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Ulster duo get new contracts

RUGBY: Ulster forwards Declan Fitzpatrick and Stephen Ferris have agreed new contracts.

Fitzpatrick, capped seven times for Ireland, has signed a new two-year Irish contract that will keep him at Ulster until at least the summer of 2016.

The tighthead prop made his debut for Ulster against Biarritz in 2006. He has played 83 times for the province, scoring two tries.

Fitzpatrick said: "I am delighted to be staying at Ulster for a further two years.

"I hope to make a significant contribution in the coming seasons and my aim next year is to nail down a starting place," he added.

Stephen Ferris has signed a short-term extension to enable him to continue his rehabilitation from an injury sustained against Edinburgh in November 2012.

No date has been set for his return.



CYCLING: Cycling's ruling body is prepared to spend more than three million Swiss francs (€2.42m) on an inquiry into how it oversaw doping controls during Lance Armstrong's career.

It is the second attempt by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to look into its treatment of Armstrong after an initial commission last year was disbanded.

Swiss state prosecutor Dick Marty will lead the new commission that is also comprised of former war crimes investigator Peter Nicholson, an Australian, and German lawyer Ulrich Haas.



EQUESTRIAN: Irish riders made their mark on the opening competitions of last night's international show jumping with two consecutive wins at Drachten in the Netherlands, and a third place in the big five-star show in Basel, Switzerland.

His third place in the five-star "Golden Drum of Basel" jump off class was enough for Tipperary's Denis Lynch to win €10,000 on Thomas Straumann's bay stallion All Star, finishing just three-quarters of a second off the pace of Belgian winner Gregory Wathelet and Conrad, who claimed the first prize of €16,600.

At Drachten in the Netherlands, meanwhile, Mayo's Cameron Hanley took victory in the two-star jump off competition aboard Dundee vd Dwerse Hagen, while fellow Mayo rider Alex Duffy and Corona posted a first place in the next class, the 1m45 speed competition, with 18 year-old Wexford rider Bertram Allen sealing Irish dominance of the night's events with a second place on Wild Thing L.