Bags of blood. A code name taken from his dog, Birillo. A year of secrets and lies. It all came back to haunt Ivan Basso on Friday when he received a maximum two-year ban for doping. The 2006 Giro d'Italia champion became the first high-profile rider suspended for the recent scandals rocking cycling.
Maybe it doesn't matter which striker starts -- Filippo Inzaghi or Alberto Gilardino -- because most of AC Milan's scoring in the Champions League this season has come from Kaka. The Brazilian leads the competitions with 10 goals -- two more than he scored in the Italian league season.
After he converted a last-minute penalty to beat Australia in the second round of the World Cup, Francesco Totti said winning the ''scudetto'' with AS Roma in 2001 remained the highlight of his career. Maybe he'll have a new most memorable moment if Italy wins the title on Sunday. ''It's the realisation of a dream. We only need a little bit more to make history,'' Totti said.
Filippo Inzaghi refuses to relent -- neither to injuries nor a late-game deficit. The striker scored two goals, including an 88th-minute winner, to advance AC Milan to the Champions League semifinals with a 3-1 win over Lyon on Tuesday. In October, Inzaghi returned from a slow-healing left ankle injury, which has required two operations.
Serena Williams certainly didn't look ready for the French Open on Wednesday. The six-time Grand Slam winner was upset 7-6 (2), 6-1 by Italy's Francesca Schiavone in her opening match at the Italian Open, an important tune-up for the season's first major, which starts in less than two weeks.