Monday 19 November 2018

GAA anti-doping tutors to give courses to clubs and schools

The GAA will have antidoping tutors in every county from next year, offering courses to clubs, schools and underage squads. Photo: Stock Image
The GAA will have antidoping tutors in every county from next year, offering courses to clubs, schools and underage squads. Photo: Stock Image

Laura Lynott

The GAA will have anti-doping tutors in every county from next year, offering courses to clubs, schools and underage squads.

Along with Sport Ireland and the IRFU, the three organisations say education plays a key role in preventing teenagers from taking steroids.

When contacted yesterday following the inquest into the death of Luke O'Brien May (18), from his usage of anabolic steroids, all three said they had programmes designed to tackle illegal steroid use in sport.

A spokesman for the GAA said the organisation "believes constant education is vital in the approach to the dangers of illegal substances in sport".

"Players over 18 are subjected to the Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) code and this applies to club and county players," he said.

"Since 2017, there's been a panel of 34 anti-doping tutors assembled to work on education programmes.

"While this work to date has focused on inter-county squads, by next year there will be at least one tutor in every county who will offer anti-doping education courses specifically for clubs, schools and underage development squads."

Workshops

Meanwhile, the IRFU says it has a "strong anti-doping stance and a proven track record in both education and testing".

The body holds regional workshops for developing squads - aged between 16 and 18 - and workshops promoting World Rugby's 'Keep Rugby Clean' campaign.

The IRFU also "targets" schools and clubs with information packs and leaflets, and enforces "in and out of competition" testing of professional players in Ireland.

There is "mandatory anti-doping education for all representative underage players in Ireland," and "targeted testing" of young players on the path to professional rugby in provincial and national schools, and in under 18s, U19s, U20s, provincial academies and provincial A teams, it said.

Sport Ireland said it "currently offers a variety of education resources for professional and amateur athletes".

The body operates an e-learning programme for all sports participants, "specifically covering the consequences of doping and in particular anabolic steroids".

Irish Independent

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