Wednesday 22 November 2017

Kerry locked in war of words with Sport Ireland's Dr May

Donegal footballer Michael Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile
Donegal footballer Michael Murphy. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kerry GAA chiefs have become embroiled in a war of words with Sport Ireland after hitting back at what they branded "claims of misinformation" made by Dr Una May.

Dr May insisted that Sport Ireland had not leaked the story of the failed drugs test to the media, and also stated that they hadn't called Brendan O'Sullivan to inform him that he was suspended for four years.

Kerry hit back with a statement of their own yesterday afternoon, insisting that manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice had called for an investigation into the leak but hadn't pointed any fingers at Sport Ireland.

They also reiterated that O'Sullivan had been initially told he was been given a four-year suspension.

"During his press event on Monday June 5, Éamonn Fitzmaurice did not say that Sport Ireland was responsible for the leak of Brendan O'Sullivan's case. He merely asked where the leak came from, and this is still a valid query," read the Kerry statement.

"On May 12, 2016 Brendan O'Sullivan received an email from Sport Ireland at 10:23am to follow up on an earlier phone call from Dr Una May. In this email an attachment detailing his case, signed by Dr May, informed him that he was banned for four years until he could prove his innocence.

"3.1 Our records indicate that this would be your first ADRV and therefore pursuant to Article 10.1.1 Sport Ireland shall assert that a period of ineligibility of four (4) years (Article 10.1.1) should be imposed upon you," continued the Kerry statement.

Meanwhile, Donegal captain Michael Murphy believes players will do "whatever it takes" to maintain Gaelic Games' reputation as a clean sport.

"We're (the Donegal team) all very aware of what we can and cannot take, and the responsibility has to be on the player for what he's putting into his own system," he said.

"Any individual in life, whatever you're putting into yourself, you have to take responsibility for what you're doing. We're well rehearsed on that."

Murphy says he has been tested three times in his career and while he admits it can be stressful, he would be willing to be tested more frequently in a bid to ensure the game stays clean.

Above board

"Anything to keep it right, above board, because once it does start, if it did start, where does it end?

"So to keep the thing right, if we're tested every week, by all means. More testing? Whatever it takes to keeps the thing clean," he said.

"Something like that (the O'Sullivan case) does bring awareness, but I haven't seen anything like that with the teams I've been involved in, both in Donegal, at provincial level, even with Ireland teams. I haven't seen a culture of it yet.

"I suppose there is fear out there, but any time there is (a positive test), it seems to be misfortune, a lack of awareness. I don't think there is any intention there."

Irish Independent

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