Cathal Lombard has announced that he is to retire from athletics.

The recently crowned Irish men's cross-country champion has already decided not to join the Irish team at the World Cross-Country Championships in Edinburgh later this month.

He was instead expected to focus on achieving the Olympic qualifying standard in the marathon.

Lombard missed out on the 2004 Olympics after testing positive for the illegal endurance-boosting hormone EPO shortly before the Athens Games.

His two-year ban finished in the summer of 2006.

In a brief statement, he said he wanted to confirm his retirement from competitive athletics while also thanking everyone who had supported him over the years.