`Tres' will return: Strauss
England captain Andrew Strauss is confident that Marcus Trescothick will recover from a stress-related illness in time for the Ashes series in Australia. Trescothick has pulled out of next month's Champions Trophy one-day tournament in India after saying the illness had dogged him since he returned home for family reasons from the tour of India in March. With the Ashes series looming in November, England fears that Trescothick will not be in any kind of form when the squad departs for Australia. "Australia is going to be a big Test for all of us and it's going to be a big Test for Tres as well," Strauss said on Thursday on the eve of the fourth one-day international against Pakistan at Trent Bridge. "He hasn't got to the stage he's at in his career without being able to overcome tests and I see no reason to see why he can't do it again," he said.
Basso hearing postponed
A hearing in the doping case of Giro d'Italia cycling champion Ivan Basso has been postponed until the end of the month. Basso, who was excluded from the Tour de France after being implicated in a Spanish doping investigation, denied using banned substances in a first appearance before Italian anti-doping authorities late last month. That hearing was adjourned to Sept. 12. The Italian Olympic Committee said on Thursday that the case has now been moved to Sept. 29. "I understand the pace of justice and I remain respectful and faithful to this as always. But at the same time I cannot wait to be able to close this incident positively," Basso was quoted as saying by Italian news agency ANSA. "I feel like an imprisoned man waiting for justice," he said.
Nuremberg signs Gresko
Bundesliga leader Nuremberg signed Slovakia defender Vratislav Gresko to a one-year contract on Thursday. The club retained a two-year option on Gresko. Gresko's previous clubs included Blackburn, Parma, Inter Milan and Bayer Leverkusen. He was without a contract, allowing him to be signed after the official transfer period. Nuremberg is surprisingly leading the Bundesliga after three rounds.
■ Water polo
Spain, Romania advance
Spain defeated Greece 12-10 and Romania edged Italy 10-9 to advance to the semi-finals at the European men's water polo championship on Thursday. Spain's tense match with Greece was decided only in the final quarter when Spain went ahead with three quickfire goals. Spain will face Hungary in the semi-finals, while Romania will take on Serbia. Hungary and Serbia qualified directly to the semi-finals by winning their groups. Meanwhile, in the consolation playoffs, the Netherlands beat Slovenia 12-8 while Croatia defeated Slovakia 12-6.
Champ buried in hometown
Bob Mathias, the former Olympic decathlon champion, was buried in Tulare, California, the city in the San Joaquin Valley where he grew up. Hundreds gathered on Wednesday for the funeral that was attended by family, friends and fellow Olympians in Tulare. He died of lung cancer in Fresno last week at 75. Mathias won his first decathlon gold medal at 17 in the 1948 London Olympics. He won another gold in the decathlon at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. Mathias was in the Marines before serving in the US Congress from 1966 to 1974.
Neutral venue planned
Next year's African Super Cup will be played in Addis Ababa as part of the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) 50th anniversary celebrations. CAF said the match would be held next February but did not give a fixed date. It will be only the fourth time that the annual match-up between the winner of the African Champions League and the African Confederation Cup will be at a neutral venue. Traditionally, the Super Cup is hosted by the team that won the previous year's Champions League title. CAF's anniversary celebrations also include a friendly international between Nations Cup holders Egypt and Sweden in Cairo on Feb. 7. An under-23 tournament is also planned for the Sudan, involving Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa and Sudan.
Barcelona aids AIDS victims
The Barcelona soccer club and the UN children's agency, UNICEF, announced a deal on Thursday in which the team will donate US$1.9 million a year over the next five years to help poor children with AIDS in developing countries. The first installment of the club's money will pay for AIDS programs in Swaziland, a tiny, impoverished country in southern Africa where some 40 percent of adults are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The money will fund efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission and infection among adolescents and to support and care for children orphaned by the disease. As part of the deal, the Spanish and European champion's scarlet and blue jersey will have UNICEF's logo on its front, the first time in the club's 107-year history it has allowed such an arrangement.
Holyfield eyes fifth title
Evander Holyfield, the first four-time world heavyweight champion, wants to become the first to win five. The 43-year-old Holyfield continues the long comeback road against Fres Oquendo of Puerto Rico on Nov. 10 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. "I am asked all the time why I still fight," Holyfield said on Thursday at a Manhattan press conference. "My answer is always the same. I want to reach my goal. And that goal is to become a world champion one more time."
IAAF expresses concern
World athletics governing body International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) yesterday expressed concern over reports of doping at a Chinese sports school, reportedly involving students as young as 15. "Clearly the IAAF is concerned any time there is a report of doping or doping methods being used in our sport," said Chris Butler, communications manager for the IAAF. Authorities making a snap inspection last month discovered 448 doses of illegal performance enhancing drugs at the Anshan Athletics School in Liaoning Province.
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very
Thailand international Pitsamai Sornsai, a new arrival for Inter Taoyuan, is to lead her team against Taipei Bravo tomorrow in the 10th round of the Taiwan Mulan Football League. Sornsai, who is nicknamed Pui, has attracted interest from media and fans as the first foreigner signed to play in Taiwan’s women’s league. Inter are among six teams battling for the title this year. The addition of Sornsai is a boost for the international profile of women’s soccer in Taiwan and elevates the competition. The 31-year-old brings a wealth of experience, including from the Asian Football Confederation’s Women’s Championship, the Southeast Asian Games and