1. Australian cycling great Stuart O’Grady has admitted to taking banned substances before competing in the 1998 Tour De France. O’Grady – who only recently announced his retirement from the sport – told The Adelaide Advertiser: “Leading into the Tour I made a decision, I sourced it (EPO) myself, there was no one else involved, it didn’t involve the team in any way.”
“The hardest part of all this is I did it for two weeks before the Tour de France. I used extremely cautious amounts because I’d heard a lot of horror stories and did the absolute minimum of what I hoped would get me through,” he said. O’Grady won medals at three Olympic Games over the course of his career.
2. The death toll from yesterday’s asylum seeker boat sinking off the coast of Java has risen to nine. The deceased includes a baby boy, four children and a pregnant woman. It is believed that 189 of the 204 people on board have been rescued.
3. The Royal Baby name has been revealed. The baby, who was born two days ago at London’s St Mary’s hospital, will be named George Alexander Louis. In other royal news, it’s been reported that the Queen has visited Kensington Palace to meet her new great-grandson.
4. A New York mayoral candidate – the unbelievably named Anthony Weiner – has admitted that he had sent lewd photos exposing himself to a young woman, while using the alias “Carlos Danger”. The story is particularly shocking because Weiner was forced to resign from his previous position in Congress in 2011, due to a similar sexting scandal. Mr Weiner appealed to New York voters to “give [him] a second chance.” His wife told the media: “I love him, I have forgiven him, I believe in him.”
5. Former Australian netball captain Sharelle McMahon has announced her retirement from the game. The 35-year-old has played 118 games for Australia, won two world championships, two Commonwealth gold medals, five premierships with Melbourne Pheonix and one premiership with the Melbourne Vixens.
6. The PNG High Commission in Canberra, yesterday issued a statement asking politicians to choose their words carefully. They wrote: “The High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to Australia, today warned Australian politicians to observe international protocols and courtesies when discussing relations with other friendly sovereign nations and not impugn the dignity of our leaders who are attempting to assist Australia in this very complex regional and international issue of Asylum Seekers.” This statement comes after Australia announced its plan to send all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to PNG and Opposition criticism of the policy, which has suggested the Labor Government had “subcontracted out to PNG the management of our aid program at least in that country”.
7. Meanwhile, Russia has reportedly provided Edward Snowden – the US intelligence leaker and now fugitive – with documentation that will allow him to leave the Moscow airport transit zone. Snowden has been at the Moscow airport since he tried to transit through Russia on his way to Ecuador from Hong Kong last month. His application for asylum is apparently being considered.