Sports News

Tour de France, photo: CTK

Two Czech cyclists have been listed among fifty or so riders suspected of using banned substances; Pavel Nedved indicates he'd like to [play football for at least one more season but national squad remains an open question; in ice hockey Ottawa opts for Carolina Hurricanes goaltender instead of Dominik Hasek.

Two Czechs among cyclists suspected of doping

Tour de France,  photo: CTK
Two Czech cyclists - Jan Hruska and Rene Andrle - have been among the names figuring on a list of cyclists suspected of doping. Recently, the report surfaced naming some 50 cyclists, many of whom have been banned from the Tour de France. Until last year both racers rode for the same team, Liberty Seguros, which withdrew from the Tour just a few hours before it started on Friday, because of the doping scandal. At least one of the riders has denied any truth in the allegation: Jan Hruska told the media that he never "knew the doctor involved in the scandal", adding that he had no idea why his or Andrle's name figured on the list. It is not the first time Hruska has been named in connection with the use of performance-enhancing drugs: in 2000 he tested positive for the anabolic steroid nandrolone. But, he maintained his innocence and the cycling association ban was later reduced.

Nedved to play football for "at least" one more season

The football World Cup may be well over for the Czech Republic but there is seemingly still a chance that star midfielder Pavel Nedved may continue to play for the national squad. Nedved told the Czech daily "Sport" that he was looking forward to playing club football for at least one more season - and that theoretically leaves the window open for the national squad - though for the time being - with a requisite question mark. For that matter, at the moment even Nedved's future in Italian club football is unclear, depending on the outcome of Juventus Turin's corruption scandal. Nedved has played for Juve for five years, but is not likely to continue with the club if it gets demoted to the 2nd or even 3rd league. Already there have been reports of interest in the French, Spanish leagues, and even the English Premiership. The Czech daily "Sport" cites Monaco as the likeliest destination, should Nedved leave the Italian league.

Hockey: Ottawa sign Gerber, fail to offer Hasek contract

In the NHL, the Ottawa Senators are seemingly investing in the future, signing Carolina Hurricane's goalie Martin Gerber at the weekend in lieu of 41-year-old goaltender Dominik Hasek. Hasek had an excellent season with the club last year and at one point looked set to lead the Senators to a Stanley Cup final, before being sidelined with a muscle injury at the Turin Winter Olympics. Now, with no contract forthcoming, his career may be over: it is now clear that if he wants one more shot at Lord Stanley's Cup, it will have to be with another team. Following Ottawa's decision, the team's General Manager John Muckler reportedly admitted that the Czech goalie was "disappointed" with decision: Hasek had long made clear that he was looking forward to coming back.

Elias to stay on with Devils, Pavel Kubina signs with Toronto

Patrik Elias,  photo: CTK
Patrik Elias may just complete his ice hockey career with a single team - the New Jersey Devils. Elais has signed a seven-year 42 million US dollar contract with the team. In other big news, Tampa Bay defenseman Pavel Kubina signed a four-year 20 million US dollar contract with Toronto. The latest deals make the duo the 2nd and 3rd best paid Czech players in the NHL, trumped only by the New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr.

Prague hosts 14th Sokol rally

Photo: CTK
Prague is currently hosting the 14th rally by the famous Sokol gymnastics association in Prague, to culminate at Strahov stadium this week. Sokol - which means "falcon" in Czech and was first established in 1862 - long before the founding of Czechoslovakia - has many branches worldwide including Canada, Australia, and the US.