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Butt and Amir appeals begin

Cricket: Two disgraced Pakistan cricketers given custodial terms for their parts in a spot-fixing scam that rocked world sport were due to challenge their sentences at the Court of Appeal in London today.

Ex-Test captain Salman Butt, 27, was jailed for two-and-a-half years for his role as the "orchestrator" of a plot to bowl deliberate no-balls in the Lord's Test against England last year.

Mohammad Amir, 19, who had been tipped to become one of the all-time great fast bowlers, was detained for six months after he admitted bowling two intentional no-balls at Lord's.

Injured Murray 'not ready for Tour finals'

Tennis: Andy Murray admitted he probably should not have played in the ATP World Tour Finals at all after being forced to pull out with a groin injury.

The world number three revealed he had suffered the injury in practice last Monday.

The Scot said: "I knew in my head I wasn't ready to play and wasn't right to play. I want to come into the big competitions being there to win the event, and there's no chance I would have been ready to win here."

Fit-again Margarito gets Cotto go ahead

BOXING: The rematch between Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico and Mexico's Antonio Margarito will go ahead as planned in New York next month after officials finally gave the go ahead.

The super welterwight bout, set to take place at Madison Square Garden on Saturday week, was in doubt after the New York State Athletic Commission raised questions about the health of Margarito, who suffered a serious eye injury that required surgery in his loss to Manny Pacquiao last year.

Penn players 'given special treatment'

GRIDIRON: Penn State University football players received special treatment when they got into trouble, the university's former chief disciplinarian has said.

Vicky Triponey, vice president for student affairs from 2003 to 2007, said football head coach Joe Paterno and then-university president Graham Spanier were involved in years of debate that ended in changing the rules for how players were disciplined.

"The consequence of these accommodations put us in the position of treating football players more favourably than other students," Triponey said.

A university spokesman was not available to comment.