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GAA player has 14 days to respond to doping charge


INVESTIGATION: Dr Una May of Sport Ireland. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

INVESTIGATION: Dr Una May of Sport Ireland. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

INVESTIGATION: Dr Una May of Sport Ireland. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

The GAA player who allegedly failed an anti-doping test earlier this year has 14 days from receipt of notification to respond to the charge It emerged yesterday that an inter-county player, who is in his 30s, allegedly failed a test in the wake of a league match in February.

According to Sport Ireland policy, anyone found to have an anti-doping rule violation (ADVR) can either admit the charge and accept the consequences, admit the charge but dispute the consequences at a hearing or deny both the ADVR and consequences and go before the Irish Sport anti-doping disciplinary panel.

A request to test the ‘B’ sample test must be given within seven days on receipt of the initial notification. It is unclear as to whether the player, who has not been named, will contest the charge.

However, should he seek a hearing, a three-strong panel consisting of a legal representative who will chair the committee, a medical practitioner and a sport administrator, would be convened.

A decision is usually made in 15 working days and posted on the Sport Ireland website. From there, a further avenue of appeal is available.

A number of parties may appeal the findings of that hearing including the athlete, Sport Ireland and the relevant national governing body. That appeal must happen within 21 days.  

The Sunday Independent reported that the player in question left his county squad’s WhatsApp group.

When contacted yesterday, the GAA and GPA said it was a matter for Sport Ireland, whose anti-doping division is headed up by Dr Una May.

They run a policy of “strict liability” which insists that players are wholly responsible for any substances found in their system whether there was an intention to cheat or not.

In recent years, Monaghan’s Thomas Connolly was banned for two years after testing positive for a banned substance in 2014, while Kerry’s Brendan O’Sullivan failed a test in Croke Park in the wake of the Kingdom’s league final defeat to Dublin in 2016.