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    Irish Drug cheat wins national Champs

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    Lombard pulls off a surprise win
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    By John Haughey
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    <div ="cap">Cathal Lombard celebrates his surprise win at the Dub</div>
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    Cork's Cathal Lombard caused a huge surprise by winning the men's
    title at Saturday's Woodie's DIY Irish Cross Country Championships in
    Belfast.

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    Lombard, who was handed a two-year ban in 2004 after
    using the banned drug EPO, finished eight seconds ahead of favourite
    Alistair Cragg over 12K.
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    Fionnuala Britton was in a class of her own in the 8K women's event with Maria McCambridge over 200m back in second.
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    The junior titles went to Charlotte fFrench O'Carroll and Michael Mulhare.
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    Portaferry girl Ciara Mageean finished fourth in the girls event.
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    Suzanne McCormick's fifth place in women's race was the
    best Northern Ireland placing in the senior races while Finn Valley's
    Ian Ward was third in the junior men's event.
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    However, all the headlines from Saturday's event will be
    generated by Lombard's win - which is unfair on Britton, who produced a
    magnificent solo run.
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    Lombard's victory would have earned him an
    automatic place in the World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh
    but the Cork man has declined the place, as he is preparing for a
    marathon outing this Spring.
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    After failing the drugs test in 2004, Lombard
    acknowledged that he had taken the banned blood-boosting drug EPO and
    declared his desire to return to the sport after his ban and "join the
    fight against doping".
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    His ban elapsed in the summer of the 2006 and since then
    his most noteworthy competitive outing was a second place in the Cork
    Cross Country Championship before Christmas.
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    <div ="cap">Fionnuala Britton was the clear winner of the women's 8k race</div>
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    Lombard's entry was noted prior to Saturday's race but none of the pundits were expecting him to make an impact.
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    How wrong we all were.
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    The 31-year-old was in the leading bunch right f
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

    #2
    <h1>Lombard puts on show but fails to capture
    audience</h1>

    IAN O'RIORDAN at Queen's University playing fields,
    Belfast
    <div class="img_left_with_capti&#111;n">
    Cathal
    Lombard, competing after serving a drugs ban, gestures to the heavens
    on winning the National Cross Country title on Saturday.
    Photograph: The Irish Times</div>

    ATHLETICS INTERCLUBS CROSS COUNTRY THE FIRST
    runner-up described what he did as "disgusting"; the second
    runner-up refused to shake his hand, saying, "You can't trust
    someone like that." And this was only part of the response to
    Cathal Lombard's winning of the National Interclubs cross country
    title.

    Among the traditions of the race is the roar of admiration that
    greets champions in their moment of triumph - which is always
    genuine, and always justified given the sacredness of this title.
    Yet Lombard's moment in Belfast on Saturday was greeted with a
    death-like silence, the sombre eyes of Irish athletics supporters
    not quite believing what they were seeing, or simply not wanting to
    believe.

    Among them were several great champions of the past: Séamus
    Power, Jerry Kiernan, Derek Graham, Tom O'Riordan. Power's face, in
    particular, was a sorry mix of disbelief and disappointment.

    Dick Hooper, the famous marathoner and Raheny devotee, was
    wandering about with the look of a man who had just had his heart
    torn out. "That's a disaster for Irish athletics," he said.

    This is what happens when a self-confessed drug cheat returns to
    the sport. Lombard, following a few months of dramatic improvement,
    tested positive for the endurance-boosting drug erythropoietin
    (EPO) just prior to the 2004 Athens Olympics. Once busted, he
    admitted using EPO, and was given the automatic two-year ban.

    Now aged 32, and his sentence served, Lombard had been spotted
    in a couple of minor races in recent months; he finished second in
    the Cork cross-country in November. Yet few anticipated such an
    all-conquering run on Saturday, when he raced away from the
    pre-race favourite, Alistair Cragg, with remarkable ease and won by
    eight seconds. It was his first Interclubs title.

    "I'm delighted, it's a great feeling to win," he told the race
    announcer next to the medal podium. "I always run good on a tough
    course, and over the mud I'm as tough as anyone out there."

    As if on cue, Lombard was then led away for a drug test.

    We followed with some more searching questions: When was he last
    drug tested? How does he feel about his return to the sport?

    "I don't want to talk about that."

    But what do you have to say about your past, and that you've
    served your two-year ban?

    "Nothing to say."

    No apology, no apparent remorse. No wonder the Corkman had run
    in near silence; spectators at the Queen's University playing
    fields kept hands in pockets as he passed before promptly removing
    them to applaud Cragg, who was leading the chase. Cragg closed on
    the last of the six laps, but his chase ended in vain - though he
    did lead Clonliffe to the team title.

    Clearly the mud hadn't suited Cragg, though he had not arrived
    from his US base to finish second.

    He didn't want to sound like a sore loser, but he did want to
    make his feelings known about athletes who return from drug
    bans.

    "I don't condone what he did. It was pretty disgusting . . . I'm
    surprised people took him in. He shouldn't get away with something
    like that. I think it's really unfair a guy can do what he did and
    only
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

    Comment


      #3
      What a shame he won't just go away and leave athletics in Ireland rebuild it's reputation after what he did before the Olympics. What's he trying to prove? everyone knows he was a loser who turned to drugs to make the grade, which must qualify him as one of the lowest types of losers there is.
      It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

      Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

      Comment


        #4


        hold on a sec.the guy has served his ban.


        as far as we know he won this race fairly. as for the reporters saying he made no apology or showed remorse.he aplogised at the time,why should he do it again 3 years later?


        unless hes found have won this race illegally by using performance enhancing drugs,i say fair play to the guy.


        why should he have to retire. what he did was wrong,he got caught,he served his time.


        if hes found to have been clean,and craid doesnt like it well then tough!
        g\'wan bruff!!

        ``The answer is not heavy- handed regulations that crush the entrepreneurial spirit and risk- taking of American capitalism. That\'s what\'s made our economy great.\"
        -Barack Obama


        \"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics\"
        -thomas sowell

        Comment


          #5

          Originally posted by bruffian

          hold on a sec.the guy has served his ban.


          as far as we know he won this race fairly. as for the reporters saying he made no apology or showed remorse.he aplogised at the time,why should he do it again 3 years later?


          unless hes found have won this race illegally by using performance enhancing drugs,i say fair play to the guy.


          why should he have to retire. what he did was wrong,he got caught,he served his time.


          if hes found to have been clean,and craid doesnt like it well then tough!


          Well said Bluffer - you are both 100% correct and completely right. [img]smileys/thumb-up.gif[/img]





          New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

          Comment


            #6
            which would be worse - an athlete deliberately tripping another athlete in order to win a race or an athlete taking drugs to win a race?

            Comment


              #7

              Originally posted by bruffian

              hold on a sec.the guy has served his ban.


              as far as we know he won this race fairly. as for the reporters saying he made no apology or showed remorse.@@@@SPAN style="font-weight: bold;">he aplogised at the time@@@@/SPAN>,why should he do it again 3 years later?


              unless hes found have won this race illegally by using performance enhancing drugs,i say fair play to the guy.


              why should he have to retire. what he did was wrong,he got caught,he served his time.


              if hes found to have been clean,and craid doesnt like it well then tough!
              He did more than just apologise at the time, I distinctly remember him claiming he was going to go on some kind of mission to keep kids away from drugs, go into schools and speak out as a kind of apologetic "role model". So much for what he said back then.

              The rules are the rules, and the rules let him back performing at what appears to be a higher level than when he got caught. He's entitled to compete, but where's the deterrent? Quite the role model.

              Comment


                #8
                He deliberately took EPO and God knows what else.. He ordered it over the internet, for God's sake. I have kids in athletics. As far as I'm concerned, any one who deliberately cheats like that should be out for life-no second chance. Let him off and run for fun if he likes. No-one wants a cheat around.

                If he's genuinely sorry for what he did, then he should be making sure that everyone knows it, be willing to talk about past events, repeat the lessons learned time and time again. I'm amazed Leevale allow him to run with their colours. I wouldn't want any of our athletes near him until he starts to show some true remorse.
                By the way, the reaction of the true athletes at the event clearly means they think he's still on the juice.

                Socks: an interesting conundrum[img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]. An athlete found to have deliberately tripped another will be disqualified but are they as bad as a drug cheat? It might explain the front running style of many suspect athletes who may not want to find themselves too close to the elbows, knees and spikes of their fellow competitors... I'd be inclined to be fairly lenient if someone tripped a drug cheat.

                "Fineen Wycherley was everywhere. When I watched this video back late on Saturday night I half expected to look up from my laptop to find him in my kitchen ' TRK Nov 3rd 2019 following Cardiff v Munster

                Comment


                  #9
                  my point on the cheating was how do people consider one form of foul play to get ahead in sport to be completely acceptable and another form so reprehensible that those found guilty should be banned from competing for life? if a rugby player was to score a cup final winning try by outpacing his opposite number to the ball in the in-goal area thanks to the extra speed gained from the use of steroids, would people find that acceptable? would it be any different if he outpaced his opposite number thanks to the advantage gained by a 'cute' tug of the jersey?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    It's because of the possible persistence of the performance-enhancing effects of drugs.

                    If you trip someone - the effects are for that one race. They don't keep falling in successive races due to your single cheating action

                    We have no idea what long-term advantages (or health disadvantages) have been conferred on Lombard from his prior actions. If we knew for sure there was still a physiological advantage then of course bans should be for life. We don't know so apparently we are giving cheats the benefit of the doubt.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      so if a guy took a performance enhancing drug once in his life, say in a final, that only gave a short term 2% performance improvement for 30 mins, it would be okay?

                      Comment


                        #12

                        Originally posted by socks
                        so if a guy took a performance enhancing drug once in his life, say in a final, that only gave a short term 2% performance improvement for 30 mins, it would be okay?
                        Of course it wouldn't be okay. If the question is whether these circumstances would warrant a two-year ban instead of life (because we'd know that the effects hadn't persisted)...mmm...my views have hardened since the Balco affair and I'd like to see a genuine deterrent, but in your precise and hypothetical circumstances then okay - the shorter ban is appropriate.

                        My point is that we don't know, more importantly the other athletes don't know. Psychologically, that must alone confer some kind of advantage on the known cheat returning to compete.


                        Comment


                          #13
                          I lost faith in athletics a long time ago. Saying that he has served his
                          time. Everyone deserves a second chance.


                          Comment


                            #14
                            lads, ye're missing my point. there are players in all team sports who consistently cheat week-in, week-out, over the entire period of their playing careers. they do so to get an illegal advantage over their opponents. does it really matter how they cheat? they are still depriving honest oponents a fair opportunity of victory. why is one form of cheating considered professional and admired - and the other about two notches above child rape in the notoriety scale?

                            Comment


                              #15

                              Originally posted by socks
                              lads, ye're missing my point. there are players in all team sports who consistently cheat week-in, week-out, over the entire period of their playing careers. they do so to get an illegal advantage over their opponents. does it really matter how they cheat? they are still depriving honest oponents a fair opportunity of victory. why is one form of cheating considered professional and admired - and the other about two notches above child rape in the notoriety scale?
                              Now you're talking about team sports? Okay - your argument of constant cheating doesn't really apply to athletics.

                              Does it matter how the cheating occurs? Of course it matters. Sneaky handling in the ruck may be considered by some to be an art form, sneaky gouging is considered by most to be the lowest of the low. Both are done to gain an illegal advantage.

                              The rule books for most sports have different levels of punishment for different forms of cheating. There is an agreed level of notoriety based on tradition and common consent of those who take part. It is agreed in athletics (and most sports) that taking performance-enhancing drugs is at a level higher than most other forms of cheating. Baseball doesn't seem to have the same attitude, if their is common agreement that steroids-users are acclaimed in that sport then I won't be waving my finger at baseball fans in admonishment - I just won't pay any attention to the sport.

                              Comment

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