Eating handfuls of clay

Plus: a GB Swimming love triangle turns nasty and Danny Cipriani's bad trip

💬 Quote of the day

“I’m sweating my balls off to be honest” - Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper.

SWIMMING

🤕 Water you doing?

When Adam Peaty burst on to the scene in 2016, he was the shy, baby-faced fella. The type your grandmother might call “a lovely boy”.

But three gold medals will change a man, and these days the breast stroker dresses like a Love Islander, dates Gordon Ramsey’s daughter, and swans around training camps like he’s Billy Big Balls.

According to insiders, Peaty got into a scrap after smacking teammate Luke Greenbank on the arse and making a “cocky quip” about his girlfriend, Anna Hopkins.

Peaty used to go out with Hopkins, and it’s clearly a sore subject.

According to a witness: “His actions touched a real nerve for Greenbank and it got very heated.

“Peaty was left with a bloody face and needing treatment.”

FOOTBALL

💪 Guess we won’t be needing those growth hormones

His father might be one of the most elegant dribblers to grace the game, but it turns out Leo Messi’s son Mateo is an enforcer in the Roy Keane/Sergio Busquets mould.

📣 During his unsuccessful campaign to be Man City captain, John Stones handed his teammates flyers which read: “John Stones - Man of the People”.

RUGBY

🍄 Turn on, tune in, 22 dropout

Magic mushrooms are enjoying a revival at the moment, so it was only a matter of time before a new wave of reckless evangelists got in the act.

Step forward Danny Cipriani, who took time out from branding Eddie Jones a “horny teenager” in his new book to extoll the virtues of psychedelic drugs like mushrooms and “crystallised toad”.

Sure, Danny’s had the odd slip up. Like the time he overcooked his dose, thought his wife was trying to kill him and “put my arms out, leaned back, toppled over and smashed my head on the edge of a step”.

He ended up in hospital, and spent the next six days accusing birds and trees of not being real before the trip wore off, but Danny still insists shrooms “open doors for me”.

Mainly the doors to Queen Mary’s hospital…

UPSHOT PODCAST

🎙️ A game for gentlemen, played by utter wrong’uns

Despite his penchant for threesomes and week-long drug benders, Danny Cipriani is far from rugby’s biggest wrong’un.

As the World Cup kicks off, we’ve rounded up our favourite tales of drunken antics, criminal activity and horrific pranks from the sport’s biggest names.

Naturally there are several members of English rugby royalty on the list.

From defecating on dancefloors to licking cocaine off journalists, meet the game's rowdiest reprobates...

💼 John Terry is the new manager of Saudi side Al-Shabbab, whose name means “the lads”.

FOOTBALL

💊 Hardest day of my career

After Mohamed Al Fayed headed to the seedy staff party in the sky, we’ve been regaling Upshot Gold readers with tales of his colourful antics while in charge of Fulham.

The dirty old dog had a habit of bursting into the dressing room with a fistful of Viagra, dishing them out to the squad before matches.

On one occasion he even extended this generous custom to Arsene Wenger.

Standing in the centre circle before a game, he filled Arsene’s hand with blue pills and chuckled: “Give these to your boys. It will help them get it up later."

A bemused Wenger replied: "Get what up?" before he looked in his hand, and turned bright red.

He quickly handed them back to Al Fayed, who strutted off cackling with delight.

🍫 Mohamed Al-Fayed once told the Fulham squad he was giving them gold bars worth millions, but they turned out to be chocolate.

TENNIS

🤯 You don’t reach the top without eating the odd handful of clay

Even on a tour brimming with highly strung brats, Russian stars Andrey Rublev and Daniil Medvedev stand out as bona fide headcases.

So their Wednesday night US Open clash was eagerly anticipated by aficionados of on-court tantrums and abusive crowd interactions.

And ahead of the big match - which Medvedev won - Rublev provided a taste of their insane teenage rivalry.

Rublev describes how losing one point during their early encounters in Russia would result in “three minutes of crying and racket throwing”.

Medvedev would scream abuse at random passers-by, while Rublev ate handfuls of clay in anger:

We'd flip out differently. I was throwing rackets, crying, whining. He was throwing rackets but without crying and whining. Instead, he would yell at everything and everyone around.

He was nuts like that. He could tell the umpire what he thinks of him. Someone would simply pass by and get told to go to hell. I was mostly whining, crying, throwing rackets, grabbing clay from the court and eating it.

Explains a lot…

🏆 Taylor Swift’s terrifying fans have voted Jude Bellingham into pole position for the 2023 Golden Boy award after his rival, Barcelona’s Alejandro Balde, told an interviewer he didn’t like Swift’s music.

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📺 Sport on TV

Today
Rugby World Cup
• France v New Zealand (8.15pm, ITV)

One day cricket
• England v New Zealand (12.30pm, Sky Sports)

US Open tennis
• Men’s doubles final (5pm, Sky Sports)
• Men’s semi-final (8pm, Sky Sports)

Euro 2024 qualifier
• Cyprus v Scotland (7.45pm, Viaplay)

Saturday
Rugby World Cup
• Ireland v Romania (2.30pm, ITV)
• England v Argentina (8pm, ITV)

Euro 2024 qualifiers
• Ukraine v England (5pm, Channel 4)

US Open tennis
• Mixed doubles final (5pm, Sky Sports)
• Women’s final (9pm, Sky Sports)

Sunday
Rugby World Cup
• Japan v Chile (12pm, ITV)
• South Africa v Scotland (4.45pm, ITV)
• Wales v Fiji (8pm, ITV)

One day cricket
• England v New Zealand (11am, Sky Sports)

US Open tennis
• Women’s doubles final (5pm, Sky Sports)
• Men’s final (8.30pm, Sky Sports)

Euro 2024 qualifiers
• Republic of Ireland v Netherlands (7.45pm, Viaplay)

AND FINALLY

👨‍👧 Minnie me

We’re not saying South African women’s star Miche Minnies is definitely Ronaldinho’s secret lovechild.

But we wouldn’t mind seeing a DNA test…

That's it for today. Thanks to Baldo, Bear and Derek for sending in stories.

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