QUOTES

I am a victim of anti-doping hysteria... It had nothing to do with cricket or trying to mask anything. It had to do with appearance.- - Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, banned for 12 months after a positive drugs test just before his team's World Cup engagements.

- Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, banned for 12 months after a positive drugs test just before his team's World Cup engagements.

There is no question we can get better. If we were quite happy to sit back after back-to-back World Cups then we would be doing ourselves a disservice.

— Australia coach John Buchanan after his side's 125-run final victory over India in the cricket World Cup final.

Olonga is not a Zimbabwean, he is a Zambian but he has been allowed to play here. Flower is also not a Zimbabwean. He is British.

— Nathan Shamuyarira, information secretary for Zimbabwe's governing ZANU-PF party, after Andy Flower and Henry Olonga wore black armbands to protest against President Robert Mugabe's government during the World Cup.

Nine days on and I've not seen the game. Not a chance. Maybe I never will.

— England flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson who kicked the winning drop kick in the rugby World Cup final against Australia.

Not bad for a Dad's army. We've taken a lot of crap down here. To come down here and take the trophy away from the southern hemisphere, that is a very special feeling.

— England's number eight rugby player and former captain Lawrence Dallaglio.

French people and English people don't like each other. It's a lasting fact since the Hundred Years War, since Joan of Arc... Our sport allows people to fight on a pitch the wars they cannot fight any more on battlefields.

— France manager Jo Maso before his side's Six Nations rugby clash with England.

Boys, even if it means dying on the pitch, we must win this semi-final.

I keep telling myself God had taken me too literally when I asked him `Please, please let me win Wimbledon and I need never have to play tennis again'. Now I have to ask him to soften, I do want to play some more. - 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic after having to retire injured from a Challenger match in Germany.-

- 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic after having to retire injured from a Challenger match in Germany.

— Marc-Vivien Foe to his Cameroon team-mates at half-time of a Confederations Cup soccer match against Colombia in June. Thirty minutes later the midfielder collapsed without warning and he died soon afterwards.

Laporta pulled out a toffee to get everyone's hopes up but we've reached the end of the campaign and he doesn't actually have the sweet.

— Lluis Bassat, losing candidate in Barcelona's presidential election, on Joan Laporta's promise to sign David Beckham should he win the election in June.

It is my baby. Maybe soon it will be ready to get out of the pram... I will lead it by the hand.

— Chelsea soccer coach Claudio Ranieri explaining that rich Chelsea were not ready to win major titles despite having more than 30 top-class professionals.

Vengeance belongs to God... I am just here to play tennis.

— Eventual champion Serena Williams before her Australian Open semi-final with Kim Clijsters who had beaten the American in their previous big meeting.

I would never advice anyone to put money on myself. I think there are better things to do with your money.

— Six-times F-1 world champion Michael Schumacher.

He still is, and always will be, one of the great icons of the sport. Unfortunately, his iconic character is bigger than his performance at the moment.

— BAR boss David Richards on 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve.

The good news is that he is very, very quick. The bad news is that we can't afford him.

— Frank Williams after NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon had a run in a Formula One car.

I'm not here to prove anything. I'm here to test myself and face a new challenge, the biggest challenge I've ever had in my career.

— Sweden's Annika Sorenstam who became the first woman to challenge the men in a PGA Tour event in 58 years at the Colonial tournament in May.

It just goes to show that anybody who is playing well can win any tournament in the world.

— Tiger Woods on American rookie Ben Curtis' surprise British Open win in July.

Having the world record and getting beaten every race is stressful.

— Tim Montgomery on his dismal 100 metres season.

I had never left my country and I had never run on a proper track. I had training shoes but they were not suitable and they had to buy me a pair here yesterday.

— Sprinter Lima Azimi, the first woman from Afghanistan to take part in the world championships.

This is one of the best victories of my life, definitely on a par with the Olympics and world championships.

— Austria's Hermann Maier after winning the Kitzbuehel World Cup super-G alpine skiing only 13 days after his comeback from a motorcycle accident 18 months earlier that nearly cost him a leg.

I've heard my popularity is somewhere between (Michael) Jordan and (Michael) Jackson, maybe Janet Jackson.

— Double world alpine skiing champion Bode Miller, a big name in Europe but barely known in his native United States, on his low profile back home.

It's a great feeling when someone like (Bernard) Hinault comes to you on the podium to say `Welcome to the club'.

— Lance Armstrong following his record-equalling fifth Tour de France victory.

I'm at the top of a classification but I don't really deserve it. I've beaten (Alfredo) Binda but I can never be compared to him or numerous other champions such as Eddy Merckx.

— Mario Cipollini on breaking Binda's 70-year record for the number of Giro d'Italia stage wins with his 42nd.

It is in the interest of sport and of the IOC to stage as many events as possible during this period... sport's duty is to set up bridges, not walls.

— IOC vice-president Thomas Bach on why the sporting calendar should not be interrupted during the Iraq war.

Working with women, you often have to be tough on them. And if you want to achieve something worthwhile with Russian women, then you have to be almost twice as tough.

— Yevgeny Trefilov, head coach of Russian women's handball team Lada.