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GAA bigwigs have to listen to Davy's warning on drugs

CLARE hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald (inset) has put the cat rightly among the GAA pigeons.

His comments on a culture of alcohol and drug use among some Clare hurlers before he took charge of that county's hurling team in 2011 have been widely covered.

The remarks led to denials from local GAA types, some of whom said they were certain that there were no drugs in Clare GAA.

But it is the reaction of the Association's president, Liam O'Neill, that I found most interesting. He refuted Fitzgerald's statement, claiming that hurling does not have any drink or drugs problem.

"I don't think it's a problem with them," he said, referring to today's hurlers.

O'Neill's comments may be well-meaning, but it is virtually impossible for the head honcho to substantiate them. In this day and age, drugs have permeated every street and town in the country.

Frankly, it would be a miracle if drugs haven't found their way into the dressing rooms and clubhouses of GAA clubs nationwide.

I have no reason to doubt Davy Fitzgerald's claims, after all, who would know better than a manager who spent a great deal of time in proximity to the players?

It's time for the GAA bigwigs to heed Fitzgerald's warning, stop burying their heads in the sand and face this issue head on.

The country would thank them for it.