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The Sports Matrix: Thursday 11 October 2012
Usada reveals its 'conclusive' verdict on Armstrong case
The sheer scale of the doping programme in which Lance Armstrong played a leading role was revealed last night when the United States Anti-Doping Agency published the first batch of what will run to 1,000 pages of evidence, including testimony from 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates.
The agency said it shows beyond doubt that Armstrong's US Postal team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised, successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".
Usada yesterday delivered the long-awaited evidence to cycling's governing body, the UCI, and released 200 pages on its website – the rest is being withheld for the time being as three former US Postal team officials are contesting the charges.
It details a doping programme that ran across the team and lists 15 riders who testified against Armstrong, including the former Sky domestique Michael Barry and George Hincapie, above, Armstrong's right-hand man for his seven Tour de France wins. MORE
Vieira questions players' motives
Patrick Vieira yesterday suggested that young English footballers no longer dream of playing for their national team. "I don't think the young players are dreaming of playing for England," he said. Michael Owen was quick to reject the Frenchman's suggestion. MORE
San Marino match a Wembley sell-out
Despite facing San Marino, the joint-worst team in the world according to the Fifa rankings, England's World Cup qualifier tomorrow night at Wembley has sold out. "It is a great tribute to the magnificent support the team enjoys," England manager Roy Hodgson said.
Lampard the only doubt for England
Frank Lampard is Roy Hodgson's only injury doubt for the San Marino match, as the manager ponders using Wayne Rooney in the midfield role he has played for Manchester United of late. Lampard, who is nursing a knee injury, played a small part in training. MORE
Guardiola linked with Milan post
Pep Guardiola has been offered a four-year contract worth around £25m by Milan, according to reports in Italy. The former Barcelona head coach is taking a break from football, but is expected to be back on the touchline for the start of the 2013-14 season. MORE
Broad: No contact from KP for months
Stuart Broad yesterday revealed he has not spoken to Kevin Pietersen since August. Broad, the England Twenty20 captain, said he hasn't had contact with his former team-mate since the Test match against South Africa at Headingley. MORE
McIlroy must beat Woods in Turkey
With thunderstorms stopping play yesterday, Rory McIlroy will take on Tiger Woods in their final group match of the World Golf Final today, knowing that only a win will take him through to the semi-finals, depending on their aggregate scores. MORE
Heineken Cup kicks off under a cloud
The Heineken Cup returns tomorrow, with Ospreys against Treviso, and Ulster versus Castres. But because of a dispute over TV rights, this could be the penultimate time the competition remains in its current guise. MORE
McLaren ready for Red Bull challenge
McLaren's team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, is confident they can respond to Red Bull's step forward in pace at this weekend's Korean Grand Prix. "Red Bull look strong, that is the challenge for us," Whitmarsh said. MORE
Spanish game 'free of racism' claim
The president of Spain's football association, Angel Villa Llona, a member of Fifa and Uefa's executive committees, has claimed racism “does not exist” in the Spanish game despite numerous recent incidents. MORE
The case for Darren Clarke to assume Ryder Cup captaincy in January is irresistible. It is not that the other candidates do not offer worthy credentials, only that they are not as compelling as his. MORE
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