Fri, Nov 30, 2012, 00:00

A round-up of today's other stories in brief

Vettel still champion despite Ferrari inquiry

MOTOR SPORT:The FIA has confirmed there is “no case to answer” with regard to a move made by the newly crowned world champion Sebastian Vettel on Jean-Eric Vergne during Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Questions were raised on Wednesday as video footage appeared to indicate Vettel passed Vergne on lap four in a yellow-flag zone between turns three and four at Interlagos.

Ferrari confirmed on Thursday that they had written a letter to motor sport’s governing body seeking clarification on the pass. However, the FIA, as well as the race director Charlie Whiting, has since made it clear that the overtake was legitimate and that no action will be taken.

If the FIA had pursued the matter, and Vettel had been found guilty, there was the possibility of a retrospective drive-through penalty being applied that could have cost Vettel his world title.

Vettel finished sixth in Brazil on Sunday to claim a historic third drivers’ title.

LeMond joins anti-doping pressure group

CYCLING:Three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond has joined a pressure group that is demanding a radical reform of the sport's approach to anti-doping.

Change Cycling Now has been set up by a cycling sponsor, former riders, journalists and anti-doping experts.

The involvement of LeMond, who voiced his suspicions about Lance Armstrong long before he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the UCI, is a coup for the body, as he is one of a select group of recent Tour champions to be untarnished by allegations of drug use.

Ponting bows out after 17 years in test cricket

CRICKET:Australia’s Ricky Ponting announced his retirement from international cricket yesterday, telling a stunned news conference he would be calling time on his glittering 17-year career after this week’s third test against South Africa. The former Australia captain has scored 13,366 runs in 167 tests and stands behind only the great Don Bradman in the ranks of Australian batsmen.

“A few hours ago I let the boys know of my decision to make this test my last,” Ponting, who turns 38 next month, told reporters. “It’s a decision I thought long and hard about. It was based on my output and my results in this series so far. It hasn’t been what I expect of myself and certainly not the level required of a batsman in the Australia team.”

Ponting stood down from the test captaincy last year and retired from one-day cricket in February. He said the decision had not been prompted by the selectors and it was not hard to miss out on a final Ashes because he was not good enough.

Attractive conditions a boon for Castleconnell

ROWING:As the National Assessment in Newry last weekend showed, the continuing cold, clear, weather can make for attractive rowing conditions, and tomorrow’s Bulls and Bears head of the river at Castleconnell has drawn a remarkable entry of almost 400 crews.

Castleconnell head coach James Mangan, who coached the Winklevoss twins in the US, has overseen the rise of this event on the Shannon over the last three years.

The bright sunshine of Newry illuminated a sport where underage standards are sweeping upwards. The women and lightweight men impressed incoming high performance director Morten Espersen, and the prospects for Ireland women in this Olympiad look promising.

The college system in the US is leaving the rest of the world behind, and Laura D’Urso, Ailish Sheehan, Katie Cromie and Holly Nixon are ensconced there.

The one quadrant that lags behind is heavyweight men: strengthening senior rowing should help, and Dominic Casey of Skibbereen Rowing Club says the club intends to champion the introduction of events at under-21 level.

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