Offaly GAA offer explanation for inter-county stars missing drugs tests

Offaly Hurling

The planned anti-doping visit was missed between June 2016 and May 2017

Offaly GAA have today responded to an Irish Independent report that revealed inter-county players from the county missed scheduled visits from anti-doping officials over the last year.

They reported that between June 2016 and May 2017, which would encompass much of the off-season and the entire National League campaign, anti-doping officials recorded seven failed attempts to test GAA players, including hurlers from Offaly.

As a matter of course, anti-doping officials arrange to attend a planned training session, where they know they will have access to an entire team.

An Offaly GAA official has said that Offaly GAA 'missed' one of these visits because the county hurling training session in question was changed late and "too late to inform authorities."

During the same period, Carlow, Kilkenny, Westmeath and Antrim were also recorded within the unfulfilled testing attempts. In each case, the squads were not present for testing despite schedules being agreed months in advance.

The Independent have also reported that Sport Ireland has launched an investigation after urine samples from inter-county players went missing on two separate occasions while en route to a WADA-approved testing facility in Germany. One of these incidents allegedly involved three Westmeath hurlers whose samples never arrived in Cologne, while the other involved three Fermanagh footballers. 

Sport Ireland has allegedly written to the GAA to inform them of an investigation into these incidents. The missing Westmeath samples were taken from the hurling squad on May 7, 2017, less than three weeks ahead of their Championship clash with Offaly, a game they subsequently lost by 4-15 to 1-20. 

Only three GAA players have ever failed drugs tests. 

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