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Taylor to lead five-strong squad to Elites in Romania


Katie Taylor. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

Katie Taylor. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE

BOXING: The Irish Amateur Boxing Association have named a five-strong squad for the 2014 European Women's Elite Championships in Bucharest, Romania in May/June.

Boxing at the Championships, the ninth in the edition, begins at the Polyvalent Hall in Bucharest on May 31.

Olympic champion Katie Taylor will be aiming for her sixth successive European gold medal in the Romanian capital.

Taylor beat Russia's Sofya Ochigava in the 2011 European final in Rotterdam in the Netherlands to claim her fifth European Elite title. The Bray woman also beat Ochigava in the 2012 World and Olympic finals.

Experienced Cavan BC international Ceire Smith will wear the Irish light-flyweight vest in Bucharest and former AIBA World Youth bronze medallist Michaela Walsh will line out at bantamweight.

Joanna Lambe and Clare Grace claimed silver medals at a round-robin tournament in Germany in March. Lambe, Grace, Walsh, Smith and Taylor are current Irish Elite champions.


CYCLING: Team Sky has called for opioid Tramadol to be added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list in response to comments made by a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong.

Canadian Michael Barry, who rode for Team Sky until his retirement in 2012, revealed he used the powerful, yet legal, drug, which has potentially addictive side-effects, while racing for the British team.

Team Sky called for Tramadol to be outlawed so its use can be regulated using therapeutic use exemption certificates (TUEs). A Team Sky spokesperson said: "None of our riders should ride whilst using Tramadol – that's the policy of this team. We believe that its side effects, such as dizziness and drowsiness, could cause issues for the safety of all riders.

"We also feel that, if a rider has the level of severe pain for its appropriate use, they should not be riding.

"Our view is that it should be on the WADA list and any appropriate clinical use could be managed through the regulated TUE, or Therapeutic Use Exemption, system."

Barry was a witness in the United States Anti-doping Agency investigation into the United States Postal Service team which resulted in Armstrong's downfall.


OLYMPICS: International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice president John Coates has called Brazil's preparations for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games "the worst" he has ever seen and critically behind schedule, but warned there was no "plan B" to find another host.

Attending an Olympic forum in Sydney, Coates told delegates that construction had not commenced on some venues, infrastructure was significantly delayed and water quality was also a major concern two years out from the Games.

"I think this is a worse situation than Athens," said the Australian, referring to preparations for the 2004 Games, which were plagued by construction delays. "In Athens, we were dealing with one government and some city responsibilities. Here, there's three."