Sunday 23 September 2018

'This is a bully boy tactic' - Ex-Kerry star hits out at Sport Ireland over home drug testing row

22 August 2016; Bryan Sheehan of Kerry during a press event at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Co. Kerry. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
22 August 2016; Bryan Sheehan of Kerry during a press event at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Co. Kerry. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Former Kerry midfielder Bryan Sheehan has accused Sport Ireland of using 'bully boy tactics' in the dispute with the GPA over the issue of drug testing players at home.

Last week it emerged that Sport Ireland are withholding GPA funding, which goes to inter-county players, unless their members 'sign up to a range of new measures including the provision of home address for home drug testing'.

The GPA have thus far not agreed to the new measures, and Sport Ireland are holding back funding for 2017 as well as future state grants.

Speaking to Paddy Power, 2011 All Star Sheehan, who retired from inter-county football after last season, hit out at Sport Ireland's stance.

"This is a bully-boy tactic from Sports Ireland and it's unacceptable," he said.

"I think it's very wrong the way they are going about it. The grant money that we get in the GPA is for our expenses, essentially for physio or for scans or medical appointments. So, you're being reimbursed for losses incurred. But you have students involved here who are living from hand to mouth, heading into exam time now who are stuck for a bit of cash. It's one thing to do it to a player that's out working, but I feel for those lads who are students, and for whom money is a major issue."

"I think they are using bully-boy tactics to strong-arm the GPA into accepting this deal so that the GPA can have access to money and release it to the players," he added.

"They are forcing them, and I think it's wrong. The money should be released now."

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