Sunday 22 September 2019

FAI wait on word from Sport Ireland after blood test refusal

Thomas Byrne reacts during last week's 0-0 draw with Azerbaijan
Thomas Byrne reacts during last week's 0-0 draw with Azerbaijan

Aidan Fitzmaurice

The FAI are waiting to see what action will be taken against a member of the Republic of Ireland Under-19 squad who has left the camp during their European Championships qualifiers, after he refused to take a blood test.

Drogheda United player Thomas Byrne played for the Irish Under-19s in the opening game of their qualifiers, a 0-0 draw with Azerbaijan in Waterford last Wednesday.

But Byrne was not in the squad for the second game, Saturday's 5-0 win over Cyprus and the FAI confirmed that he has left the Irish camp.

The player undertook a standard urine test, which he passed, but then declined to undergo a blood test from an FAI testing team. The FAI confirmed that they have reported the matter to Sport Ireland.

In a statement, Sport Ireland said: "Sport Ireland is aware of a matter concerning a member of the Ireland Under-19 squad. The testing was not carried out by Sport Ireland officials. However the FAI has made Sport Ireland aware of the incident."

Drogheda United confirmed to The Herald that they were "aware of the situation regarding Thomas Byrne and are awaiting further information."

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