UCI wants blood bags
The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed on Friday that it will appeal against the decision by a Spanish court to refuse access to more than 200 sachets of blood that were seized in the Operation Puerto case against the disgraced doctor, Eufemiano Fuentes. “The UCI can confirm that it will appeal the decision of the Madrid court of 29 April not to release to the UCI and other anti-doping organizations the more than 200 bags of blood and other evidence gathered in police raids in 2006, which were presented in the trial of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes,” the body said in a statement. A Madrid court last month handed Fuentes a one year suspended sentence for endangering public health in the way he performed blood extractions and transfusions on a number of high-profile cyclists before the doping ring was dismantled in 2006.
SA coach Kirsten to quit
Cricket South Africa (CSA) says national coach Gary Kirsten has decided not to renew his contract and will leave his role this year. CSA made the announcement on Friday. The former batsman led South Africa to the top of the Test rankings after his appointment on a two-year contract in August 2011. CSA says Kirsten informed the board he will be leaving and cited “family reasons” for his decision. Kirsten has a young family and has often taken time out from his cricket duties to be with his wife and children. He coached India to the World Cup title in 2011 before returning to his home country.
Swann, Bresnan return
Off-spinner Graeme Swann and allrounder Tim Bresnan were included in England’s 12-man squad for the opening Test against New Zealand at Lord’s, marking their international returns from five-month absences following elbow operations. The pair last played for England in the drawn fourth Test in the 2-1 series victory against India in December. Both then underwent operations and missed the drawn three-Test tour of New Zealand in March before making their comebacks in county cricket this season. Swann replaces left-arm spinner Monty Panesar and Bresnan comes in for back-up seamer Graham Onions. Young batsman Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow retain their places in the continued absence of the injured Kevin Pietersen.
Samoa pick newcomers
Super Rugby regulars Jack Lam and Alapati Leiua are among six uncapped players included in the Samoan tour party for three Tests in South Africa next month. New Zealand-born flanker Lam, a former Australian schoolboy international, and specialist center Leiua both play for the Wellington Hurricanes. Scrumhalf Auvasa Faleali’i, recently signed by Australia’s Waratahs, is also among the newcomers in a 31-man squad selected by coach Stephen Betham. Hooker Manu Leiataua from North Harbour in New Zealand’s domestic competition, Japan-based center Brandon Va’aulu and Isaia Tuiua, a center with Spanish club Vigo, are the other uncapped players. Winger David Lemi, who captained Samoa when they beat Wales in Cardiff in November, was not named in the squad, but two more players are still to be added. Samoa face the Lions in Johannesburg on June 1, followed by Tests against Scotland in Durban on June 8 and Italy in Nelspruit on June 15. They are to play a further Test in Pretoria on June 22 against one of South Africa, Italy or Scotland.