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Kimmage calls for Hein's head

CYCLING: Writer Paul Kimmage, who was targeted with legal action by the UCI, has spoken of his relief that the international cycling union has dropped its case – and called for Hein Verbruggen to be removed as honorary president.

Kimmage, a former professional cyclist, was sued by the UCI after making allegations about its handling of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

He was informed by new UCI president Brian Cookson this week that the legal action has now been dropped.

Verbruggen was UCI president at the time of Armstrong's seven Tour de France victories, and it has now emerged that authorities were aware of at least one failed drugs test by the American rider.

Kimmage said: "I am very relieved, it has been a very difficult 20 months and I hope this means things have turned a corner.

"Brian Cookson has my every best wish but I do believe however that Hein Verbruggen should be removed absolutely from any position at the UCI."

FORMULA 1: World champion Sebastian Vettel was fastest yesterday in free practice for a Japanese Grand Prix that could secure his fourth successive title.

The German, who will wrap up the championship if he wins tomorrow and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso fails to finish in the top eight, lapped with a best time of one minute 33.852 seconds in an afternoon session with plenty of incidents.

"The car balance is decent, but I think we can still improve," said the Red Bull driver, who had been third and behind the two Mercedes drivers in a morning session led by Lewis Hamilton.

"It's good to see we are up there today, but it's not always so important; we need to step up our game."

BADMINTON: Chloe Magee is out of the last 16 of the Dutch open Grand Prix after losing to number two seed Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand.

Magee was unable to reproduce the heroics that saw her save match point in the last 32 match.

The Thailand player dominated the match winning in two sets.