Sunday 20 August 2017

Kerry vent frustration at doping case delays

 

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Kerry wanted transparency in the doping case brought against their player Brendan O'Sullivan from the moment it was accepted by Sport Ireland last July that he had consumed a contaminated product - containing the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine (MHA) - which led to a positive test after the 2016 league final.

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice has launched a strong defence of the player and their own practices, insisting they had nothing to hide.

He said they had a statement ready to go since last July, but were prevented from releasing it because of the legal advice given that they should wait until the process was completed.

That it has taken a further 10 months to complete has "frustrated" Fitzmaurice, particularly the way it came into the public domain.

At a scheduled press conference yesterday Fitzmaurice said he still can't understand why the wheels moved so slowly and how it was leaked. "That's the big question," he said.

He also suggested that O'Sullivan appealed a seven-month ban handed down to him last December to preserve his Kerry career.

"He knew if he served it his Kerry career was over. He knew if he didn't have some kind of impact in the league the likelihood of being brought in after the league was probably nil."

Fitzmaurice also defended the use of food supplements by inter-county teams, saying it was a progression "good or bad" in the game similar to the blanket defence.

He was also adamant that there is no doping issue in the GAA.

"I think we're lucky in our sport, the culture is the opposite of taking drugs. I've been involved in senior inter-county football for 20 years, and I've never come across a player taking something to cheat."

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Irish Independent

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