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Castle steps down

Rugby Australia (RA) chairman Paul McLean has staunchly backed departed chief executive Raelene Castle, whom he says was subjected to “abhorrent” bullying from “faceless people” during her time in the job.

Castle stepped down as RA chief executive, a post she had held since late 2017, explaining she no longer felt she had the support of the governing body’s board. Her decision to quit came three days after a no-confidence letter – signed by a number of ex-Wallabies captains – sent to RA was made public, calling for an overhaul of its leadership.

“I’m not a social media person but I’m aware of some of the things that were said over a period of time in a quite vicious and vitriolic way. It’s the silent forces, the dark forces, they’re the things that upset me most,” McLean told reporters via a teleconference on April 24.

“It’s the people who didn’t know the facts or were just one of those faceless people out there – that was the damaging thing from her perspective. She shared some of that with me, which I found quite abhorrent.

“Without the things that happened in the last two years and some of the unwarranted criticisms and bullying, I think it might have been a different scenario.”

Training ‘tricky’ in isolation, says Barty

Ash Barty is finding it challenging to maintain high intensity in her training during the shutdown but the women’s world number one is hoping she will be back to her usual self with the flick of a switch when tennis resumes after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Like other sports around the world, professional tennis screeched to a halt in early March as the virus spread quickly around the world. At this stage it is not due to restart until at least mid-July.

While Barty’s partner, golfer Gary Kissick, has seen Ash’s golf game improve during the lockdown in Brisbane, her tennis training is in “a little bit of a holding pattern”.

“It’s kind of tricky to train with the same intensity as always,” Barty, who turned 24 on Friday, told the Herald Sun.

“Obviously, we’re still not sure when we’ll go back. Now, it’s about maintaining for if and when we get an opportunity to play again this year, you can kinda flick that switch and go from there.”

Tyson in training

Mike Tyson, the 53-year-old former heavyweight champion of the world and Hall of Famer, says he’s been training a bit to gear up for some exhibition charity fights.

Speaking with rapper T.I. on Instagram Live, Tyson admitted it’s been tough, but he’s getting back into shape. “I’ve been working out, I’ve been trying to get in the ring. I’m going to box some exhibitions and get in shape. I’ve been hitting the mitts for the last week. That’s been tough, my body is really jacked up and really sore from hitting the mitts.

“It is all worth it though, as funds from the exhibitions will be donated to various organisations that help the homeless.”

Tyson retired from boxing after back-to-back losses to Danny Williams and Kevin McBride in 2004-05, looking a shadow of his former self in the McBride bout in particular, where he quit after six rounds. In more recent years, Tyson has extensively rehabbed his public image and persona, seemingly finding some peace in life.


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