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Sam Allardyce "gobsmacked" by Adam Johnson's guilty pleas

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce insists that he only played Adam Johnson while he awaited trail on child sex charges because the player continued to protest his innocence.

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce has said that he was "gobsmacked" when he learned that Adam Johnson had decided to plead guilty to two child sex charges last month.

Yesterday Johnson's trial concluded as he was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child and cleared of another count, and his former club Sunderland had been tight-lipped for the duration of the trial.

The Black Cats released a statement insisting that they did not know Johnson was planning to change his plea on two of the counts and only kept him on the books so that he could continue to play.

Allardyce has now been asked about the situation and said that his sympathy fully lies with the 15-year-old victim and her family.

"I am hugely disappointed on Adam Johnson and what has happened, but my sympathies don't lie with him, they lie with the victim and the family," he told reporters.

"Adam, as far as I know, was pleading not guilty all the way through from the day I arrived - obviously, this incident had happened well before I got here. On the basis of that information to me that he was pleading not guilty on all charges is why we continued to let him train and play for us.

"We are all, at the football club, stunned and shocked the day before the trial started when we heard a guilty plea come out. I was sat at home when it came on the news and I just was gobsmacked because as far as we were concerned, it was not guilty on all charges."

Sunderland quickly sacked Johnson upon learning of his guilty pleas and the 28-year-old is now facing several years in prison after yesterday's guilty verdict.

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States24282173
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee13211852
Great BritainGreat Britain13171343
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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