In Sports News: Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych is now ranked 14th in the world after reaching the semi-final of the Mercedes Open in Germany; ice hockey star Pavel Kubina is ordered to pay almost 18,000 dollars to a referee he accused of bribe-taking; football star Milan Baros apologises after appearing on tabloid front pages in a state of inebriation; Pavel Nedved is set to say whether he's staying at Juventus; and three Czechs are accused of throwing a game in the Turkish league for big money.
In Sports News: the Czech Republic takes two medals at the European Flatwater Championships in central Bohemia - canoeist Martin Doktor says the home crowd helped him reach the podium; tennis player Radek Stepanek is now in the world's top ten for the first time in his career; ice hockey star Martin Havlat joins the Chicago Blackhawks; and Milan Baros is said to be close to joining Hamburg.
Two Czech cyclists have been listed among fifty or so riders suspected of using banned substances; Pavel Nedved indicates he'd like to [play football for at least one more season but national squad remains an open question; in ice hockey Ottawa opts for Carolina Hurricanes goaltender instead of Dominik Hasek.
18-year-old Canadian ice hockey star Sidney Crosby is vacationing in the Czech Republic, following an invitation from a former Czech team-mate from the junior league in Rimouski, Quebec. Crosby arrived in Prague from Riga, Latvia, following the end of the 2006 World Ice Hockey Championship, where Team Canada finished outside the medals. The Czech Republic finished with silver. Crosby - last year's No. 1 draft pick in the NHL - has said he hopes to spend a few days in the Czech Republic 'incognito'.
In Sports News: the Czech ice hockey team come second in the World Championships in Riga, a result being seen by many as a real achievement for a young team; Dominik Hasek is keen to continue at Ottawa; Radek Stepanek loses in an ATP final but rises to a career-best 11 in the world rankings; and as the World Cup draws near Milan Baros says he is unworried that a number of Czech footballers had seasons they will want to forget.
Back home in Canada, popular mythology holds that hockey brings people together. Tim Hortons, a ubiquitous chain of coffee shops and a virtual Canadian icon, was probably the first to popularize this message in countless television commercials showing wives and husbands, fathers and sons bonding around the rink over large double-doubles. After all, hockey is our number one national pastime.
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