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After 2-year drugs ban, Westmeath's Martin Fagan posts Olympic qualifying time in Zurich

Long distance runner took performance-enhancing EPO in a desperate attempt to reach London 2012.

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRISH LONG DISTANCE runner Martin Fagan clocked a time of 2.16.09 at the Zurich Marathon – inside the qualifying standard for next summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The Westmeath native has been on a road to redemption after serving a two-year drug ban for taking the performance-enhancing EPO in a desperate attempt to reach the qualifying standard for London 2012.

After his suspension, he gradually began to start running again and last year he started competing in local events in Mullingar and beyond, winning Dublin’s Terenure 5-mile race last May.

Competing in Switzerland this weekend, he managed to claim 11th place overall after reaching the halfway mark in 1.06.16.

Given Fagan’s past, there is sure to be a mixed reaction to his achievement.

Already, Irish Olympian Ciarán O’Lionaird posted a less-than-subtle message to social media in the immediate aftermath of the Zurich result.

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Eoin O'Callaghan

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