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Elena, Nadia to lead challenge

Moscow: Elena Dementieva and Nadia Petrova will lead champions Russia in next month's first round Fed Cup tie against Belgium. With Anastasia Myskina, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Maria Sharapova unavailable, Russia captain Shamil Tarpishchev has called up Fed Cup newcomer Maria Kirilenko and Dinara Safina for the April 22-23 clash in Liege.

Former world number ones Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters are expected to lead the Belgium team. Myskina is taking a year off from her Fed Cup duties while Sharapova has skipped the tie because it is held on clay. Kuznetsova has vowed never to play in Belgium again after being wrongly accused of a doping violation by a Belgian sports minister last year.

Coach sentenced

Magdeburg (Germany): Disgraced German athletics coach Thomas Springstein was handed a 16-month suspended jail sentence on Monday after a Magedburg court found him guilty of giving performance-enhancing drugs to minors.

The 47-year-old Springstein, who must also complete 150 hours community service, has a week to appeal the ruling.

Back in September 2004, Springstein, a one-time coach for the German athletics association (dlv), had his house raided after female sprinter Anne-Kathrin Elbe claimed the coach offered her banned substances as a 17-year-old.

Illegal substances were then discovered at his house and he was accused of supplying drugs to minors.

Course record by Lidiya

Los Angeles: Kenya's Benson Cherono won the 21st annual Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday, crossing the finish line in just over 2 hours and 8 seconds.

Lidiya Grigoryeva of Russia was the women's winner in the 26.2-mile race with a time of 2:25.10 -- a new course record.

About 25,000 runners participated in the marathon, with an estimated 2 million people cheering them on. Each winner received $35,000.

Fifa declines to pay settlement

Charleroi (Belgium): Fifa declined to pay a settlement of 615,000 euros ($749,100) and avert a courtroom battle with Belgian first division club Charleroi, the club's lawyer said on Monday.

Charleroi, backed by the G14 group which represents 18 of the top clubs in Europe, went ahead with the court case on Monday, seeking compensation after one of its players was injured on international duty.

'We are in court today because Fifa were not willing to reach a compromise out of court with the club,' Jean-Pierre Deprez said ahead of the hearing.

The Belgian side are seeking compensation after Moroccan Abdelmajid Oulmers was ruled out for eight months after playing in a friendly against Burkina Faso in November 2004.

Charleroi say the loss of the player hindered their chances of success in the domestic league and cup.

Under Fifa rules they must release any player called up by a national association for international matches, both qualifying games for the leading continental tournaments and friendlies.

Ghavri bereaved

Rajkot: Jasvant Ghavri, brother of former Test cricketer Karsan Ghavri, was found dead at his residence here on Monday, police said.

Jasvant Ghavri's (40) body was found hanging from the ceiling at his Mangro house, police said, adding that probe was on to ascertain the cause of death.

Cricket: India vs England, third Test Day IV, live from 9.30 am on Sahara One;
Extreme Sports from 5 pm on ESPN
Soccer: FA Cup, live from 1 am (Wednesday) on STAR Sports

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