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Since 1st March, 1999
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Qatar interest in Effenberg

Berlin: Former Germany midfielder Stefan Effenberg, who has just ended his Bundesliga career, says he is now considering a move to Qatar.

“There is interest from Qatar,” said the 34-year-old former Bayern Munich captain. “I have spoken to their federation and the talks were very positive.”

Effenberg said he expected to make a decision in the next few months on whether to pursue his career in the Gulf state currently hosting the US Central Command forward headquarters.

“I could be going in August or September,” he told Saturday’s Bild daily.

The enfant terrible of German soccer quit VfL Wolfsburg on Thursday after repeated runions with the club’s new coach, Juergen Roeber, and said he would never play in the Bundesliga again. He had joined Wolfsburg at the start of the current season from Bayern, whom he captained to their Champions League triumph in 2001.

All’s well for Newcombe

Melbourne: Australia’s former Wimbledon champion John Newcombe was resting comfortably at home on Saturday after a health scare, his business partner said.

Alex Watson said the 58-year-old, who is one of Australia’s most prominent and popular sporting figures, was in good health. Local media said he had suffered a stroke.

“It certainly wasn’t a stroke. I’ve spoken to him and he’s fine,” Watson said. “He’s just resting up at his farm on the Hunter Valley (near Sydney) over the weekend.

“He wasn’t feeling well and he had some tests. The tests didn’t show anything and they just said to have a few days off.” Newcombe, renowned for his ruthless will to win and prominent moustache, won seven Grand Slam titles including three Wimbledon triumphs.

Later as non-playing captain he teamed with former doubles partner Tony Roche as coach to guide Australia to their 1999 Davis Cup final victory over France at Nice.

Ban lifted on Bilbao medio

Madrid: Spanish sports authorities have reversed their decision to impose a provisional ban on Athletic Bilbao midfielder Carlos Gurpegi, who tested positive for the banned substance nandrolone at the start of the season.

The Spanish Committee for Sports Discipline (CEDD) said on Friday that the ban would be lifted as a result of a successful appeal by the Basque club. Gurpegi has always denied taking any banned substance.

The latest ruling means that the 22-year-old midfielder will be free to play in Sunday’s first division home match against Atletico Madrid.

Gurpegi gave the positive test for the 19-norandrosterone, a metabolite of the steroid nandrolone, in the first match of the season on September 1.

Cuba out of World Cup

Boise (USA): Cuba’s wrestling team dropped out of the World Cup freestyle championships this weekend because of visa problems.

The Cuban wrestling federation might not have applied for the visas early enough to receive them in time for the event, a USA Wrestling spokesman said.

“We are telling all international federations to allow sufficient time for the visa process if they are coming to our nation,” said Rich Bender, USA Wrestling executive director.

n Cricket, Sharjah Cup: Kenya vs Sri Lanka live from 6 pm on Ten Sports n Soccer, Premier League: Everton vs Newcastle United, live from 8.25 pm on ESPN n Formula One, Brazilian Grand Prix: live from 10.15 pm on STAR Sports n Soccer, Spanish League: live from midnight on ESPN

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