Shock 1st-round exit for Tai at China Open
World No. 1 and top-seeded women's singles shuttler Tai Tzu-ying was knocked out in the opening round of the China Open in Changzhou yesterday by 14th-ranked Chinese Gao Fangjie 21-17, 21-16.
In the men's doubles, the home side's fourth seeds Liu Cheng and Zhang Nan lost 21-19, 21-14 to Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
Costa gets 4-match ban for spitting
TURIN • Juventus winger Douglas Costa has been suspended for four Italian Serie A matches after spitting at Sassuolo's Federico di Francesco on Sunday, the football league announced yesterday.
Costa had been involved in a running feud with di Francesco during Juve's 2-1 win, having also elbowed and headbutted him, and was eventually sent off for spitting.
The Brazil international, who apologised afterwards, will miss league games against Frosinone, Bologna, Napoli and Udinese.
Helleland to oppose lifting of Rusada ban
LONDON • Linda Helleland, the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) vice-president, yesterday said she will oppose a proposal to reinstate the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) if it comes to a vote at a meeting in the Seychelles today.
The Norwegian, the most senior member of Wada's leadership to express opposition to the move, said in a statement that Russia had yet to satisfy key criteria for its anti-doping agency's readmission.
Rusada has been suspended since November 2015 after a Wada report outlined evidence of state-backed, systematic doping in Russian athletics.
Leveaux returns to target gold in Tokyo
PARIS • Five years after quitting the pool, Amaury Leveaux, the world-record holder and Olympic gold medallist, is returning to swimming with one eye on the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
The Frenchman still holds the short-course world record for the 100m freestyle, which he set at the European Championships in 2008.
The 32-year-old also won a gold in the 4x100m freestyle at London 2012.
Man charged after killing Spanish golfer
CHICAGO • A homeless man has been charged with murder for stabbing to death Spanish college golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena, 22, Iowa state police said on Tuesday.
Police arrested Colin Daniel Richards, 22, with a judge ordering him to be held in jail on US$5 million (S$6.8 million) bond.
Popular MMA fighter succumbs to cancer
TOKYO • Tributes flowed yesterday for charismatic Japanese mixed martial artist Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, who died at age 41 three weeks after announcing a battle with cancer.
Born to a family of wrestlers and martial artists, the wiry, tattoo-covered Yamamoto took on larger opponents in a wide range of events, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship.