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Following is a summary of current sports news briefs.
Doping-Swiss laboratory denies helping Armstrong avoid detection
LAUSANNE (Reuters) - The director of Switzerland's laboratory for doping analysis has denied allegations that he once told disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong how to avoid being detected for EPO. Martial Saugy said he had one meeting with Armstrong in 2002 at the request of the International Cycling Union to talk about the tests but refuted the suggestion that he told him how to avoid detection.
Heat evaporate in tight loss to Trail Blazers 2013-01-11T080704Z_2_BRE90A068_RTROPTC_0_US-NBA-TRAILBLAZERS.XM L () -
Djokovic and Serena red hot Melbourne favorites
SYDNEY (Reuters) - With even their main rivals trumpeting Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams as the runaway favorites to win the Australian Open, it is tempting to view the honor roll at the year's first tennis grand slam as pre-ordained. However well the pair are playing, they should perhaps bear in mind that the brutal heat, inspired opponents and the heartbreak of injury have unseated more than a few 'sure things' over the years at Melbourne Park.
Ishikawa and Wiratchant get Masters invitations 2013-01-11T175644Z_1_BRE90A0WY_RTROPTC_0_US-GOLF-MASTERS-ISHIKA WA.XML () -
Late long-range birdie putts put Oosthuizen on top
DURBAN (Reuters) - World number six Louis Oosthuizen ended the second round with a real flourish to complete a bogey-free 64 and seize a one-stroke lead in the Volvo Golf Champions on Friday. Britain's Scott Jamieson, who also recorded a 64, was one behind on 11-under 133 alongside overnight leader Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand (68).
French motorcyclist dies during Dakar Rally in Chile
SANTIAGO (Reuters) - French motorcyclist Thomas Bourgin has died after colliding with a police car in northern Chile as he was driving to the start of Friday's special stage of the Dakar rally, organizers said on Friday. "The 25-year-old rider collided with a Chilean police car that was traveling in the opposite direction," the Dakar Rally said in a statement on its web site. "The exact circumstances of the accident are being subjected to an inquiry."
British man who threw bottle at Bolt found guilty
LONDON (Reuters) - A mentally ill British man who shouted abuse at Usain Bolt and threw a beer bottle on the track at the start of the men's Olympic 100 meters final was found guilty of a public order offence on Friday. Ashley Gill-Webb, 34, shouted "Usain I want you to lose, Usain you are bad, you are an arsehole" at the Jamaican sprinter in the minutes before the race on August 5 last year, a key moment of the London Games.
Radwanska doles out double bagel to win Sydney
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Agnieszka Radwanska humbled Dominika Cibulkova 6-0 6-0 in a ruthless display of all-court tennis to win her second Australian Open warm-up tournament in two weeks at the Sydney International on Friday. The Pole, seeded fourth for Melbourne Park and a winner in Auckland last week, secured her ninth straight victory from the start of the year in a little over an hour of one-sided tennis when the hapless Cibulkova double faulted.
Paes to lead second-string India team after players' revolt
MUMBAI (Reuters) - Leander Paes will spearhead a second-string Indian team in the home Davis Cup tie against South Korea next month following a revolt by the country's frontline players. Eight top players, excluding 13-times grand slam doubles champion Paes, had submitted a list of demands to the All India Tennis Association (AITA) with a threat to snub the regional first round tie in New Delhi from February 1-3.
Murray focused on more grand slam success
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Achieving a lifetime goal can leave some players content but may also blight their ambition. For Andy Murray, however, nothing could be further from the truth. The Scot's victory at the U.S. Open last September came on the back of his Olympic triumph the previous month and was the fulfillment of a dream.