Fri, Jun 20, 2008 - Page 23 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■ EURO 2008

TV station rues Nazi error

Swiss television station SRG apologized on Wednesday for mistakenly displaying the words of the old Nazi Germany national anthem as subtitles instead of those of the present German anthem prior to the Euro 2008 Group B match with Austria on Monday. Both the Nazi version and the present-day one come from the same song, Das Deutschlandlied, composed by August Heinrich Hoffmann in 1841 from music by Austrian composer Joseph Haydn. “It is an inexcusable error,” one of those in charge of the subtitling service for the station said, though he added it was the fault of two young female editors.

■ EURO 2008

Ribery out for two months

French midfielder Franck Ribery will be out of action for up to two months after he had to go off injured in his country’s Euro 2008 loss to Italy on Tuesday, his club doctor said on Wednesday. Bayern Munich’s Dr Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt said playmaker Ribery would be on the sidelines for “seven to eight weeks” after he was stretchered off having twisted his ankle early in the 2-0 defeat, which sent France packing. According to Muller-Wohlfahrt, who is Bayern’s and the German national team’s doctor, Ribery, who had to go off after just 10 minutes in a huge blow for Les Bleus, has torn a ligament above his left ankle.

■ HORSE RACING

Scientists solve riddle

Forensic scientists have proved the champion Australian gelding Phar Lap died of arsenic poisoning, solving a mystery that has intrigued the horse racing world for more than 75 years. Phar Lap won 37 of his 51 starts before his death in mysterious circumstances at the Menlo Park racetrack in California in April 1932. Days earlier he had won Mexico’s Agua Caliente Handicap, which was then the richest horse race in North America. At the time of his death, Phar Lap was the third-highest stake winner in the world. Arsenic poisoning has long been suspected as the cause of Phar Lap’s death, but confirmation had been lacking until yesterday, when researchers Ivan Kempson of the University of South Australia and Dermot Henry, manager of Natural Science Collections at Museum Victoria, released the findings of their forensic investigation. Kempson took six hairs from Phar Lap’s mane and analyzed them at the Advanced Photon Source Synchrotron in Chicago, finding that in the 40 hours before Phar Lap’s death the horse had ingested a massive dose of arsenic. “We can’t speculate where the arsenic came from, but it was easily accessible at the time,” Henry said.

■ CYCLING

Fothen wins Swiss stage

Germany’s Markus Fothen won the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse cycling race on Wednesday, a 190km ride from Domat-Ems to Caslano in Switzerland. After nearly five hours, the Gerolsteiner rider was 50 seconds ahead of the field after his partner in a late breakaway, Franck Schleck of Luxembourg, fell off the road with 5km to go. Serguei Ivanov of Russia finished in second place, with the main pack a further seven seconds behind. Igor Anton of Spain retained the overall leader’s yellow jersey. Fothen and Schleck escaped the peloton during the final Cademario climb, a second category peak, and looked set to fight a duel to the line. But Schleck struck a barrier and he tumbled over his handlebars and down a hillside. Fothen seized the opportunity for his first stage win of the year and improved to seventh in the overall standings, trailing Anton by 31 seconds. Schleck was unhurt and remounted to finish three minutes behind.

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