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As the US Anti-Doping Agency prepares to present its case against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, the sport faces a crucial test of its credibility.

Sexton agreement with Denis O’Brien confirms IRFU’s strategy

Jonathan Sexton’s commercial agreement with Denis O’Brien, which played a significant role in bringing the Ireland outhalf back to Leinster next season, confirms the new IRFU strategy of keeping hold of their most precious commodities. Basically, the provinces can now top up central contracts with private funding. The first deal of this kind was brokered last January by Jamie Heaslip’s agent, Damien O’Donohoe of Ikon. This was allowed to avoid the loss of another marquee Irish player following Sexton signing for Racing Metro 92.

Rio Ferdinand: Sir Alex Ferguson was a genius

Rio Ferdinand says Sir Alex Ferguson was a "genius" at getting the best out of people, despite the former Manchester United defender clashing with his manager in the wake of the John Terry court case. Three months after Terry appeared in court accused of calling Ferdinand's brother, Anton, a "f------ black c---", anti-racism group Kick It Out organised a weekend with players wearing a T-shirt reading "One Game, One Community".

Watson crashes out of Korea Open

Heather Watson's poor singles form continued after falling to a 7-5 6-2 first round defeat to American qualifier Nicole Gibbs at the Korea Open. The 22-year-old, who was seeded eighth for the tournament, only managed to convert one of seven available break points in the opening set.

Three European teams targeted for Australian tournament

Three leading European soccer teams will play a pre-season tournament in Australia next year to tap into growing interest in the sport there, one of the event's promoters said on Tuesday. The tournament is an extension of the International Champions Cup which features eight teams and is played in north America before the start of the European season.

Hamburg continue path of instability by dismissing Slomka

Mirko Slomka has been fired as Hamburg boss only three games into the new season. DW's Jonathan Harding suggests the decision was more than rash. It's hard to know what to say about Hamburger SV these days. Three coaches last season, and now, after only three Bundesliga matchdays, they've dismissed another one. While no goals and only one point so far hardly spoke in Mirko Slomka's favor, to take such a drastic decision in September is yet another example of the baffling lack of patience this Hamburg board has.