Armstrong withdraws from masters meet following objections from governing body

Lance Armstrong will not compete in the Masters South Central Zone swimming championships at the University of Texas this weekend after swimming’s international governing body raised objections.

Armstrong had been entered in three events. But Switzerland-based FINA said the event is under the umbrella of the World Anti-Doping Code and subject to the lifetime ban given to Armstrong by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.


LPGA: Playing partners Suzann Pettersen and Na Yeon Choi took advantage of perfect morning conditions to share the first-round lead with Jodi Ewart Shadoff in the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage, Calif.

Finishing before the temperature climbed into the low 90s, Pettersen and Choi had bogey-free rounds of 4-under 68. Ewart Shadoff matched them late in the afternoon with the wind picking up at the first major championship of the year.

PGA: Former British Open and PGA Championship winner Padraig Harrington opened with a 4-under-par 68 and took the early lead at Houston.

Rory McIlroy, who entered the tournament last week as a final opportunity to prep for next week’s Masters, opened with an even-par 72.


DAVIS CUP: John Isner will play top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the first match Friday of the quarterfinal between the United States and Serbia in Boise, Idaho.

Sam Querrey, the top-ranked American at No. 20, will face Viktor Troicki in the second match.

The top-ranked doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan will take on Nenad Zimonjic and Ilija Bozoljac on Saturday.

In reverse singles on Sunday, Querrey and Djokovic will play the first match followed by Isner and Troicki.

FAMILY CIRCLE CUP: Andrea Petkovic withdrew because of a right calf injury, moving second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki into the quarterfinals at Charleston, S.C.

Wozniacki, the 2011 champion, will play Stefanie Voegele.


WBC: The on-again, off-again heavyweight eliminator between Chris Arreola and Bermane Stiverne is on again – for April 27 at Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, Calif.

At stake is the opportunity to become the mandatory challenger for Vitali Klitschko. Arreola is the No. 1 ranked contender and Stiverne is No. 2.


EUROPA LEAGUE: Chelsea, Benfica and Fenerbahce closed in on the semifinals with victories, while Basel claimed crucial away goals with a draw at Tottenham.

Fernando Torres scored twice as European champion Chelsea claimed a 3-1 win at home over Rubin Kazan in the first leg of their quarterfinal.

Benfica came from behind to beat Newcastle 3-1 at home, while Fenerbahce claimed a 2-0 victory over 10-man Lazio to take into next Thursday’s second leg.

Tottenham tied Basel, 2-2.

 – From news service reports