Fri, Apr 06, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ Soccer
Player jailed for conspiracy

Ashley Sestanovich, who was a body double for French soccer star Thierry Henry, was jailed for eight years on Wednesday for helping to plan a robbery that ended in murder. The 25-year-old professional soccer player -- who had spells with Sheffield United and Manchester City -- was one of seven people sent to prison for the crime. He was convicted of conspiracy to rob a roofing firm in Streatham, south London, in June 2005, a plan that ended with one of the sons of the owner being murdered. Sestanovich got the chance to play Henry's body double in a Nike advertisement in Rome.

■ Soccer

Aurelio out for the season

Liverpool's joy at virtually ensuring they would reach the Champions League semi-finals after a 3-0 first leg away win over PSV Eindhoven was dampened on Wednesday by the news that defender Fabio Aurelio would miss the rest of the season. The 27-year-old Brazilian international defender -- the first from his country to sign for the club -- ruptured his Achilles tendon during the second-half of the match. "A scan has confirmed a complete rupture of the Achilles tendon in Fabio's right leg," said a Liverpool spokesman. "The player will undergo surgery and is expected to be out for approximately three to four months." Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez said it was a real shame for the player because he had just started to adapt really well to the Premiership.

■ Weightlifting

Chakhoyan fails dope test

Australian world champion weightlifter Sergo Chakhoyan has been banned from the sport for life after a second positive test for a banned substance, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) said yesterday. Armenian-born Chakhoyan, 37, tested positive for the stimulant benzylpiperazine, or BZP, while competing at the 2005 Commonwealth, Oceania and South Pacific weightlifting championships in Melbourne, ASADA chairman Richard Ings said. He was previously banned for two years in 2001 after testing positive for the anabolic steroid stanozolol during the Goodwill Games in Brisbane. Under the world anti-doping code, a second offense brings an automatic life ban. Ings said ASADA had launched an investigation into Australian weightlifting after a series of positive tests, including Chakhoyan's.

■ Soccer

Zheng Zhi warns Charlton

Chinese international captain Zheng Zhi admitted on Wednesday that unless Charlton Athletic retain their Premiership status he could not carry on playing for them. The 26-year-old defender is presently on loan with the Premiership strugglers -- who have an option to buy him -- but will return to his Chinese club Shandong Luneng at the end of the season and then hold talks about a permanent move. However, Zheng, who scored on his debut for Charlton after arriving in December, admitted everything hinged on the club staying up. "I will do my utmost to help Charlton avoid relegation," said the 10-times capped Zheng. Charlton are presently in the last relegation spot third from bottom, one point adrift of Sheffield United. Zheng, the China captain, will feature for Shandong in the regional A3 Championship in June. "At that time Shandong and Charlton will have a new round of discussions about my future contract," Zheng said.

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