Armstrong to race in Giro
Lance Armstrong has told organizers that he will race in the Giro d’Italia. The announcement posted on the Gazzetta dello Sport’s Web site on Thursday removed doubts that the seven-time Tour de France champion would miss the race after having surgery to fix his broken right collarbone last month. The Gazzetta said the American contacted organizers on Thursday from Colorado, where is currently training. The Giro runs from May 9 to May 31. It will mark the first time Armstrong has raced in the Italian classic, considered cycling’s second most important race after the Tour de France.
Baxter eyes Europe
Australian rugby’s most-capped prop forward Al Baxter said he was likely to play in Europe next season following a breakdown in contract negotiations with the Australian Rugby Union (ARU), reports said yesterday. Tight-head prop Baxter, 32, said talks with the ARU had failed and that he had told the national and NSW Rugby unions he intended to pursue negotiations with several European clubs. Baxter, who has played in 64 Tests and two World Cups, said he had received three offers from European clubs before the ARU talks collapsed. He said he hoped the ARU would reconsider its stance over the financial component of a two-year deal that would extend his Wallabies career to include the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.
Helsingborg go top
Christoffer Andersson scored a fluke goal with 11 minutes left to give Helsingborg a 1-0 win over Hammarby on Thursday and top spot in the Swedish first-division. Andersson curled a corner kick past the Stockholm side’s goalkeeper Kristoffer Bjorklund in the 79th minute after heavy pressure by Helsingborg in the second half. Helsingborg tops the standings after three rounds with nine points on better goal difference than second-place Malmo FF, who beat AIK 1-0 in Solna.
Senate acts on language
The California Senate has voted to make it illegal to hold events that require participants to speak English in a move prompted by the US LPGA Tour’s English-only proposal. The women’s golf tour wanted last year to require its players to speak English so they could talk with each other and the media, and give acceptance speeches in English. The US LPGA backed off the plan after Senator Leland Yee and others criticized it as discriminatory. Yee says the proposal insulted women, minorities and immigrants, and might disqualify the best golfers. Her bill makes such policies illegal in California without a “business necessity.” It was approved on Thursday by 21-14 without debate.
Arellano out after 17 days
After 17 days as manager, Omar Arellano was fired by Chivas Guadalajara and immediately replaced by Francisco “Paco” Ramirez on Thursday. Arellano took the job on March 30, a week after Efrain Flores was removed from the position. Arellano managed just three matches; a win and two draws. “We decided to give the manager job to Francisco Ramirez,” Chivas owner Jorge Vergara told a press conference. “We know that it might be hard for some of you to understand the change before a classic, but we were not in good shape in football terms, so we needed a change.”
Ainge suffers heart attack
Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge was hospitalized after suffering what the team described as a minor heart attack on Thursday. The team issued a brief statement saying that Ainge, 50, was taken to a Boston hospital, but provided few other details. “Danny Ainge is recovering at Massachusetts General Hospital after having a minor heart attack. He is recovering nicely,” the team said. “Mr Ainge is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days.” A spokeswoman for Massachusetts General Hospital referred queries to the team. Ainge helped the Celtics raise their record 17th NBA championship by assembling a “New Big Three” by acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join veteran Paul Pierce.