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UCI in appeal on doping info

CYCLING: Riders and managers who have been involved in past doping practices have been urged to come forward by International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson so that the sport can draw a line under its troubled reputation.

Reacting to former rider Michael Rasmussen's series of allegations in a book published yesterday, Cookson said: "All such allegations and confessions will be looked at by the new Independent Commission and we would urge anyone concerned to bring forward their information to the Commission."

Dane Rasmussen was kicked out of his Rabobank team, while he was leading the Tour de France in 2007, for lying about his whereabouts to doping authorities.

Following allegations made by Rasmussen in the book, Canadian Ryder Hesjedal, winner of the 2012 Giro d'Italia, admitted to doping "more than 10 years ago" last Wednesday.

Last week, the UCI said it would audit its own anti-doping operations in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.



CRICKET: England batsman Ian Bell refused to rise to Shane Warne's latest criticism of captain Alastair Cook ahead of the Ashes.

Warne, revisiting a theme he favoured during Australia's 3-0 Ashes defeat in England last summer, has suggested the tourists may well be about to lose the urn unless Cook changes his ways. The former Australia leg-spinner branded Cook's captaincy as "negative, boring".

Bell is an old hand at deflecting Warne's jibes, from the latter's playing days right through to his current habitat in the commentary box. He shrugged his shoulders at the former spinner's remarks.

"It's quite funny," Bell said. "I've certainly learnt over time that there's no point wasting energy trying to find compliments from Australians.