MEXICO CITY - Spain's Rafael Nadal has called on the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to conduct anti-doping blood tests and regularly publish the results to ensure the sport is clean. "It's an important issue and I think it's better like that. It's better to publish (the tests)," Nadal said in a media conference at the Mexican Open in the Pacific resort city of Acapulco. "They need to be made public so the people know who passed or who didn't pass (the tests)," the 11-time grand slam champion added.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Florida - An eagle at the par-5 18th lifted Camilo Villegas to a one-stroke first-round lead yesterday at the Honda Classic, scene of the Colombian's last US PGA Tour win in 2010. Villegas's strong finish capped a sparkling round of 64 on the par-70 PGA National course, following four earlier birdies. The 31-year-old, who won by five strokes in Florida two years ago for the most recent of his three US titles, hit 10 of 14 fairways and 14 greens in regulation and produced nine one-putts. Villegas had a one-stroke lead over Branden Grace, Graham DeLaet and Americans Rickie Fowler and Robert Streb.
BELFAST - Stephen Ferris's hopes of being selected for the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia appeared to have ended yesterday when it was revealed he faces three more months out of action. Ireland back-rower Ferris suffered an ankle injury playing for Ulster against Edinburgh in November. It was hoped the 27-year-old, capped 35 times by Ireland, would be fit in time for the Six Nations Championship.
BARCELONA, Spain - Australia's Mark Webber clocked the best time of the day at a rain-swept Barcelona as the final pre-season test of the winter endured a soggy start yesterday. The Red Bull driver timed 1min 22.693sec in the afternoon session after the morning action saw drivers tentatively tackle a Catalunya circuit made treacherous by heavy rain. Former world champion Lewis Hamilton had been quickest in the morning but even his 1min 41.614sec, off a modest total of 43 laps in his Mercedes, was a long way off the times set at the same circuit last week.
KUALA LUMPUR - The Asian Football Confederation says it has no evidence from a match-fixing investigation that a Lebanon defender helped Qatar win a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
The AFC says in a statement it "has no knowledge on any suspicion surrounding Lebanon's ... 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches." On Monday, the Lebanon Football banned national team defender Ramez Dayoub for life among 24 players suspended in a match-fixing and bribery scandal.
ZURICH, Switzerland - FIFA is looking for a new country to stage the Under-17 Women's World Cup next year because construction delays means the stadiums in Costa Rica cannot be ready in time. FIFA says the decision was agreed with the Costa Rica Football Federation "due to a number of unforeseen circumstances leading to heavy stadium construction delays." The 16-nation tournament is likely to be scheduled in September 2014.