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BRIEFLY

Compiled by Josefa Makaba
Sunday, May 20, 2012

Unbeaten run

ROME (AP) - Juventus will look to cap an undefeated season by adding the Italian Cup to the Serie A title in the clash with Napoli in Sunday's final. The Bianconeri lifted their first Serie A title in nine years last week, sparking scenes of jubilation in Turin. Juventus midfielder Luca Marrone says, "the celebrations are already behind us and the coach has prepared us in the right way."

1 point away

PARIS (AFP) - Montpellier celebrated like champions after beating Lille 1-0 in dramatic circumstances last weekend, but they still require a point at relegated Auxerre on Sunday to claim the first Ligue 1 title in their history. Karim Ait-Fana's injury-time goal at Stade de la Mosson last Sunday eliminated defending champions Lille from the title race and left Montpellier three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain ahead of the season's final day.

Anti-doping code

MONTREAL (AP) - The World Anti-Doping Agency has declared Britain's Olympic committee compliant with the global anti-doping code. The decision comes the day after the Olympic host country rescinded its lifetime bans for drug offenders. WADA also received suggested changes to the code at its board meeting on Friday. Among them is an International Olympic Committee rule barring athletes who have received drug bans of more than six months from competing in the next games.

American leads

California (AFP) - American Dave Zabriskie maintained the overall lead while France's Sylvain Georges survived the gruelling mountain terrain to win the sixth stage of the Tour of California on Friday. Australia have three riders in the top ten on the overall standings, with Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEDGE) one minute and one second behind Zabriskie in sixth. Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare) is placed eighth (1:10 behind) and Cameron Meyer (Orica GreenEDGE) in ninth (1:26 behind).

Ronaldo or Messi

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo insisted he was "better than Messi" in an interview with American news channel CNN on Friday, before appearing to retract his claim. "You cannot compare a Ferrari with a Porsche because they have different engines. He does his very best for Barcelona and I do my best for Real Madrid," tempered Ronaldo, 27, after initially insisting he was superior to the man who has won the Ballon d'Or for the world's best footballer in each of the past three years.

Hooper cited

AUCKLAND (NZN) - Brumbies loose forward Michael Hooper has been cited for alleged foul play over a tackle he made during his side's 37-25 Super Rugby win over the Hurricanes. The openside flanker is alleged to have made a tip tackle on opposition No.8 Victor Vito early in the second half of the match in Wellington on Friday night. Referee Mark Lawrence penalised Hooper at the time.

Boy, 12, shaves head

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A 12-year old Texas boy who was suspended from school after shaving his head to resemble the face of San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner scored tickets to a playoff game and thanks from his favourite NBA player. Patrick Gonzalez was suspended for a day from Woodlake Hills Middle School because the school district deemed his $US75 ($F138.35) haircut a distraction. He returned to class on Thursday after reluctantly shaving his head. Gonzalez says Bonner is his favourite player, noting they're both redheads. Bonner, whose mother is a teacher, says the school could have just moved Gonzalez to the back of the room. Bonner encouraged Gonzalez to "keep supporting us redheads in the NBA."

Forced to play

ROME (AFP) - World No.1 Victoria Azarenka said on Friday she was forced by the pressure of WTA rules to play this week's Rome Masters with a shoulder injury. The top seed, who won her opening match over Shahar Peer and then withdrew citing her medical problem, tweeted that she only played to avoid incurring a penalty to her ranking. "If WTA rules were different, then I could have focused on getting healthy but I could not afford another zero pointer on my ranking. Hopefully in the future there will be more protection for players' rights," said the Belarussian.





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