Venus pulls out of US Open
Two-time champion Venus Williams withdrew from the US Open on Friday, citing the left wrist injury that's sidelined her since Wimbledon. "I have many great memories from competing at the US Open, and I regret that I will not be able to participate in 2006," Williams said in a statement released by her agent. "I will miss the excitement of competing in front of the New York fans at one of the premier sporting events in the world. I look forward to returning in 2007." Williams, who was seeded 30th for the tournament, won the US Open in 2000 and 2001, part of her collection of five Grand Slam titles.
Pratt released by Durham
Gary Pratt, who enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame when he ran out Australian skipper Ricky Ponting during the Ashes last year, was cast into the cricket wilderness on Friday when he was axed by Durham. The 23-year-old claimed the scalp of Ponting in the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge last year and sparked a major row over England's use of substitute fielders. But on Friday he was one of four players released by English county side Durham. Pratt made his Durham Academy debut in 1997 and made his First Class debut three years later. His highest First Class score was 150 against Northampton in 2003.
Club protests doping ban
A German athletics club has protested a javelin thrower's suspension after two positive tests for the banned substance finasterid. When tested, Fabian Heinemann disclosed in documents that he was using a doctor-prescribed medicine against heavy hair loss and that it contained finasterid, his club SC Magdeburg said in a statement on Friday. The club did not say when Heinemann tested positive or whether his "B" samples were also positive. The German Athletics Federation, which wasn't available for comment, suspended the javelin thrower until its investigation is complete. The 21-year-old told SC Magdeburg he was unaware that finasterid -- sometimes used as a masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs -- was on the banned list.
Junga's condition stable
Australian cyclist Renee Junga remains in intensive care in an Auckland hospital after undergoing surgery to stabilize spinal injuries, Cycling Australia (CA) said yesterday. Junga, 20, crashed during training on the 4X (four cross) course at the Mountain Bike World Championships in Rotorua, New Zealand last Tuesday. She broke the C1 and C2 bones in her neck, two ribs and her sternum and sustained spinal cord damage at the T6 vertabrae, CA said. "The surgeons say they are happy with the way the [10-hour] operation went," Junga's mother Sallie Howie said in a CA statement. "They've told us there is a one-in-800 chance she may regain feeling below T6 but that is a chance and doctors really don't know why some people with spinal injuries regain feeling and others don't," Howie said.
“Road Runner” Alphonso Davies lived up to his nickname with another lightning sprint on Saturday as Bayern Munich opened a 10-point lead in the Bundesliga. Having defeated second-placed Borussia Dortmund 1-0 away in midweek, Bayern enjoyed a 5-0 romp over Fortuna Duesseldorf. Defender Mathias Joergensen scored an early own-goal before Benjamin Pavard, Robert Lewandowski (2) and Davies scored for Bayern. With five games remaining, the defending champions, who have won their past eight league games, are comfortably on course for an eighth straight league title. Davies scored the best goal of the game when the fleet-footed defender pressed Duesseldorf into making a mistake, barged
The losing captain thanked the winning team’s players for their personal sacrifices leading into the match and a charter flight pilot received a big round of applause when his plane beat incoming fog to touch down after midnight following another game as feel-good stories off the field matched those on it as the National Rugby League (NRL) restarted its season in Australia over the weekend. The New Zealand Warriors’ 18-0 win over St George Illawarra was the Auckland-based team’s first of the season after three rounds and it could not have come at a better time. Due to international travel restrictions
Taiwan Steel celebrated a big win over Tatung in the Taiwan Premier League yesterday, while undefeated Taichung Futuro remained at the top of the table, although their lead is only one point. Four of the eight teams were in action, completing matches postponed the previous weekend due to rain, with Taipower and Hang Yuan playing out a scoreless draw in Kaohsiung. Taiwan Steel are sorting out their early-season problems as they chase the leaders and it showed against defending champions Tatung at the Jhubei Stadium in Hsinchu County. Haitian striker Benchy Astama netted a brace and midfielder Kuo Po-wei’s outstanding solo effort sent
DISTANCING RULES: The government said social distancing should be maintained during disputes and celebrations, but conceded it would not be possible during play The Premier League on Saturday was given British government approval to press ahead with its June 17 restart, although players will have to stay apart during goal celebrations and disputes to maintain social distancing. Further details of the league’s plans for dealing with COVID-19 cases have been disclosed with clubs likely to have to play even if they only have 15 fit squad members. In a further boost to the league’s restart plans, there were no positives in the fourth round of twice-weekly testing. Tests were conducted on 1,130 players and club personnel on Thursday and Friday as contact training resumed. The season