Cycling, Britain's most successful sport at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, has suffered a 4.29 million-pound ($5.4 million) funding cut in the build-up to the 2020 Games in Tokyo, UK Sport announced on Friday. Four of Britain's less successful Olympic sports - archery, badminton, fencing and weightlifting - have lost all their funding completely along with the Paralympic sport of wheelchair rugby. Britain's cyclists won 12 medals in Rio, including six golds, helped by investment of 30 million pounds but that figure has been cut to 25 million for the Olympic cycle leading up to Tokyo.
That's the message the Hendrick Motorsports driver delivered Friday during a conference call with media members, one day after announcing he was medically cleared to race and two days after a private -- and secret -- test at Darlington Raceway. "We worked to get stronger than we were before," Earnhardt said. "I wouldn't be coming back … if there was any risk other than the typical risk that every driver faces on Sunday. I feel very confident in what I've seen in myself and my improvement, and I feel confident in what my doctors are telling me about my future and the risks that I'm taking. "We all feel pretty confident not only am I as healthy as I was before, but I'm actually stronger." Earnhardt
Veteran Spanish rider Joaquim "Purito" Rodriguez announced he is to retire on Friday, bringing to an end a successful 17-year career. "After taking my time to think, and trying to come back to a working routine, I realised it is not possible for me," Rodriguez, 37, said in a statement posted on his Instagram account. Rodriguez had signed a contract with new WorldTour team Bahrain-Merida for the new season, but will instead now act as a mentor to younger riders in the team.