Loughnane makes 'tough decision' to call it a day
Former World Championship silver medallist walker Olive Loughnane has announced her retirement at the age of 36.
The Loughrea AC athlete has had a star studded international career that has spanned over 12 years and represented Ireland in four consecutive Olympic Games.
Loughnane’s best placing came at the 2008 Games in Beijing where she finished in seventh place in the 20k walk in a personal best of 1:27.45.
The pinnacle of her achievements came the following year at the World Championships in Berlin where she won a silver medal in the 20k walk in a time of 1:28:58. She competed in six consecutive world championships from 2001 and also represented Ireland in two European Athletics Championships. The Co Cork-born athlete also won multiple national titles over 3k/5k/10k/20k distances and is the current Irish record holder in the 10k in a time of 43:22.
“To retire from athletics was always going to be a tough decision for me. I can be happy with everything I have achieved and I have no regrets. I want to thank Athletics Ireland, the Irish Sports Council and the Olympic Council for all their help and support throughout my career,” Loughnane said.
Athletics Ireland chief executive John Foley said: “Olive Loughnane has made an outstanding contribution to Irish athletics. Her achievements at national and international level have been of the highest quality. On behalf of Athletics Ireland and myself I want to wish her all the best for the future.”
IOC board recommends wrestling should be dropped
Wrestling will not feature in the 2020 Olympic Games after the International Olympic Committee’s Executive Board made a surprise recommendation to drop the sport yesterday.
Contested in the first modern Olympics in 1896 and also part of the ancient Games in Olympia, wrestling will now join seven other candidate sports battling for one spot in a revamped programme. It is unlikely, however, it will get a reprieve when the IOC session in Buenos Aires votes on the recommendation in September.
“This is not the end of the process, this is purely a recommendation,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told reporters after the executive board vote. “It is the session which is sovereign. It was a decision to look at the core sports, what works best for the Olympic games. This was the best programme for the 2020 Olympics. This is not about what’s wrong with wrestling but what is good for the Games.”
The executive board vote comes as a major surprise after other sports, including modern pentathlon and taekwondo, were seen as at risk of losing their place due to their lower global appeal.
Board members were given a report on each of the Olympic sports which provided details on 39 criteria, such as popularity, finances, tickets sold and governance, before a secret vote. Madrid, Tokyo and Istanbul are bidding to host the 2020 Olympics with a decision also to be taken in September.
UCI call again for a truth commission
The International Cycling Federation (UCI) have called again for a truth and reconciliation commission to examine the sport following the Lance Armstrong scandal.
The UCI disbanded a three-person independent commission to investigate whether the federation had helped Armstrong to conceal his drug-taking. They said instead they wanted to be part of a truth and reconciliation commission.
At a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) media symposium in London yesterday, Wada president John Fahey said he had received a letter late on Monday from the UCI again requesting a truth and reconciliation commission.
Fahey said the process had to be under the management and control of the original independent commission.
“So I put those terms back, that’s the starting point . . . If they are serious they will talk to us,” he said.
Athletes to sign declaration
Australia’s Olympic athletes will be required to sign statutory declarations saying they have no history of doping, the country’s Olympic committee said yesterday.
Athletes competing at next year’s Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, will be the first to sign the mandatory document in the wake of the recent doping revelations, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said in a statement.
“Any person who does not make the statutory declaration will be ineligible for membership of any Australian Olympic team or shadow team,” the statement read.
An Australian Crime Commission report released last week said it had found “widespread” use of banned drugs among athletes, with links to organised crime.
Declaration details would be shared with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency.