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In brief: Champ Contador set to miss Tour

Alberto Contador is likely to miss this year's Tour de France because of the time the investigation into his positive doping test could take, according to International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid.

Three-times champion Contador, provisionally suspended after failing a dope test during the 2010 race, will probably be out of shape or not even cleared to participate this year.

"It is not a good place to be for Contador," McQuaid said. "We could assume that it's a possibility that he will not be at the Tour de France."


Ronnie O'Sullivan suffered a first-round exit at the Ladbrokes Mobile Masters yesterday as Antrim's Mark Allen battled to a 6-4 win at Wembley Arena.

Allen led 3-1, but O'Sullivan fought his way back to 4-4 before the Irishman came through to set up a clash with either Stephen Hendry or Neil Robertson.

O'Sullivan said: "All credit to Mark. He's had a great season and he's a big-time player."

In the evening session, world number 18 Marco Fu pulled off a minor upset when beat Stephen Maguire 6-4 after racing into a 5-1 lead.


BEIJING Olympians Ken Egan and John Joe Joyce have been named in the Miami Gallos side to face Los Angeles Matadors tomorrow night.

Joyce only arrived in Florida on Monday night and already he's lined up for a clash with LA middleweight Russell Lamour.

Egan faces Dorian Anthony, whom he beat convincingly when Miami edged out LA 3-2 at home on November 23. The Neilstown southpaw sustained a cut over his eye in a clash of heads and had to serve a 45-day medical suspension.


England have suffered a major blow ahead of their RBS 6 Nations campaign with the news that Northampton forward Courtney Lawes will miss the entire championship.

Lawes suffered a knee injury in Saturday's 27-16 Aviva Premiership defeat at Leicester, although coach Jim Mallinder was upbeat over the likely recovery time after the match.

But national team manager Martin Johnson's worst fears have been confirmed after medical examinations revealed ligament damage, pointing to a three-month lay-off.

Irish Independent