Sunday 15 December 2019

In brief: Laws eased on GAA dope testing

Gaelic games

The Irish Sports Council (ISC) has relaxed its guidelines on how GAA players are dope tested at training sessions.

Under rules, GAA players can only be tested at training sessions or matches. Out-of-competition testing is not permitted because GAA players are amateurs.

Testing has normally taken place after training but this has sometimes led to delays in players getting home and that has prompted change.

From now on, players can be notified of a dope test request during training and they can conduct it with immediate effect if they so choose.

The ISC maintain that waiting until after a training session has been completed is considered a courtesy designed to cause as little disruption as possible and that any changes to this are not considered a concession.

The GAA requested that the ISC notify players of selection during training sessions, which would allow them to undertake a test at a time of their choosing.

The GAA has an excellent record as a 'clean' sport. Kerry defender Aidan O'Mahony was the first player to fail a doping test after Salbutamol was found in his sample. But O'Mahony, an asthma sufferer, was later cleared of wrongdoing.


IRELAND'S European light-flyweight champion Paddy Barnes will begin his quest for a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi with a preliminary round bout on Thursday.

The Holy Family BC fighter, a bronze medal winner at the 2008 Olympics, will meet Scotland's Iain Butcher in the last 16 at the Talkatora Stadium.

Barnes is part of a nine-man Northern Ireland boxing squad competing at the Games in India.

Mark O'Hara, Steven Donnelly and team captain Eamon O'Kane will be in action today, while Paddy Gallagher and Michael Conlon are up tomorrow and Thursday.

Tyrone McCullagh, who claimed bronze for Ireland at the 2010 European Championships, Steven Ward and 2008 World Youth bronze medallist Tommy McCarthy will be in the ring on Saturday.


A clear round from Cian O'Connor and K Club Lady kept the Irish show jumpers in the game at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky yesterday, where Canada's Mario Deslauriers took the early lead with his super stallion Urico.

Like the eventers, the show jumpers are looking for one of the five Olympic qualifying places available, but pathfinder Denis Lynch got things off to a shaky start when Lantinus put in just two strides instead of a short three between the fifth and sixth fences and mowed through the wall at six.

They returned with eight faults, and with faults added to time in this Speed event, that was costly. Dermott Lennon and Hallmark Elite also returned an eight-fault scoreline.

But O'Connor produced a great clear from his mare and Billy Twomey and Tinka's Serenade rounded off the Irish effort with just a single mistake at the very last fence.

Irish Independent

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