Friday 22 September 2017

Sports Minister refuses to say if he was made aware of Michael O'Reilly's failed drug test

Minister of State for Sport Patrick O'Donovan. Photo: Tom Burke
Minister of State for Sport Patrick O'Donovan. Photo: Tom Burke

Martin Grant

SPORTS Minister Patrick O’Donovan has refused to reveal if he was informed that an Irish Olympian failed a doping test.

Mr O’Donovan, who is in Rio for the Olympic Games, has also refused to comment on the issue after it emerged boxer Michael O’Reilly tested positive in a drugs test.

Speaking this afternoon on RTE Radio from Rio, Mr O’Donovan would not be drawn on the issue.

“You’d appreciated that I can’t comment on individual cases, nor will I,” said Mr O’Donovan.

“I don’t think anybody would expect the line minister for responsibility to comment on any aspect of an individuals performance or otherwise.

“Sports Ireland is the competent agency dealing with all of our athletes in relation to anti-doping. I’m leaving the matter in their hands. “

When pressed if he was informed of the news before it broke yesterday afternoon, the minister remained tight lipped.

Mr O’Donovan insisted the Sports Department and Sport Ireland have a set of procedures in place to inform ministers of “everything they need to be informed of”.

He said: “I can’t and won’t comment in relation to any circumstances of any particular athlete.

“In relation to specific cases, there is due process that has to be followed. I’m limited as to what I can say in relation to specific cases.”

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