Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 17th 2013 Contents A41
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Marin Cilic was handed a nine-
month suspension by the
International Tennis Federation
yesterday after testing positive
for a banned substance.
The suspension was back-
dated to May 1 and will last
through January 31, 2014.
Cilic tested positive for
nikethamide, a stimulant, at a
tournament in Munich last
spring. The ITF said it accepted
the player's contention that he
ingested the substance
inadvertently in glucose tablets
and was not trying to cheat.
As a result, the ITF gave him a
reduced penalty rather than a
ban of up to two years.
The 24-year-old Cilic, who
reached a career-best ranking of
No 9 in 2010, has not played
since pulling out from
Wimbledon in June before a
second-round match, citing a left
knee injury. He has since missed
the US Open and will also be
ineligible for the Australian Open
The ITF said Cilic will lose all
his results, ranking points and
prize money since the Munich
Cilic said in a statement he
will appeal to the Court of
Arbitration for Sport in
Lausanne, Switzerland. (AP)
Cilic suspended 9 months for doping violation
SWANSEA---Liverpool returned to the top of the Pre-
mier League standings yesterday despite its perfect
start to the season ending with a 2--2 draw at Swansea.
Brendan Rodgers team had won its first three games
and a fourth consecutive victory would have marked
the club s best start ever in the Premier League.
But Michu s second-half equaliser ruined Liverpool s
plans after goals from Daniel Sturridge and Victor Moses
had given the visitors a 2--1 lead following Jonjo Shelvey s
opener. Liverpool now has ten points and is one clear
of both Arsenal and Tottenham.
Rodgers, a former Swansea manager, received a warm
welcome on his return to the Liberty Stadium as he
greeted some home supporters.
But there was no time for nostalgia as Shelvey opened
the scoring with a left-foot shot from the right side of
the box in the 2nd minute after Liverpool defenders
failed to clear the ball properly. Shelvey first missed a
volley but recovered to get past Mamadou Sakho and
beat goalkeeper Simon Mignolet at his second attempt.
But Shelvey went from hero to villain within two min-
utes by allowing an equaliser when his slack backpass
ended up in Sturridge s path, with the England striker
firing a low shot past Michel Vorm for his 12th goal in
Sturridge missed a chance when his header from close
range was blocked by Vorm. Shelvey made another big
mistake when he misdirected a simple pass to Victor
Moses, with the player on loan from Chelsea bursting
forward from the middle of the pitch before unleashing
a shot from the edge of the box to score on his Liverpool
debut in the 36th minute.
Vorm was forced into a good save early in the second
half to block Andre Wisdom s volley from close range
before tempers frayed, Shelvey and Lucas Leiva were
Shelvey made some amends in the 64th minute as
he picked out Michu with a fine headed pass for the
Spaniard to level the score.
Swansea had the best of the second half and created
several good chances near the end but lacked the finishing
Liverpool held to 2--2
draw at Swansea
LONDON---With the world s two most
expensive players in its side, Real Madrid
thinks it s in position to spoil Bayern
Munich s attempt to become the first
team since 1990 to defend its European
Cup title when football s top club com-
petition resumes this week.
Having signed Gareth Bale from Tot-
tenham this summer for a world-record
fee of 100 million euros, eclipsing the 93
million euros it paid for Cristiano Ronaldo
in 2009, Madrid can compete on all fronts
this season and will be bidding for a first
Champions League trophy since Zinedine
Zidane scored the winner against Bayer
Leverkusen in the 2002 final.
Since then, Madrid s fierce rival
Barcelona has won the trophy three times
and Madrid is confident it can end the
Catalan s side dominance this year with
its formidable pairing, although playmaker
Mesut Ozil left for Arsenal.
Bale had an immediate impact at Real,
scoring Saturday on his debut in a 2--2
draw at Villarreal, and Ronaldo signed a
new contract that will keep him at the
Spanish club for the next five seasons.
"Madrid, with its history, has always
tried to bring in the best players and that
has worked well," said Ronaldo, who won
the Champions League with Manchester
United in 2008. "As far as winning the
European Cup, we could have won another
title these years but sometimes it s just
not possible. I don t have doubts that soon-
er or later the tenth European Cup will
arrive and I am convinced that it will be
Madrid, which begins its Group B cam-
paign at Galatasaray today without injured
midfielder Xabi Alonso and defender
Raphael Varane, lost in the semifinals of
the lucrative competition over the past
three years, last season to Borussia Dort-
To boost its chances of renewed success,
Madrid has also parted ways with former
coach Jose Mourinho to hire Carlo Ancelot-
ti, who won the European Cup twice with
"Real Madrid have not made it into the
final of the Champions League since 2002
and that s amazing when you think about
it," Ancelotti said. "I think it s been too
long for a club of Madrid s stature."
Ozil is arguably the best passer in Euro-
pean football and by letting him leave,
Ancelotti is laying the foundations for a
more direct approach, one that relies less
on craft and more on the explosive pace
of Bale and Ronaldo
Madrid, whose other opponents in the
group stage are Juventus and FC Copen-
hagen, was not the only major club to
replace its coach during the offseason as
nearly all the Champions League con-
tenders had the same idea: Chelsea re-
hired Mourinho, Manchester City signed
Manuel Pellegrini, United replaced Alex
Ferguson with David Moyes, Barcelona
appointed Gerardo Martino and Bayern
has gone for Pep Guardiola.
Bayern is still adapting to life under its
new coach, but the signing of Mario Goetze
from last season s finalist Borussia and the
addition of Thiago Alcantara from
Barcelona are likely to pay long-term div-
Sammer said Bayern will need to make
a "different appearance" at home against
Russian league leader CSKA Moscow in
Group D today with more "emotion and
passion" to deliver the "last two or three
percent that we re missing." Bayern s other
opponents are Manchester City and Vik-
Looking to win its fourth Champions
League in nine years, Barcelona will also
be trying to get its unofficial title of best
team in the world back after being thrashed
by Bayern in the semifinals last season.
The club has been placed in a difficult
Group H with Ajax, Celtic and Milan.
"There s (...) a bitter taste after what
happened in the semifinal against Bayern
Munich, where there was a big gap between
the two teams, we didn t go into it in our
best shape. But that s the past and we have
to look forward," Barcelona s Lionel Messi
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are the
only two teams in Spain to have a perfect
start to the league season with four wins
in as many rounds. Messi has been the
driving force behind his team s start with
a league-leading six goals in just three
appearances. New signing Neymar is fitting
in with two assisted goals for Messi already.
Manchester United, playing in the
Champions League without Ferguson for
the first time, will start its campaign in a
group containing Bayer Leverkusen Real
Sociedad and Shakhtar. According to
Moyes, Ferguson told him to brace himself
for a difficult group phase.
"He said he thinks it s one of the hardest
draws United have ever had in the Cham-
pions League," Moyes said ahead of today s
home match against Leverkusen.
Chelsea is in Group E with Basel, Schalke
and Steaua Bucharest. (AP)
Madrid to challenge
Real Madrid's Gareth Bale from Wales celebrates scoring against Villarreal during their
La Liga football match at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal, Spain on Saturday. Real
Madrid will be looking to Bale and team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo to spoil Bayern Munich's
attempt to become the first team since 1990 to defend its European Cup title. AP PHOTO
ROME---Roma rallied to beat Parma 3--1 yesterday to
maintain its unbeaten start to the Serie A season.
Parma took a surprise lead six minutes from halftime
when Jonathan Biabiany headed Mattia Cassani s deep
cross into the bottom right corner.
After conceding its first goal this season, Roma leveled
through Alessandro Florenzi in the second minute after
Captain Francesco Totti gave Roma the lead in the
70th minute when he controlled Kevin Strootman s ball
over the defense and fired into the bottom left corner
for his first goal of the season.
Roma sealed the win six minutes from time when
Strootman got his first goal for the club with an unstop-
pable penalty after Gervinho had been tripped by Cassani.
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