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Rudisha ruled out of Worlds

ATHLETICS: Olympic champion David Rudisha pulled out of the 800 metres at next month's world championships with a knee injury yesterday, robbing the track meet of another star attraction after US sprinter Tyson Gay withdrew following a failed doping test.

Rudisha's Irish coach Colm O'Connell said: "We held back for (a) long (time) hoping for improvement but we didn't want to do a crash course between now and the world championships, which may aggravate the injury since he has been out of training."

Asafa Powell's trainer, meanwhile, has insisted he is not to blame for the Jamaican sprinter's positive drugs test.

Chris Xuereb, a Canadian, has had the finger of blame pointed at him after Powell and Sherone Simpson tested positive for the banned stimulant oxilofrine.

Xuereb, who only began working with the sprinters in May, said: "It is time the athletes took responsibility for their doping instead of looking around for a scapegoat."

Prosecutors in Italy yesterday launched a criminal investigation into Powell, Simpson and Xuereb, who are at a training base in Ligano.


ATHLETICS: Fourteen-year-old Siobhra O'Flaherty from St Leo's, Carlow won silver for Team Ireland in the 3,000 metres at the European Youth Olympics in Utrecht, Holland, yesterday.

Competing against the cream of Europe's under-16 athletes, the hugely talented Irish champion was pipped by Romania's Maria Ifteni in a close finish which saw Siobhra record an impressive personal best of 9:42.42.

It was neck and neck after 600 metres when both young athletes broke away from the pack and then headed for a 400 metre sprint finish.


SWIMMING: Ireland's Fiona Doyle finished fourth in the final of the 50m breaststroke at the World University Games in Russia yesterday – missing out by just 100th of a second from a medal.

Doyle swam a time of 31.40 and was beaten to bronze, in the smallest possible margin, by Russia's Valentina Artemeva in 31.39. Iulia Efimova was the gold medal winner in a new Games record of 30.31.

Twenty-one-year-old Doyle, who won a silver medal and set a new Irish Senior record in the 100m breaststroke last Friday, will now travel back to Dublin in preparation for the FINA World Swimming Championships starting on July 28 in Barcelona.