McLaren drivers penalized for impeding

SUN MEDIA NEWS SERVICES

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

SEPANG, Malaysia -- (AP) --- McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen were penalized five grid positions for impeding other drivers during qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Kovalianen, who originally qualified third, started the race in eighth position and Hamilton in ninth.

The pair were interviewed by race stewards after yesterday's qualifying session. BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld and Renault's Fernando Alonso were judged to have been impeded by the slow-moving McLarens while they were trying to set their fastest time.

"Car number three (Heidfeld) was impeded on his flying lap because car number 22 (Hamilton) was traveling at a very slow speed on the racing line," an FIA stewards memorandum said.

"Cars number three and five (Alonso) were impeded on their flying lap by car number 23 (Kovalainen) traveling very slowly on the racing line."

Heidfeld claimed the interference cost him third place on the grid, instead qualifying in seventh.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen qualified in first and second places respectively.

The McLaren penalty means Toyota's Jarno Trulli moved up to third place ahead of BMW pair Robert Kubica and Heidfeld. Red Bull's Mark Webber was elevated to sixth and Alonso to seventh.

FISH REELS IN FEDERER

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- No. 98 Mardy Fish stunned No. 1 Roger Federer 6-3, 6-2 in the Pacific Life Open semifinals.

The 26-year-old Fish, who ended Federer's 41-match win streak against Americans dating to a 2003 loss to Andy Roddick, moved into today's final against Novak Djokovic, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over defending champion Rafael Nadal.

The once invincible-seeming Swiss star has lost three times this year, beaten by Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals and Andy Murray in the opening round at Dubai.

"This obviously wasn't Roger's best day, but hopefully I had a little something to do with that. I put the pressure, extremely, on him from the word go," said Fish, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first set and remained in control the rest of the way.

Asked if he could recall another upset in tennis to equal it, Fish smiled and said, "I don't think I'm that bad."

STUTZ DEFENDS

LE RELAIS, Que. -- Paul Stutz of Banff, successfully defended his men's slalom title at the Canadian ski championships.

Stutz finished first with a two-run time of one minute 37.56 seconds. He posted the fastest second run of the competition to secure the victory.

"It's always a great feeling when you're able to defend a title," he said.

BERNARD BREAKS RECORD

EINDHOVEN, Netherlands -- Alain Bernard of France broke the world record in the 100-metre freestyle for the second time in as many days.

Bernard posted a time of 47.50 seconds, breaking the mark of 47.60 he set Friday in the semifinals. Bernard's first mark shattered Pieter van den Hoogenband's standard from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Bernard was a relative unknown before these championships. He finished ninth in the 100 freestyle at last year's world championships and seventh in the 2006 European event. But he has now emerged as one of the favourites at the Beijing Olympics in August.

He powered to the 50-metre mark in 22.53 seconds, more than three-tenths of a second inside his own record time. He swam the second 50 in 24.97.

As he turned to look at the scoreboard displaying his new record, Bernard sat on the lane marker, spread his muscular arms wide and roared in delight.

SHARAPOVA PULLS OUT

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- Russian Maria Sharapova pulled out of the Sony Ericsson Open, citing a shoulder injury.

The No. 5-ranked Sharapova is a two-time finalist at the hard-court tournament.

Her withdrawal came a day after her 18-match winning streak ended with a 6-3, 5-7, 6-2 loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova at Indian Wells, Calif.

TEAM TELEKOM PROBED

FREIBURG, Germany -- Top cyclists Jan Ullrich and Andreas Kloeden were named in an investigation of a doping operation carried out at a German university clinic.

Ullrich, the former Tour de France champion, and two-time Tour runner-up Kloeden were mentioned in an interim report released by Freiburg University, which is investigating the operation run for years from their clinic. Two doctors have already been fired in the case, in which investigators concluded systematic doping was instrumental to the success of Team Telekom, later renamed T-Mobile.

"That is clear from the information that we have seen," the report said, adding doping took place between 1993 and 2006.


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