Thursday 14 December 2017

Carr Zone: Reducing ban of drug cheat Lance would be a mistsake

Travis Tygart
Travis Tygart
Joe Duffy

He was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping, but disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong could yet have his lifetime ban reduced.

While many would think a persistent drug cheat should be left out in the cold as an example to others, the CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart (pictured), says he's hoping to persuade Armstrong to become "an anti-doping ambassador."

And what would the infamous cyclist get in return?

"He still has the opportunity to get his ban reduced," says Tygart. Armstrong received a life ban in 2012, a year before he admitted doping.

The recent 227-page report by an independent reform committee into doping in cycling presented nothing that would warrant a reduction in his sentence. USADA has asked UCI president Brian Cookson to set up a meeting. News that former Crystal Palace captain Geoff Thomas has persuaded Armstrong to ride ahead of several Tour stages for charity this summer has angered many in the cycling fraternity.

Duffy, the man who beat McGregor, wants more

The fight isn't until July 11 in Las Vegas but Conor McGregor is assured of a packed house when the UFC promotional tour of eight cities and five countries rolls into Dublin's Convention Centre on March 31.

The hype will have begun in Rio de Janeiro in the home country of the reigning UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo (25-1) 12 days earlier.

The Brazilian has already defended his title successfully nine times. With a record of 17-2, the Dublin featherweight could be meeting the champion at the right time. Aldo, who's described McGregor as "a court jester", has held his title for five years and is considering moving up a weight division. But The Notorious might have witnessed his nemesis announce himself to the UFC with a stunning headkick in Dallas on the weekend. Donegal lightweight Joe Duffy, one of just two fighters to have defeated McGregor, has UFC boss Dana White drooling. "The kid is really good. We're excited to have him here," said White

Duffy's coach claims his man will drop down a weight to defeat McGregor again.


Whatever about title, drama is guaranteed in chase for top 4

They've spent almost €455 million over the last four seasons but if you listen to Brendan Rodgers and Louis van Gaal you might believe Manchester City's current second place in the League is tenuous.

As Liverpool prepare to host Manchester United on Sunday, with just two points between the Reds and the Red Devils, Rodgers sees "an opportunity to finish second." Van Gaal says his team are "now two points from second." Unbeaten in 13 league games, Liverpool are relishing home advantage on Sunday for a game that promises to be a fascinating tactical battle with both managers anxious to stake their claim. Although Van Gaal concedes his club hasn't been winning at Anfield recently.

Third-placed Arsenal, also in fine form domestically, could yet pose a threat in the title race, according to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

The Irish Open wants you!

This could be your chance to show Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia or Rickie Fowler how to play some tricky shots. Tourism NI is offering golfers a chance to play in the Pro-Am event at this year's Irish Open at Royal County Down Golf Club from May 28-31.

To apply, you'll need to have a GUI membership card and a minimum handicap of 18 or 20. To apply, visit Tourism NI's website, discovernorthernireland.com/proam

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