Neymar
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Neymar’s Olympic status ‘complicated,’ Barcelona coach says

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Brazil’s biggest sports star remains in question to compete in the Rio Olympics.

Barcelona striker Neymar is not guaranteed to be allowed to play by his club at the first Games in South America, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said Friday, according to Brazilian outlet Universo Online.

“It’s a special situation for any athlete: the Olympic Games in your [home] country,” Enrique, who won home gold for Spain at Barcelona 1992, said, according to a translation. “We will discuss it, because it’s complicated. There are competitions here and that carry weight. Neymar also has the Copa America [Centenario], and we need to observe the physical aspect. … We are looking for a lighter load that benefits the player himself.”

Men’s soccer clubs are under no obligation to allow their players to compete in Rio in August, FIFA announced in September.

If Barcelona releases Neymar for Rio, he could be selected as one of three players born before Jan. 1, 1993, on Brazil’s Olympic team.

Barcelona may not want Neymar to play in the Olympics because it could crowd any already potentially busy summer for one of its prized players.

Brazil’s national team also is set for Copa America Centenario that runs from June 3-26. Soccer at the Olympics is Aug. 3-20. Barcelona’s domestic season in La Liga usually begins in late August.

Brazil, which has captured five World Cups, took Olympic silver in 1984, 1988 and 2012 and bronze in 1996 and 2008. Brazil hasn’t won Olympic soccer gold.

Neymar, then 20, was part of the 2012 Olympic team that lost to Mexico in the final.

MORE: No Messi in Rio, but another Argentina star possible

Rafael Nadal to miss U.S. Open; men’s, women’s singles fields named

Rafael Nadal
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Rafael Nadal is not entered in the U.S. Open, joining the recovering Roger Federer in missing the first Grand Slam tennis tournament since the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s the first time a Grand Slam tournament main draw will be missing both legends since the 1999 U.S. Open.

“The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it,” was posted on Nadal’s social media. “This is a decision I never wanted to take, but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.”

The U.S. Open starts as scheduled Aug. 31 without fans. The rescheduled French Open, which Nadal has won a record 12 times, is scheduled to start two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Nadal did not mention in Tuesday’s statement whether he planned to play Roland Garros.

Nadal won his fourth U.S. Open in 2019, defeating Russian Daniil Medvedev in a five-set final. That moved Nadal within one Grand Slam singles title of Federer’s record 20.

Federer previously announced he is out for the rest of 2020 following a right knee procedure.

U.S. Open Entry Lists: Men | Women

The U.S. Open fields are led by top-ranked Novak Djokovic and 23-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams.

Other notable players not on main-draw entry lists published Tuesday: women’s No. 1 Ash Barty and 2016 U.S. Open winner Stan Wawrinka. Other than Barty, the top 28 women in the world rankings are entered, including defending champion Bianca Andreescu.

Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev are the top-ranked men in the field. Djokovic and 2014 U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic, plus first alternate (and wild-card candidate) Andy Murray, are the only male Grand Slam singles champions in the field.

VIDEO: Coco Gauff delivers speech for racial justice

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Why did Shaun White cut his hair? Carrot Top

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Shaun White said a revelatory chat with Carrot Top led to the Olympic snowboarding champion chopping off his flowing red locks more than seven years ago, according to a report.

“I went to an event in Vegas where I run into Carrot Top,” White wrote, according to a Bleacher Report AMA last Wednesday. “We were talking about our hair and he basically looked at me like you could see into his soul and he basically said he was stuck like this. And at that point it was like seeing the ghost of Christmas future. And at that point I was like omg I can change.”

White documented a meeting with Carrot Top on social media in September 2013, but that was 10 months after the haircut. They must have met in 2012, too.

White, formerly known as the Flying Tomato, posted video of the haircut in December 2012, saying he didn’t tell anybody beforehand. He had grown tired of the nickname.

He donated the hair to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for needy children.

White is known for charitable efforts for children, including with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the St. Jude Children’s Hospital. White was born with a heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot, requiring two major surgeries before his first birthday.

White, a 33-year-old who recently changed his hair color to blond, announced in February that he ended a bid to make the first U.S. Olympic skateboarding team for the Tokyo Games.

He is expected to compete for a spot in the 2022 Winter Olympics, where he could be the oldest U.S. Olympic halfpipe rider in history.

MORE: White, Shiffrin among dominant Winter Olympians of 2010s

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