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Fagan reaches Olympic marathon standard

AthleticsBy Sean McGoldrick
Martin Fagan has achieved the standard needed to compete in the Olympics in the men's marathon
Martin Fagan has achieved the standard needed to compete in the Olympics in the men's marathon

Mullingar native Martin Fagan has run the qualifying standard in the marathon for the Rio Olympics in 2016.

In the Zurich Marathon Fagan clocked 2:16.9 when finishing 11th which is comfortably inside the new 2.17.0 standard which was set during the week by the IAAF.

A controversial figure, Fagan served a two-year ban after testing positive for the banned substance EPO prior to the London Olympics in 2008.

He subsequently returned to competitive athletics last autumn and was a regular on the Irish road racing scene set.

Ireland can send three male marathoners to the Rio Olympics. 

Two other Irish runners Michael Clohisey and Thomas Frazier ran sub 2.18 marathons in Rotterdam last Sunday which was inside the provisional 2:18 standard.

Following the announcement of the new standards this pair are no longer eligible. Realistically, however, all aspiring marathoners will still have two more opportunities - in the autumn and next spring - to make the standard.

Interestingly, after he was banned Fagan stated that he would give up his place on an international team if selected in the future.

But it now looks like Fagan, the Athletic Association of Ireland and the Olympic Council of Ireland face a moral dilemma.