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Slovakian will appeal ban
By wire services
Published February 15, 2006
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia - Karol Beck of Slovakia plans to appeal his two-year ban imposed by the International Tennis Federation for a positive steroid test during last year's Davis Cup semifinal.
Tibor Macko, the president of Slovakia's tennis federation, said that Beck plans to appeal the ban imposed the day before by the international federation.
"We believe that (Beck) didn't use the substance consciously," Macko said.
Beck, 23, returned a positive test for clenbuterol after Slovakia's 4-1 win over Argentina on Sept.24. Beck won both his singles and doubles for Slovakia, which reached its first final before losing to Croatia.
BANGALORE OPEN: Top-seeded Sania Mirza, playing in her home country for the first time in about six months, defeated Germany's Martina Muller 6-2, 6-2 during first-round action in India. the first round of the Bangalore Open. Mirza, who last year became the first Indian to win a WTA Tour title, will next face Camilleof France. Third-seeded Mara Santangelo of Italy defeated Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia 6-3, 6-2, but two other seeded players lost. Fourth-seeded Sybille Bammerof Austria lost 6-4, 5-7, 6-0 to Anastassia Rodionova of Russia, and eighth-seeded Emma Laineof Finland retired because of tonsillitis against Yuliana Fedakof Ukraine.
DIAMOND GAMES: Top-ranked Kim Clijsters returns from an ankle injury this week in Antwerp, Belgium, eager to face defending champion Amelie Mauresmo. Clijsters, of Belgium, will play before supportive fans in Antwerp when she faces No. 24 Tatiana Golovin tonight . In match play, Russia's Elena Dementieva, ranked eighth and seeded fifth, beat Estonian qualifier Maret Ani 6-3, 6-2 . Switzerland' s Patty Schnyder, ranked ninth and seeded sixth, routed Dutch wild-card Michaella Krajicek 6-0, 6-4 . Golovin beat Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens 6-1, 7-6 (1).
OPEN 13: Top-seeded Rafael Nadal saved a match point in his first action in four months in beating Belgium's Olivier Rochus 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the first round in Marseille, France. Nadal, sidelined since injuring his left foot in October in his Madrid Masters win, led 4-2 in third set but Rochus rallied to reach match point at 5-4 before the 19-year-old French Open champion saved it with an ace. Also, third-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia defeated Rochus' brother, Christophe, 6-1, 6-2, and Russia's Evgeny Korolev celebrated his 18th birthday by beating Australian Open junior champion Alexandre Sidorenko of France 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.
SOCCER: MLS changing rules
Major League Soccer altered its game-day roster rules, deciding each team can dress 18 players for games this season. Previously, teams were able to suit up 20 players at home and 16 on the road. As before, up to three substitutes per game may be used. MLS also eliminated its system of caution points, which were based on the severity of infractions. Instead, a player would be suspended for one game if he accumulates five yellow cards. Reaching eight and 11 yellow cards would result in additional one-game suspensions.
PLAYER TRADED: Eddie Johnson, who led the MLS in scoring two years ago, was traded to Kansas City by Dallas. Johnson, a U.S. national team member, had 24 goals and five assists in 84 career games with FC Dallas.
RUGBY: Mike Ruddock, who last year coached Wales to its first sweep of rugby's Six Nations championship in 27 years, quit his post to spend more time with his family . Assistant coach Scott Johnson will take charge for the final three Six Nations matches this year, the WRU said.
SAILING: The Dutch yacht ABN AMRO ONE led by 21 miles today, with the Volvo Ocean Race fleet funneling into Cook Strait near the end of the third leg between Melbourne and Wellington.