Wed, Dec 16, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES, WITH STAFF WRITER

■SOCCER

Sparta demand apology

Sparta Prague have called on Slavia defender Marek Suchy to apologize for displaying a scarf that read “Death to Sparta” after a Europa League match. Suchy, who is moving to Spartak Moscow on a one-year loan deal held up the scarf following Slavia’s 0-0 draw with Genoa, his last home game. Sparta called his behavior “unacceptable” in a statement on Monday and demanded an apology. The Czech soccer federation’s disciplinary committee has declined to address the incident and instead recommended that Sparta take its protest to UEFA, European soccer’s governing body. Sparta has said it doesn’t plan to do that because it would damage the reputation of Czech soccer.

■CRICKET

Rain puts dampener on Test

Rain had the last say on the fifth day of the third and final Test between New Zealand and Pakistan in Napier yesterday after the Kiwis charge for a victory target of 208 in a minimum of 43 overs came to a soggy conclusion with the hosts on 90 without loss. Pakistan had battled their way to 455 all out in their second innings with the Akmal brothers, Umar and Kamran both completing half-centuries yesterday. BJ Watling and Tim McIntosh then put on an unbeaten 90 for the first wicket leaving the Kiwis still needing 118 from a minimum of 18 overs when the rain came to Pakistan’s rescue. The series ended 1-1.

■TENNIS

Court suspends ban

A Belgian court on Monday suspended the one-year doping bans given to Yanina Wickmayer and Xavier Malisse. Wickmayer’s lawyers hope the injunction will make 16th-ranked Wickmayer eligible to play as soon as possible. The US Open semi-finalist hopes to receive a wild card for the Australian Open. Shortly after the ruling, she was offered a wild card to the ASB Classic. The Jan. 4 to Jan. 9 tournament in New Zealand serves as a tuneup for the Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam event. Wickmayer and Malisse were suspended by a Belgian court on Nov. 5 for breaking World Anti-Doping Agency rules by failing to report their whereabouts for drug testing three times. De Saedeleer said that by suspending the original ruling, the Brussels court made it clear tennis authorities no longer had a legal basis to justify their penalty. Wickmayer claims she was not properly informed of the online reporting requirements for drug-testing that led to her ban.

■FOOTBALL

Patriots rally round Moss

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady have rushed to the defense of wide-receiver Randy Moss after opponents accused him of easing off after physical challenges. Carolina Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble and safety Chris Harris both said on Sunday that Moss rarely performed well after coming in for some physical treatment. The Patriots beat the Panthers 20-10 but Moss made just one catch, a 16-yard reception that ended in a fumble, and the Panthers pair said that was because Moss was known as a player who “shut it down” after receiving some tough attention. “I have a lot of respect for Randy, I think he’s one of our best players,” Belichick said. “I think if you watch other teams defend him they think the same way. Brady said that any failings in the Patriots’ performance were collective. “Randy is one of the best players in the NFL. When it doesn’t go perfect out there, everyone wants to jump on Randy. It’s all of us and we all have to do better,” he said.

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