Ballack doubtful

BERLIN: Germany captain Michael Ballack is an injury doubt for Wednesday night’s World Cup qualifier against Wales after damaging a calf muscle. Ballack scored Germany’s second goal in their 2-1 win over Russia on Saturday in Dortmund during their Group Four qualifier, but picked up the injury to his right calf late in the game. He informed the German Football Federation (DFB) medical staff and sat out training in Duesseldorf on Monday as a precautionary measure. — AFP

Kohl tests positive

PARIS: Austria’s Bernhard Kohl, the best climber at this year’s Tour de France and third overall, has tested positive for third-generation drug EPO Cera, France’s national anti-doping agency (AFLD) said. Kohl is the fourth rider to have been found positive for this drug by the AFLD since it pioneered a new blood test for EPO Cera and is currently retroactively testing blood samples of riders during the 2008 race. Italians Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli, plus Germany’s Stefan Schumacher, were the previous riders to have tested postive for Cera (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator). — AFP

UEFA ban for Atletico

MARSEILLE: UEFA slapped Spanish side Atletico Madrid with a stadium ban following a complaint of racism by French club Marseille. Marseille lodged an official complaint with European football’s ruling body after several of their players were targeted by Atletico fans during their recent match in Madrid. Monkey chants were aimed at the French club’s players, while the Marseille team bus was attacked after the match. UEFA said Atletico must play their next two European matches at a stadium at least 300km away from Madrid. — AFP

Vieira out of friendly

ROME: France midfielder Patrick Vieira will miss international friendly against Tunisia due to a calf problem, his club Inter Milan said. Vieira injured his calf in France’s 2-2 World Cup qualifying draw with Romania on Saturday. Although he is out of the Tunisia game, Inter said he should be fit to play for them at the weekend. Vieira came back to Milan on Monday where he underwent tests. — AFP