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Clermont's Bardy gets five-week ban for Vunipola strike DUBLIN: Clermont Auvergne back-row Julien Bardy was banned for five weeks on Thursday after being found guilty of striking Saracens' No 8 Billy Vunipola with his knee in a European Rugby Chhampions Cup match.Bardy was cited for an incident that took place two minutes from time in French side Clermont's 30-23 opening Pool One loss at English giants Saracens' Allianz Park ground in north London.The 29-year-old Bardy, who pleaed guilty, appeared before a European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) disciplinary panel in Dublin on Thursday.Independent judicial officer Simon Thomas (Wales) upheld the citing complaint.He decided Portugal international Bardy's offence would have warranted a red card if seen by the match referee and that it was in the mid-range (eight weeks) of International Rugby Board sanctions for offences of this nature. As there were no aggravating factors, Thomas reduced the suspension by three weeks due to the player's guilty plea, his clean ...

Wozniacki close to semis after Radwanska victory SINGAPORE: Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki all but booked her place in the semi-finals of the WTA Finals with an impressive 7-5 6-3 win over Agnieszka Radwanska on Thursday.Showing no signs of fatigue after her exhausting three-set win over Maria Sharapova two days earlier, Wozniacki rebounded from a slow start to overrun Radwanska with an ominous display. Wozniacki was down an early service break in the opening set but quickly got back on terms and proved too ...
Sharapova blows chance at year-end number one SINGAPORE: Maria Sharapova's hopes of becoming the year-end world number one went up in smoke Tuesday when she crashed in straight sets to Petra Kvitova at the WTA Finals in Singapore.The Russian superstar needed a win to have any chance of overtaking top-ranked Serena Williams but she blew up in spectacular fashion as Kvitova won 6-3, 6-2 in 75 minutes.It was the second upset in quick succession at the season finale after Simona Halep stunned ...
Giant frustrations nearly spark Series brawl KANSAS CITY: Frustrations and emotions nearly boiled over into a World Series brawl Wednesday after San Francisco relief pitcher Hunter Strickland confronted Kansas City's Salvador Perez following a decisive sixth-inning scoring outburst.The Royals broke open a tied game with five runs in the inning on the way to a 7-2 victory that left Major League Baseball's best-of-seven final level at 1-1 with the next three games in San Francisco starting Friday.Perez pounded 26-year-old rookie right-hander ...
Vonn hyped for return ahead of home worlds PARIS: US speed queen Lindsey Vonn will bid to put almost two years of injury heartbreak behind her when she makes her return to the World Cup circuit this season.Tellingly for the 30-year-old American, the 2015 World Ski Championships are being held on home snow, in the Colorado resort of Beaver Creek between February 2-15, an added incentive for a skier arguably looking at the tailend of her career."Obviously I can do well in the ...
Williams assured of year-end No. 1 ranking after Sharapova loses SINGAPORE: Serena Williams clinched the year-end world number one ranking for the fourth time on Thursday when Maria Sharapova, the only woman with any chance of overtaking her, lost for a second time at the WTA Finals.Sharapova only had a slim mathematical chance of leapfrogging Williams for the top spot and needed a strong showing at the WTA Finals.But the Russian's chances of finishing number one for the first time in her career ended when ...
World Cup seeds Switzerland slide out of FIFA top 10 LONDON: Switzerland, who were among the top seeds for the World Cup finals this summer, have dropped out of FIFA's top 10 world rankings after a poor start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.Portugal, who surprisingly lost 1-0 at home to Albania in their opening European qualifier, have moved back into the top 10 for the first time since July and are in ninth place in the listings published on Thursday.Switzerland, who lost to England ...


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