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O'Brien heads awards listing

CRICKET: The nominations for the 2014 Cricket Ireland Awards have been announced, with Kevin O'Brien, Max Sorensen and William Porterfield all in the running for the RSA Men's International Player of the Year Award.

Sorensen was ruled out of Ireland's recent acclimatisation tour to Australia and New Zealand through injury, but a string of strong performances since October 2013 saw him take 29 wickets at an average of just 21.17.

After showing great form with Caribbean Premier League side Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel early in the season, Ireland's vice-captain O'Brien continued to show his importance to Ireland over the course of the year, scoring 646 runs and taking 16 wickets.

Whilst Porterfield had a busy season with his county side Warwickshire, playing in both the Royal London 50-Over and the NatWest Blast T20 finals in the UK, he joined O'Brien as leading run scorer for Ireland, also with 646 runs.

Although there was no room for 2013 winner Ed Joyce in the men's category, the family is well represented in the Women's game, with Isobel and Cecelia Joyce both nominated for the RSA Women's Player of the Year Award. They are joined by strike bowler Louise McCarthy and wicket-keeper Mary Waldron.

Jeptoo asks for B sample

ATHLETICS: Kenya's Rita Jeptoo, winner of the Boston and Chicago Marathons for the last two years, has asked for a B test after failing an out-of-competition doping test in September, officials said yesterday.

Jeptoo met Kenyan athletics chiefs who informed her that she had been provisionally suspended from competition. Jeptoo said last week that the accusation was false and requested to exercise her right to order testing of a B sample.

David Okeyo, Athletics Kenya's (AK) senior vice president, said Jeptoo had discussed her defence with the country's top athletics body during the meeting.

"We took her through the defence procedure as per the IAAF rules. She also requested that further test be performed," said Okeyo.

"As at now, she is provisionally suspended from competition as she goes through the procedure. That is the standard procedure.

"But that does not mean she has been sanctioned. We will discuss the rest after the B sample has been tested."