In brief: Van Barneveld up and running
Raymond van Barneveld shrugged off a back injury to roar into the second round of the bodog.com Darts World Grand Prix at Citywest last night.
The Dutch star -- out since the end of August -- shrugged off the challenge of Down man John MaGowan in a strong performance. Van Barneveld is hoping to win the €115,000 first prize for the first time and he's up and running, thanks to a 3-0 3-1 win.
MaGowan did have a chance to get back into the match but he miscounted at 1-1 in the second and Van Barneveld closed it out on a double eight.
Meanwhile, Ireland's Mick McGowan crashed out in his Round 1 clash against World No 3 James Wade. The Balbriggan man could do little to match the English star despite being roared on by the partisan home crowd. McGowan won a leg in each set, but struggled with doubles at both ends of the legs as Wade cruised through.
THE body of evidence in the case against Alberto Contador appeared to increase yesterday when it was reported that the three-times Tour de France winner has also tested positive for a type of chemical called a 'plasticiser'.
The test for plasticisers is a new one and does not indicate an offence. However, the presence of plasticiser does not bode well as the chemical is found in the interior of plastic IV blood bags, suggesting the use of blood transfusions.
It was reported yesterday that the level of the plasticiser in a urine sample given on July 20 was eight times above the threshold that would be indicative of doping.
Contador was exposed last week for having tested positive for clenbuterol on July 21, the eve of what would be the toughest mountain stage of the Tour de France. The UCI, the world cycling federation, has suspended him temporarily pending further investigation.
IRISH teenager Sam Barry was last night celebrating capturing his first world ranking points in the adult pro ranks, weeks after quitting the U-18 circuit.
Barry achieved the breakthrough by winning his opening match in the main draw of the ITF Futures event in Naples. The 18-year-old yesterday put home player Stefano Napolitano to the sword on a 4-6 6-1 6-4 scoreline.
Today, the Irish player faces No 7 seed, Italy's Massimo Capone. Ireland's Barry King and Daniel Glancy also advanced to the second round of the Naples tournament.