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HOT OR NOT: Michael Owen’s rebirth as a football fire starter and the courage of Romelu Lukaku

HOT OR NOT: Michael Owen’s rebirth as a football fire starter and Romelu Lukaku’s courage to stand up to racial abuse in Serie A

  • Michael Owen’s autobiography has revealed a nasty streak he has kept well hidden
  • Romelu Lukaku is to be commended for speaking up about racism in Serie A
  • Because of WADA’s strange rule, Christian Coleman avoided penalties for missing tests

It’s Hot or Not time again Sports emails Riath Al-Samarrai reveals what made him warm and what made him cold this week.

HOT

MICHAEL OWEN

Who knew that all these years wrapped in a vanilla cloak was such a gloriously twisted fire starter? Shearer, Beckham, Newcastle, Capello – he burned them all after two decades of saying little interest after which he tweeted his devastation about running over a rabbit. The book makes you wonder if that was really an accident.

Michael Owen's new book has revealed a nasty streak that he previously hid well

Michael Owen’s new book has revealed a nasty streak that he previously hid well

OUR OPEN TENNIS

How nice that the semifinal only featured Rafael Nadal from the game’s giants. It is undoubtedly more difficult to attract viewers without Federer and Djokovic, but it’s not a bad thing to get an occasional glimpse of what tennis might look like if they ever retire.

Rafael Nadal is the only one of the 'big three' of tennis to reach the semifinals of the US Open this week

Rafael Nadal is the only one of the 'big three' of tennis to reach the semifinals of the US Open this week

Rafael Nadal is the only one of the ‘big three’ of tennis to reach the semifinals of the US Open this week

ROMELU LUKAKU

First of all, thank you for speaking about the crazy and racist fans at Cagliari. And also a credit for providing the catalyst for Inter’s ultras to shambolicly defend their racism. Perhaps with the confession of what we already knew, the rulers of the Serie A will form a backbone and issue a ban. Could be.

Romelu Lukaku is to be commended for condemning the racist abuse against him

Romelu Lukaku is to be commended for condemning the racist abuse against him

Romelu Lukaku is to be commended for condemning the racist abuse against him

NOT

SIR ALASTAIR COOK

A likeable man with a great career that he has now logged into a book released this week. It may be unfortunate that his typically thoughtful musings and memories of everything from farming to cricket via Kevin Pietersen are drowned out by the publicity given to Owen.

Alastair Cook's beautiful autobiography is drowned out by the publicity surrounding Owen's

Alastair Cook's beautiful autobiography is drowned out by the publicity surrounding Owen's

Alastair Cook’s beautiful autobiography is drowned out by the publicity surrounding Owen’s

WADA

For reasons that few of us can figure out, the World Anti-Doping Agency has a rule that allows a certain type of ‘residence’ not to go back to the beginning of each quarter instead of the date of the infringement. Presumably Christian Coleman is the only person who sees any sense in those weird regulations.

American sprinter Christian Coleman has escaped a doping ban thanks to a bizarre WADA rule

American sprinter Christian Coleman has escaped a doping ban thanks to a bizarre WADA rule

American sprinter Christian Coleman has escaped a doping ban thanks to a bizarre WADA rule

T20 BLAST

You have to wonder how Lancashire played a quarterfinals with Essex in Chester-le-Street. The Ashes at Old Trafford took care of the problem, but the sight of one man and three dogs seeing Essex win suggests that the final answer in an alternative location was not the best.

Lancashire's T20 Blast quarterfinals with Essex was played at Chester-le-Street in Durham

Lancashire's T20 Blast quarterfinals with Essex was played at Chester-le-Street in Durham

Lancashire’s T20 Blast quarterfinals with Essex was played at Chester-le-Street in Durham

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