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Owens abuse fans banned

RUGBY: England's Rugby Football Union says two people have been banned from all matches at Twickenham for two years following an investigation into anti-gay abuse aimed at referee Nigel Owens during a game.

The abuse occurred during the test match between England and New Zealand three weeks ago and came to light in a letter from a spectator published in The Guardian.

The RFU said that the two people will pay £1,000 to a charity of Owens' choice.

Ian Ritchie, chief executive of the RFU, says "while instances of this nature are exceptionally rare, the RFU takes rugby's values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline and sportsmanship very seriously."

Owens, who is gay, is widely regarded as one of rugby's top referees.

Sainz to join Rosso in '15

F1: Scuderia Toro Rosso says 20-year-old Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr. will pair with Max Verstappen for the Formula One team in 2015.

Sainz, the son of former two-time world rally champion Carlos Sainz, became the youngest winner of the World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship this year.

Team principal Franz Tost says "we continue the tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull junior driver program with their first steps in Formula 1."

Sainz tested with Toro Rosso last year. Tost says "he really surprised me and his engineers that day, with his mature approach and his speed."

Rice wins NFL appeal

NFL: Ray Rice has won the appeal of his indefinite suspension by the NFL, which has been "vacated immediately," the players' union said yesterday.

The appeal was heard on whether the NFL overstepped its authority in modifying Rice's two-game suspension, making it indefinite after video of the Baltimore Ravens running back punching his fiancee - now his wife - became public.

Rice was released by the Ravens and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the suspension indefinite after the video was made public.