Cipollini thrown out of Tour of Spain after violent brawl


Cycling: Flamboyant sprinter Mario Cipollini's disappointing year continued yesterday when he was thrown off the Tour of Spain after a brawl at the start of the fifth stage. The Italian was involved in a heated discussion with Vitalicio's Francisco Javier Cerezo which turned violent, the Spaniard needing three stitches after he was struck in the face.

Cipollini was also suspended by his Saeco team. "What has happened is far from appropriate behaviour for our team. The rider will be suspended for an indefinite period. Cipollini will not ride for the team until the matter has been investigated," said a team official. Cipollini, a multiple stage winner in the Tour de France and the Tour of Italy had targeted the Spanish event, after missing the French tour this year due to injury.

Boxing: Mike Tyson's heavyweight clash with fellow boxing bad boy Andrew Golota has been officially announced for October 20th in Michigan.

It will be Tyson's first fight in the US since his controversial no-contest against Orlin Norris in October.

But it promises to do little to enhance the credentials of either combatant or, more importantly, their sport.

Both fighters' notoriety will inevitably ensure that tickets are in short supply.

Tyson, since being disqualified from his world title rematch with Evander Holyfield for biting his opponent's ears, has tried to break Frans Botha's arm, punched Norris after the first-round bell and been fined by the British Boxing Board of Control for refusing to stop throwing punches after referee John Coyle ruled his Glasgow bout with Lou Savarese over after 38 seconds.

Golota gained notoriety when he was disqualified in two successive bouts with Riddick Bowe in 1996 for punching low.

Motor Sport: Italian Giancarlo Fisichella had a lucky escape from a 200 m.p.h. crash in testing at Monza yesterday.

His Benetton suffered a brake pad failure at the Ascari chicane and thundered into the barrier with great force.

He was able to scramble out of the badly-damaged car but suffered bruising to his elbow, knees and ankle.

Cycling: Using several races in the US to finalise her preparations before heading to Sydney, Deirdre Murphy has shown she is coming into impressive physical condition by finishing third in the Syracuse Criterium in New York State, reports Shane Stokes.

Murphy bridged up to a two-woman break to make the podium behind Nicole Reinhart, the series leader and now overall winner of the prestigious Saturn USPRO tour.

Murphy's Olympic squad team-mate David McCann was also impressive in the recent top-ranked Rouen-Gisors race in France. McCann was fourth behind event-winner Denis Dugouchet.

Hockey: With the Leinster Senior League starting as early as September 15th, Three Rock Rovers' limb-loosening Super Cup tournament (sponsored by Budweiser) takes place at Grange Road this weekend. Glenanne, the All-Ireland champions, head the entry list while Instonians as usual lead the Ulster challenge and Cork C of I provide Munster's competitive edge. Representing England will be West Hampstead.

The line-up is completed by NICS, Corinthians, YMCA and the host club. The tournament gets under way tomorrow evening and goes into full spate on Saturday to yield the cross-over matches on Sunday.