy League). Noah Kirkwood had 19 points for the Crimson (13-13, 5-9).
Forbidden Kingdom wins San Felipe Stakes
Forbidden Kingdom romped to a 5 3/4-length victory in the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes , beating a pair of 3-year-old colts from the barn of embattled trainer Bob Baffert. Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Forbidden Kingdom ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.98 on a showery, 55-degree day at Santa Anita … The Arizona Coyotes have signed center Travis Boyd to a two-year contract. The 28-year-old Boyd has set career highs this season with 10 goals and 24 points in 46 games with Arizona. He’s also one assist away from establishing a career high … Russian driver Nikita Mazepin was dropped by Haas F1 despite the FIA ruling he could compete in Formula One races under a neutral flag. Haas also ended its sponsorship with Uralkali, the Russian fertilizer company owned by Mazepin’s father. Dmitry Mazepin is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his son’s contract to drive was linked to the team sponsorship … NBA All-Star guard Luka Doncic sat out the Dallas Mavericks’ home game against the Sacramento Kings because of a left toe sprain … Japan’s Yuto Tanigaki won the men’s mass start title, while teammate Yuka Takahashi claimed the women’s crown on the final day of the FISU World University Speed Skating Championship in Lake Placid, N.Y. The German pair of Lea-Sophie Scholz and Michael Roth raced to the mixed team relay gold medal.