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Matt Moulson from Buffalo

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TORONTO - The turf war is over, with a group of elite womens players withdrawing its human rights complaint over artificial turf at this summers Womens World Cup in Canada.The women did not exit quietly, however. Their lawyer slammed FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association, saying both governing bodies had behaved badly in the face of the challenge before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.Lawyer Hampton Dellinger accused the soccer authorities of threatening players with suspension, delaying legal tactics and rejecting the players undeniably fair settlement offer.In the face of such irresponsible actions by FIFA and CSA, the players have elected to end their legal fight, Dellinger said in a statement Wednesday. The players are doing what FIFA and CSA have proven incapable of — putting the sport of soccer first.The women also said their challenge had made a difference.Tatjana Haenni, FIFAs head of womens competitions, acknowledged last Friday in Philadelphia that some of the artificial surfaces at the tournament may have to replaced.We know that Vancouver is an issue, Haenni said of B.C. Place Stadium, which will host the World Cup final among other games.Haenni also said that the time for dissent was over, that the women should focus their attention on the field in the knowledge that a successful tournament would be good for womens soccer around the globe.In reacting to Wednesdays announcement, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said the sports governing body had worked hard with players and technical staff to address their concerns and doubts.What was very clear from the meetings with the players was their desire and enthusiasm about making this the greatest FIFA Womens World Cup ever, and to ensure that they have the best possible conditions to perform well. he said in a statement. This is a goal they share with FIFA and we are totally committed to providing the best possible surface to enable everyone to enjoy a great footballing spectacle.We — the participating teams and the organizers — can now all focus on the preparation and promotion of the biggest event in womens football this June in Canada.The CSA also welcomed the news.We are pleased to be moving beyond this discussion, so we can continue to focus on delivering the best FIFA Womens World Cup ever in partnership with our FIFA colleagues and stakeholders from coast to coast, association president Victor Montagliani said in a statement.The turf protest drew the attention of big names on and off the playing field. Actor Tom Hanks and NBA stars Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant — with more than 24 million Twitter followers between them — tweeted their support for real grass.Dellinger, who like his fellow lawyers represented the women for free, pointed to other victories by the rebel faction.The players united, international effort to protest discrimination has had a positive impact, he said. The deplorable artificial surface at B.C. Place, the site of the final, will be replaced. Goal-line technology will be used for the first time in a Womens World Cup and we know that the 2019 World Cup will be held on grass. Moreover, the players and their supporters have highlighted continuing gender inequity in sports and lessened the chance that such wrongdoing will occur in the future.FIFA and CSA, on the other hand, will fail to host a discrimination-free tournament. They have embarrassed themselves and provided further grounds for reformers to challenge their current leadership.The World Cup is scheduled to run June 6 to July 5 in Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver.The women had argued that making them play on artificial turf was discriminatory when the men play their showcase tournament on grass.Turf will not be an issue at the 2019 womens tournament. France and South Korea, the two countries bidding to host, both plan to play on grass.On behalf of the players, I want to thank all who aided our fight for natural grass fields at the 2015 World Cup including our volunteer lawyers from Canada and the United States, said U.S. star forward Abby Wambach, whose name was front and centre on the human rights challenge.Our legal action has ended. But I am hopeful that the players willingness to contest the unequal playing fields — and the tremendous public support we received during the effort — marks the start of even greater activism to ensure fair treatment when it comes to womens sports.Canadian players were not part of the human rights challenge. They were left out since the CSA doubles as the tournaments national organizing committee.The women may have failed in their legal battle, but it can be argued they won the battle for public opinion even if FIFA rules clearly permit the use of sanctioned artificial turf.FIFA looked intransigent while the CSA offered little in response. And Valckes commitment for an open dialogue looked empty when he refused to talk to players over the phone or to go to Brazil to talk in person during a tournament that featured stars like Wambach and Brazils Marta.He eventually met with a group of players before the recent Ballon dOr announcement.In the end, despite the challenges created by the sexism, greed, and stubbornness endemic to FIFA and CSA, the players will make the 2015 Womens World Cup a success, Dellinger said with one final parting shot. The on-field skill, courage, and determination the players will display will redeem the tournament from the ineptitude and ingratitude of its organizers. I hope fans around the world will join me in following and supporting these amazing athletes as they compete across Canada this June and July.Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter Womens Stars Jerseys . Numbers Game looks into the Wild getting Matt Moulson from Buffalo. The Wild Get: LW Matt Moulson and LW Cody McCormick. Marc Methot Jersey . Alen, 28, hit .315 with five home runs, 59 RBI and a career-high nine stolen bases for the Goldeyes last season. He is the longest serving catcher in Goldeyes history, having already spent five seasons with the organization. http://www.authenticstarsshopnhl.com/br ... ws-jersey/. “Momentum is only as good as the next days starter,” the long-time Baltimore Orioles manager famously quipped. Esa Lindell Jersey . His fellow Finn, 21 years his junior, had just arrived in Anaheim and was hoping to stick with the Ducks. Bill Goldsworthy Jersey . The start of the seasons fifth and final major was delayed two hours due to heavy rain in the area. The tournament eventually began, but with water on the greens and the rain persisting, players were called back to the clubhouse less than an hour after the first group teed off.Weightlifting great Ilya Ilyin of Kazakhstan is among 10 competitors to have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs at London 2012. Four Olympic champions from Kazakhstan were caught after their samples from four summers ago were retested by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Ilyin, the mens 94kg gold medallist, and three women champions - Zulfiya Chinshanlo (53kg), Maiya Maneza (63kg) and Svetlana Podobedova (75kg) - failed tests according to the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). The 10 lifters, including seven London medallists in total and a current world champion, most of whom were expected to be medal contenders in Rio this summer, have all been provisionally suspended, the IWF said.Double Olympic champion Ilyin, 28, is to weightlifting what Usain Bolt is to athletics - he has nearly 400,000 followers on social media and has been named male weightlifter of the year four times.A winner of the sports leading accolade in 2005, 2006, 2014 and 2015, four-time world champion Ilyin is a national hero and also a personal friend of Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.His victory in London followed his triumph in Beijing in 2008. A multiple world record holder, he was confident of winning a third gold, at 105kg, in Rio.Ilyin, who turned vegetarian and took a break fromm competition after London, set his latest world records at the Presidents Cup in Moscow in December.dddddddddddd He had never failed a test before. Kazakhstans Zulfiya Chinshanlo has also tested positive Of the Kazakh women gold medallists, Chinshanlo, in 2012, and Podobedova, 2010, are both former IWF female weightlifters of the year.The other 2012 medallists who tested positive were Russian mens 85kg silver medallist Apti Aukhadov and two womens bronze medallists, Ukrainian Yuliya Kalina (58kg) and Belaruss Maryna Shkermankova (69kg).The reigning womens 58kg world champion Boyanka Kostova, a Bulgarian who now competes for Azerbaijan and finished fifth in London, was also among the positive tests.Two other athletes from Belarus failed tests - Yauheni Zharnasek (ninth in the mens +105kg) and Dzina Sazanavets (fourth in the womens 69kg).All four of Kazakhstans gold medallists in London are now set to be stripped of their titles. 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