Barnes makes case for defence

Paddy Barnes

IRELAND'S Olympic bronze medallist, Paddy Barnes is striving to successfully defend the gold medal he won in 2010 at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

But Paddy's positivity has been rattled by anti-doping officials who kept him up until 2 a.m. in a failed attempt to get a urine sample three days before his weigh-in. Barnes was "making weight" and was sweaty and dehydrated. He was furious at being woken by the same officials at 7.30 a.m. for another test. "This is some preparation," he tweeted. "F***** joke!" With no plans to turn professional, Barnes hopes to qualify for the 2016 Olympics for Ireland. "Rio is calling me," he says. "But it's a long road."

The announcement on Monday that Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) was withdrawing from the Tour de France means that Geraint Thomas is now the only British rider still competing in the competition that was won last year by Chris Froome and the previous year by Bradley Wiggins. Following those two triumphs, Team Sky are hoping that Thomas will clinch a stage win this week to salvage something from what's been a disappointing tour for the team.

I've been receiving suggestions from some readers that Lance Armstrong should still be officially credited as winner of the seven Tours he had stripped from him for doping. In a recent survey by a Dutch newspaper, twelve of twenty-three former Tour de France winners said Armstrong should be given his discredited victories back. Ireland's Stephen Roche is one of the old guard who support the case of the disgraced drug cheat, a stance that clearly undermines efforts to clean up the sport.

Cynics might say they're not surprised to learn that FIFA's report into alleged corruption in the World Cup bidding process, aka ethics violations, which was due this month, won't now be available until September. They know that the report won't be made public. Instead, it will go to FIFA's own internal Ethics Committee for consideration. FIFA President Sepp Blatter has explained that any recommendations from them will have to be considered by FIFA's Executive Committee. This high ranking committee alone will have the power to implement any possible sanctions.

Unlike the media witch-hunt that greeted the apparent Luis Suarez biting incident, Sunday's controversy at Croke Park is being dealt with in a mature fashion by the both GAA officials and fans of Gaelic games.