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GAA at odds with banned Carlow player's claims on lack of doping education

Colm Keys


 

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Walker: Failed test. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Walker: Failed test. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Walker: Failed test. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Following on from confirmation by Sport Ireland in a joint-statement with the GAA that Carlow player Ray Walker had accepted a four-year ban for the presence of the substance meldonium detected in his system following an out-of-competition test in February, it didn't take long, for the GAA to come out separately and outline its recent track record in providing education on the topic to its players.

Highlighting the training of 46 anti-doping tutors throughout the country over the last few years and laying out the number of players who have completed formal anti-doping education - in excess of 2,100 in 2019 and in excess of 2,200 so far this year - the Association was making it clear that when it comes to informing its players of the dos and don'ts associated with supplement and medication intake, it was on the front foot in getting the message across.

"While it is ultimately the responsibility of individual players to be aware of the provisions of the Irish Anti-Doping Rules, including items on the Prohibited List, the GAA, in conjunction with Sport Ireland and with the support of the GPA and of backroom personnel involved with all of its inter-county teams, has established an extensive anti-doping education programme for inter-county players over the last number of years," it reaffirmed, noting disappointment at another failed test.