Sunday Sports Pages: From Russia with dopers, the drop in GAA inter-county players and women in sports media

Joe Molloy was joined in studio by Paul Kimmage and Vincent Hogan

BY Sinéad Farrell 16:06 Sunday 10 January 2016, 16:06 10 Jan 2016

After outlining the headlines of this Sunday's spread of sports sections, Joe Molloy along with fellow sports journalists Paul Kimmage and Vincent Hogan delved into the toxic world of the IAAF.

Sunday Times article written by David Walsh, points out that in order for the sport of athletics to regain some balance and credibility, Russia should not be permitted to participate in the upcoming Olympic games in Rio.

Paul Kimmage champions Walsh for identifying that the IAAF's attempts at cleaning the sport ''is a show'' which he later followed by saying that Irish athletes should consider taking a stronger stance on this issue and perhaps discuss the possibility of refusing to participate unless the Russians are excluded from competition.

Vincent Hogan added to this by saying:

''If the Russians are in Rio, it's a really sad indictment of what the real appetite for anti-doping is here.''

Another interesting aspect of the discussion addressed a burgeoning trend in the GAA which Eamonn Sweeney wrote about in his weekly column in the Sunday Independent. In it, Sweeney focuses on comments made by the newly appointed Longford manager Denis Connerton, who revealed that some 40% of players invited to play for the county this year, turned down the offer.

Vincent Hogan, who has written about this subject before, explains that the inter-county dressing room has morphed into an ''unnatural environment'' for young players and the promise of silverware is the prevailing factor in motivating a person to accept the invitation. 

''Hurlers in Kilkenny will flock to Nowlan Park but I find it extraordinary because there are players out there who have zero chance of success and yet they will still submit to this. They're living like monks and they can't even have a drink a month out from a game while professional soccer players can go for a beer after a game, no problem.''

The panel concluded the Sunday Paper review by looking at two pieces which covered similar topics. Tommy Conlon (in today's Sunday Independent) and Sinead Kissane (in yesterday's Irish Independent) focused their articles on the misogynistic treatment of some female sports reporters.

The articles were inspired by an incident in which cricket batter Chris Gayle made inappropriate comments to TV reporter Mel McLaughlin. 

On this topic, Vincent Hogan said:

''It's a very brave piece. He's a moron and has a track record for being a moron but I'm just surprised that this has got such traction for a moron behaving moronically. One week later and there are still pieces being written about it.''

Paul Kimmage echoed these sentiments and praised Conlon for ''thinking outside the box'' in framing his argument.

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