Messi misses Barcelona training due to ‘personal reasons’

Four-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi missed training on Monday due to “personal reasons”, Barcelona confirmed.

“Messi hasn’t trained today, with the permission of the club, due to personal reasons,” Barca said in a statement.

The Argentine continued his fine form with the winning goal as Barca came from behind twice to beat Villarreal 3-2 on Sunday.

Yet, it is just over a month since Messi missed another training session in front of the club’s fans, claiming to be suffering from gastroenteritis, a day after he had been left on the bench for Barca’s 1-0 defeat at Real Sociedad.

His absence on that occasion sparked a mini-crisis at the club as speculation grew over coach Luis Enrique’s future due to his frosty relationship with his star player.

However, since then Barca have strung together eight straight victories to move into the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey and remain just a point adrift of La Liga leaders Real Madrid.

Barca aren’t in action again until Sunday when they travel to face Athletic Bilbao, so Enrique has given all of his squad Tuesday and Wednesday off ahead of a return to training on Thursday.

Photo Credits : AFP

Wilson Kipsang misses drug test

Kenyan distance runner Wilson Kipsang missed an out-of-competition drugs test in November, Athletics Kenya (AK) said on Tuesday.

AK said that according to the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules, a missed test would be recorded against the winner of this year’s London and New York marathons, but there would be no sanction.

He can request for an administrative review of the decision. Athletes are deemed to have breached doping rules if they commit a total of three “whereabouts failures”, within any 18-month period.

Kipsang, a bronze medallist in the marathon at the 2012 Olympics, was not immediately available to comment.

AK said that Kipsang missed the test on November 13, and the athlete was requested by the IAAF to provide an explanation, which he did on November 23.

Dozens of Kenyan athletes have failed dope tests in the past two years. Kenyan government officials have blamed the growing doping cases on foreign agents and Athletics Kenya’s failure to educate its athletes properly.

AK said on Monday that Kenyan distance runners Viola Chelangat Kimetto and Joyce Jemutai Kiplimo failed drugs tests and will be banned for two years, adding that tests from five other Kenyan athletes have aroused suspicion.

In October, Kenya’s Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, failed an out-of-competition doping test, and was suspended from competition pending testing of a B sample to be done this week.

-Eurosport