Saturday 1 October 2016

Brendan Maher on blood-testing: You would be conscious taking a Lemsip

Published 12/05/2015 | 02:30

Tipperary hurling captain Brendan Maher is opposed to the provision of blood samples on the day of a game
Tipperary hurling captain Brendan Maher is opposed to the provision of blood samples on the day of a game

A leading inter-county player has raised serious concerns over the potential introduction of blood-testing in inter-county Gaelic games.

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Tipperary hurling captain Brendan Maher has said he is opposed to the provision of blood samples on the day of a game.

Maher was reacting to the news that a Monaghan footballer has tested positive for a banned substance and is awaiting a second hearing before a GAA anti-doping panel.

He said the current anti-doping rules are "extreme", a view shared by Kilkenny hurling team doctor Tadhg Crowley, who is concerned about the impact on the lives of amateur players outside their sport.

"There are arguments for and against - you don't want any cheating going on in the sport either; but it is so extreme, you would nearly be conscious of taking a Lemsip the way things have gone," said Maher.

"I was tested last week just after training and you would be worried because if you have taken stuff like Panadol, there are other medicines you are not sure of, you would be told that it is okay.

"But it would be in the back of your mind. The worry is always there. It is so strict.

"It is a bit of a burden to be thinking of what you can or can't take. When you are feeling sick and down, you have to think about what to take to feel better."

With blood-testing being considered by the GAA, Maher has reservations.

"I know that I wouldn't like to have a blood test taken the day of the match or after a match, because it would drain you so much. It would be a bit like the boxers, the day of the fight."

Paralympian Mark Rohan said yesterday that he was "sure" doping existed in Gaelic games.

Irish Independent

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