| 12.7°C Dublin

I'm fall guy for doping: Lance

CYCLING: Lance Armstrong has claimed he has been made a fall guy for cycling's doping problems. The disgraced cyclist claims a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC) is the only way forward.

Armstrong said: "Publicly lynching one man and his team will not solve this problem.

"My generation was no different than any other. The 'help' has evolved over the years but the fact remains that our sport is damn hard, the Tour was invented as a stunt, and very tough mother ******* have competed for a century and all looked for advantages. No generation was exempt or 'clean'.

"When I was on speaking terms with ol' Pat McQuaid many, many months ago I said, 'Pat, you better think bold here. A full-blown, global, TRC is our sport's best solution'. He wanted to hear nothing of it. The UCI has no place at the table. Pat (McQuaid) is just in constant CYA (Cover Your Ass) mode."

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Leo Varadkar, has announced that the government are bidding to host the opening of the Giro D'Italia in 2014, with a Belfast to Dublin stage worth €12m to the local economy.

Brothers keep Bowl in family

NFL: Super Bowl XLVII would be the ultimate family gathering for the Harbaughs in New Orleans this weekend, if only one of them did not have to lose.

John Harbaugh will coach his Baltimore Ravens against younger brother Jim, head coach of San Francisco 49ers tomorrow night. "We had imaginary games in the back yard," John said. "We were never coaches. We were the stars, we were the players. The truth of it is that's what this game is going to be decided by. It's not going to be about the coaches."

Westwood hits third in Dubai

GOLF: Lee Westwood was as good as his word today as he came racing off the blocks in his first start of the season.

The world No 8 was joint third after his first round with Mark O'Meara, Matteo Manassero, Scott Jamieson and Paul Casey in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. South African Richard Sterne led by one from England's Tommy Fleetwood in second.

NBA: Philadelphia 92 Washington 84, Indiana 98 Detroit 79, Boston 99 Sacramento 81, NY Knicks 113 Orlando 97, Atlanta 93 Toronto 92, Brooklyn 85 Miami 105, Milwaukee 88 Chicago 104, Minnesota 90 LA Clippers 96, San Antonio 102 Charlotte 78, Denver 118 Houston 110, Utah 104 New Orleans 99.