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'Blood testing isn't nice but a price GAA players should pay for their sport' - Paul Kimmage

Blood samples
Blood samples
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Dublin star Bernard Brogan has described the introduction of blood testing for inter-county players in 2016 as 'too intrusive' but former cyclist Paul Kimmage feels it's a necessary step for our national games.

Sport Ireland testers can now demand a urine or blood sample, or both, from a player after a game. Previously, they could give a urine sample only.

Brogan agreed that it was for the good of the game but suggested that the current testing regime was fit for purpose.

Speaking on Lunchtime with Jonathan Healy, sports journalist Paul Kimmage, who has championed the fight against doping in sport, said he believed that the new testing process was a positive step.

"I think when you look at our national sports and how much joy we take from it, I think it is imperative, given what we see in other sports, that we preserves that and do everything to preserve the integrity of the sport," he said.

"Anyone who enjoys our national sports would welcome it.

"Unfortunately, as we've seen across the board in most sports. We wouldn't be doing blood testing if urine testing did suffice.

"Blood testing is a far better means of detection.

"I do understand the reservations and why Bernard Brogan isn't welcoming it. It isn't nice to sit there after a game and have someone stick a syringe in your arm.

"That's the price that has to be paid and it's a price worth paying for the integrity of the sport.

"I think it's a good move."

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