WORLD SPORTS at 1330 GMT
LISBON, Portugal _ Cristiano Ronaldo says the rape allegation against him was an attack on his honor and led to one of the worst years of his life. Ronaldo was accused or raping a woman in Las Vegas more than 10 years ago but won't face criminal charges after it was determined the investigation failed to show the claim could be proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt. SENT: 200 words, photos.
MELBOURNE, Australia _ Team USA coach Gregg Popovich sees Australia as a title threat at the upcoming World Cup in China. He'll soon find out how much of a threat when the teams meet Thursday in the first of two exhibition games in Melbourne. A record Australian basketball crowd of 50,000 is forecast for the match at Marvel Stadium. The second game is set for Saturday. SENT: 360 words, photos.
STOCKHOLM _ Female hockey players in Sweden will go ahead with their boycott of an international tournament in Finland because of their unhappiness about pay and working conditions. SENT: 395 words, photos.
FLORENCE, Italy _ Franck Ribery joined Italian club Fiorentina on Wednesday, another big signing for a team under new American ownership. Fiorentina did not announce the length of Ribery's contract but Italian media reported that the 36-year-old Frenchman signed a two-year deal. SENT: 200 words, photos.
_ BBO--BASEBALL CAPSULES _ Mets open crucial homestand with 9-2 win over Indians. SENT: 2,240 words, photos.
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