Thursday 18 January 2018

O Sé: Pressure on players to be strong will open door to doping

Tomás Ó Sé
Tomás Ó Sé
Tomás Ó Sé's autobiography
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Legendary Kerry defender Tomas O Sé has raised doubts over whether Gaelic games can remain a clean sport as player come under pressure to get bigger and stronger.

O Sé, considered by many to be one of Gaelic football's greatest wing-backs, feels it's "only a matter of time before questions are asked" of players.

"Mark my words, with the pressure that's coming on players now to get stronger and stronger, it's only a matter of time before questions are asked whether some player is supping the wrong stuff," he writes in his autobiography.

Exclusive extracts from the book are printed in today's Irish Independent broadsheet Sport pull-out.

"We don't want our games going down this route. It won't make a better footballer out of you, so why bother doing it? Hopefully it won't creep into the game, but I have my doubts."

O Sé also touches on the stresses away from the game that amateur players face that the supporters never factor in.

He attributes a string of disciplinary issues that he got caught up in through 2012 to pressure he was under at the time.

"People need to remember that fact when they're commenting on players and their performances," he writes.

"That time (when he picked up a number of red cards in 2012), my marriage had broken up so there was a lot to deal with in matching the stress around that to preparing for an elite sport.

"There was a property boom in the country and, like a lot of people, I took a punt. And like a lot of people my punt didn't come in. I had a lot going on and I dealt with it.

"People don't realise what an inter-county footballer faces on a Monday morning. I face a classroom. Other lads face different scenarios."

Irish Independent

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