Ireland’s Fionnuala McCormack will be hoping to regain the European Cross Country title in Chia, Italy, on Sunday. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho.

African converts present biggest competition for former champion in Sardinia

Of the 136 banned substances detected in 104 athletes,  36 were for stanozolol, the same anabolic steroid that Ben Johnson tested positive for back in 1988.

Retesting of old samples from London and Beijing results in 104 bans on athletes

Yasemin Can wins the European 10,000m in Amsterdam last July just over four months after completing her transfer from Kenya to Turkey. Photograph: Getty

Fionnuala McCormack’s chances of regaining her title are slim for a very good reason

Shona Heaslip celebrates winning the Senior Women’s race during the Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Co Dublin, in November. Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Disillusioned with dancing in feiseanna, she started running, and has never looked back

Jackie Tyrrell considers himself one of the lucky ones, that he retires still fit and able to play for his club, with a career to go with it

Kilkenny great: ‘If we didn’t win All-Ireland it was a waste of a year'

  Cork camogie star Anna Geary, Waterford hurler Austin Gleeson and former Kilkenny hurler Jackie Tyrell at the Littlewood sponsorship launch in Croke Park, Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Company investing over €3 million in three years to help sponsor hurling and camogie

Fionnuala McCormack after finishing fourth at the European Cross Country championships in France last year. Photograph: INPHO/Sasa Pahic Szabo

Chances of Fionnuala McCormack winning back the European Cross Country title in Italy now look slimmer

Seantrel Henderson of the Buffalo Bills: agent says suspension was due to using cannabis to relieve  effects of Crohn’s disease. Photograph: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

While not performance-enhancing, Wada believes it violates the ‘spirit of sport’

Seán Cavanagh: suggested the commitment to intercounty football has gone “completely mental”, and that he was already back training hard for 2017.  Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

GAA head of games administration Feargal McGill unaware of any breaches

Aogán Ó Fearghail: “There has always been an attraction to the sight of the best players in a province playing with instead of against each other.” Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Parnell Park and Nenagh to host semi-finals in football and hurling next week

Pat Hickey: the statement said the payment was made as a “temporary loan” so he could return to Ireland to receive medical treatment for a heart condition Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

Association of National Olympic Committees: temporary loan made on ‘humanitarian’ grounds

Thomas Barr of Ireland after finishing in fourth place with a new Irish record of 47.97 during the Men’s 400m hurdles final in the Olympic Stadium, Maracanã, during the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images

‘This year made me realise I don’t need to be afraid of these guys. I’m at their level’

Ronnie Delany watches footage of his Olympic final victory with Ian O’Riordan earlier this week. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Olympic win was seen by nobody in Ireland but news soon spread by word-of-mouth

 Ronnie Delany winning the 1,500 metres gold medal at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Photograph: IOC/Allsport

Champion athlete relives day: ‘It’s only after it’s won that you realise the immensity of it’

 Fionnuala McCormack of Kilcoole AC: Chia will be her 34th international appearance. Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Ciara Mageean, Kerry O’Flaherty and Michelle Finn are also heading to Italy

The leaders in the women’s senior race at the Irish Life Health National Cross Country Championships in Abbotstown,  Co Dublin, on Sunday. Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Shock win in 8km race earns runner a place on senior European Championships team

Jamaica’s Usain Bolt successfully defended his three Olympic sprinting titles in Rio this summer. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA.

Invitation to London premier withdrawn due to awkward questions being asked

Corofin’s Gary Sice and St Brigid’s Karl Mannion ahead of the Connacht club football final.  Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Gary Sice and Karol Mannion are two survivors from dramatic 2006 provincial final

Seán Cavanagh: “Probably the most disappointing thing is that I’m not even sure if players are behind the mark.” Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Red Hand stalwart unconvinced of the merit of the newly-introduced mark

Paddy Stapleton: has announced his retirement after ten years on the Tipperary senior panel. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Former Premier County stalwart Paddy Stapleton announces his retirement

Vincent O’Brien: bought supplements online from what appeared to be a reputable company, only later to learn that the supplement industry, especially in bodybuilding, is poorly regulated. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Vincent O'Brien also bought supplements online. The clot was discovered on honeymoon

Pat Hickey in Rio in August: it is expected that it could be about 15 days before his passport is returned. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Judge notes risk of former OCI president failing to return to Brazil must be balanced with health concerns

Pat Hickey: Arrest overshadowed Ireland’s participation in the Rio games. Photograph: The Irish Times

Judge rules passport should be returned and exit permitted so as ‘to treat health problems’

Conor McGregor’s stares down Eddie Alvarez in a UFC 205 billboard on Times Square in New York City. Photograph: Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Olympic hero dominated indoor racing in New York when athletics really mattered

Pat Hickey with  IOC president Thomas Bach at the NOC general assembly  in Washington DC last year. Photograph: Larry French/Getty Images

Thomas Bach says ‘it is very clear that the presumption of innocence prevails’

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has called for Pat Hickey’s release from Brazil. Photo: Getty Images

It’s the first time the International Olympic Committee president has spoken on matter

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Former Cork All Star footballer Paudie Kissane joins Limerick backroom team

Virgin, who have just over 300,000 mostly urban subscribers, dropped the eir Sport package, which includes BT Sport, at the end of July. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Virgin Media subscribers will be denied access to Allianz League games on eir Sport TV

Rob Heffernan is presented with the 2012 London Olympic Men’s 50km Race Walk bronze medal  at City Hall in Cork Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

It’s not easy to get a proper perspective on one’s career what career is still ongoing

Ciarán Ó Catháin, who resigned from the OCI crisis committee on Wednesday. Photo: Inpho

Olympic council letter blames crisis committee for spiralling expenses in Pat Hickey case

Pat Hickey was arrested in Rio during the Olympics. He has stepped aside from his role as OCI president pending the outcome of that investigation, while also claiming there was “no substantive proof of any wrongdoing on my part”.

Statement claims OCI inquiry would be ‘inappropriate’ and ‘worthless’

Two and a half months after his arrest, Pat Hickey remains in Rio, not under house arrest, but having surrendered his passport under the conditions of his temporary release, he is not permitted to leave Brazil. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Injunction threat forces OCI to shelve Rio tickets inquiry, as third executive quits

Brian Fenton won the All-Ireland football final with Dublin this year. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho.

Dublin midfielder up against team-mate Ciarán Kilkenny and Mayo’s Lee Keegan

Pat Hickey (71) was arrested in Rio over the alleged illegal sale of tickets for the Olympic Games. He denies any wrongdoing. Photograph:   Humberto Ohana/AFP/Getty Images

Independent investigation into controversy will be held when criminal proceedings end

St Vincent’s Dermot Connolly in action against Ballymun Kickhams’ Kevin Leahy at Parnell Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin star has never faced first-time finalists at any level in his illustrious career

Rob Heffernan finishes fourth in the 50km walk at the London Olympics in 2012: the original gold medal winner, Russian Sergey Kirdyapkin, was stripped of his title in March. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Four years after the fact, the athlete will receive his bronze medal in Cork city

Laura Graham: First Irish woman to finish in Sunday’s Dublin Marathon. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

First Irish woman home Laura Graham gives the credit to four young motivating factors

Sergiu Ciobanu celebrates winning the Irish national marathon championship with his on Daniel, aged 4 months, at the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon at Merrion Square in Dublin. Photograph:   Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ethiopian wins comfortably as Irish champion makes up for disappointment at missing trip to Rio

Thousands of runners on  Fitzwilliam Street Upper for the start of last year’s Dublin Marathon. The expected figure of 19,500 runners this year is well up on last year’s 13,000 total. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

East African runners expected to dominate the elite race for top prize of €12,000

The Dublin Marathon takes place this Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

Ian O’Riordan has plenty of experience of running marathons. Here’s his advice...

Former president of the Irish Olympic Council Pat Hickey

Many have little sympathy for 71-year-old’s plight but situation is no laughing matter

OCI president Pat Hickey insists he remains president of the council and has merely stepped aside temporarily.  Photograph: Alan Betson

If recommendations implemented Pat Hickey’s 28-year reign as president will end

 Pat Hickey:  facing ticket-touting charges in Rio de Janeiro following his arrest at the Olympic Games. Photograph: Alan Betson

Move could see ex-OCI president return to Ireland from Brazil ahead of a possible trial

Collette O’Hagan at Navvy Bank, Dundalk. “For me the worst thing I could do now is stop running marathons. My body would go into cold turkey.” Photograph: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

She only took up running at age 40 but has now completed an amazing 425 marathons

Kevin Kilty (left), with OCI vice president of the Olympic Council of Ireland,  Willie O’Brien and president Pat Hickey at the European Games in Baku  last year. Photo: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Resignation coincides with the completion of the Deloitte report into OCI’s governance arrangements

Declan Brennan, the former Monaghan selector who last week announced his plans to establish the club players body, said  the CPA “don’t aim for any confrontation with anybody”. Photograph: Inpho

Declan Brennan expects launch within the next 10 days to a fortnight

Chairman of the GAA’s medical, scientific and welfare committee: We have somebody attending that Berlin conference on behalf of the GAA.” Photograph: Inpho

Association will not adopt rugby’s controversial pitch-side assessment methods

Munster club hurling championship quarter-final between Thurles Sarsfields and Waterford champions Ballygunner wil be played at Semple Stadium, Thurles. Photograph: Inpho

Loughmore-Castleiney against Moyle Rovers will be played at Leahy Park, Cashel

Pat Hickey: Arrested in Rio de Janeiro on August 17th last. Photograph: Getty Images

Delegates at European Olympic assembly concerned at Hickey treatment in Brazil

The Irish Olympic Council tweeted out this picture on Friday morning - showing a message of support for Pat Hickey from The European Olympic Committees, and the Association of National Olympic Committees at the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee in Minsk, Belarus. Photograph: Twitter

Assembly is told the former president is innocent of all Rio ticket touting charges

Paul Howard at Luggala, Co Wicklow, where Tara Browne is buried. Tara Browne is the subject of Howard’s new book ‘I Read The News Today, Oh Boy’. Photograph: Eric Luke

Running can be meditative, especially if you find "frosty grass of an early morning”

Ireland’s Robert Heffernan after crossing the finish line of the London 2012 Olympic Games Men’s 50km race walk. Photograph: Getty Images

There will be a special medal presentation on November 3rd at the City Hall in Cork

The Irish Olympic Council tweeted out this picture on Friday morning - showing a message of support for Pat Hickey from The European Olympic Committees, and the Association of National Olympic Committees at the General Assembly of the European Olympic Committee in Minsk, Belarus. Photograph: Twitter

‘We’ve studied allegations against Patrick Hickey, from what we know he’s not guilty’

Lance Arsmtrong has pulled out of an appearance at Dublin’s One Zero conference. Photograph: Getty

No refunds will be offered with disgraced cyclist citing legal reasons for withdrawal

Stephen Colvert is free to compete but continues to try and clear his name after he received a two-year doping ban in 2014. Photograph: Inpho

Sprinter Colvert now free to compete after two-year ban following positive test in 2014

GAA director general Páraic Duffy has made some running repairs to his proposed reform of the All-Ireland football championship. Photograph: Inpho

Quarter-final round robin ties would be shared between HQ and county grounds

Allianz League games previously shown on Setanta will not be broadcast on Virgin

“They were very happy for me personally, but as managers and players they weren’t as happy. They (Éamonn Fitzmaurice and Jack O’Connor) didn’t put any pressure on me to stay, they said it was my own decision.”

‘It’s a very quiet place, like Dingle, and I was very comfortable there’

Paul Mannion celebrates scoring the goal which sealed Dublin’s quarter-final win over Donegal. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Dublin star has no regrets about taking a break from the game to pursue his studies in China

“We’d love to have him back and we all wish him well but he’s happy so that’s the most important thing.”

Dublin defender is expected to still be in New Zealand for 2017 championship

 Fionnuala McCormack  on her way to winning the senior women’s race during the Autumn open cross country festival at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Olympic marathon runner takes first cross country race of season at brand new track

Olympic Council of Ireland president Pat Hickey in his dressing gown moments after Brazilian police arrived at his hotel.

Ian O’Riordan speaks to athletes and OCI team members who were on the scene in Rio

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan with Irish cross country runner Ciara Mageean at the opening of the Sport Ireland National Cross Country Track. Photograph: Sportsfile

Ian O’Riordan: Failure to increase funding and development of Olympic sports doesn’t auger well

Marc Ó Sé retires from Kerry with five All-Ireland titles and three league medals. Photograph: Don MacMonagle.

Long-standing family dynasty in Kingdom concludes with youngest of brothers calling time

Tipperary’s Ronan Maher tackles Kilkenny’s TJ Reid. “It was nice to get another one over on them [Kilkenny],it’s been a long time since 2010.”Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Defender planning for club final with Thurles before focusing again on Premier ambitions

Philly McMahon at the Ireland Active Conference launch: “This team isn’t going to be here next year – it’s going to be a different team.”   Photograph: dan Sheridan/Inpho

Defender expecting fierce competition to win a place in champions’ defence in 2017

Colm Cooper: “We certainly didn’t think they [Dublin] were invincible. When you come from Kerry, you think you can beat everyone.”  Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Kerry star concentrating for now on Dr Crokes’ Kerry county final assignment

Brothers Séamus and Aidan O’Shea of Mayo show their dejection following Mayo’s agonising one-point defeat to Dublin  at Croke Park. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

‘This team is hardened enough and steely enough, and the appetite will be there’

Canada’s Shawn Barber was allowed to compete at the Rio Olympics despite testing positive for cocaine after the national trials. Photograph: Getty Images.

Cocaine use by professional athletes and players needs to be addressed

Tipperary’s Séamus Callanan has been nominated for the Player of the Year award. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

One third of candidates for awards playing with reigning All-Ireland champions

Athletics Ireland will straightaway begin the search for a new director of High Performance after Kevin Ankrom confirmed his decision to step down from the role. Photo: Inpho

Ankrom’s current contract ended with the Rio Olympics, having being appointed in 2011

Stephen Cluxton: one of the 11 players nominated from back-to-back All-Ireland champions Dublin. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Champions and beaten All-Ireland finalists account for 22 (11 each) of the total of 45 spots

Referee Maurice Deegan black-carding Dublin defender Jonny Cooper during the All-Ireland final replay against Mayo. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

Dublin defender suggests referees need assistance when it comes to black cards

Waterford’s Austin Gleeson: he is one of those in line to pick up the Player of the Year accolade on Saturday night

Westmeath’s Niall Mitchell is first player from county to pick up such an award

Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan: “It’s a bit unfair on the clubs, that the players are only handed back to them, with a week to go, before the championship.” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Cian O’Sullivan prepares to lock horns with All-Ireland club champions Ballyboden

Dublin’s Philly McMahon celebrates at the final whistle after the All-Ireland final replay victory over Mayo. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin defender says players becoming increasingly frustrated by controversial rule

Dublin’s Brian Fenton celebrates after Dublin’s All-Ireland win over Mayo at Croke Park. “It’s special, special times.” Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Two seasons, two Sam Maguires – RTÉ’s player of the year will enjoy it while it lasts

Dublin’s Eric Lowndes celebrates Saturday’s win with manager Jim Gavin. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin manager weary but contented after 19 months of hard graft lead to Sam Maguire

Dublin’s Cian O’Sullivan, Diarmuid Connolly, Michael Fitzsimons and Eric Lowndes celebrate. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Michael Fitzsimons, Ciaran Kilkenny and Dean Rock the star men for the All-Ireland champions

Referee Maurice Deegan black cards Lee Keegan of Mayo. Photo: James Crombi/Inpho

Ian O’Riordan looks at the main talking points as Dublin retain Sam Maguire for the first time since the 1970s

Lance Armstrong will appear at the RDS in October. Photograph: Elizabeth Kreutz/Reuters/Lance Armstrong Foundation/

Don’t expect freewheeling revelation when disgraced cyclist comes to the RDS

Dublin manager Jim Gavin during the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final at Croke Park. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Dublin manager says his side will relish challenge of improving in Saturday week's replay

Dublin’s Dean Rock battles with Keith Higgins of Mayo during the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final at Croke Park. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Ian O’Riordan runs the rule over Jim gavin’s men after their draw with Mayo

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor celebrates scoring the equalising point late in injury time during the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final between Dublin and Mayo. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Ian O’Riordan takes a look at the defining moments from a scrappy game at Croke Park

Jim Gavin (Dublin football manager) and the Boeing Stearman. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

The Dublin manager sees similarities between flying and running a football team

Michael McKillop  celebrates his victory in the men’s 1,500m T37 final in  Rio. Photograph: Alexandre Loureiro/Getty Images

Instead of taxing sugary drinks, the Government should focus on getting people active

Darren Daly:  came off the bench in both the 2013  final (replacing Jack McCaffrey) and the 2015 final (replacing Cian O’Sullivan). Photoghraph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Dublin replacement upbeat on prospects of playing part in All-Ireland final against Mayo

Jim Gavin and Declan Darcy have been a tightly knit management pair since 2002. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Jim Gavin’s selector is fascinated by adaptations football has undergone

Philly McMahon says that fame is not what motivates him or the Dublin camp as they prepare for their All-Ireland final clash with Mayo. Photo: Inpho

No-nonsense defender says talk of greatness never enters the fully focussed Dublin camp

 Former Dublin forward Ray Cosgrove: “Listening to the Mayo lads, they kind of have unfinished business. So I’d be very, very wary.” Photograph:  Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Former Dublin forward believes his county should be ‘very wary’ as they enter the fray

 Former Mayo manager James Horan. Photograph: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Former manager outlines factors that favour his native county in All-Ireland football final

2015 footballer of the year Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Letting media talk to only one main player ahead of All-Ireland final is embarrassing

Waterford blitzed Antrim in their    All Ireland Under 21 Hurling Championship semi-final, while their final opponents Galway had a much sterner test against Dublin in the other semi-final. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Déise go into Under-21 hurling decider against Galway as red-hot favourites

Jim Gavin belives a bounce of the ball could settle the All-Ireland final against Mayo. Photograph: Inpho

Dublin manager in no way surprised Mayo have made it to the All-Ireland final

Kerry manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice took over from Jack O’Connor in 2012. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Manager could have longest continuous term since Páidí Ó Sé if he stays until 2018

 Eamonn Fitzmaurice looks set to extend his tenure as Kerry manager. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Club delegates will decide at Tuesday night’s monthly county board meeting in Tralee

Facing up: Kilkenny manager Brian Cody looks on during the presentation of the Liam MacCarthy Cup to Tipperary in Croke Park on Sunday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

All-Ireland hurling final: Kilkenny manager turns his fire on cheap analysis of tactics

A dejected TJ Reid of Kilkenny after the game. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kilkenny manager concedes Tipperary were the better team on the day

Kilkenny manager Brian Cody looks on during the cup presentation after his side were beaten by Tipperary in the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ian O’Riordan evaluates the performances of the losing Kilkenny team at Croke Park

Former OCI president Pat Hickey: claim of needing “permission to do things” from the OCI executive committee now seems  a little suspect. Photograph:  Larry French/Getty Images for ANOC

The way the Olympic Council of Ireland operates will need to be completely changed

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