Irish await Lombard's drug explanation

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Irish distance runner Cathal Lombard is expected to give a formal response to the Athletics Association of Ireland tomorrow after testing positive for the banned blood-boosting drug EPO.

The Irish distance runner Cathal Lombard is expected to give a formal response to the Athletics Association of Ireland tomorrow after testing positive for the banned blood-boosting drug EPO.

The Cork-based athlete faces a two-year ban. Lombard, 28, who has qualified to run over 10,000 and 5,000 metres, claimed he knew "nothing about it" and that he had not been notified of a doping infringement. The Irish Olympic press attaché Jack MacGouran said: "He will be given 24 hours to come up with a response, and if he doesn't do that he will not be in the Irish Olympic team."

Lombard has made remarkable progress over the last 18 months, setting an Irish record for 10,000m this year when he finished third in the Bupa Great Manchester run in 27min 33.53sec. The Irish 5,000m champion set a personal best of 13:19.22 in that distance when he finished fifth in Heusden, Belgium, last year. At the start of 2003 his personal best for 5,000m and 10,000m were 13:58.05 and 30.35.96 respectively.

The world 400 metres champion Jerome Young, who failed to qualify for Athens, has tested positive for EPO at last month's Paris Golden League meetingy. If the 'B' sample confirms the results Young, 27, could face a lifetime ban and be stripped of his world title.

Bulgaria's Olympic Committee criticised the decision of the International Olympic Committee to suspend its president Ivan Slavkov as "unnecessarily severe and extreme". A Bulgarian spokeswoman said: "A decision should have been made only after the full inquiry was over." Slavkov was secretly filmed by the BBC programme Panorama discussing how votes could be bought for a bid to host the 2012 Games.

Comments