Motorcycling: Honda’s Casey Stoner will start from pole in today’s Dutch Moto GP after posting the fastest time in qualifying yesterday. Stoner earned the 41st pole position of his career – his 37th in Moto GP – by a margin of 115 thousandths of a second from Spanish team-mate Dani Pedrosa. Another Spaniard, Jorge Lorenzo, was third fastest in a session that was twice stopped because of the rain falling on the track.
Tour De France: French sprint specialist Sebastien Hinault has replaced injured team-mate Lloyd Mondory for the Tour de France, the AG2R-La Mondiale team have announced. Mondory had been suffering from a right knee injury and despite efforts to be ready for the three-week race had to pull out late Thursday. The 38-year-old Hinault, who has no relation to former five-time champion Bernard Hinault, first competed in the Tour de France in 1999.
Swimming: Michael Phelps secured a fourth straight Olympic berth in the 200m butterfly on Thursday, cruising to victory at the US trials in an event he has long dominated. Phelps, who has held the world record in the 200m fly since he first broke it at the age of 15 in 2001, will have a chance at a third straight gold medal in the event at the London Games. Trailing Davis Tarwater at the first two turns, Phelps powered home to win by a body length in 1:53.65.
Open Water Swimming: British-Australian swimmer Penny Palfrey (picture) launched a historic attempt to swim unassisted from Cuba to the United States yesterday, seeking to become the first to do so without a shark cage. The 49-year-old mother of three and grandmother of two jumped into the sea shortly after sunrise in western Havana, headed for Florida’s Key West. The journey is expected to take between 40 and 50 hours. The swimmer arrived at the dock under a clear sky wearing a blue bathing suit, grey cap and goggles, her face, legs and arms covered with sunscreen.
Cycling: Italian Filippo Pozzato could miss this summer’s London Olympics after Italy’s anti-doping prosecutor recommended he serve a one-year ban for doping offences. Under CONI rules, any athlete charged with a doping offence cannot compete at the Olympics until they are cleared of any wrongdoing. With a tribunal unlikely to make a decision before the Games start on July 27, Pozzato appears destined to miss out on the showcase event.
Wrestling: Wrestler Stephanie Lee has been slapped with a one-year ban and will not compete for the US at the London Olympics after testing positive for marijuana. It is the second time Lee has tested positive for marijuana. She also failed a drug test in 2009. The US Anti-Doping Agency said Lee tested positive at the Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City on April 21. Lee’s suspension means Ali Bernard will take her place on the US team in London.
Basketball: Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, the leading scorer on the US Olympic team that won gold four years ago, will miss the 2012 London Games because of knee surgery. Wade will need surgery after playing with his bad left knee during the Heat’s NBA championship run. Wade averaged 22.6 points per game as Miami won the NBA title by beating Oklahoma City in five games. He was the top scorer on the team that won Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008.