Two-year ban for Irish champ

Lindie Naughton

DUBLIN-BASED athlete Tomas Rauktys has been banned for two years after failing a dope test at the Irish National Track and Field Championships in Santry last July.

Rauktys (28), originally from Lithuania, has competed with the Clonliffe Harriers club for several years. He won the national discus title for the first time in 2010 and won discus, shot putt and 56lb titles at the National Championships on July 27. These results are now annulled.

Following the competition, Rauktys provided a sample to the Irish Sports Council which tested positive for stanozolol, a prohibited anabolic steroid most notoriously used by the disgraced Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson.

Rauktys was suspended provisionally by Athletics Ireland on August 15 and has opted not to appeal his suspension.

In a statement, the Clonliffe Harriers club has expressed its shock and disappointment at having a member commit a doping offence.

"Clonliffe Harriers abhors the use of drugs in our sport and is fully supportive of the excellent work which is being carried out by the Irish Sports Anti-Doping Programme," the statement says. The matter will be considered further by the club's committee next week.