Irish body to address doping


Tennis Ireland have told Minister for Sport Dr Jim McDaid that they are awaiting clarification of the International Tennis Federation's (ITF) position on drugs in sport arising from the recent conference on the issue in Lausanne.

Meanwhile, the Irish tennis authority has assured the Minister that they share his concern and disappointment "at the position apparently taken by the ITF in Lausanne" when the organisation, along with the world governing bodies of cycling and soccer, opted out of signing up to a new crosssport international anti-doping agreement. In its letter to the Minister, Tennis Ireland further state: "The association willingly complies with the requirements of the ITF testing programme as it applies to international competition staged in Ireland". Tennis Ireland's strategic plan for tennis, the letter points out, "commits the association to the immediate and full implementation of the requirements of the National Anti-doping Programme in co-operation with the Sports Council and other relevant agencies". Tennis Ireland's commitment in this regard will be specifically written into the organisation's revised constitution to go before the a.g.m. next month and officers are also set to meet the Minister to "outline our position more comprehensively".

Meanwhile Ireland's top under-18 player, Stephen Nugent, had reason to celebrate a highly significant success in Uruguay yesterday at the outset of his South American tour. He saved a second-set match point to oust The United States's top under-17 prospect, Eric Nunez, and win a demanding four-hour three-setter on clay. Nugent is lined up for three other tournaments in South America including the prestigious Banana Bowl event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in which all the world's top juniors compete. Meanwhile Irish Davis Cup player Scott Barron will be out of action for the next three weeks with a stress fracture to his left ankle as will Gina Niland, due to tonsillitis.