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Murray faces tough route

TENNIS: Andy Murray was handed a very tough draw at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The Scot, who has a bye in the first round, will play either Rafael Nadal's 2012 Wimbledon conqueror Lukas Rosol or a qualifier in the opening match at the year's first Masters series event.

Murray has paid for being ranked only sixth and was placed in the same quarter as world No 1 Rafael Nadal in a top-heavy draw, with Stanislas Wawrinka and Roger Federer potential semi-final opponents.

First Murray must get that far, though, and his recent record at the Indian Wells has not been great, the 26-year-old losing his first match twice in the last three years.

Last year he reached the quarter-finals before losing to Juan Martin del Potro, who is in the bottom half along with second seed Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych.

Third seed Wawrinka is making his return to the tour after taking time out following his stunning win in Melbourne, and he could play 6ft 10in Ivo Karlovic first up.

Defending champion Nadal will face either Radek Stepanek or Denis Istomin while Federer plays a qualifier and Djokovic meets either a qualifier or Victor Hanescu.

Froome hopes era coming to an end

cycling: Tour de France champion Chris Froome wants an investigation into the sport's doping history to finally close an era dominated by Lance Armstrong.

Almost 18 months after Armstrong's seven Tour wins were wiped from the record, an independent panel created by the new International Cycling Union leadership has begun work to discover the extent of the sport's past problems.

"I hope that anyone who does have anything to contribute would get involved," Froome said.

The three-man Cycling Independent Reform Commission aims to investigate how doping happened from 1998-2013 and possible UCI complicity in helping Armstrong and his teams avoid scrutiny. "I am hoping that at the end of the day people will be able to say of it, 'Right, that was that era, we can now put that to bed and stop asking questions about it'," Froome said.

CLONGOWES IN FINAL

RUGBY: Clongowes will face Blackrock College in the Leinster Schools Senior Cup final after a 27-12 semi-final win over St Andrew's at Donnybrook yesterday.

Alan Hughes put Clongowes ahead with a penalty but Andrew's hit back with a superb try from full-back Andrew Fogarty, converted by out-half Jack Balbirnie. Clongowes then powered ahead after the break with tries from flanker Josh Pim, wing Cian O'Donoghue and No 8 Stephen McVeigh, all converted by Hughes. Andrew's got a late try from lock Jonny Guy.


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