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Spain sweep past Ireland

HOCKEY: The Irish men's hockey team suffered a 4-0 defeat against Spain in the final stages of the European Championships in Antwerp, as they continue to battle it out for rankings 5-8.

Their final match will be on Sunday against the Czech Republic.

Despite dominating early attacking play Spain hit the front with a great display of pace along the back line laying back for Xavi Lleonart to shoot home.

They doubled their lead in the 20th minute with a penalty corner conversion from Gabriel Dabanch.

The Spaniards started the second period strongly and three minutes in they secured a penalty corner and a fine execution of the routine gave Eduard Tubau the chance to drag home for goal number three.

Spain put the game beyond Ireland's reach with just 17 minutes left as Andres Mir found himself one-on-one with David Harte and his sweep cleared over the diving keeper.


GOLF: Former US Open winner Webb Simpson added a second round five-under-par 66 to his opening 67 to set the pace on a tightly-packed leaderboard at the weather-hit Barclays.

Simspon returned to Liberty National early yesterday after the opening round was suspended by failing light following more than six hours of delays due to thunderstorms.

The American was one of those that took best advantage of rain-softened conditions at the course set on the edge of New York harbour among those finishing the first round.

Friday's early starters went straight back out for the second round and Simpson improved his game to give him a two-shot clubhouse lead of nine under.


ATHLETICS: American sprinter Tyson Gay's failed drugs test was for a banned steroid, it has emerged.

Gay confirmed last month that he had failed a doping test but the substance that he tested positive for was not disclosed.

According to extracts of a letter from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the 31-year-old's samples showed adverse findings for a banned steroid – which would mean a two-year ban.

The letter, dated July 23, states: "Using the carbon isotope ratio analysis it reported that the sample had an adverse analytical finding reflecting values that are consistent with the administration of a steroid of exogenous (external) nature."


CYCLING: Italy's Vincenzo Nibali will bid for a second Grand Tour success of 2013 when he begins the Vuelta a Espana today.

The Astana rider prevailed through inclement weather to win May's Giro d'Italia. He was third in the 2012 Tour de France behind Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, but missed the 100th edition of the race to focus on the Giro.