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FA need to get their

FA need to get their skates onIT took the English FA from December 28 until yesterday to charge Nicolas Anelka with having performed the controversial 'quenelle', described as an inverted Nazi salute, in West Brom's match with West Ham.

By comparison to the International Skating Union, the FA's prevarication seems tawdry. The ISU acted immediately by disqualifying the Netherlands skater Sjinkie Knegt for his obscene gesture and a petulant skate kick when he lost to Russia's Viktor Ahn in the 500m final at the European Skating Championships in Dresden on Saturday. Knegt's unsporting behaviour resulted in disqualification for both him and the Dutch team. He has since apologised and will compete in next month's Winter Olympics.

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HEARING Meath's Bryan Menton publicly targeting a Leinster final victory so early in the year seemed maybe a bit naive.

"We always believe we can beat Dublin, any time," he said of the reigning All-Ireland champions at the start of January. Whistling past the graveyard, you might think.

But there was an impressive turnout to support the Royal in Páirc Tailteann for their O'Byrne Cup semi-final. And 12 players, including substitutes, got on the scoresheet as Meath knocked 4-18 past a depleted DCU. Surely Jim Gavin's Dublin juggernaut can't be derailed by their envious neighbours?

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SECURITY issues have begun to dominate the build-up to the Winter Olympics which are set to start in Sochi on the Black Sea coast on February 7. Fresh threats have been made by jihadis purporting to be linked to the recent Volgograd bombings.

Russia has erected a "ring of steel" around the Games, deploying over 100,000 security personnel. The USA is also prepared to act and have warships and aircraft in place to help evacuate athletes and officials.

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IT'S magnanimous of Rory McIlroy to say he doesn't hold a grudge against Scottish caddy Dave Renwick, who shopped him after the 18th hole in the third round of the Abu Dhabi for a drop infringement on the second hole. It was a technicality that cost him the tournament.

"If I could have stopped him before he hit the shot I would have," insists the man who was caddying for Ricardo Gonzalez.

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Ireland's Olympic silver medalist John Joe Nevin is uncertain when he'll have his first pro bout. He'd hoped it would be in Madison Square Garden early next month, but now it looks more likely to be in Boston in March.

Meanwhile, in England tomorrow, the man who denied Nevin Olympic gold, Luke Campbell, will announce details of his fifth pro bout.


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