Canadian skater facing stiff challenge in Paris

Patrick Chan will get his first look at Chinese up-and-comer Yan Han at this weekend’s Trophee Bompard in Paris, an intriguing matchup fewer than three months before the Sochi Olympics.

Chan, a Canadian, has won the last three world titles, along with pretty much every other competition he’s entered since the Vancouver Olympics. Han, the 2012 junior world champion, is in his first full season as a senior. But his victory at the Cup of China showed the 17-year-old is more than capable of holding his own against the big boys.

ROSTELECOM CUP: Evgeni Plushenko pulled out of next week’s event in Moscow.

The 2006 Olympic champion had made a winning return following back surgery in the spring, at last week’s Volvo Cup in Riga, Latvia. Withdrawing from the Rostelecom Cup does not affect Plushenko’s potential qualification for the Sochi Olympics, but could indicate the 31-year-old skater still has some back trouble.


MANNY PACQUIAO: Manny Pacquiao’s trainer said his boxer will contemplate retirement if he fails to perform well in a fight against Brandon Rios this month.

Freddie Roach said if the Rios fight “does not go well, we will seriously talk about his retirement.

Pacquiao is coming off successive defeats against Timothy Bradley in a much-criticized judges’ decision, and a knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez.

Pacquiao is juggling his boxing career with responsibilities as a Philippines congressman and other outside interests.


DOPING: Cycling’s governing body and the World Anti-Doping Agency agreed an independent commission will look into the sport’s drug-stained past, and Lance Armstrong will be invited to testify, UCI President Brian Cookson told The Associated Press.

Cookson said the International Cycling Union and WADA have an agreement in principle to work together in the investigation.


WORLD CUP: Uruguay looks almost certain to qualify for the 2014 World Cup after winning 5-0 at Jordan in the first leg of their intercontinental playoff. Mexico also looks certain after defeating New Zealand, 5-1.


HALL OF FAME: Two-time Olympic medalist John Godina and 1996 triple jump champion Kenny Harrison are part of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame class of 2013.

Godina won silver in 1996 and bronze in 2000, along with world titles in 1995, 1997 and 2001, in the shot put. Harrison set Olympic and American records that still stand in the triple jump at the Atlanta Games and was the 1991 world champion.


2022 WINTER GAMES: Oslo submitted its bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics, saying it plans a low-budget games with the majority of competitions held in the city and the Alpine events in Lillehammer.

The Norwegian Olympic Committee said the games would cost a projected $5.3 billion – a fraction of the record $51 billion that Russia is spending on the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi next February.

Oslo hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics, while Lillehammer staged the 1994 Games nearly 20 years ago.

– From news service reports