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In brief: Simpson set to appeal drug ban

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Sherone Simpson of Jamaica

Sherone Simpson of Jamaica

Sherone Simpson of Jamaica

Athletics: Jamaican sprinter Sherone Simpson will appeal her 18-month drug ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The former Olympic relay champion received the suspension from a disciplinary panel of the Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission yesterday.

The 29-year-old tested positive for oxilofrine last year and the ban means she will be ineligible to compete until December 20. Her agent Paul Doyle said she would appeal.

"We feel that this ruling is incredibly unjust and we will be appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport immediately," he said.

Simpson has always protested her innocence, claiming she did not intentionally take the banned stimulant, blaming the positive test on a supplement provided by her Canadian trainer Chris Xuereb, who has claimed he had been made a scapegoat.

Swimming

Ian Thorpe, a five-time Olympic champion, is in hospital fighting a serious infection and may not swim again.

He contracted two bugs after undergoing a series of operations on his shoulder and is receiving treatment in Sydney.

According to reports, he has been in intensive care and, in a "worst-case scenario" may lose the use of his left arm, but his agent James Erksine has denied the reports and said it was "not life-threatening".

Cycling

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Chris Froome's faithful lieutenant Richie Porte will miss May's Giro d'Italia to focus on the Tour de France, Team Sky have announced.

The Australian was slated to lead Team Sky at the Giro but Porte's full attentions will now be on supporting Froome's bid to retain the yellow jersey, which begins in Leeds on July 5.

Meanwhile, Germany's Tony Martin of Omega Pharma Quick Step won the second stage of the Tour of the Basque Country. Team Sky's Ben Swift took second, with Michal Kwiatkowski third.

Spain's Alberto Contador has a 14-second lead in the general classification.


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