Ronnie O’Sullivan is nearly as good at creating headlines as he is at potting snooker balls.
Describing the players at the World Championships as “lab rats” will certainly get plenty of attention.
If O’Sullivan isn’t happy about something, he rarely keeps it to himself.
The Worlds start at the Crucible today and it will be the first indoor sports event in the UK since coronavirus with spectators.
It’s part of the government-backed test programme.
On the face of it, it doesn’t seem like the most obvious one to choose.
The Crucible is a famously tight venue and 300 people per session does feel a bit on the high side.
The timing is probably a bit unfortunate as well.
When the test events were selected the general pandemic picture was getting more and more positive. But the snooker will be starting against the backdrop of everything that’s happening with flights and stricter quarantine and talk of a second wave coming.
So I get O’Sullivan’s point to a certain extent.
But if he feels that strongly, he shouldn’t be taking part. And the same goes for other players who may have health concerns.
Just go back a few weeks to all the negative publicity English football was getting for its big restart. There hasn’t been any problem with Covid-19 on the back of it. It’s been a really positive story.
It’s the same with the cricket and golf (maybe not in America!)
I can’t imagine that the experts would allow these test events to take place without ticking every box.
It would be too big a risk for the government and sporting bodies.
Unless we lock ourselves in our house, we’re all taking a leap of faith at some point.
This seems to be a pretty reasonable step for me, and I would certainly be comfortable if something similar happened in curling.
But if you feel like it’s too big a gamble, don’t play.
* This time next week I’ll be able to tell you what it’s like to get back on ice because Monday is the day we’re returning to training.
I do feel fortunate because the curling centre is the only part of the Peak at Stirling re-opening, I believe.
There is going to be a long process of filling in forms and medical checks every morning before it gets to throwing a few stones for an hour-and-a-half each day but that’s just the way it has to be.
A lot of money has been spent on putting a new air system in to meet the required guidelines, which we all appreciate.
It does make you fear for ice rinks across the country who might not be able to afford it, though.
* You think you’ve heard it all when it comes to the sacrifices people make to get to the top of their sport and stay there but this story takes it to a whole new level.
The GB wheelchair basketball player George Bates is considering getting a lower leg amputated because his disability no longer meets the International Paralympic Committee threshold!
Wow. Hopefully an appeal is successful because the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.