Wednesday 25 April 2018

Professionals to compete at Rio

Headguards are set to be scrapped and some professional boxers allowed to compete in the next Olympic Games under new rules announced by amateur boxing's world governing body, AIBA, yesterday.

But the launch of AIBA Professional Boxing (APB) -- set for early next year -- is unlikely to mean established stars will be battling to line up in Rio in 2014. At their Executive Committee meeting in Bangkok, AIBA passed a motion to end the use of headguards in all their elite men's competitions from next year, although they will still be used by women and juniors.

The governing body also clarified that some current professionals -- predominantly those in the early stages of their careers -- will be able to sign up for the APB series -- and thus the next Olympics -- subject to certain contractual issues.

In reality, while the move is unlikely to interest global bill-toppers, it will give an extra opportunity for novice professionals who are struggling for work in an era of reduced TV revenues and sponsorship.

cycling

The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has granted Lance Armstrong an extension of up to 30 days to contest drug charges while the seven-time Tour de France winner challenges the case in federal court.

The move erases the Saturday deadline for Armstrong to either send the case to arbitration or accept sanctions from USADA, which would likely include a lifetime ban from cycling and other sports along with stripping the Tour titles he won from 1999-2005.

Armstrong this week sued in US District Court in Austin to block the case from moving forward, arguing that USADA's arbitration process violates his constitutional rights and that the agency doesn't have jurisdiction.

When granted the extension, Armstrong's attorney Tim Herman withdrew a request for a temporary restraining order while the judge reviews the complaint and a request for an injunction.

USADA accused Armstrong in June of performance-enhancing drug use throughout his career. Armstrong insists he is innocent and says he never failed a drug test.

Greyhounds

A huge crowd is expected in Dundalk tonight for the Boylesports.com International which features an all-Irish-trained line-up.

The presence of returning star Milldean Panther makes it one of the most intriguing races of the year.

Will this be the Panther of old, the dog which raced fast to the bend and would strangle the opposition down the back straight? Or will this be the Panther of 2012, which saw him invariably walk from traps and trail in his rivals over the first half of the race before hitting top gear?

The O'Flynns are happy the dog is back to his best and he is nominated to lead the way home ahead of Razldazl George and Cabra Millie despite having to run from trap six.

Irish Independent

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