HOT OR NOT: Rory McIlroy can beat anyone… while Saracens are lucky

HOT OR NOT: Rory McIlroy can beat anyone – including Brooks Koepka – when at his very best… while Saracens should count themselves lucky to keep their titles following salary cap scandal

  • Rory McIlroy looks set to have a major rivalry with Brooks Koepka next year
  • Lewis Hamilton cemented his status as the finest British sportsman of his era
  • More shame in Serie A as Mario Balotelli is subjected to disgusting racist abuse
  • Saracens should not feel hard done by after a 35-point deduction and £5m fine 

It’s Hot or Not time again as Sportsmail’s Riath Al-Samarrai reveals what’s been making him feel warm and what’s been leaving him cold this week.


Rory McIlroy

It might be a rivalry after all. Brooks Koepka had every right last month to point to their recent records in the majors but when McIlroy is at his very best, he will beat anyone in the game. His win in Shanghai this week for a fourth title of the season would suggest he is growing larger in Koepka’s rearview mirror.

Rory McIlroy picked up his fourth win of the season at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai

Lewis Hamilton

His environmental campaign, while full of good intentions, smelled a little of hypocrisy. But he drives a race car like no other. His sixth world Formula One title surely cements his status as the finest British sportsman of his era.

Lewis Hamilton sealed his sixth Formula One world title at last weekend’s US Grand Prix

Mary Cain

She was once the fastest girl in the US and now alleges she had her life and career savaged under the regime of Alberto Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project. She claims she was put under so much pressure to lose weight it had severe consequences for her health – by speaking out about this wider sporting issue she might bring some good from a wretched operation.

Mary Cain has opened up on her experiences with Alberto Salazar at the Nike Oregon Project


Serie A

Another game, another instance of racist behaviour from supporters. This time it was the followers of Verona who targeted Mario Balotelli, who responded by booting the ball into the crowd and threatening to walk off. One can only hope the ball smacked one of the bigots flush in the face.

Mario Balotelli booted the ball into the stands and stormed off the pitch after suffering abuse


The anti-doping body have confirmed they will get involved in the Salazar scandal by putting scrutiny on the athletes who were part of the Nike Oregon Project. All well and good, that. Except shouldn’t they have been doing that for years, rather than leaving it to the US Anti-Doping Agency to do all the heavy lifting? It all feels a little like grandstanding.


They say a 35-point penalty and £5.36million fine was a ‘heavy-handed’ sanction for their breaches of the salary cap. Maybe they’re right. Maybe a gentle ticking off would have covered it and a promise to never be silly again. Or maybe they’re cheats. And by that logic maybe they should consider themselves rather lucky to keep their titles.

Saracens were docked 35 points and fined £5.3million after breaching the salary cap


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