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Russia defender Mario Fernandes retires from international soccer

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In order to prolong his playing career, right-back Mario Fernandes has decided to walk away from his international duties.

The veteran defender officially announced his retirement from representing Russia on the international stage on Monday.

“Each time it becomes more and more difficult to compete on two fronts and more and more time is needed for recovery after games,” said Fernandes.

“Unfortunately injuries have become more frequent too.”

The 30-year old, who grew up in Brazil, has played with Russia club CSKA Moscow since 2012. Although he began playing internationally with Brazil in 2014, he switched allegiances and began playing for Russia once he recieved his Russian citizenship in the summer of 2016.

Fernandes amassed five goals in 33 appearances with Russia from 2017-2021.

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Canada’s Bianca Andreescu will be skipping next month’s Australian Open

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Canadian tennis fans will miss out on seeing one of the country’s premier players at the upcoming Australian Open tournament in January.

Bianca Andreescu confirmed via social media that she will not be participating at the first Grand Slam of the year due to the stress COVID-19 has caused in her personal life along with nagging injuries that continue to plague her.

She posted this on her Twitter account:

The 21-year old has struggled with on-court consistency and remaining healthy enough to participate in tournaments since an incredible 2019 season where she won both the U.S. Open and the Rogers Cup. Since then, she has dealt with a COVID-19 infection, injury woes, and a surprising coaching change.

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Hockey

WATCH: Things get heated between the Leafs and Jets after controversial knee-on-knee collision

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When Winnipeg Jets defenceman Neal Pionk injured Rasmus Sandin with a knee-on-knee hit in the third period of last night’s game, it didn’t set well with the Toronto Maple Leafs bench. And when no penalty was called on the play, the Leafs decided to take matters into their own hands.

What ensued following the incident was Jason Spezza kneeing Pionk in the head, Wayne Simmonds trying to fight everybody, and a lot of scuffles and scraps that sent the crowd at Canada Life Centre into a frenzy that continued well after the final whistle.

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Basketball

Blazers fire GM Neil Olshey following allegations he created a toxic work environment

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The Neil Olshey era in Portland has come to an end.

The Portland Trail Blazers announced on Friday that they have parted ways with President of Basketball Operations and GM Neil Olshey, putting an end to his 10-year tenure with the franchise.

The news comes after an investigation involving allegations from a number of team and former team employees concluded that he created a toxic work environment, using intimidation tactics to get his way, engaged in forms of misconduct, and violated the code of conduct

The team released a statement about the decision:

The 56-year old had been the team’s GM since 2012, and was promoted to President of Basketball Operations in 2015.

The team posted a combined 413-330 regular season record, eight postseason appearances, and four playoff series victories.

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