Thursday 23 November 2017

Federer backs passport plan

ROGER FEDERER has applauded the announcement that tennis will introduce biological passports for players and urged the sport to make the ATP Tour "as clean as it possibly can be" with a broad approach.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) also said it would increase the number of blood tests done each year under its anti-doping programme in the wake of several high-profile cases in other sports.

"That's good news," 17-times Grand Slam winner Federer said at the BNP Paribas Open.

"I think tennis has done a good job of trying everything to be as clean as possible but we are entering a new era. Everything is becoming more professional with more money involved."

Federer and many of his peers have been prominent in calling for tennis to up anti-doping measures, especially following the admission in January by seven-times Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong that he doped throughout his cycling career.

"The cycling issue has been around for quite some time but what surfaced this year obviously was super extreme," Federer said.


Barney arrows clear

DARTS: Raymond Van Barneveld moved clear at the top of the McCoy's Premier League Darts table as Phil Taylor, Michael van Gerwen and Robert Thornton lost their unbeaten records and Adrian Lewis won his first game of the season at Nottingham's Capital FM Arena last night.

Dutch star Van Barneveld continued his brilliant start to the season with a 7-5 defeat of Andy Hamilton in Nottingham, picking up his fourth win of the campaign.

"I'm very focused and I still believe that every week's a final, so I'm really pleased to have won four out of five and be on eight points," said Van Barneveld.

"When Andy broke my throw to pull back to 6-5, I thought he was going to get a draw because he had the throw in the last leg, but I relaxed in the last leg and hit an 11-darter."


Babington returns

EQUESTRIAN: The Ninth round of the Winter Equestrian Festival at Wellington in Florida ramps up to five-star status this weekend, and sees the return of Tipperary's Kevin Babington to the Irish contingent competing for big US prize money at the World Cup venue.

Pennsylvania-based Babington is joined by Jennifer Crooks, Darragh Kenny, Darragh Kerins, Ronan Peter McGuigan, Richie Moloney, Cian O'Connor, Shane Sweetnam and Conor Swail.

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