European medallist Sweeney banned for doping


European Youth silver medallist Gary Sweeney has been handed a nine-month ban for a doping violation. The 18-year-old light-heavyweight from Ballinrobe tested positive for a prohibited substance during in-competition testing last October.

Sweeney had appealed against the length of the sanction but a hearing found “that in the circumstances of the case that nine months is an appropriate sanction”. As the suspension was dated from the collection of the sample, Sweeney will be free to resume competition in July.

Sweeney’s coach, his brother Martin, was suspended for 27 months after he admitted providing the teenager with the banned substance furosemide.

The panel noted that this was the first case in which an anti-doping rule violation has been admitted by or established in the case of a coach.

Meanwhile, Irish light- flyweight Jason McKay will meet England’s Muhammad Ali in Cork on Saturday night.

McKay trades leather with Ali over three rounds in Saturday’s Ireland versus England clash at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

The Irish squad, from 46kg up, for Saturday’s meeting will line out at next month’s European Junior Championships in Bulgaria.

James Cleary will wear the Irish flyweight vest in Cork and at the European Juniors, while Mike Olden will also line out at flyweight against England.

Luke Thomas, who claimed bronze at the 2011 European Junior Championships in Hungary, will captain the Irish squad on Saturday.