Fri, Apr 02, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Sports Briefs

AGENCIES

■TENNIS

Stepanek takes a break

Radek Stepanek is suffering from a fatigue syndrome and has to rest for about two months. Czech Republic Davis Cup team spokesman Karel Tejkal said on Wednesday it was not clear whether the 31-year-old could recover in time for the World Team Cup in Duesseldorf, Germany, next month, and could miss the French Open which begins on May 23. Stepanek, ranked 18th, could even be in doubt for the Davis Cup quarterfinals in July in Chile.

■SOCCER

Maradona said ‘good night’

Maradona’s personal doctor said on Wednesday the Argentina coach required 10 stitches to his mouth after being bitten by one of his pet dogs when he put his face close to the animal’s face to say good night. “He [Maradona] told me that it’s common he gets close to the dog like this before he goes to bed,” Alfredo Cahe said. “[He] said the dog moved suddenly. He said the dog had never behaved like this in the three years he’s had her.” Maradona was bitten on the upper lip on Tuesday by his pet Shar Pei.

■MOTORSPORT

Andretti, Petty team up

Two of the biggest names in US motorsport — Andretti and Petty — will join forces to enter a car in this year’s Indianapolis 500, the two teams said on Wednesday. Andretti Autosport owner Michael Andretti and ­NASCAR great Richard Petty will combine behind a car in the May 30 race at the famed Brickyard that will be driven by John Andretti, cousin of team boss Michael. For two races, including a warmup in Kansas, John Andretti will join the Andretti Autosport stable of drivers alongside cousin Marco Andretti, Danica Patrick, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay. “Richard is a legend and has millions of fans worldwide and hopefully a few of them are going to become Andretti Autosport fans after the month of May,” Michael Andretti said on a conference call to announce the partnership.

■COMMONWEALTH

Fiji ban upheld

Fiji’s National Olympic Committee said it could not understand the basis of a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision upholding its ban from October’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Fiji appealed the ban to the CAS in Lausanne, Switzerland, and urged its athletes to stay in training for the games, but the court yesterday rejected its appeal. Fiji was suspended from the Commonwealth last September when military ruler Commodore Frank Bainimarama, who seized power in a 2006 coup, refused to bow to demands to hold elections next year.

■RUGBY UNION

All Blacks schedule changes

The All Blacks will now start their quest for a third Grand Slam in five years against England later this year after the Rugby Football Union (RFU) agreed to a date change for their test match. Graham Henry’s side had originally been scheduled to play England at Twickenham as the last of their four tests on Dec. 4, but the RFU have agreed to shift the fixture to the start of the tour on Nov. 6. “We indicated to the RFU that, if possible, we would have preferred to play the match earlier in November to allow our players the chance to get home earlier,” New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said in a statement yesterday. The All Blacks will also meet Scotland in Edinburgh on Nov. 13, Ireland in Dublin on Nov. 20 and Wales in Cardiff on Nov. 27.

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