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Raonic reaches Monte Carlo quarter-finals

Canada's Raonic defeats Robredo to reach Monte Carlo Masters quarter-finals
The Canadian Press

MONACO, Monaco - Canadian Milos Raonic defeated Spain's Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The 23-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., will next take on Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who advanced on a walkover when Spanish opponent Nicolas Almagro retired before their match with a foot injury.

Wawrinka, the third seed, has beaten the eighth-seeded Raonic in both of their previous meetings.

Alouettes sign receiver Chad Johnson

Montreal Alouettes sign former Pro Bowler Chad Johnson to two-year contract
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Former NFL star Chad Johnson will make his return to the gridiron in the Canadian Football League.

The veteran receiver signed a two-year deal with the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday after impressing team brass at a minicamp in Vero Beach, Fla.

Brendan and Reilly Smith meet in playoffs

Toronto brothers Brendan and Reilly Smith meet in playoffs for first time
Stephen Whyno, The Canadian Press

Growing up in the Toronto neighbourhood of Mimico, Brendan and Reilly Smith never played organized hockey together. Just everything else.

"We were always playing mini sticks or road hockey or shinny on the ice out on the rink, stuff like that," Brendan Smith said. "We were always playing with or against each other."

Inevitably, one-on-one games in the basement would get heated. If it was last goal wins, Reilly said Brendan would often make sure they kept playing until he scored it.

PAOK fan arrested for Greek Cup anchovy stunt

Greek police arrest PAOK fan for dumping anchovies on bench, just before cup semifinal
The Associated Press

THESSALONIKI, Greece - Police in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki arrested a PAOK fan accused of dumping a crate of fish on the visiting Olympiakos bench, in a stunt that delayed a tense Greek Cup semifinal for more than an hour.

Another six PAOK supporters were arrested during clashes with police before and after Wednesday's match, which PAOK won 1-0 to advance.

Quebec City winners signal good things to come

Kennedy, Theodorou and Kaufman all stand out in Quebec City UFC wins
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press

QUEBEC CITY, Que. - Former Green Beret Tim Kennedy lamented the lack of a finish in his main event win over Michael Bisping, as dominant as it was.

Toronto's Elias (The Spartan) Theodorou was all smiles, however, after being crowned the 185-pound winner of "The Ultimate Fighter Nations" reality TV show.

Despite their contrasting post-victory emotions, both middleweights signalled on the TUF Nations finale card Wednesday night that they are ones to watch in the future.

WWE wrestlers in Saudi Arabia for live matches

World Wrestling Entertainment's stars in conservative Saudi Arabia for first live matches
The Associated Press

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Pro wrestlers with the WWE, including John Cena and former champion Randy Orton, are in Saudi Arabia for three days of matches in the capital, Riyadh.

World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. says it is the first time its franchise has held matches in the ultraconservative Muslim kingdom, home to Islam's holiest sites.

Westwood takes early lead at Malaysian Open

Aiming to end long drought, Westwood takes lead in 1st round of Malaysian Open
The Associated Press

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Determined to end a two-year title drought, Lee Westwood shot a 7-under 65 Thursday to take the lead at storm-affected Malaysian Open.

Westwood had a bogey at his first hole but birdied four of his closing five to take a one-shot lead ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium before play was suspended because of the risk of lightning.

A tropical downpour in the afternoon had previously halted play for more than an hour, and 45 players in the 156-man field will have to complete their first round on Friday.

Girl's memorial being held at basketball arena

Memorial service for 8-year-old fan who died of cancer set for Michigan State basketball arena
The Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. - An 8-year-old Michigan State basketball fan whose battle with cancer inspired the team's players, coaches and many more beyond the hardwood is to be honoured by thousands of her closest friends at a memorial service in East Lansing.

Lacey Holsworth's family wants those attending the event Thursday at the Breslin Center basketball arena to wear bright colours and smiles in celebration of her life.

Ukraine 2022 Olympic bid on hold but still alive

Lviv hasn't given up on bid for 2022 Winter Olympics despite crisis in Ukraine
Stephen Wilson, The Associated Press

LONDON - With the crisis in Ukraine escalating by the day, the prospect of the Winter Olympics going to the former Soviet republic seems hard to imagine. Yet, the western Ukrainian city of Lviv hasn't given up on its bid for the 2022 Games.

Lviv remains among the five contenders in what is turning into a very unstable race, vying with Almaty, Kazakhstan; Beijing; Krakow, Poland; and Oslo.

Forensic expert faulted at Pistorius trial

Pistorius murder trial: Prosecutor grills defence forensic expert
Gerald Imray, The Associated Press

PRETORIA, South Africa - The prosecutor at the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, a double-amputee Olympian, cross-examined one of the defence's forensic experts Thursday after the judge overseeing the case warned spectators watching the televised proceedings in an adjacent room for their "unruly" behaviour.

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