Reaction to drug test is hyped up: Froome
SEVILLE (Spain•) • Chris Froome bristled at the suggestion that his first race of the season was providing a mental escape from the fight to clear his name as he maintained seventh place in the Ruta del Sol on Friday.
The 32-year-old insisted it was business as usual and confirmed he would be at the Tirreno-Adriatico race in Italy in March.
Froome also claimed the reaction to his failed drug test in September last year had been exaggerated. "It's been hyped up in the media," he said. "Anyone can see that."
West Brom quartet sorry over incident
BARCELONA • West Brom's Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill apologised in a club statement on Friday after being questioned by police over the theft of a taxi in Barcelona during the club's training camp.
A source from the Catalan police, the Mossos d'Esquadra, said: "Everything was closed so they got a taxi to a McDonald's. At some moment, the driver left the car for some reason and they took control of the car."
The Baggies, who are bottom of the English Premier League and seven points from safety, have launched a probe into the incident.
Mourinho denounces 'Pogba feud' as lies
LONDON • Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho angrily insisted on Friday rumours that his relationship with Paul Pogba had broken down were "lies".
"Paul accepts that he has not been playing well in the last few matches but that's all," said the Portuguese. "It's a big lie that the relation is not good."
According to French daily L'Equipe, the French midfielder is unhappy with his more defensive role. He missed the fifth-round FA Cup tie with Huddersfield yesterday owing to illness.
Nishikori comeback picks up steam
NEW YORK • Kei Nishikori edged closer to a first ATP Tour title in two years at the New York Open on Friday, after coming from behind to defeat Moldova's Radu Albot and claim a semi-final berth.
The Japanese fifth seed, who is on his way back from a five-month injury layoff, recovered from dropping the opening set to defeat Albot 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 in Long Island. He dropped out of the top 20 last year for the first time since 2014 following a wrist injury.
Robben won't retire if no new Bayern deal
BERLIN • Veteran winger Arjen Robben says he plans to extend his career by moving to a new club should Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich fail to offer him a contract extension.
The Dutchman, who turned 34 last month, is out of contract at Bayern at the end of the season, along with fellow winger Franck Ribery, but has no immediate plans to retire.