Coach cleared of sex abuse
Australian Olympic coach Mark Thompson was found not guilty yesterday of sexually abusing a teenager more than eight years ago. The boy claimed Thompson, coach of Olympian Brooke Hanson, had sexually assaulted him when he was 13 years old. Thompson was charged with the offenses in October 2005. A Victorian County Court jury found Thompson not guilty of 12 charges relating to the claims. Hanson, who won a relay gold and an individual silver medal at the Athens Olympics, testified on Thompson's behalf.
Tours closer to mending ties
The Asian and European Tours are closer to mending ties after a bitter dispute over two tournaments but major differences remain, a leading Asian official said. Gerry Norquist, the Asian Tour's senior vice president, said the two bodies are working towards an agreement over events in India and South Korea on next year's European Tour calendar. Asian Tour officials had accused their rivals of colonialism after the Europeans sanctioned events on local turf without approval from the regional governing body.
Bangladesh search for coach
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have asked Australia's John Harmer to attend an interview as the country resumes its search for a new coach. The 65-year-old was one of the three candidates shortlisted by the BCB last month after Sri Lanka-born Australian Dav Whatmore declined to renew his contract two months earlier. "Harmer will come to Dhaka shortly to make a presentation before us," BCB official Gazi Ashraf Hossain said yesterday. The other two names on the shortlist are Australian Jamie Siddons and Zimbabwean Dave Houghton.
Vick awaits fate
Michael Vick must wait to find out the full impact his legal troubles after he was expected to formally enter his guilty plea to a US federal dogfighting conspiracy charge yesterday. In his written plea filed in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, on Friday, Vick admitted helping kill six to eight pit bulls and supplying money for gambling on the fights. He said he did not personally place any bets or share in any winnings. The plea agreement calls for a sentencing range of 12 to 18 months. But US District Judge Henry Hudson is not bound by any recommendation or federal sentencing guidelines and could sentence Vick to as much as five years in prison.
Fisher wins Dutch Open
England's Ross Fisher claimed his first European Tour title in the Dutch Open on Sunday. Fisher went into the final round with a share of the lead on nine under with fellow Briton David Carter and New Zealand's Steve Alker. But a serious wobble saw a four shot cushion evaporate in the closing stages when he bogeyed the 16th and three-putted the 17th only to steady his nerves with a birdie from 10 feet on the last. That gave him a fourth round score of 67 for a 268 total. But before Fisher could savour the moment he was driven off to the 12th where officials where investigating a possible illegal removal of a bramble from closer to his ball before playing his second shot to the par five. Two referees accompanied Fisher as they tried to recreate the incident and studied television footage. But after a lengthy delay Fisher was duly confirmed the winner.