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Tiger Woods in line for sporting "Oscar"

American men are set to sweep the first sporting Oscars at next month's ceremony in Monaco.

Tennis ace Andre Agassi, sprint king Maurice Greene and golfer Tiger Woods are the three nominees for the World Sportsman of the Year title.

The winner is to be announced in Monaco May 25 during a glitzy sport-cum-showbiz ceremony for the first annual Laureus Sports Awards celebrating sporting excellence covering all disciplines and all continents.

The presentations will be made at an Oscars-type ceremony with Hollywood actors Sylvester Stallone, Samuel L. Jackson, Goldie Hawn and Jeff Bridges among the hosts.

The nominations were made by 230 leading sports journalists in more than 75 countries and the final choice will be made by the newly formed World Sports Academy.

The Academy includes sporting greats of the past such as American hurdler Ed Moses, German figure skating queen Katarina Witt and British decathlete Daley Thompson.

The three Olympic stars attended a launch for the Laureus Sports Awards in London Tuesday.

Witt said: "I find it a great idea that past athletes will select the best current athletes. We are impressed by sporting achievements in other disciplines as we understand best just what goes into creating those achievements."

Nine awards will be made in Monaco May 25. The others include a World Sportswoman of the Year title for which tennis player Lindsay Davenport and athletes Marion Jones and Gabriela Szabo are nominated.

The Australian rugby union team, Manchester United and the U.S. women's soccer side are the three candidates for World Team of the Year.

World Newcomer of the Year will be contested by Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia, NFL star Kurt Warner and tennis player Serena Williams.

Agassi, American Tour de France cycle race champion Lance Armstrong and Swedish hurdler Ludmila Engqvist are nominated for the World Comeback of the Year crown.

There are also awards for World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability, World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year, Lifetime Achievement and Sport for Good which will go to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to society through sport.

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