Roche stays seventh as time trial looms


SPORTS DIGEST:Nicolas Roche finished alongside the other general classification riders on yesterday’s 10th stage of the Vuelta a España, with both he and they dropping four seconds to the stage winner John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) and the rest of the sprinters.

A slight split in the main bunch was responsible for the gap, which will have zero effect on the overall battle as none of the big names gained time as a result.

Roche stays seventh in the overall standings, two minutes and 34 seconds behind the overall leader Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).

Today’s 39.4 kilometre time trial will be an important factor in determining where he finishes overall; time trials have been his weakest discipline in the past, but he has made good improvements this year. He is 33 and 26 seconds respectively behind the two riders ahead of him, Robert Gesink (Rabobank Cycling Team) and Daniel Moreno (Katusha Team).


Bangladesh take the honours as Shillington records her 100th cap

Clare Shillington top-scored for Ireland as she became the first women’s international to record 100 caps, although it was Bangladesh that claimed the honours in the Twenty20 Triangular at Castle Avenue in Clontarf, claiming a four-wicket victory off the penultimate ball of the match.

Shillington made 34 from 42 deliveries, while skipper Isobel Joyce (18) and Kim Garth (15 not out) also made contributions on a day when Ireland finished on 92 for four.

Garth then struck with her fourth delivery and also helped to run out Sajida Islam to leave the tourists on five for two, only for a partnership of 66 from Salma Khatan (41) and Lata Monool (20) to get them them back on track. Spinner Elena Tice took three wickets for 14 runs but it wasn’t enough as Farzana Hoque Pinky hit the winning runs.


Apprentice jockey receives two-year ban for drug offence

Apprentice jockey Ray Dawson has received a two-year ban, with 15 months of it suspended, after testing positive for ecstasy at a meeting in Naas in May.

Dawson (18) is apprenticed to trainer Charles O’Brien who was among those who gave evidence at a Turf Club hearing on Monday. The Celbridge native, who has ridden eight winners, is also a nephew of the well known bookmaker and owner, Luke McMahon.

It is the second time Dawson has tested positive for drugs, having returned a positive result for cannabis two years ago. He is the first jockey in Ireland to twice fail a drugs test.

Evidence was heard by the Referrals Committee yesterday that Dawson’s drink had been spiked by an ecstasy tablet placed in it at around 3.30am at a party on May 13th, three days before the positive test.

Dawson’s solicitor said his client accepted the findings and the purpose of the hearing was to determine a penalty.

An addiction counsellor told the hearing he did not regard Dawson as having “an addictive personality” and had taken a number of negative tests since the last positive finding.

The Turf Club’s referrals committee said they regarded any banned substance offence as “very serious.” The suspended element of the punishment is subject to the rider agreeing to undergo random and repeated drug tests during the first nine months of his ban, at his own expense. The nine-month ban from racing is set to start in the middle of next month. The Turf Club also ordered Dawson to pay €1,300 towards the case’s cost.


O'Shea appointed to British review

British Swimming have announced Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea and double Olympic open water medallist Thomas Lurz have been appointed to the four-man review into the poor performance by British swimmers at London 2012.

With success at world and European level in recent years, hopes had been high entering the Olympics but the swimming programme finished with just one silver medal from Michael Jamieson and two bronze from Rebecca Adlington.

National performance director Michael Scott is heading the inquest along with British Swimming board member Craig Hunter, chef de mission at the Paralympics.

A statement from British Swimming read: “Conor O’Shea, the former national director of the English Institute of Sport and current director of rugby at Harlequins, is appointed with a strong expertise and understanding of coaching as well as sport science and sport medicine.”

The London 2012 performance debriefing is expected to be concluded by the end of October.

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