Sports News in Brief
SYDNEY - Cronulla captain Paul Gallen has been ruled out of Saturday night's All Stars match in Brisbane because of a leg injury. The NRL All Stars forward failed to complete training on Wednesday because of a quad strain, with his new Sharks teammate Chris Heighington named as his replacement. The 31-year-old took to Twitter to say he would now turn his attention to being fit for the start of the NRL season when the Sharks host Gold Coast on March 10. "Out of Allstars really want to thank everyone who voted for me." Gallen tweeted.
MESAIEED, Qatar - British sprint king Mark Cavendish has won the third stage of the Tour of Qatar, claiming the contested finish on the 143-kilometre stage between Al Wakra and Mesaieed. The 2011 world road race champion fended off competition from Dutchman Markus Barry and Lithuania's Addis Kruopis for his second victory since joining Omega Pharma-Quick Step from Team Sky in the close-season. American Brent Bookwalter, winner of the race's opening stage, preserved his overall six-second lead ahead of compatriot Taylor Phinney.
PARIS - France's star handball player, double Olympic champion Nikola Karabatic, was suspended for six matches on Tuesday, along with six other players accused of betting on a club match suspected of being rigged. The seven players received the maximum suspension allowed under the national handball league's (LNH) regulations. The players, all at the time playing for Montpellier, can carry on playing if they choose to appeal the punishment in the next five days.
ROME - Argentinian soccer legend Diego Maradona has insisted he's no fraudster in a video put out by his lawyer, as the former star disputes a claim he owes Italian tax authorities millions of dollars. "I am not a tax fraudster. I played football and other people signed for me," Maradona, who played for Napoli, said in a video shot at his current residence in Dubai. "I am not afraid of returning to Italy," he said. "I never signed anything. The people who are really responsible are free and can walk around calmly in Naples and I can't," he said.
VINA DEL MAR, Chile - Rafael Nadal has won his first match on return to the ATP Tour after more than seven months absence because of an inflamed left knee. The former world No.1 partnered fellow Spaniard Juan Monaco to defeat the Czech pair of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3 6-2 in doubles on Tuesday in the VTR clay-court tournament at Vina Del Mar in Chile. Nadal, whose knee problem has lingered despite on-going therapy, had not played since June 28 when he lost in the second round of Wimbledon.
LONDON - Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington announced Tuesday her retirement from competitive swimming. The 23-year-old Briton won two gold medals at the Beijing Games in 2008 but could only muster two bronze medals at London 2012 as the host nation's swimmers managed a disappointing three medals between them in the pool. She said now was the right time to quit as she could no longer keep pace with younger swimmers.