10 March, 2011

GAA; farce of player detained for hours for drug test:

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Location of last night's controversy:  Austin Stack Park, Tralee, Co. Kerry
A de - hyrdated Kerry footballer was detained by an Irish Sports Council drugs tester past midnight yesterday after being unable to provide a urine sample for over three hours. As is the procedure, the player was randomly selected following Kerry's training session in Austin Park, Tralee on Tuesday evening. However, he had to take on large amounts of liquids before eventually passing urine. 
Irish Sports Council: "GAA players must be drug-tested"
Between arriving at training and leaving, the player spent almost six hours there. 
"It was a joke," - said a source close to the player. "He didn't sign any contract to commit to it. He's not a professional. He's got work in the morning."
GAA director of games administration, Fergal McGill sympathised with the player's predicament.However, he also emphasised the importance of the GAA's commitment to the Irish Sports Councils ant-doping controls. "It's not uncommon in our sport or most other sports," said McGill. "The problem is when a player finds it difficult to pass urine for a test. We have great sympathy for players who find themselves in this situation.
Administrator Fergal McGill sympathises with players' plight
After training a player can need to take on board a lot of water before being able to pass urine. However, it is one of the conditions for Government funded grants and it has to be adhered to."
The issue of GAA's amateaur players being subjected to the same tests as professional sportsmen has been a thorny one for the Association since the anti-doping tests were introduced into inter-county Gaelic games in 2001.
As part of their recently inked official recognition protocol with the GAA, the Gaelic Player's Association (GPA) have agreed to a strict adherence of the ISC's anti-doping controls. Last year, 92 inter-county GAA players were tested with all of the tests returning negative results for doping.
It was reported that 40% of the tests were conducted following training sessions. However, the latest development raises the issue of the procedures taking place before training sessions instead of after them, when players will be dehydrated.
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