Sports News

Briefs-Frenchwoman Ghezielle protests innocence over test

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) - Sports news in brief from around the world:

* Frenchwoman Bouchra Ghezielle, who won the 1,500m bronze medal at the 2005 world athletics championships, said she would fight to prove her innocence after a report that she tested positive for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO).

Morocco-born Ghezielle was reported to have failed a random test conducted by the IAAF on Feb. 9 at her home in Franconville, France.

“I am very surprised and very angry and even if the B-sample confirms the result of the first test, I will fight to the end,” Ghezielle told French sports daily L’Equipe.

* Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport, one of the world’s most famous sports newspapers, is changing to a smaller format with more colour photos, but will remain mainly pink. The new edition will be fully launched on Saturday.

* Ducati have denied that retired seven times Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher is looking to race for them in MotoGP after he was lined up to ride a Ktm bike in a minor series race.

“There has been no contact with the driver or sponsors,” Ducati’s Livio Suppo told Italian media.

* MotoGP world champion Casey Stoner is optimistic about claiming his first podium finish at Jerez in this weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix.

“I’ve never finished on the podium here, but I’ve always scored points and all but once been in the top six,” the Australian told a news conference. “We will be giving it 100 percent and I think with what we’ve improved in testing we should be more competitive here than in past years.”

* Italian cyclist Valentino Fois has been found dead, Amore&Vita team manager Ivano Fanini told reporters.

Fois was suspended for doping in 1998 and had since been suffering from depression but was planning a comeback at 34 with Amore&Vita. The cause of death was unclear.