Pezula’s David O’Loughlin at the World Track Championships in Manchester

Pezula’s David O’Loughlin from Cong, Co. Mayo smashed the Irish four kilometer Individual Pursuit record at the World Track Championships in Manchester yesterday.

His chance of representing Ireland in the Olympic Games in Beijing is unsure after yesterday’s ground breaking improvment at the discipline. It will be settled today after the team pursuit championship is run off.

He finished sixth of the 25 world class competitors His time for 16 laps at the Velodrome was 4 minutes 20 seconds and that timing lowered his previous best by four seconds a standard he set last year.

Unfortunately the event was tinged with a scandal when it was announced that Britain’s Robert Hayles and Dutch rider Pim Ligthart were stood down and will miss the rest of the championships after anomalies were found in samples taken from routine blood doping checks.

Hayles, a former member of Britain’s pursuit team, was hoping to compete in the men’s individual pursuit. Now he will play no part in this year’s competition after the volume of red blood cells in his blood (haematocrit) was found to be over the Union Cycliste Internationale permitted threshold of 50 percent – an indication, though not proof, of blood manipulation. He will now undergo further checks and will be withdrawn from competitions for a period of 14 days.

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