England vs South Africa 1st Investec Test
England post 385 on fluctuating day
The Oval—This is what a contest for the No. 1 ranking should be like; intense, gripping and fluctuating. South Africa surged out of blocks on the second day, led by revitalised Dale Steyn, but England responded with Matt Prior compiling a vital half-century to again show why he can lay claim to being the finest wicketkeeper-batsman in Test cricket. Then, when South Africa replied to England’s 385, James Anderson removed Alvrio Petersen in the third over as the match remained on a knife-edge.
French Olympic runner Gezzar tests positive
Paris—French athlete Nordine Gezzar could face a life ban after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).
Gezzar, selected to compete in the London Olympics, has requested a “B” sample to be analysed, with the results of that test due to be known next week.
Having already served a two-year drug ban when he was suspended in 2006, Gezzar could be banned permanently should the second control also come back positive. Michel Marle, French athletics federation vice-president, told AFP on Friday: “Gezzar tested positive for EPO and has been provisionally suspended.
Nadal pulls out of Olympics
Madrid—Defending champion Rafael Nadal has dropped out of the London Olympics because he is not in shape to compete, the Spanish tennis world number three , calling it one of the saddest days of his career.
“I am not in condition to compete in the London Olympics, so I will not be travelling as planned with the Spanish delegation to compete in them,” said Nadal, who had been recovering from a knee injury.
Valverde holds off Sky, climbs to stage 17 win
Peyragudes—Spain’s Alejandro Valverde claimed a stylish solo victory in the 17th stage of the Tour de France as Bradley Wiggins admitted he now feels like a yellow jersey champion.
Wiggins, of team Sky, came over the finish line of the 143.5 km stage between Bagneres-de-Luchon and Peyragudes on the wheel of Sky teammate Chris Froome 18secs behind the Spaniard.
The pair had led a frantic chase of Valverde on the day’s fifth and last climb but Valverde, who had broken away from an early escape group on the Col de Peyresourde, dug deep to hold off the British pair.