Baku

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Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, appearing at a 2015 press conference, are  due to play a lucrative exhibition tennis match in Saudi Arabia. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP

It predates 2018, but one of the contenders for word of the year must be “sportswashing”. In three syllables, it encapsulates a global game fondly an(...)

Armenian opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan attends a rally with supporters in the country’s second-largest city of Gyumri. Photograph: Gleb Garanich/Reuters

When huge popular protests in Armenia forced prime minister Serzh Sargsyan to resign early this week, Russia said it would not interfere in the domest(...)

Michael O’Reilly became the first Irish athlete to be sent home from an Olympics for failing a doping test. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Irish middleweight Michael O’Reilly has been banned from boxing for four years for testing positive for a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid. O’R(...)

Chelsea’s   goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois:  although he  is happy at Chelsea and willing to sign improved terms, he has regularly expressed his fondness for life in La Liga. Photograph AFP Photo

Thibaut Courtois does not expect discussions to resume over a new contract at Chelsea until the end of the season, when he will be entering the final (...)

The Irish Olympic Council tweeted out this picture on Friday morning - showing a message of support for Pat Hickey from The European Olympic Committees, and the Association of National Olympic Committees at the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee in Minsk, Belarus. Photograph: Twitter

After two months of near silence, the wider Olympic movement has suddenly swelled up in support of Pat Hickey. Delegates at yesterday’s General Asse(...)

Pope Francis is welcomed by a presidential delegation upon his arrival at the International Airport of Baku. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Pope Francis has arrived in Azerbaijan for a day-long visit aimed at encouraging the country’s multi-faith society and overlooking recent criticism of(...)

 Irish middleweight boxer Michael O’Reilly in action in Baku in 2015. An investigation into O’Reilly’s failed doping test  at the Rio Games may not be completed for months. File photograph: Tobias Schwarz/AFP/Getty Images

An investigation into the failed doping test by Irish middleweight boxer Michael O’Reilly at the Rio Games may not be completed for months, according (...)

Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey’s passport and accreditation on show during a Police press conference. Photograph: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

The world’s media has responded to Pat Hickey’s arrest as “a hugely embarrassing development” for the International Olympic Committee with detailed re(...)

The Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, overlooked by the Christ the Redeemer statue. Photograph: Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Like it or not, the Games of the XXXI Olympiad are coming. Blanket coverage begins late on Friday night with the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro’s (...)

Katie Taylor reacts as Yana Alekseevna of Azerbaijan celebrates victory in their European Olympics qualifier semi-final in Samsun, Turkey. Photograph: Ilyas Gun/Anadolu Agency

It’s is not the end of the road to Rio for Katie Taylor, with another qualifying event available in the world championships next month. But her defeat(...)

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