| 11°C Dublin

Lance 'admits drug-taking'

CYCLING: Lance Armstrong has admitted to talk show host Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs in a lengthy interview to be aired later this week, according to a person familiar with the situation and USA Today.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the interview is to be broadcast on Thursday on Winfrey's OWN network. A confession marks a stunning reversal after Armstrong spent years strenuously denying doping allegations, sticking to his story even after being publicly shamed and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year.

Any admission of guilt could also have legal or financial ramifications, particularly among big-name corporate sponsors such as Nike, who loyally stood by him even as the allegations grew. The South Australia government have already said they will seek millions in compensation for appearance fees at the Tour Down Under if there is an admission of guilt.

It is Armstrong's first interview since he was stripped in October of his Tour titles, after the US Anti-Doping Agency said he helped orchestrate the most sophisticated doping programme in sports history.

Katie to consider WSB

BOXING: Olympic champion Katie Taylor is likely to compete in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) if the door is opened for female boxers next year.

"We would have a serious look at the World Series if it was introduced for women and Katie would be interested depending on the rules and regulations," said her father and coach, Pete.

Eight Irish boxers - Joe Ward, John Joe Nevin, Sean Turner, Michael Conlan, Willie McLaughlin, David Oliver Joyce, Eric Donovan and Conrad Cummings - are competing in the WSB this season. Conlan, a bronze medal winner at London 2012, will make his WSB debut for the USA Knockouts against the British Lionhearts at York Hall, London on Thursday.

Higgins and Dott win

SNOOKER: John Higgins and Graeme Dott reached the Betfair Masters quarter-finals in contrasting fashion yesterday.

World No 3 Higgins came from 2-0 down to beat Ali Carter 6-3 in yesterday's game at Alexandra Palace.

Dott had to hold off a fightback from fellow Scot Stephen Maguire, winning in a deciding frame after letting a 5-3 lead slip away. Dott missed a slightly awkward black off its spot early in the decider but Maguire could only make 26 and another long frame was in prospect.

Maguire fouled the pink to fall 26 behind with 25 points on the table and conceded the match as soon as Dott then doubled the green.

NBA: Washington 120 Orlando 91, Boston 100 Charlotte 89, Chicago 97 Atlanta 58, Memphis 73 LA Clippers 99, Dallas 113 Minnesota 98, Utah 104 Miami 97, Phoenix 90 Oklahoma City 102, Sacramento 124 Cleveland 118.