Wednesday 28 September 2016

Monaghan boss O'Rourke hints at appeal against Connolly steroid ban

Published 22/06/2015 | 02:30

Malachy O’Rourke has urged the GAA to widen the education for players after Connolly claimed that he had never been advised about the anti-doping rules
Malachy O’Rourke has urged the GAA to widen the education for players after Connolly claimed that he had never been advised about the anti-doping rules

Monaghan manager Malachy O'Rourke has revealed that there may yet be an appeal against the two-year ban handed down to panellist Thomas Connolly for use of the banned steroid Stanozolol.

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And, in the county's first public comment on the affair, O'Rourke has urged the GAA to widen the education for players after Connolly claimed that he had never been advised about the anti-doping rules.

"I don't want to talk too much about it because it's possible there will be an appeal," O'Rourke said last night.

"The one thing we would have been strong on from the start is that Thomas from the start wasn't educated in any way.

"He did take something innocently and he has paid a big price for it and his family and everything else.

"Drugs in sport in a wider context, nobody wants that, and neither does Thomas, but it is a tough one for him. The education he got wasn't enough when there is such a harsh sanction for it.

"He is a good fella and he just made an unintentional mistake and he has paid a big price, unfortunately.

"The GAA at large have to learn a big lesson. If the sanctions are so harsh then that's the way it is.

"Once you come under the World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines, the sanctions are harsh.

"Everybody has to be aware of exactly what the regulations are, what's banned and what's not banned. It's a process of education that has to be given to all players."

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