Sergiu Ciobanu (centre) in action during the 2015 European Cross Country Championships in  Hyeres, France, last December. Photograph: Inpho

Olympic marathon qualification better served without the blazers and boardroombook

Walter Walsh in action against Clare. Walsh played in all of Kilkenny’s league and championship games last year. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Kilkenny forward eager to remain on upward curve after strong showing last season

Michael Quinlivan of Clonmel Commercials in action against Nemo Rangers’ Aidan O’Reilly during the AIB Munster Club Senior Football Championship Final in Mallow. Photograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Clonmel face a different challenge as they take on Ballyboden St Enda’s

Veteran downplays tie as being a case of the poor old David versus the rich new Goliath 

Noel McGrath at the launch of the 2016 Allianz Hurling League on Monday. Tipperary face Dublin in Thurles next Saturday. Photograph: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Illness curtailed Noel McGrath’s season last year, but he’s looking forward to 2016

Ireland’s Ciara Mageean already has an Olympic qualifying time in the bag. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

1,500m runner qualifies for World Indoor Championships with strong run in Germany

Sonia O’Sullivan competes in the 5000m at the World Championships in Stuttgart in 1993. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Revelations offer grim insight into how much the Irish runner was denied in career

Ireland’s Sonia O’Sullivan on her way to finishing second at the 1993 World Championships in Stuttgart. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Romanian beat Irish athlete to first place in 5,000m at the Sydney Games in 2000

   Sonia O’Sullivan may be in line for  much-belated World Championship gold medals  after cold truths appear to have emerged about the notoriously dominant Chinese women’s distance runners of the early 1990s. File photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Chinese women’s distance runners were ‘forced to take large doses of illegal drugs’

David Redmond in action for Oulart: “We have a better team now, a better balanced team than we ever did. And I think a kind of a stubbornness about us too.”  Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Wexford champions relieved to finally win Leinster and reach All-Ireland semi-final

Wang Junxia and  Ma Junren. Photograph:  Anton Want/Allsport

Chinese media reports that athletes were given ‘large doses of illegal drugs’

Kevin Downes: “No Limerick club has won the All-Ireland, and Limerick haven’t won an All-Ireland since ’73. So you can’t walk away from that.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Limerick club targeting All-Ireland club final after defeats in both 2011 and 2013

Ireland’s Eimear Mullan has now completed 10 “Ironman” competitions including a personal best time of 8:56:51. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images.

No gender barrier for athlete who is the only Irish woman to break nine-hour mark for a full triathlon

Mick O’Dowd’s team begun the 2016 league with a win over Laois. Photograph: Inpho

Mick O’Dowd: ‘It’s so competitive a division this year it’s just getting points on the board’

A municipal agent sprays a chemical product aimed at Zika-carrying mosquitos at the sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro this week. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images

International Olympic Committe should be spearheading campign to approve vaccine

Pat Flanagan: determined to lead his native Offaly to higher ground: “I’ve always said Offaly have serious potential.”  Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Faithful County looking to escape from a fiercely competitive Division Three

Jamesie O’Connor, Ollie Canning, Brian Carney and Rachel Wyse at the first ever Sky Sports GAA broadcast, Kilkenny versus Offaly, at Nowlan Park in 2014. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Congress motion calls for all televised big championship games to be on free to air TV

Tommy Walsh will start at full forward for Kerry in their Allianz Football League Division One opener against Dublin at Croke Park on Saturday night. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Brian Ó Beaglaoich and Philip O’Connor to make first league starts

GAA Congress are to debate returning games to free to air television, which would prevent any extension of their current deal with Sky. Photograph: Inpho

Motion 42 would return all Championship games to free to air, ending Sky deal in 2017

Wexford senior football manager David Power: “Our number one aim is to give a good performance in every game, and secondly to get out of Division Four. I know it won’t be easy.” Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho/Presseye

Footballers drive to return to Division Three begins Sunday with home tie against Leitrim

Marc Ó Sé: “The body feels great, and Isuppose I’ll be retired long enough.” Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Kingdom star feels it would be a shame to quit if he still has something to offer

Aidan O’Shea: the Breaffy man will swap his Mayo jersey for American football in The Toughest Trade. Photograph:  Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Versatile Mayo star looking forward to new campaign under boss Stephen Rochford

A clock in front of Hamburg town hall displays a countdown to the German city’s referendum on whether to bid to host the Olympics – last November, the citizens voted against the bid. Photograph: Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

With Hamburg and Boston rejecting Olympic bids, the lure of the Games is tarnished

Longford players celebrate their win over Dublin. Photograph: Inpho

Dennis Connerton’s team had a first win in 16 years against the All-Ireland champions

The Parkrun first took place at Bushy Park In London. Photograph: Neil Hall/Reuters

Weekly run for amateurs points a way forward for a sport embroiled in controversies

IAAF president Sebastian Coe said he was determined to learn from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) independent commission report. Photograph: Kerstin Joensson/AP Photo

Council, including Coe, could not have been unaware of extent of doping, report finds

Former IAAF president Lamine Diack. Photograph:   Martin Rickett/PA

Nine Russian athletes withdrew from World Championships in Moscow

 Tipperary hurler Seamus Callanan at Croke Park, where Allianz announced their continued sponsorship Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Tipperary forward looking forward to first season under new manager Michael Ryan

Seán Boylan at Croke Park where Allianz announced their continued sponsorship of football and hurling leagues. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Ex-Meath boss says changes needed to restore old values and sense of entertainment

Beth McCluskey in action during the National Cyclo-cross championships, staged at Tollymore Forest Park, in the Mourne Mountains. Photograph: Gregg Germer / Steen Wear

Cyclist regained passion for competition after day in the Alps took a fateful twist

Australia’s Dyson Heppell in action during last November’s International Rules Test at Croke Park. The Essendon player faces a two-year ban. Photograph: Inpho

Thirty four past and present Essendon players issued with two-year suspensions

 Patrick Collins takes over in goal for Cork from Anthony Nash for the Munster hurling league match against Waterford. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

‘No guarantees’ Cusack Park will be ready for Clare’s first Allianz League outing

Wiping all records clean and starting again one way to deal with drug wins

John Leonard, the former Dublin substitute goalkeeper, will discuss the impact of his award-winning memoir ’Dub-Sub Confidential’, Corinthian: Sports and Mental Health at the Sugar Club

Kenny Egan, John Leonard and Aisling Daly among speakers at conference in Dublin

Maire O’Leary, Kelly Walsh and Shannen Murphy from Coláiste Iósaef in Limerick with their project on “Should the GAA go professional?” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Students’ survey also finds that only 28% think counties should buy and sell players

Caoimhe Browne, Clodagh Jones and Julianne Grehan, from Laurel Hill Colaiste FCJ, Limerick with project, Concussion in Students, Is the Force of impact a key factor?, at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition at the RDS Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

A timely study from Limerick sheds light on an under- reported problem

Brian Carroll: Coolderry clulbman made 131 appearances for Offaly in league and championship since making his debut in 2002. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Experienced forward announces his retirement from intercounty game at the age of 32

Full forward Paddy Andrews, who wore the number two jersey for Dublin against Wexford in the O’Byrne Cup last weekend. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin manager says traditional numbers do not reflect the evolution of the game

Rory O’Carroll: has proved a key figure in the Dublin defence as the counties won All-Irelands in 2011, 2013 and 2015.  Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Inspirational full back is leaving All-Ireland champions to work in New Zealand for a year

Dublin’s Graham Hannigan attempts to block a shot from Wexford’s Pierce O’Connor  during the O’Byrne Cup clash at St Patrick’s Park, Enniscorthy. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dean Rock’s late equaliser earns experimental Dublin line-up a draw

Dean Rock scored six points as Dublin were held by Wexford in the first round of the O’Byrne Cup. Photograph: Inpho

Jim Gavin’s side take control in second half of a forgettable game in Enniscorthy

Dublin fullback Rory O’Carroll won’t be available to Jim Gavin for the 2016 season after deciding to go to New Zealand for the year. Photograph: Inpho

Boss Jim Gavin: ‘He’s moving to New Zealand, so he won’t be a part of us for the year’

The Arena Carioca Olympic venues in Rio: the suitability of Brazil as host country has been questioned. Photograph: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images

The days when an athlete like Ronnie Delany could win gold are over but sport is still sport

Jim Gavin: will use the O’Byrne Cup to assess the upcoming talent in the county as Dublin seek to defend the first title they won last year. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Several players from current Leinster club champions to line out with Dubs Stars

 Catherina McKiernan who received the Outstanding Contribution to Women’s Sport 2015 Award. Picture Nick Bradshaw

Catherina McKiernan did not care much for fame during her unique sporting career

Joint winner of The Irish Times/Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Cork’s Rena Buckley – who shared the award with teammate Briege Corkery – and June award winner Katie Taylor enjoy a lighter moment with  Tánaiste Joan Burton during the awards ceremony in Dublin yesterday. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Cork women’s football and camogie duo each has 16 All-Ireland winners medals

Alan Brogan: ‘Representing Dublin for the last 14 years has given me immense satisfaction and joy, both the good days and the bad’. Photograph:  Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Dublin all-rounder bows out after 70 championship appearances

Usain Bolt performs his signature pose with his gold medal after beating Justin Gatlin at the World Championships. Photo: Getty Images

After returning from two doping offences Justin Gatlin went up against Usain Bolt

Ireland’s Lizze Lee runs alongisde Fionnuala McCormack on the way toteam bronze at the European Cross Country Championships. Photo: Sasa Pahic Szabo/Inpho

Fionnuala McCormack and her team-mates mask the disappointing showing from men

The Ireland women’s team who won bronze at the European Cross Country Championships, from left to right, Caroline Crowley, Ciara Durkan, Fionnuala McCormack, Lizzie Lee, Kerry O’Flaherty and Michelle Finn. Photograph: Inpho

Fionnuala McCormack finishes fourth to help team beat Spain and Italy into third

UFC bans the IV drip, while track and field qualifiers for Rio leave dubious world records untouched

Caroline Crowley: “The Crusaders club are fantastic. They’re my friends, and my social life. It makes the world of difference.” Photograph: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

The Dublin athlete credits her late parents for driving her to succeed as a runner

Wicklow’s Stephanie Reilly runs for Ireland at the 2012 Olympics. She completed an athletics scholarship at Providence College. Photo: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Ian O'Riordan profiles some of the Irish women on scholarships in the US

 Mark Curry (Fermanagh), Donal O’Grady, author of the report, Kildare’s Paul Divilly   and Meath’s James Toher at the launch of the GPA’s report on the Ring, Rackard and Meagher cups.  Photo: Saam Barnes/Sportsfile

County convention passes a motion calling for end to current Sky pay-per-view deal

Chris Froome is at pains to explain how he went from being a “chubby” domestique to a two-time Tour de France winner. Photograph: Reuters.

Tour de France winner justifying his progress raises some added questions

Sinéad Jennings with her husband Sam Lynch and daughters Clodagh (4), Molly (3) and Hannah (17 months).

Rower thought Olympic dreams were over, but third-place finish in France changed that

Meath’s Stephen Bray: is available to represent Leinster this weekend though he recently announced his intercounty retirement. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Manager must do without Dublin players for interprovincial showdown with Munster

Paul Cahillane: “I kind of class myself as a dual player. Although it’s not hurling; soccer and football are my two loves” Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

The Portlaoise star has Dublin county champions Ballyboden St Enda’s in his sights

Crossmaglen’s captain Paul Hearty lifts the Ulster cup. Photograph: Declan Roughan/Inpho

Armagh club crowned Ulster champions for an 11th time after hard-fought contest

Frank Greally has been editing and printing Irish Runner magazine for 35 years. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónail

Newly released book - Running Full Circle - a brilliant insight into a life less ordinary

Oulart the Ballagh team mates Paul Roche (left) and Keith Rossiter were in the same class at school growing up. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Wexford champions reeling after seven Leinster final defeats in 20 years

 Thomas Barr goes up to collect his  won Athlete of the Year award during the GloHealth National Athletic Awards at the  Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry. Photograph:  Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Waterford star targets final appearance at next summer’s Rio Olympic Games

Nemor Rangers’ James Masters: At his peak he  was central to the Cork team, scoring 6-80 in his 26 championship appearances. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Former Cork star aiming to help famed city club to another provincial title

Darragh O’Connell of Cuala and Jack Langton of Clara at the Leinster Club semi-final at Parnell Park earlier this month. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Darragh O’Connell’s loyalties straddle Kerry and his adopted home of Dublin

Stephen Hiney of Ballyboden St Enda’s in action against St Loman’s of Westmeath in last Sunday’s provincial football semi-final. Hiney is one of several dual players on team. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Portlaoise stand between Ballyboden and another provincial title heading to capital

 Australia’s Patrick Dangerfield tries to tackle Ireland’s Philly McMahon  during the International Rules Series  match  at Croke Park. Photo:  Ian Walton/Getty Images

Dublin defender believes International Rules series is here to stay and should prosper

Fionnuala McCormack won her seventh   National Inter-club Cross Country title at Santry. Photograph:  Sasa Pahic Szabo/Inpho

Wicklow runner rediscovers her cross-country roots to take club crown

Shane Flynn of St Loman’s chases Conal Keaney of Ballyboden St Enda’s during the Leinster club senior football championship semi-final at  Cusack Park, Mullingar. Photograph: Inpho

Dublin club are just one victory short of a first Leinster club football title

Jack McCaffrey: Footballer of the Year, All Star, and twice winner of the All-Ireland with Dublin.

Jack McCaffrey a perfect example of the true enjoyment of sport

Ballygunner’s Pauric Mahony will miss Sunday’s Munster club hurling final against Na Piarsaigh due to a long-term injury lay-off. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho.

Pauric Mahoney hopes absenteeism does not impede Waterford team against Na Piarsaigh

Last year’s series was Harry Taylor’s first experience with the compromise game. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Australia defender presumes Joe Kernan’s side will start as they finished last year’s Test

Dublin’s Jack McCaffrey, in training with the Ireland International Rules squad at Carton House. The  Rules Test against Australia is on Saturday next in Croke Park. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

McCaffrey swaps blue of Dublin for green of Ireland for showdown with Australia

Australia’s David Mundy has brought his wife and two young children to Ireland for the International Rules one-match series. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Ireland up against the best AFL has to offer in Croke Park decider

Lar Corbett scored a spectacular hat-trick in the 2010 All-Ireland hurling final against Kilkenny, to win his second All-Ireland and help deprive Cats of five titles in a row. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

County stalwart won two All-Irelands, three All Stars and a hurler of year award

Tipperary’s Lar Corbett has announced his retirement from inter-county hurling. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

2010 hurler of the year follows Shane McGrath, James Woodlock, Conor O’Mahony

 Conor McManus GAA’s player of the match for the last two Tests. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Australia will need no reminding of dangers posed by prolific Monaghan forward

Michelle De Bruin was banned form swimming for four years two years after winning three swimming gold medals at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. Photograph: Eric Luke.

As Irish athletes hope to garner medals from previous competitions, do we've some to return?

Lee Keegan at Croke Park: “What we do on the pitch during the year is totally separate to what we are doing here for Ireland.” Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

‘I’m getting to play with some of the best players in the country’ says Mayo stalwart

Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly has been named in the Irish squad despite being club tied for the preparations so far. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

Ireland manager Joe Kernan admits how hard it was to select squad for Australia Test

Dublin will play either Wicklow or Laois in the quarter-finals of the Leinster SFC at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny on Saturday June 4th. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Nowlan Park will host meeting with either Wicklow or Laois on Saturday June 4th

 Ireland team captain Bernard Brogan and team manager Joe Kernan. Photo:   Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Ireland manager set to reveal the 23-man squad chosen for International Rules clash

Brian Cody: returning for 18th season as Kilkenny hurling manager. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Eddie Brennan named as manager for Kilkenny’s under-21 hurling team

 Sergey Kirdyapkin of Russia crosses the line to win gold during the Men’s 50km Walk at   the London Olympic Games in August 2012. Photograph: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Irish walker set to be upgraded to bronze medal for London 2012

Dick Pound (centre), chairman of the Wada   Independent Commission into   corruption and money-laundering within international athletics at the launch of their findings in Geneva. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Analysis: Implications far more widespead than Russia, and indeed athletics

Coolderry’s Joe Brady challenges Colm Cronin of Cuala during the Leinster Senior Hurling Club  Championship Quarter-Final at O’Connor Park, Tullamore yesterday Photograph: Inpho

Dublin side ease to 14-point victory to secure home tie against Clara in semi-final

Marijuana has been legalised for medical purposes or decriminalised for personal possession in 25 US states.

Euphoria of good run and smoking marijuana may have more in common than you think

Kilkenny’s TJ Reid is the frontrunner to be named hurler of the year tomorrow night. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Seven Cats honoured along with four from Galway and three from Waterford

Chris Froome at the Web Summit in the RDS: “It sounds silly, but we really are on that edge, pushing our bodies to the absolute limit, day in, day out.” Photograph: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile.

Interview with Chris Froome too short to gain many insights into cycling

Race walker Rob Heffernan, Ireland’s longest serving Olympian, kick-starts his ‘Road to Rio’ training programme for his fifth Olympic Games with the backing of Nissan. Photograph: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Ireland walker likely to have medal from London confirmed before he gets to Rio

Pauline Curley was the first Irish female athlete to finish the Dublin Marathon on the October Bank Holiday Monday. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho.

Lesson of Dublin Marathon triumph is to make most of limited time you get

“[Diarmuid Connolly] has all the talent but he’s matched that in with his physicality, his work rate and with his leadership of the team,” says St Vincents teammate Paddy Andrews. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Cuala tackle St Judes in Dublin hurling decider; St Vincents and Ballyboden in football

St Vincent’s Diarmuid Connolly was a thorn in Na Fianna’s side in the county semi-final. Photograph: Donall Farmer

Dublin defender hails team-mate as St Vincent’s target third title in succession

The Quinn brothers (from left): Seán, Brian, Frank, and Michael. Photograph: courtesy of MS Ireland

Four Tyrone men prepare to retrace their steps from their initial run in Big Apple in 1980

Dublin’s Jonny Cooper in action against Kerry in the All-Ireland final. “Winning the All-Ireland is as good as it’s going to get for any one of us, as a team.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Dublin corner back shows his mettle by bouncing back from a vicious knife attack

Fiona Coghlan winning ‘The Irish Times’/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman of the Year for 2013 after she captained the Ireland women’s rugby team to its first ever Six Nations Grand Slam that season. Photograph: Alan Betson

Ex-Ireland rugby player says progress has been good – but there is still more to do

Ireland manager Joe Kernan chats with his captain Bernard Brogan in  Croke Park. Ireland will play Australia on November 21st. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Dublin star to lead side in International Rules test, but Stephen Cluxton opts out

Australia’s Jobe Watson and Nick Riewoldt with Ireland’s Aidan Walsh and Seán Cavanagh in action in Perth last year. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Bernard Brogan says both players and fans would relish a trip to likes of Nowlan Park

The 15,000-plus people who completed the soggy SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon didn’t go straight from couch to finish line: here’(...)

Former All-Star goalkeeper will give up his role as a hurling analyst on RTÉ’s The Sunday Game to join up with Davy Fitzgerald on the Clare management team. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho.

Former Cork goalkeeper to take up role as coach and selector under Davy Fitzgerald

 Ethiopia’s Alemu Gemechu crosses the line to win the the  men’s race at the  the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Ethiopia’s Alemu Gemechu times run to perfection to win race

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