Kiradech wins Paul Lawrie Matchplay

ABERDEEN - Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat won his second European Tour title of the year on Sunday when he defeated Robert Karlsson on the final hole to clinch the Paul Lawrie Matchplay. The 26-year-old Thai, already a two-time tour winner after capturing the 2013 Malaysia Open and this year’s Shenzhen International, was three up with four holes to play. However, the Swede hit back on the 15th, 16th and 17th to set-up a dramatic last hole duel. Kiradech held his nerve on the 18th where he putted from four feet just after Karlsson had dragged his birdie attempt wide. “My next step was to win in Europe, so I am happy and so proud of myself,” said Kiradech, whose burly frame has led him to be dubbed “Asia’s John Daly” in honour of the big-hitting, two-time major winner from the United States.–AFP

Rahal wins at Mid-Ohio race

LEXINGTON - Graham Rahal’s late-season surge continued Sunday as the US driver notched his second IndyCar win in four events to close in on Juan Pablo Montoya’s series lead. Rahal was pitting on lap 65 of the 90-lap race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car course as rookie Sage Karam spun to bring out a caution. Rahal was in third at the time, but he took to the lead as others, including Colombia’s Montoya, had to wait to make their pit stops. Rahal not only won that restart, he won a final post-caution restart with Justin Wilson to take the victory 3.4 seconds ahead of the Englishman. France’s Simon Pagenaud was third, with New Zealand’s Scott Dixon fourth. It was a tough day for Dixon, who had won five of the past eight races on the 2.258-mile, 13-turn course and set a lap record in qualifying.–AFP

Blatter gives up IOC seat

KUALA LUMPUR - Under pressure FIFA leader Sepp Blatter on Monday gave up his International Olympic Committee seat because he will soon end his reign in charge of world football. Blatter, whose organisation is embroiled in a corruption scandal, was among a group of eight IOC members who should have sought re-election Monday at a meeting in Kuala Lumpur. He has said he will stand down as FIFA president on Feb 26 when an election for a new leader will be held. IOC president Thomas Bach said that Blatter ‘does not deem it to be appropriate to stand for re-election for eight years knowing that after seven months his term would come to an end’. Bach thanked Blatter and other members leaving the IOC for their “great contribution” to the Olympic movement. Blatter did not attend the Kuala Lumpur meeting.–AFP

American Danielson fails doping test

PARIS - American Tom Danielson has revealed he failed a doping test for synthetic testosterone but the Cannondale-Garmin rider denies taking a banned substance. “While I was eating dinner with my team the night before Tour of Utah I received a call from USADA notifying me that a out of competition test I gave July 9th has tested positive for, from what I understand, synthetic testosteron,” Danielson said on Twitter. “I have not taken this or any other banned substance.” Danielson was handed a six-month ban in 2012-13 after admitting to blood doping while riding with The Discovery Channel team. The 37-year-old said he would skip the Tour of Utah, which starts on Monday. He won the race the last two years. “I feel incredibly hurt, frustrated, and angry by this.”–Reuters

Wrestling secures IOC spot in comeback

KUALA LUMPUR - The head of wrestling’s world body Nenad Lalovic secured a place on the International Olympic Committee on Monday, completing a remarkable comeback after his sport was threatened with exclusion from the Olympics. The Serbian, one of two new entrants onto the IOC with Senegal’s Mamadou Diagna Ndiaye, won the backing of all 83 members who voted. The IOC dropped wrestling as an Olympic event in February 2013, sparking a crisis in the sport which has been in the Olympics since it started. Lalovic became president of the global federation now known as United World Wrestling. Following an aggressive campaign it was voted back onto the programme for the 2020 Tokyo Games in September. The burly Belgrade businessman has since introduced a series of reforms to make wrestling more television-friendly.–AFP